We have been officially nomadic for nearly 3 years as of now, and we’ve learned a lot about life on the road in that time. We’ve met some amazing people who are also nomads, and we’ve met a ton of people who have told us they wished they could do something like we are.
But here’s the thing: nomadic life isn’t for everyone.
It’s also not always glamorous and Instagram worthy. Nomadic life has a lot of challenges, even from the very get-go. So, if you’re wondering if nomadic life is right for you, here are a few considerations to think about.
HOW WILL YOU AFFORD A NOMADIC LIFE?
We’re just going to jump right into this one, because it’s the most common question we get and the biggest consideration of traveling full time. How will you make money? Unless you’re retired or have a trust fund, this is likely on the top of your mind. Making money on the road can be done in so many different ways, many of which we outlined in a post dedicated to ways to make money remotely.
Just being able to make a living on the road is only part of the question, though. Some other money-related things to consider when thinking about nomadic life are: do you have enough in savings to cover emergencies; are you still able to put money away for an eventual retirement; how much will it cost to live on the road? These are all things to think about when deciding if nomadic life is for you.
ARE YOU OKAY WITH MISSING FAMILY FUNCTIONS?
When you make the jump to be fully nomadic, it comes at the price of being away from the place you previously called home. For some, this can be an easy choice. Others, however, may struggle with the thought of being away from friends and family.
You’ll miss niece and nephew birthdays; you’ll miss holidays; sometimes you may even miss big events like graduations and weddings. Life will throw things at you while you’re traveling that you may not have considered being a problem before, so be prepared as much as possible.
And your friends and family will have their own thoughts about your choice, as well. I wish we could gloss over this part, but the hard truth is that some of your friends will no longer be friends after you’ve made this decision; and some of your family will resent you for the long term. While we’ve made the decision to let them have their own feelings and not let it influence us, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether that will be a factor to you.
The good news, however, is that you’ll make a ton of friends who do appreciate what you’re doing and hopefully some of your old friends and your family will support and love the decision no matter what. Steph’s nieces think she’s the coolest because she tells them all of the stories of places she’s been and shares with them in her experiences. When we can spend time with them, we cherish our time together; and they generally understand that we aren’t going to be at every life event (but when we do make it, it’s even more special).
WILL YOUR PET HANDLE LIFE ON THE ROAD?
Pets are another major consideration when you think about living a nomadic lifestyle. When we chose to take off on the road, we specifically chose RV then van life to accommodate our dogs. We do travel by plane here and there, but we try to minimize that time so we can spend as much time as possible with our pups and keep them happy.
If you have pets, it’s a good idea to talk to some folks who have done what you are planning to do with the pets that you have. They’ll give you the best insight! We’ve known friends who have successfully traveled around the world with dogs, who have lived in a van with birds, who have traveled across seas in boats with cats, and so on! Just be sure to do your research and ensure your pet will be comfortable and happy and take the precautions necessary.
HOW FAR (AND FAST) WILL YOU TRAVEL?
From traveling across the country to traveling across the world, the distance that you go will impact your nomadic lifestyle decisions as well. Whether you’ve done a ton of traveling before or you haven’t done much traveling at all, nomadic life will be different than vacationing. So consider how far you’ll travel – and for how long – before you set out on your nomadic journey.
Having a little bit of a plan when you first start out can save you some major headaches of nomadic living. Something as simple as planning your first destination and securing accommodations for the first few weeks will really help you get settled into the lifestyle. You may also consider only booking a few weeks or months to begin, just to decide if the nomadic life is really for you.
IS NOMADIC LIFE REALLY FOR YOU?
Be honest with yourself here. After you’ve considered all of these possibilities and maybe gone on a few test trips, we encourage you to truly look deep within yourself and decide if nomadic life is something you want to try.
Honestly, nomadic life is not for everyone. And that’s okay! We love seeing the differences in people trying out this lifestyle and learning why some people love it and others don’t. The things that make us different as people make us unique and beautiful, so embrace it! We’re all in this together!