By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane

TO UNDERSTAND the nomadic life, an Italian photographer gave up his daily luxuries and moved in with a Mongolian travelling family

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The photographer travelled to Mongolia to experience this basic way of life

Marco Giovanelli stayed with several nomadic families for just under two weeks in late April 2016.

The Mongolian nomads are completely self sufficient, living directly off the land

The nomadic families live in open-plan houses called ‘gers’, where much of their daily activities take place, creating a strong sense of community.

He said: “The experience of living closely to the families is the best way to know and understand this amazing country.

Marco Giovanelli said: "Their various herds are important as a food source, and for trading."

"I was with each family for a few days to experience real nomadic culture and to try dairy product making, sheep herding, mare and cow milking.”

The families live in 'gers', and their nearest neighbour could be 10km away

The nomads are mostly self sufficient, living off the land and their herd. This basic way of life means they lack the usual facilities most Europeans are accustomed to.

The entire family helps out with the daily duties, such as caring for the livestock

He said: “Every day we woke at 7am to bring the milk from the sheep and goats. Then with all the family members we had breakfast, which was fresh milk and dinner leftovers, nothing is thrown away.

Despite their primitive life, the children go to school and have toys to play with

“I helped to cook some Mongolian meals, bring the water from the river and collect fuel for the fire. The evening in the ger was a time for eating, drinking vodka, telling funny stories and singing.”

“Depending on the location of the ger, they may not have wood to burn for their fire. So they use dried out dung, which burns very well.

Other than the traditional method of horses, the nomads use motorbikes to get around the land

“Several families I stayed at didn’t have toilets. Everyone shares the same outhouse, which might not even have all four walls, leaving it open to the elements.”

Despite their fundamental lifestyle, the children go to school in the main village when they are six years old, enabling them to have an education.

The Italian photographer said: "Nomads prefer their meat to be served with a hearty dose of fat. It acts as an insulator, preparing their bodies for the tough season ahead."

The recent increase in tourism is changing the traditional nomad life and many families build a second ger tent for tourists to stay in, creating a source of secure income.

Giovanelli said: “Nomadic people are extremely generous, happy and always smiling.

“The father of one of the families said ‘When you are a nomad, your life is lived in relation to the rest of the family.’”