Thinking about Being a Nomad?

Let’s define nomad, first, before we even get into how you might think you want to be a nomad. What is a nomad in today’s travel terms.

A nomad is a person who travels the world full time, does not have a full-time residence, lives out of a suitcase or backpack, and may or may not know where she’ll be in the future.

A digital nomad is a nomad who is working remotely via a laptop and internet connection.

Because I am retired, I do not consider myself a digital nomad, rather, simply, a nomad.

There are many versions of nomad. Some people don’t travel full-time and may have a small place they return to, others may travel full-time but check their bags, some may be ex-pat nomads who have a place abroad and travel often. There’s no “right way” to nomad.

Wanderlust, Nomadic Life, Travel

I can’t remember not wanting to live some version of this nomadic lifestyle. In my twenties, I couldn’t quite figure out how to do it, make a living, and travel safely. The internet wasn’t available yet, computers hadn’t made their splash into mobility, and air travel still broke the bank.

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But the future seemed to be coming at me quickly when car phones dropped into the technology landscape. It was then that I started thinking about how to become nomadic. I didn’t really know what that meant–I just felt the freedom as my dad lugged his 10-pound car phone with him like it was just another briefcase and tool for commerce.

The Perfect Device for Travel

In 1999, my single self had a vision and a plan. I would leave for an around-the-world trip, regardless of my marital status or career path, in 2005. But the trip all hinged on one detail. I would go as soon as there was a single, handheld device that allowed me to:

  • Make international phone calls from anywhere
  • Map my travel
  • Get on the internet
  • Defend myself like with pepper spray or a taser
  • Take good pictures.

These were big demands and big dreams in 1999, the year prior to the giant, predicted 2YK crash. (Even in 2020, I haven’t found this device. But we’re close.)

Y2K and the First Marriage

The Y2K crash didn’t happen. I met my first husband in 2000. We married in 2001.

Sometime during our engagement period, I presented my dream to my soon-to-be husband. I told him that regardless of our lifestyle in 2005, I was headed around the world. I wanted him to come with me. I told him I’d take a sabbatical from my job. If we had a child by then, we’d bring her. And I wanted him to take a sabbatical, too.

so many choices to make before going nomadic
So many choices to make before going nomadic

He didn’t agree. He got stuck on the sabbatical portion. After all, he had just started his dream job, and he didn’t want to give it up.

We compromised. We agreed that rather than go around the world for a year in 2005, we’d instead agree to take a two-week vacation every year where we’d get on a plane, not visit parents, and do something adventurous.

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We divorced in 2007. Let’s just say, the compromise might have had something to do with the divorce. Or visa versa.

New Husband. New Life. Happy Wife.

Fast forward. New life. New husband.And our first conversation about my dream to be nomadic? It went like this.

“Honey, I have an idea.”

And he looked at me, knowing that all he could say was, “Yes.” He knew who he had married. A dreamer and goal chaser.

Steve and I have been happily married for almost ten years. Our nomadic life starts in a year.

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But even though he said yes, we had lots of things to talk through. When? Where? How? Why?

We had “who” and “what” figured out. “Who” was the two of us and “What” was a lifestyle that would include a home but not a house.

We started with an around-the-world trip in 30 days back in 2014.

So how did we get to “when, where, how, and why?” Read on. (Watch Nomad Life for our story.)

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See you on the trail,