What is the good of being a global nomad?

Today I was interviewed by Peter Morris, The Business Shrink who has a radio show on Understanding the strategy and psychology of business over Skype. I don’t know when the show will be aired or whether I was live, I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Anyway, it was on the topic of Walmart and the article Manuel and I wrote on the 5 common mistakes brands make when crossing borders. But this time, perhaps because I was asked to qualify a global nomad, I do believe I touched a chord somewhere. So I felt like writing this post on what good is it to be a global nomad?

We can carry quite a burden of grief, those of us who were constantly moving during our crucial developmental years. Today I shared on public radio that I was a fourth generation nomad and the trade offs that we make, what with a constant urge to be moving, an inherent restlessness and a sense of rootlessness. We learn to call our hats our home. Let me tell you a story.

Earlier this month, when I was closing up my mother’s house in Singapore before flying back to my own apartment in San Francisco, I realized that I felt like I was going home and leaving home all at the same time. How odd is that?

But so like a global nomad. What good is that skill?

The skill to be at home everywhere yet nowhere all at the same time? Well, its called living in liminality and since I haven’t written on the topic in a long time, its time to do so again. From the greek limnos, which means the threshold time, when what was is no longer and what will be is not yet, liminal space can be an awesomely creative place to be. You see, nothing is as it seems, and it can be shaped accordingly.

Sort of like what good is the ability to throw a pot on a moving wheel? I don’t know, my lumps of clay used to go flying out the window of the ceramics studio back in design school.

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