“Nomadland”: A book spotlight on the new American dream.

In an age of social media and constantly being surrounded by technology, it’s almost impossible to imagine living a quiet and low-key life. It’s almost admirable that people actually live the lifestyle nomads do. “Nomadland” is a partly-tragic and partly-uplifting look into the lives of nomads who take their mobile homes all over the country finding seasonal jobs. The book consists of real accounts of people who have taken on this unconventional way of living. With the recent film adaptation of “Nomadland” releasing in time for the awards season on Hulu, it seems fitting to take a look at the 2017 award-winning book that inspired it.

Our culture seemingly has an idealistic standard of what a normal life is. It usually consists of a steady job, family and a house. “Nomadland” quickly debunks this and immerses you into the nomadic lifestyle. Interestingly enough, the beginnings of this trend can be traced back to 2005 as learned in the book. Bob Wells launched CheapRVLiving.com in 2005, detailing how people could begin minimizing their lifestyle. It’s not easy all of the time as many do face hardships. For one, the work many of the nomads do is generally very demanding. Some oversee campsites, which include the not-so-glamorous aspects of these vacation spots. Others will take seasonal jobs at an Amazon facility. Most of us have ordered stuff we really needed from Amazon and got it within a few days. The book will surely give you a new perspective and appreciation for the people who do the physical work at a company we all give money to. Not only is it physically taxing, the work itself is so mundane as workers spend hours categorizing and scanning items. Certain workers in the book detail a routine they have, which consists of taking different medicines at specific times to get them through the day. There was one couple in particular that would park their RV miles away from the warehouse and then bike together at night before their long, overnight shift. They would then have to bike miles back in the cold and pitch black before starting the rotation again the very next day. If the book doesn’t do it for you, I am sure the film will paint a vivid picture of what goes on behind the smile you see in the Amazon logo.

“Nomadland” is a must-read for college students as we prepare to head into the workforce. The book may not change your mind on what you want to do in your career, but it will open your eyes to this new way of life. It’s such a grounded story that takes place exclusively in the real heart of America. I personally found the book to be inspirational, and if U2’s 1987 album “The Joshua Tree” was an exploration of the American Dream, “Nomadland” seemingly details what the new and improved American Dream looks like.

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