Full-Time Nomadic Living
I have spent a lot of time since the winter of 2009 thinking about full time nomadic living. In 2009 I was buried in liabilities and expenses and bleeding money by several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars each month as my publishing company sucked money into a huge hole. I was putting everything I could on plastic just to pay my bills and couldn’t see a way out. Finally it reached a point to where my mentor Stan Peyton sat me down and talked cold, hard logistics to me. I could not continued down the path I was on. He described me as being like a monkey who had put his hand inside a hole in a log of a tree to find peanuts but while making a fist to hold the peanuts, could not pull his hand back out through the hole. Eventually the peanuts had become rotten, but the determined monkey refused to let go of his treat. That was me.
Once I decided to make some changes, I began looking at how to cut expenses while at the same time try to add something interesting to my life. Was it possible to make this an opportunity to improve my happiness while pulling myself out of debt? Over a period of about seven months I made the following decisions which drastically altered my lifestyle:
- Decided to shutdown my publishing company (stopping my bleeding money, but leaving me with a HUGE debt)
- Decided to minimize and cut my belongings down to a hard side suitcase and day-pack.
- Decided to sell my 2,600 square foot house (4 bedroom and 1/3 acre) Note: I was unable to sell my house and was forced to rent it until 2013 when it finally sold
- Decided to sell as many belongings as possible and donate the remainder
- Decided to covert all my clients over to 100% online communication and financials (all email invoices with all credit card or paypal payments). All client communication was converted to email or Skype.
- In May of 2010 I flew to Europe for six months to tour Denmark, Czech Republic, Poland and live five months in Berlin, Germany.
- In 2011 I flew to Guatemala where I lived for five months plus one month of scuba diving in Honduras.
- In 2012 I flew to Asia where I lived one to four months in various countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
- In 2014, after selling my home in Denver, I invested in two small rental properties in Florida which rent for an average of $800 each positive cash flow
- In 2015 I am purchasing another small rental property for a total of three properties
- My plan is to be able to live 100% nomadic beginning January 2016 with a combination of international travel from a small suitcase most of the year in combo with van living while traveling in pan-america.
Below are some of the videos which cover the benefits of full time nomadic living (which apply to both RV living as well as international backpacker style living). It is all about minimalism, simplicity and pursuing the passion of exploration and travel. It is an amazing lifestyle that others only experience during brief times each year during events called “vacations” for international travel or camping. Most people have a fear of letting go of things to make the “vacation” or “camping” lifestyle something that becomes full-time.
Here are a couple of videos I felt really get behind the thought processes of nomads; they really cause you to think and question the lifestyle adopted by most of society.
Without Bound: This is a wonderful documentary style video interviewing many individuals choosing to live off-the-grid in an RV type lifestyle. Many don’t know that in the western USA that public lands controlled by the BLM allow you to “camp” for free in designated areas. Camping is limited to a few weeks at a time and if you have solar power and a very small budget, you can live this way full-time. Those interviewed discuss why they live this way and how they feel they have escaped the “treadmill” of working 40+ hours a week to support big houses with mortgages and multiple cars with payments.
A Map for Saturday: The video below is the trailer for a full-length documentary video shot in 2005 of a young, successful New York TV producer who quits his day job to do a year-long, round-the-world trip. He documents the experience and how it changes his world view and values on belongings, money, friendships, and the value of experiences. It is a powerful film that gives perspective of how those who don’t travel have limited world views and drastically different value systems than those who have done long-term travel. The movie is available from Netflix in DVD rentals as well as from Amazon streaming movie services.