Humans have always been on the move, whether it was early neanderthals crossing the savanna, following the animal herds and killing them for food or the Native Americans tracking the herds of buffalo that once roamed this great land – humans would go where the food was.
I used to live in Twin Falls, Idaho and the locals tell the story of how the town was started. Back in the 1800s, a farmer from the Midwest decided to head west during the “Gold Rush” because his farm had dried up and withered. Riding on a wagon (the Uber car of the day), they were forced to stop in the middle of nowhere when the wagon broke a wheel. The passengers stepped out while the wagon master repaired the wheel. The farmer was looking around at the high desert scenery of mostly tumbleweed and other types of scrub that was indigenous to the area. He reached down and grabbed a handful of the dry, black soil and played with it in his hands. Adding some water from his canteen, the soil quickly soaked up the moisture, turning it into a rich, black soil that held the water amazingly well. The farmer played with the mixture for a few minutes before telling the wagon master to unload his bags because he was staying. The other passengers as well as the wagon master thought the man was crazy from the heat. The farmer showed them the handful of soil he had been playing with and he exclaimed “If my farm back home had soil this good, I would not have lost my crops. I’m a farmer! And I’m staying here!”. The wagon master unloaded his bags and the man stayed on the trail, thus becoming the first person to what would later become Twin Falls, Idaho.
Now, with the advent of modern capitalism, we humans must work to earn money with which we buy food. Most of us, myself included, don’t know how to farm or forage for food, certainly not enough to sustain life on a long-term basis. People living in a city almost guarantee that they would be the first to starve if the grocery store wasn’t close by. Henry Kissinger was quoted as saying: “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people” while Noam Chomsky pointed out: “Control of the population is the major task of any state that is dominated by particular sectors of the domestic society and therefore functions primarily in their interest”.
A friend of mine works for the military as an “ordinance technician”, (a bomb guy), and when his local military base closed down, he found himself needing to commute 9 hours (one way) just to continue working in his profession. He rents a cheap apartment during the week, drives home on Saturdays, spends one night with his wife, then drives back on Sunday. It’s a very tough life and hopefully he’ll retire soon so he can skip the commute entirely.
So now I find myself in a similar position of possibly traveling 150+ miles to work a job, to earn money, to pay the bills. I am still looking for local jobs, but for now it would seem I am destined to be a traveling man…..