What is a nomad?

I was sitting on a bench in my Dutch suit in a Spanish city, on a Catalan square, watching two tiny kids playing football with a small ball made out of aluminium paper while an old man on a bench on the opposite side was singing a song. I read in my notebook, notes I made in Berlin recently during a workshop about Feldenkrais and walking. I had written down a line one of the German speakers quoted during a lecture, it was a quote from the Belgium choreographer and dancer Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker: "my walking is my dancing". I like that quote, that idea.

I broused through my notebook and a small bag with salt fell out. I picked up a few of them at a hostel in the Ruhr Area when I was on a long walk last year, thinking they might come in handy. I hid them in my notebook. This was the last one left. When I came back home after that walk an English publisher, who had asked me if I would consider writing a book about my walking, suggested salt as a possible red thread in my writing. Salt as in Salzburg, the city in Austria close to where I had landed after my long walk and where I had spent ten days with 180 artists in a former salt factory. Salzburg, the region where one of my permaculture heroes lives and works, Sepp Holzer. I watched a video about him earlier today, the Agro Rebel, in which he explains how he was just farming the way he thought made most sense, listening to and looking at nature. Doing things everybody thought would be impossible like growing citrus fruits high up in the mountains. How at some point people told him that what he was doing was permaculture and how he turned from somebody people considered a crazy guy into one of the greatest permaculturists in the world. 

While watching it a question landed in my inbox. A friend who lives in Romania wondered about a future project I might embark on, travelling through northern Italy and the Balkan countries. She asked “What is a nomad?” and I didn’t know what to answer straight away. But I guess this might be one answer to her question. 

Feeling at home on a bench in a strange city. Moving through a handful of countries in words. Not living anywhere. Living everywhere. 

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