From collecting firewood alone in the subzero temperatures of a Vermont winter wilderness, to standing on street corners with homeless panhandlers, to camping at the snowline on a west coast mountaintop with a band of nomads traveling in a school bus, to riding the "local bus" through Nicaragua ~ Being Nomad walks where few dare to venture by choice.
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Being Nomad is the story of one woman's epic inner and outer journey, across America and beyond; her resolution to become a voice for the homeless and nomadic population; her own "journey of descent" into homelessness; and her radical transformation into an entity who is "light, strong, empty, resilient... made from a whole new material not found on this planet... something ultraviolet."
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A decidedly atypical travel journal that breaks convention, Being Nomad is rich in observational and philosophical pondering, eccentrically rendered via email conversations, blog posts, Facebook posts, and lyrical pieces of writing and poetry.
From March 2012 to December 2013, the author travels across the U.S., couch surfing and living in a car named Flow with her canine companion Merlin - from the snowy chill of New England to the dusty southwest desert, up and down and up the coast from southern California to the Pacific Northwest, and then by plane to the steamy heat of Central America and Florida. But the outer journey is small compared to the inner one.
The book opens on the edge of survival in the frozen wilderness of a Vermont winter with the author, a single mother of two, asking herself, "Is this the sort of life I want to be leading anymore?" Her answer to this question ultimately results in her leaving everything to literally drive off into the sunset, following a call that has haunted her all her life.
Astounded by the number of nomadic and homeless people she encounters, Moi is initially inspired to experience being nomad so she can understand and effectively write about it. But the experiment turns into a "journey of descent" to unanticipated depths. For months she finds herself car camping and fending off depression. As her money runs out and her life implodes, both she and her friends become increasingly concerned, anxious, perplexed and frustrated with her irrational and inexplicable compulsion. She needs to find a way to work for the cause without being the cause - but how?
Being Nomad is the result of a promise Moi made - to be a voice for the homeless and nomadic population. But it is also much more. The book writhes with the agony of transformation, groans with atrociously quirky humor, and radiates with luminous discovery... from the excruciating experience of letting go of everything (possessions, family, job, dog, identity), to the earthy importance of always having a good supply of chipotle chile powder and dog poop bags, to cosmic messages from a magic calendar. It's not simply another self-discovery saga. It's a provocative look at the human species, and a perspective-shifting contemplation of the world and universe we exist in.