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Nomadic Life in Latin America

A nomad enjoys a free life, but not an easy one. The biggest advantage is the opportunity to see new places and learn many interesting things.

        

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

       Nomadic life is currently on the decline.  In the African Sahel prolonged famines have forced many to adopt a sedentary life.  Others are lured by the newly-offered job opportunities in emerging third-world countries.  And many governments, wishing to control the lives of all their respective citizens, are systematically attempting to force the inherently free nomad to settle down.

            For about 17 years I adopted a species of nomadic life.  It was a period of adventure, intellectual enrichment, and success, terminated only when I found the girl of my dreams.

            I am a poet.  So I expressed the theme of my peregrinations in a haiku that I wrote in seven different languages:

            With zeal I shall sail

            Over the ocean of life,

            Seeking happiness.

            At first I hesitated to make the necessary adjustments. I had to give up my job as well as such luxuries as a car, health insurance, and Minnesota Mensa gatherings.  I had to sell, give away, or destroy most of my possessions.  Only a few books, tapes, and clothes survived the general annihilation.

            Before taking these steps I got my feet wet by taking a month’s leave of absence from my work and spending time in San Luis Potosí and Mexico City, with an interesting side trip to the majestic ruins of Teotihuacán.  Finding my resources sufficient to live in Mexico without work, I turned my back upon the comforts of sedentary life in January, 1988.

            For three years I lived in Mexico, visiting various cities.  I spent considerable time in Puebla, where the Casa de Cultura enclosed two excellent libraries and played classical music over a loudspeaker every day.  Since the young man in charge of the music became my friend, he often allowed me to choose the music, though he would not play Bach too early in the morning.

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