Quoting from the online dictionary, Wikipedia: ‘A grey nomad is someone who is 55 or older and is taking a long term camping trip around Australia. Although they may travel in lots of different kinds of rigs such as motor homes, caravans, camper trailers and tents, grey nomads can be characterised by their sense of adventure, humour and their camaraderie.’
I beg to differ on a specific point. Do you really have to be 55 or older to be grey? And do you have to be 55 or older to be nomadic?
Why don’t we break down what I believe may determine a true Grey Nomad.
Grey - describes a colour. Grey is best described as all the tints and shades varying between the colours Black and White. In this day and age, any shade of grey can be and has been disguised as other colours thanks to the introduction of hair dressers, hair dye, tints, colours, wigs, toupees, hair extensions and outright denial.
Nomad – describes people who are moving around the country constantly, rather than settling down in one location. This usually involves following a source of food, scenery, seasons, entertainment or other interesting nomadic people.
Does that break down clarify a grey nomad better? Could there possibly be subcategories?
The Spontaneous -
The ‘let’s just pack up and go’ nomad has no plans, no itinerary, and is not even sure of their destination. They are just willing and not waiting to discover Australia. The uncertainty creates adrenalin and spice in their travels, yet they always know they will make it from A to B because they are happy to go without for possibly long periods of time. Very much like a backpacker, the spontaneous nomad will happily survive on home brand 2 minute noodles and 30 cent ice creams from McDonalds, and live in various free rest stops for days on end, simply for the joy of experiencing travelling Australia without restraint, deadlines or boundaries.
The Organised -
The ‘well researched’ nomad has their destinations in mind, their ideal home on wheels put into practice, insurance paid up, caravan parks booked, checklist ticked, time schedule determined, fuel efficiency of vehicle calculated, weather forecasts examined, attractions studied and all communications wired for emergencies. The organised nomad will arrive at each destination in a cool and non flustered manner knowing their slab and power point is waiting, and they made it in time before the hot water or daylight runs out.
The High Maintenance -
The ‘can’t leave home without it’ nomad has everything, including the kitchen sink. Or should I say the dishwasher, washing machine, LCD television and DVD player, air conditioning, navigation systems, satellite phone, artificial lawn with deck chairs, full barbecue, laptop, home brew kit, recliner lounges, spa bath, security system, full sized fridge, expanding verandahs with shade sails, plus towing a 4WD in case they need to drive to the nearest shops for milk and bread. With all the comforts of home means the high maintenance nomad can endure extreme weather for weeks on end by remaining indoors, whilst watching the Leyland Brothers on their high definition wide screen, so as not to miss the adventures this land provides.
Did I miss something? Is there another subcategory? What are your thoughts on a grey nomad? Let us all know via GNA's forum under category Article Feedback.