What is home to you? For some people, home is a place that you live permanently. It makes sense because you need your home for various reasons. You need the address to receive letters and prove you live in a country, you need it for the roof over your head, and you often need it to house your family. It goes without saying that our homes are important to us, but what if we flip that notion on its head by telling you that there are people who live as nomads?
You’ve probably heard of the word nomad before. A textbook definition would describe a nomad as a person that travels constantly to seek fresh pasture for their animals. This is an old definition, as indicated by the idea of seeking fresh pasture. However, that’s not to say nomadic living has died out. In fact, it’s actually more popular than ever due to subtle changes in the way we live our lives. A modern nomad could be described as someone who does have a place to call home (usually the place where they grew up or where their friends and family reside) but they love to travel and constantly change residence.
Some people could confuse nomadic people for gypsies, and they would be partially correct. Both groups of people love to travel and rarely ever settle down. However, gypsies have gained a bad reputation and it’s now used as a derogatory term in most parts of the world. As a result, you may have a hard time convincing people that you mean no harm when you move from location to location and it’s possible that you’ll experience a bit of discrimination. However, it’s important to remain steadfast because the advantages and experiences you get from nomadic living can far outweigh the temporary grief you might get. If you’re interested in experiencing life as a nomad for a while, then here are some considerations and tips to keep in mind.
Picking a method of transportation
Nomads need to be mobile, so you have to pick a method of transportation. Most nomads will choose to walk the earth with their own two feet, occasionally renting something like a bike or using public transportation to cover long distances. Owning a car is a lot of work and unless you’re committed to it by repairing it, maintaining it and paying for the fuel costs, it’s best to go without one so you can travel lighter. It is, however, extremely useful for carrying all of your luggage, so if you have a lot of items then you may want to invest in a small car or perhaps a motorcycle to travel between destinations.
The alternative option is to actually incorporate your vehicle into your accommodation. For instance, you could look at houseboats for sale and pick one if you plan to travel up and down a river or canal that allows houseboats. These are an affordable way to travel and live, and it’s a relaxing life because you’re usually away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The scenery can be amazing, and there’s nothing quite like waking up in a hammock and stepping off your boat into the fresh air. The other option is to purchase a caravan or a recreational vehicle. These are more convenient because they travel on the road, but they might be very expensive depending on the type of model you want.
In short, make sure you pick some method of transportation if you want to experience life as a nomad. Some methods, such as purchasing a vehicle, will require some monetary investment and some effort to get used to it. Other methods, such as just walking or taking public transport, limit the amount of luggage you can carry with you which could be a dealbreaker. It is, however, far cheaper and a lot more accessible. You won’t need to worry about fueling your vehicle, maintaining it, or driving it. This gives you more time to focus on living your life as a nomad instead of being a part time mechanic.
Avoid getting attached
Perhaps you’ve been on holiday recently and became extremely attached to a specific location. You never want to leave, you want to stay there forever, and you want to settle down in that location. Most of the time, those are just temporary feelings and the honeymoon period will soon disappear. Unfortunately, this can also happen when you’re living a nomadic lifestyle. If you become attached to an area, you might find yourself staying for longer than you anticipated and you’ll lose sight of why you decided to try the nomadic lifestyle in the first place. Living as a traveller means that you have to avoid becoming attached. You’re in it to experience more of life, not confine yourself to a single job, location or group of friends. You’ll need to learn to say goodbye and you’ll have to get to grips with switching scenery. If this doesn’t sound fun for you, then the nomadic lifestyle might not be the correct choice for you. However, some people do try living as a nomad for the sake of finding a new home. If you’re in this situation, then it’s absolutely fine to settle down once you’ve found your perfect community.
But if you want to stay true to the nomadic lifestyle, then make sure you don’t become too attached to anything. For instance, add the people you meet on social media and stay in touch, but don’t get too sad when you finally have to leave the area and move on. Once you find a job, try to use it as a learning experience and a way to network and meet people. Try not to get too attached to your work—just learn new skills and then move on.
The right financial support
You can’t live life as a nomad unless you have a job or some form of income. Many nomads decide to pick up jobs wherever they can. It’s a low-cost way of living because you don’t require much. All you really need is a place to sleep and money to pay for food. Most of your entertainment and enjoyment comes from meeting new people and experiencing new things, so you don’t necessarily need much money to enjoy a nomadic lifestyle.
You will, however, eventually run out of money and you’ll be required to either get a job or find some income. If possible, try to line up a job as soon as you arrive in a new area. You might also want to look for jobs in your next area before you decide to travel over. Make sure the jobs you go for are short-term contracts so that you don’t lock yourself into a job that lasts too long. You don’t want to have it as a taint on your resume, so ensure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you apply. You could also work from home assuming you have an internet connection. Bloggers can make a lot of money and you’ll have plenty of content to write about during your travels. You could also work as a freelancer if you have a skill that can be provided over the internet. Examples include design, writing, programming or even accounting.
There are many more considerations to think about when planning to live as a nomad, but these are just some of the most important ones that everyone needs to consider. You might find yourself struggling to muster up the courage to try it for a while, but it goes without saying that it’s an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. You might find a new place to call home, or you might discover your hidden thirst for wanderlust.