5 Tips for Aspiring Nomads

Have you been thinking of taking a long sabbatical, a nomadic break from your boring life, an extended vacation or jumping into an expat lifestyle?

When your alarm clock goes off in the morning, is your first thought “I hate my life”? Or worse, just another day ticks off the calendar with no thought at all, good or bad, about if this is how you should spend your precious time on planet earth.

Many of us work so hard that the idea of taking a sabbatical for a year or longer seems out of the question. Of course, finances are always a concern for those of us infected with the wanderlust bug but mst times there is something you can do about it!

Making enough money to live on while saving enough for adventure is always a challenge.  But you may be surprised how easy it is to make your travel dreams come true. If it is something you really desire I have found that there is always a way.  It may require sacrifice but it can be done.  Every lifestyle is a balance and finding that balance will be the best way to jump start a nomadic lifestyle.

The Internet allows for productive sabbaticals or nomadic lifestyles to be much more achievable for a growing number of professions. Even a slacker can make YouTube videos about slacking for enough income to exist.

The point is, where there is a will there’s a way to make your dreams come true. Travel has never been easier in terms of access to travel information like finding cheapflights or good hotels, or for ways to make a living on the road such as with travel blogging.

Here are five basic tips for aspiring nomads:

  1. Don’t wait. Do it while you’re young (ish). In other words, don’t wait until a retirement that may never come to travel or live abroad. Do it now, and figure out retirement later.
  2. Have a purpose. Besides wanting to see and experience cool things in foreign countries, you should use it as an opportunity to accomplish something, even if it’s merely an online photo blog of your treks. Learn something and be creative along your journey.
  3. Simplify your life. Here’s a big secret to nomadic lifestyles: you only need to own like five outfits and two pairs of shoes. Seriously. Anything more than that is not worth your trouble, or items can be picked up along your journey as situations may warrant. You’ll be surprised at how affordable it can be when your lifestyle doesn’t require a lot of stuff.
  4. Research your location and plan your route. Google has made us all a little lazy, thinking we can find instant answers to everything. But know this, the tighter your budget, the more research you should do for your destinations.
  5. Budget discipline. Keep your travel or nomad lifestyle budget relatively simple: think food, shelter, and transport. Remember, those also count as part of your entertainment. Determine the absolute minimum amount you need for each of these and then add your desired cushion based on preference for luxuries.
Some articles I have read recently sell a travel lifestyle as super easy.  I am by no means saying it is easy nor am I sugesting it is everyone's dream.  But I do want you to know it can be done!  To get going takes determination, sacrifice, and focus on a larger goal.  To keep going takes creativity and a willingness to log long hours on a computer either working or researching ways to cut costs.  It may not always be easy but in my experience so far, if it is what you truly long for, it will all be well worth it!

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  1. Hi Mary,

    Great tips!

    No better way to live!

    Have that purpose in mind, and hold an intent to free you, and to free others.

    We've been on the road for 4 years in a row about; loving it.

    Thanks Mary!

    Tweeting from Bali.


  2. What kind of job opportunities are in Costa Rica?

  3. Agreed Ryan, we are going on year 8 of expat/nomad life and it's amazing! I still run across many people that think its extraordinary and that they cannot do it. At which point I let them know that if it is really what they want then there is always a way to get to that goal.

  4. That depends on your residency status. Foreigners are not allowed to work most jobs although starting your own business us allowed.