A question that I frequently get asked is, “How am I able to live a life of travel?” I want to now answer this long overdue question.
I started my nomadic life about twenty years ago with my first trip to Australia. I traveled along the whole perimeter of the country. I certainly loved the country, but what I loved more was the movement.
I loved the ability to stay in a place if I liked it, or move on if I didn’t. Simple I know, but I loved the feeling of moving and being in new surroundings on a weekly basis. I had nothing committing me to stay if I did not like the place and wanted to move on.
That is what got me hooked on nomadic life.
Ever since then I have lived the same life as I had in Australia. I travel to a new location, settle if I like it and then when it gets familiar and has lost its spark I move on.
There have been four countries that I liked enough to settle for a while. They were Greece, Germany, America and of course England. I stayed in these places long enough to fund future long term travel.
A benefit of living as an expat is that it allows me to get a job and save up for my next trip.
Living a life in this manner has also allowed me to travel throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas as well as live as an expat.
This is how I have been able to live a nomadic life for the last twenty years:
Not committing. The less commitments that I have the better; and the easier it is for me to take off on a whim. By not committing, I mean that I do not enter into any unnecessary contracts. For example for mobile phones and internet services, I get a pay-as-you go plan. For rental contracts, I try and get the minimum possible length that I can. I do not enter into any other financial contracts. As far as committing to a partner, well, that is a whole new post altogether!
Living minimally. I try to not accumulate possessions and only live with the items that are essential to me. The period of my life that I felt the most liberated was when I gave away most of my possessions, after the first time that I settled down. Since then, I have not accumulated many possessions and most of my belongings fit in just a couple of backpacks. I don’t have a car and I get around by bike, public transport and my two ageing legs.
Living cheaply. There are so many ways in which you can do this, not just by giving up that latte at Starbucks! By living cheaply you will save more money quicker for your next trip. Check here for more tips.
I live by the above three steps when I find a place that I like enough to settle for a while. I find temporary employment and possibly a second job, live cheaply, and in no time I have enough money to fund another long-term trip. Even though I am stationery for a while, I still feel like I am traveling as I am living in new surroundings.
- In order to travel long-term you can fund your travels on the road. This could be done by making money online, or in the hospitality or teaching industry. This is providing that your visa allows you to.
- Volunteering is another good option. Most programs allow you to work for room and board (and have a rewarding experience at the same time). The WOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is one such example.
I love my life and have really enjoyed the last twenty years. By living as an expat in many different countries and traveling around the world, I feel like I have lived many different lives.
Where am I now?
Edinburgh! Well, in a few days I will be! This is a place that I have decided that I like enough to settle down for a while. Long enough to save for my next trip or trips. This could mean several trips this year, or saving for a long-term round the world trip.
Then once I have absorbed enough of Edinburgh and it’s lost its appeal, I will move on.
Thinking about living a nomadic life?
Great! This life has been so fulfilling for me and I am sure it will be for you too! But, be aware of the negative aspects of this lifestyle!
You will find that it’s hard to stay in touch with friends and family; this will be difficult for some. I however, have got used to it. I have got used to the fact that my friends are scattered throughout the world rather than in one place. I stay in touch via social media and Skype, so they never seem too far away.
Living a life of travel can be an amazing life, but be prepared to make sacrifices.
For most its worth making the sacrifices. Having a mind full of wonderful memories makes it worth it.
“Own only what you can carry with you; Let your memory be your travel bag.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn