Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pity The Nomads

Minnesott Beach, NC


As the day of departure nears we are experiencing a few butterflies.

Libby was talking as if we could drive to New Mexico, then drive back to check on the boat. Then drive to Arizona, then drive back to check on the boat. Then drive to California, then drive back to check on the boat. ... This boat is not a toy, it is our home. We are entrusting it to strangers and hurricane season. Luckily, our friend Jeff offered to stop by and check on Tarwathie from time to time.

Yesterday I realized that we will be cut off from buying anything online. We won't have a mailing address to send to. We could send stuff to Mary Ann, but our visit to her is weeks away. UPS and FEDEX will not deliver to a general delivery address. Besides, we don't know what cities or even which states we will visit.

I've written before about the plight of nomads in the modern world. By that I mean people who have no street address. People like ourselves may have difficulty meeting the requirements to prove residency in any state at all. Meanwhile, the machinery of commerce and government become more intolerant of that state every day. Next up, Obamacare. Anything and everything having to do with that is intimately tied to your state of residence.

Cruisers aren't the only people with that problem. There are homeless people. Then there are gypsies, and migrant workers. In today's net enabled world, even professional people are able to work with no fixed base, but they can't become full fledged nomads without a permanent residence because of the bureaucracy. Hobos also come to mind although I don't see many of them left. No doubt there are other kinds of nomads I haven't thought of.

It came as a shock when I realized we will be cut off from e-commerce. We will still have my phone for email and blogging, but no commerce. A news story the other day said the following, "eventually all brick and mortar retailers will have to deal with the fact that their online competitors have a huge cost advantage. Brick and mortar stores are on the way out." I can safely say that we will be long dead and buried before the last brick and mortar store disappears, but still the plight of nomads get worse year by year.

The homeless at least have advocates. Somehow I think that he'll will freeze over before nomads have advocates or champions.



  1. Tell Libby that if anything bad happens to your boat it probably won't be during a visit to check on her. Secure her well trust in the marina and friends and forget about her. Enjoy your adventure!

  2. My wife and I returned recently from a 5 month land trip with a 17ft Camper pulled by a 2002 Ranger pickup. It was quite an adventure with some similarities and many contrasts to cruising by sialboat.
    We stayed in one RV park for a month (Rockport, Tx) and ordered online and had it delivered there. Much of the rest of the time were 1 to 3 night stops. We enjoyed a number of National Parks and Army Corp of Engineer Reservoirs along the way. Great value with senior pass.
    We never got used to meeting vehicles going 70+ mph....much preffered meeting at 5-7 kts on the water.

    Safe travels,

  3. Hi Dick,

    Consider signing up with St. Brendan's Isle mail forwarding service. It's one of the best things I did when we cast off. You have a street address, and can even become a resident of Florida. Every couple of weeks, we go online and request a shipment to where ever we are.

  4. I love this posting. The groupings of individuals without "official" residences is fascinating.

    Though there are not as many as before one population overlooked was "deadheads". Certainly a special type of nomad - one with purpose.

    I wish you and Libby safe travels this summer - on land or by sea.

    Mat in Vt


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