Nomad originally referred to pastoral nomads who follow their herd according to the seasons. Unlike traditional nomads, global nomads travel alone or in pairs rather than with a family and livestock. They also travel worldwide and via various routes whereas traditional nomads have a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movement, and although pastoralists are professional travellers, they move in relatively limited areas mostly walking or riding donkeys, horses, and camels. Global nomads, on the other hand, travel worldwide.
Global nomads' lifestyle is characterized by high mobility. They might stay in one place for days to months. However, sometimes the term is also used to refer to lifestyle migrants, who travel between their country of origin and their new, chosen home country.
Global Nomads have travelled continuously, internationally, and many years without a permanent home or a job. A book called Free as a Global Nomad: An Old Tradition with a Modern Twist (Drifting Sands Press, Phoenix, AZ, USA, 2012) contain interviews of 30 Global Nomads and information about the lifestyle.