Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century


Lawful neutral

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.”

On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others―including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May.

In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy―one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable “Earthship” home, they have not given up hope.


#*! boat!
PREMO Member
I'm a member of a couple "off grid" and homesteading forums. The creativity and resourcefulness I see on display is sometimes amazing. A lot of folks out there are getting by just fine with very little interaction required - especially of the commercial kind - with the "world".

So-called "tiny houses", which are simply the Amish sheds like they sell in Mechanicsville or Charlotte Hall all fixed up inside, and small-cabin kits, are quite popular.

Here's a pic of my current RV build project. (kidding)

RV classic.jpg
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Board Mommy
PREMO Member
I just caught some of this film today, very good IMO.
We just got back from seeing it - good movie! It's very different from our experience, though, because we stay in nice RV parks and don't boondock. Shitting in a bucket in my living room isn't something I'm interested in. Also my workamp job doesn't entail digging up beets, it's pretty swanky.

But Monello and I were very excited to see some of our old stomping grounds, particularly the Horseshoe Bar in the Badlands. 😍


Well-Known Member
It is listed if you have a membership in Hulu....any other venue to watch this on? (I am tired of a number of monthly memberships)