The nomadic lifestyle is not set in stone. Each person decides how it will work for them. Part of deciding that this might be the right choice for you is determining how to implement living-on-the-go in your case. Give the following five questions some thought and discover if making the world your home, and workplace, is the perfect solution for you.
How adaptable are you?
Take a hard look at yourself and assess how easily you accept change. If your bank is no longer meeting your needs, are you likely to find a new and better one? If you had to live without hot water for a week, would this throw you into a tail spin? What is your level of curiosity about other cultures or even cities? Is your inner being fed by new experiences?
In traveling, even just as tourist, the need to adjust to new circumstances arises often. The higher your ability to adapt to them will determine the likelihood of success in a lifestyle that sometimes requires hourly adjustments. You may find that you stumble on a very stable environment in your travels that feels comfortable and doesn’t require frequent modifications. That does happen, but usually takes a number of experiences to discover one of these havens. You will need to be prepared for an existence very different from anything you’ve ever lived before.
What is your motivation in becoming a nomad?
At the core of every wanderlust dream is an intention. What do you want out of your ability to be mobile? Is it ultimately to travel the world? Or perhaps, you’d like to escape a very turbulent life or the stress of a corporate environment? Maybe, you’d just like a taste of the freedom of nomadic living.
Understanding why you’re attracted to creating a life on the road is the key to knowing if it’s what you really want or simply a lovely dream.
How mobile do you intend to be?
Again, this can easily change, but at the outset are you planning to move around a lot or do you simply see yourself changing locations from season to season? Are you planning a winter life in a warm climate, and then back home in the summer or maybe, an urban existence part of the time and country living in Spain the rest of the year? Or maybe, you really want to be constantly on the move, exploring country after country at a pretty good pace.
I started out at a gallop myself, traveling six countries in 8 months, but have settled into a couple of short stints in one place for the moment. My circumstances changed and I currently must be able to return quickly to the US if need be for family reasons, and that affected by ability to move freely around the world – for now. But, I found that accepting the change was far easier than it would have been had I not had my first long stretch of exploration. And I fully intend to return to the more nomadic lifestyle when my circumstances change again.
I would recommend setting up an initial intention, while being fully aware that it could change at a moment’s notice.
What is your goal for weekly working hours?
For some this would not even be a question. Perhaps, you already know you don’t intend to work at all. Perhaps, you’re retired or maybe you’re without the need for an income. However, if you need or want to work, it’s important to set a goal.
Maybe you know how much money you need to have coming in, and can divide that by a certain hourly rate and therefore determine how many hours you’ll need to put in each week or month to achieve this goal. Perhaps, you’re able to, instead, decide how many hours you want to or can devote to work, and go from there. Whatever you decide is the right level for you will determine how to approach the frequency of travel and your working requirements.
What is your level of comfort financially?
This is an extremely important question. How much money do you need to have in the bank to be able to move around comfortably in the world? How much of an income can you live on? For some people, including me, the need to find a cheaper cost of living will propel them to new destinations. With a lowered cost of living, your need for a large monthly income drops dramatically.
You will find out that living outside enclaves set aside for foreigners – in other words among the locals to some degree – will save you vast amounts of money. This can really affect your ability to travel and stay in another country for longer periods. Researching the places you want to live, right down to the cost of living, will help you decide where your financial comfort zone is.
This group of questions and their answers should sort out for you how likely you are to enjoy your new life. By answering as completely as you can, even just mentally, you can discover out the whys and wherefores of launching a completely new journey. I highly recommend committing your thoughts to paper or computer, walking away from it for a while, then returning to re-read and confirm your answers. After all, this is a major change in your life and worthy of some reflection.
It is important to remember that things change, and you may not wish to continue as a nomad indefinitely. Perhaps, you discover some major roadblock to enjoying being in one place one week and another the next. Maybe you’ll want to adjust your plans in the future; be a little more mobile, return to your country of origin more often, work less hours or even pick up the pace and move around more frequently. The wonderful thing about adopting the lifestyle of a vagabond is that you can step back out of it at any time. All that’s required is a ticket back to your preferred location and a place to stay long enough to put down roots. If your answers here indicate you’d love roving – even for a while – don’t let fear stop you.