The Story of a Name: Knowmad & Nomad Adventures

Nomad Adventures South America Travel - Knowmad Adventures

How does one go about picking a name? It’s a strange concoction that comes together…a little bit impulse, but also thought out. Something that sounds good, but also encompasses meaning. Something that defines you, but also speaks to many. It takes pondering. It takes time.

Jordan and I had only a couple of days. Of course, we had been nurturing the seed of what was to grow into Knowmad Adventures for months (or maybe even years). My dreaminess (let’s just live our perfect day over and over again – horseback riding, hammocking, dining on ceviche, roasted lamb, malbecs…) combined with Jordan’s eye for opportunity (Patagonia’s swaths of endless wilderness, a travel industry on the edge of a boom) led us to come up with the concept of running trips in South America. But it was literally within the couple days after our wedding before we moved to Chile in 2009, with a looming print deadline for our first business cards, marketing slick and magnet for the car that didn’t exist yet, that we buckled down and got serious about the name.

Backing up a year or so now before our engagement we had landed home in Minnesota after a good three year stint bouncing around the globe – from busing the dusty roads in South America, to kayaking through the clean, sweet waters of Alaska, and from motorcycling around Southeast Asia, to chasing powder in the Rockies. I was pursuing a graphic design degree in Minneapolis to “gain some real-life skills,” my head swarming with images from my travels and words like adventure, viajero, nomadic, farang and abroad or adventure. Offhandedly I named a design project I was working on, a travel magazine, “Nomad Adventures” and that name came to encompass our future, undefined company in conversation.

When it came time to really decide on a name so we could move forward with the nitty gritty of buying our website’s URL or incorporating, we kept coming back to “Nomad Adventures.” ‘Why not?’ we thought. We liked the sound of it, it was what we wanted to be – nomads in search of adventure. It just lacked something though – direction, I guess, or actually meaning.

Nomad Adventures - Knowmad Adventures


Knowmad, not Nomad, Adventures

I always joke that I was at risk of being a lifer at school because I love learning so much. I envisioned myself as a professor for a while – dreaming of donning scarves and black-rimmed glasses, sipping on lattes while reading, my favorite pastime. A decade more of education? Yes, please!

I’m still holding onto this as my third or fourth career path, but in the interim Jordan and I were swept away by the learning that comes with travel. Oh, what can be learned from a conversation with a gaucho, his eyes and head clear from vistas of vast pampas, his constant companions a horse and a dog. The knowledge gained isn’t only about that corner of this earth. It’s knowledge of humanity, knowledge of yourself. Thus morphed “nomad adventures” into “Knowmad Adventures” and there you have it, the story of our name.


Un Beso, Tara

South America Travel Tara HarveyTara is the Co-Founder, Marketing and Operations Manager at Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America. She first traveled to South America in college and is endlessly inspired by the cultures, food, colors and idiosyncrasies she discovers there. Read Tara’s biography and more about the Knowmad team.