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Jan 31, 2019 14:52:38

David-Néel, the Ideal Neo-Nomad

by @basilesamel PATRON | 220 words | 181🔥 | 198💌

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 181🔥
Total posts: 198💌
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Alexandra David-Néel is the perfect representation of a nomadic ideal.

As a Belgium-French writer and explorer, David-Néel displayed through the example of her life a real ethic of travel. Her erudition and thirst for otherness allowed her to transcend conditions: she became the first western woman to enter the Tibetan city of Lhasa, forbidden to foreigners at the time, as she described it herself in her book My Journey to Lhasa.

However, even a great explorer like Alexandra David-Néel alternated between long periods of travels and long periods of sedentism. This is what made her a true nomad from a historical definition. Historical nomads never travel. They move around, following a cycle. Her cycle was not seasonal. It was a cycle of creation. Writing at home. Gathering materials during her travels.

It's in her house, nicknamed Fortress of Meditation, that she wrote the books that made her famous.

David-Néel didn't travel out of boredom. It was an impulse she displayed at a young age. Later, traveling became an obligation. She traveled to make a living as a singer. She traveled to continue her intellectual work and further her own education. More importantly, she traveled to meet her fate. And this is what separates nomads from tourists: purpose.

She would later inspire Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Alan Watts, among others.

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  • 1

    @basilesamel Very cool post, I'm ashamed to say I never heard of her. A true adventurer.
    Even the fact she died at 100 makes her story that much more fitting.

    Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jan 31, 2019 09:22:38
    • 1

      @basilesamel My Journey to Lhasa, amazing book
      so... im a "true" nomad, moving seasonally between 3 lairs! Cool :-))
      Seems Im stocking you @gabrielgreco all over the place :D :D :D

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Jan 31, 2019 10:27:19
    • 1

      @basilesamel @lucjah What a stalker! :D

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jan 31, 2019 11:57:23
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