Global nomads, existential migrants

We are back in USA
which we refer to as home
where most of our family was born
where we come back to after our travels to recalibrate.
Except it feels less like home than the countries we just came from.

We are global nomads.
We went on walkabout but we are still walking.
We started as backpackers but became serial travelers.
We embarked on pilgrimage but our spiritual quest continues.
We were circumstantial migrants but now we are voluntary migrants.
We were TCK's and now we are families on the road.
We were MK's and now we are itinerants.
We are existential migrants
We are global nomads
Urban nomads.
Digital nomads.
We couch-surf.
We travel light.
Our bags have straps, not wheels.
We are at home when we are away.
We chose migrancy over mortgage.
We are the perpetual dispersion.
We are the chosen exile.
Our accents do not place us.
Our current location does not define us.
Our closest communities are not geographical.
Our passport does not reflect our true citizenship.
We do not live anywhere but we do live everywhere.
The land of our birth does not feel like our homeland.
We cannot answer "Where are you from?" in a single sentence.

We are like the comic hero Rikki Barnes in Nomad: Girl without a world, who, "finding herself in a strangle place without family or friends, struggles to find a new path." Review in GeekDad


Is ‘home’ where we are most ourselves or is home the very thing that exiles us from ourselves?  Greg Madison, Is travel an existential need?

"I am part of a community of migrants across the globe, searching out situations where they are strangers in strange lands, all so they can feel at home." Greg Wesson, Existential Migration: Feeling at Home as the Foreigner

"Leaving home can be the expression of a spiritual quest that cannot be undertaken within the confines of the home environs." Greg Madison, Existential Migration [PDF]

"How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?' Psalm 137:4

"After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. "After I have been there," he said, "I must visit Rome also." Acts 19:21

"Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Jesus


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • I think the Jews did the same thing…. as well as the native americans… funny thing about the Tribes – Celts, Jews and Native Americans.. all nomads, all travelers with a strong Spirit sense compass.
    Much love ‘me dear… felt your poem deeply.

  • Andrew, it seems like you haven’t posted a poem in some time… and this one, uhh, is so… BEAUTIFUL! Esp. as I know how true it is for you. Thanks, Bro! Was great to coach-surf together in Brooklyn last week. Bon Voyage!

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