5 Tips for a Nomadic Lifestyle

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Living a nomadic lifestyle (that is, a life of traveling, adventure and being in buses a lot) is an amazing way to meet new people, discover remote places and learn new skills. Learning about yourself and the world is done best when traveling around, and leading a nomadic lifestyle is the perfect way to do so. But, although it might seem very dream-like to travel the world forever without a worry in the world, it can come with some complications. After 20 hours on the bus or wandering lost in a strange village with all your possessions on your back, traveling can lose some of its magic. To prevent this losing of magic from happening, being well-prepared for a life on the road is key. And although there will always be ups in downs, these 5 tips should help you get the most out of your nomadic lifestyle.

Own Less Stuff

Everything you own, save for a few baby photos (and other sentimental items you don´t really need) you can store in your parent´s house, has to fit in your backpack. Everything. This means no 10th pair of jeans, no millions of socks and no 5th pair of shoes. Definitely forget your huge collection of books or hair straighteners, and say goodbye to your ridiculous amount of crèmes, shampoos and make-up. A nomadic lifestyle asks for some serious minimalism, simply because having too much stuff will cost you your back. So choose your luggage wisely, and only take the things you actually use. A handy way to sort out your stuff is putting everything you are considering taking in a box. As you go through your week, take out only what you really need. After a while, you will notice that most of those items you thought were so important have remained in the box, and therefore have not earned a spot in your backpack.

Find Local Jobs

Even if you aspire to live on a shoestring for the rest of your (nomadic) life, you will still need some money to pay for basic things such as food and accommodation. Saving up before departure is definitely recommended, but to avoid saving for 20 years before you travel for 10, finding jobs on the go is a great way to fund your travels. As mentioned in a previous post (How to Find Work Abroad), there are many ways to find work abroad. Of course, getting a job beforehand requires you to know your destination. And if you´re planning on kicking off your nomadic lifestyle in one country and then going where the wind takes you, you might not know where you will be by the time funds run dry. A solution to this could be finding a job on the spot. Have your (printed) resume with you in a few languages and ask around for jobs. If you´re in a touristy area, it should be easy getting a job in a bar or maybe hotel if you have some hospitality experience. If not, maybe you have skill you could teach, such as yoga or painting.

goodbye lunch with my great team working in Nairobi, Kenya
goodbye lunch with my great team working in Nairobi, Kenyainfo-icon

Work Remotely

Another (more convenient) solution is finding a location-independent job. A nomadic lifestyle goes hand-in-hand with working location independently; it is almost as if they were made for each other. Working through the internet will allow you to do your job from anywhere in the world, provided you have an internet connection. This means a steady flow of income, just with the help of your laptop.

Here is a great article from Capbase about how you can build a great remote work culture if you are the owner of a company.

Reduce your Cost of Living

It would be a shame if you threw all that hard-earned money down the drain by joining the partying tourist's inexpensive bars and activities, instead of saving it for future travels. Living a nomadic lifestyle will require a change of mindset, especially if you come from the rich, materialistic western world. If you truly want to travel for a long time, reduce your spendings to only what you need.  Of course, an exception every now and then is fine and you should not deny yourself every comfortable hotel or fun tour in the world. But make sure they continue to be exceptions, and spend the majority of your money on basic necessities and things that will allow you to keep traveling. Traveling in less-wealthy countries will also help you keep your spendings low, simply because things are cheaper. Your money will stretch a lot further in Thailandinfo-icon than it will in Norwayinfo-icon!

Document your experiences

Although you might be denying it now, there will probably come a time where you wish to say goodbye to your full-time nomadic lifestyle and settle down. When that time comes, you will be cursing yourself if you didn´t document your wonderful years of travel. So make sure your adventures will be remembered! Keep a travel journal, draw or paint the scenes you encounter, photograph the places you visit, write a blog about your travels… Collecting your memories is a fun and rewarding thing to do and will help you truly appreciate the present moment, as well as give you something to look back on when those moments have long passed.

Adrian Sameli founder and editor of aSabbatical.com
Travel mindfully to meet local people around the world and embrace new cultures. Get inspired and inspire others!