A reason to re-examine the definition of Nomadderwhere

I was recently reviewing my explanation of the term "nomadderwhere"...ya know, for kicks, because that's what I do on Spring Break. Or, more accurately, I was looking for more meaning to go behind the sequence of my images for a photo exhibition. I began with the image I loved the most, because it's the latest creation. The rest fell into place based on the whim of my finger at that moment. Whatever reasoning determined was reconsidered with the next pass of the eyes.

This exhibition being my first–and at a significant location for me–I have a strong desire to make all decisions with intention.

The initial definition

And so, I went to my original post on the definition of nomadderwhere. It goes a little something like this:

A nomad never stops. A nomad moves and continues to flex their idea of home and comfort. A nomad doesn't settle on one way of thinking or one surrounding. It's a lifestyle of adaptation and life-long learning.

Nomadderwhere is a philosophy: it doesn't matter where you are, it matters that you're always learning and flexing with your surroundings, whether you're traveling or stationary. To capture this idea is to capture the art of travel; to know the importance of movement and to become self-aware...because you are the only constant in your world.

It's about connecting with a place and its people. This facilitates learning, when exposure leads to questions and answers and understanding. I learn when I stick around and talk with the people of the area. I used to thrive on the quick picture and hitting the next path, but having a big photo library does not sustain me. Knowing myself and partaking in the active pursuit of knowledge; this is what sustains me.

I must note this posting date in 2009 was not the earliest use of the term. I made it up in 2008 prior to graduating from university. It was meant to replace my school e-mail address and be something I could distribute without others knowing my name (not sure what specific examples I had in mind, but I still think it's not a bad idea). I remember the little yellow Post-it that held all my failed attempts and the eventual success. I think "navigatorade" was on there.

The above description clearly came after some extensive traveling and deep contemplation of travel's integration and meaning in my lifes. I came away with a strong belief in learning and education that even preceded my work for educational organizations...or my eventual transformation into a teacher!

Weighing the definition against the years

Far Far Away, photo exhibition in Wabash, IN
Far Far Away, photo exhibition in Wabash, IN

Back to this exhibition...in May of this year, I will be showing my favorite images on a LCD monitor with a supplementary physical/digital guide that connects viewers to the stories behind the images. The audience is my hometown population, to which world exposure and travel opportunity have been afforded to some but not all. The exhibition is called "Far Far Away" and will show international work from Wabash County (possibly former) residents.

Since I'm not in the right time or place to print and frame my images, my work will be digital, and the guide will bridge viewers from their instantaneous read of an image to the digital reflection of the story behind it on Nomadderwhere. My hope is to deliver interesting moments for a viewer to engage with and offer the opportunity to immerse themselves in a visceral experience. Ideally, they might even contribute to a dialogue in the blog comments. No, wait. More idyllic than that, they would find a call within them to pursue opportunities that would lend to life-changing experiences. I know they're out there at any price range, any opportunity cost. Dare I dream.

So how does one sequence these 60 or so images in a way that further compounds the underlying message? And thus, I went back to my "philosophy." Reading it aloud and recording for playback, I ordered my images to match the keywords and themes that resonated. I took a script unknowingly written 3.5 years ago and based my first real showcase around it. No edits.

But is it still relevant as is? Haven't I evolved or changed my mind in that time? After experimenting in Fiji, working for Project Explorer, and teaching at a traveling school, wouldn't I have adopted new strands and nuances to what governs my lifestyle?

Let me bring out the proverbial red marker, though I never use one at work:

A nomad never stops (ha, well I've definitely slowed down a tad with my four month max). A nomad moves and continues to flex their idea of home and comfort (completely true...my nesting habits are strong, odd, and different in each place). A nomad doesn't settle on one way of thinking or one surrounding. It's a lifestyle of adaptation and life-long learning (...that must always be acknowledged as an experiment, one that benefits from successes AND errors).

Nomadderwhere is a philosophy: it doesn't matter where you are, it matters that you're always learning and flexing with your surroundings, whether you're traveling or stationary (it often makes me sound self-righteous, but I still echo this point to those who never change places). To capture this idea is to capture the art of travel; to know the importance of movement and to become self-aware...because you are the only constant in your world (this point is also a liberating one for those who recognize the exploration possibilities at home).

It's about connecting with a place and its people (I never feel supremely successful at this connection, but if that sense follows in line with "The more you learn, the less you know" then I guess I can never tell). This facilitates learning, when exposure leads to questions and answers and understanding (this reminds me I've learned a helluva lot with the idea of school). I learn when I stick around and talk with the people of the area (and photograph seemingly banal but ultimately illuminating subjects). I used to thrive on the quick picture and hitting the next path, but having a big photo library does not sustain me. Knowing myself and partaking in the active pursuit of knowledge; this is what sustains me (I am learning alongside my students, and if I stop, I should slither into a hole and rot away).

I guess I had plenty to add. Yikes, that red marker concept is a little too powerful for the meager aim for moderation. I think it's about 90% there, and the last 10% must reflect the myriad life experiences I've had since scribing those words, since I joined the work force doing something I loved, since I've accumulated 53 new country stamps on my passport.

The revised definition

I'm glad I took on this exercise. I've been set on my concept and blog appearance for a couple years now, and those digital facelifts were usually when I would reexamine and finesse what I proudly attach to my name. Having just renewed my web domain this week, this situation came to mind recently.

Here I sit, in my Boston penthouse I did not earn, rewording and restructuring the governing rules of my lifestyle blueprint. I feel fairly lucid and deliberate today, ready to laminate this revision in video form. I encourage you to watch, examine the words for yourself, and provide feedback on this redefined mini-manifesto.

A nomad never really stops. A nomad moves and continues to flex their ideas of home and comfort as these relate to their evolving understanding of life. A nomad doesn't settle on one way of thinking or one setting forever. It's a lifestyle of adaptation and life-long learning that must always be acknowledged as an experiment, one that benefits from the successes as well as the missteps.

Nomadderwhere is a philosophy: it doesn't matter where you are, it matters that you're always learning and flexing with your surroundings, whether you're traveling or stationary. To capture this idea, to know the importance of any range of movement, and to become self-aware, because you are the only constant in your world; this is to capture the art of travel.

It's about the constant pursuit of a deeper connection with a place and its people. This facilitates learning, when exposure leads to questions and answers (or further questioning) and possibly even understanding. A nomad learns by sticking around, talking with people, dropping their guard, and observing moments that ultimately inspire greater inquiry. This path lends to introspection and assurance that one's path leads to fulfillment and, as a result, a better world.

What are your thoughts on this definition of nomadderwhere and the lifestyle/mindset it describes?