by Infogram
Create infographics

Global Nomads

We are definitely global nomads, even if many of us don't even leave the couch

August 7, 2012

The travel narratives of Bowles, Kapuscinski and Theroux are marked by an ethnographic, or even anthropological view of the world, where long trips are hard and with total immersion in the places visited. Nomadic Travellers, unavoidable references in the travel literature and for current long-term travelers. The use of maps, the compass and local informants illustrate these trips. These days, long-term travelers make use of sophisticated means of communication and information access,  in which visual information design plays an increasingly decisive role.

The way we travel, the way we learn and educate, the way we deal with environmental issues, it all changed. We now live in an age of global drifting, an age with both real and virtual features. We are definitely global nomads – even if many of us don’t bother to leave the couch.

The reshaping of identities and feelings of belonging, the sense of place, the networks through which we travel, of what we are, the compression of space and time, all of these key aspects of our lives are now rapidly changing processes, due to the virtual/real paradox.

Who, among us, does’nt use Skype to talk with a relative, a friend or a loved one? Who among us does not have a network filled with virtual friends? Who does not enter a site to clarify a doubt, research a topic? Who doens’t have access to infographics and data visualizations on any specific topics? After all, where do we belong? What are we?

As Yourcenar once said, who would be so foolish not to travel within their own prison? Today, these possibilities are endless. The world, Yourcenar’s prison, became multidimensional and it’s present in our computer, in our neighborhood, our country, on a global scale where ‘The Other’, seemingly different, is our neighbor, virtual friend, the scientist sharing information, or the blogger you follow.

Global nomads is an collection of notes on travel, tourism, education, environment – themes that I work with – , from the perspective of interdependence in the context of globalization and new technologies. The fact of being a sociologist will, of course, be always present in the analysis, but this is not a science column. Just a place for considerations and sharing of both experiences and questions.

See you soon. Happy travels!

Written by Graça Joaquim

Sociologist. Professor of Sociology and Tourism Ethics and Social Responsibility in the School of Hospitality and Tourism of Estoril. Researcher at CIES-Iscte.IUL, Portugal