My husband and I are considering moving from Chicago and are pretty open to living just about anywhere. What has prompted you to move in the past, and what helped you make the choice of where to live? —Marta Conlon
I’ve lived in a number of places since leaving my Adirondacks childhood home: St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Pine City, Minn., Hoboken, N.J., Manhattan and Brooklyn, Austin, Texas, Manhattan again, and now D.C. In Minnesota, I was a broke student/musician looking for a place to sleep when I wasn’t in a van. As my personal and professional lives changed, I wanted to be with peers and kindred spirits in New York City. Texas was a detour from that poorly run city. But the noise of New York called me back in 1996, and then the noise drove me out in 2002. Those of us with a nomadic temperament have to accept that life may never be settled. Perhaps it’s the need for some sort of chaos, discovery, change. My work is tied to, and informed by, my environment. When I need a change of work, I change my surroundings. For most people it’s the other way around.
As American culture becomes more digital, I foresee a renaissance of the nomadic lifestyle. If you can build a life around working from home—with a laptop, cell phone, disposable furniture, and interchangeable “villages” (anchored by Whole Foods, Starbucks,
Borders, the Apple Store, and a mailbox service)—why stay put for terribly long? Add home schooling into the equation, and we might as well start building Winnebago hookups in the village parking lots. —Bob Mould
Bob Mould blogs at modulate.blogspot.com. Send questions to .