Taylor Davidson · How to Live a Nomadic Lifestyle

by Taylor Davidson · 05 Feb 2009

A couple thoughts from my current trip on how to live a nomadic lifestyle…

“What you own ends up owning you.”

  • Carry a low “life overhead”: remember that “owning little” is as much of an attitude or an approach to life than a description of how much you carry with you.
  • The more expenses you have, the more you have to make to cover expenses, the more you have to work.
  • Give away what you don’t need. And while you’re on a trip, don’t carry what you don’t need: consider donating to goodwill, giving away things to friends, or mailing unneeded items and souvenirs back to your home base.

Leave an impact but leave no trace.

  • Leave a positive impact on people’s lives. People have enough of their own worries in their lives, don’t burden them with your daily problems.
  • Be a good houseguest; bring a sleeping bag, pillow and linens, and use them.
  • Always carry a towel.
  • Buy meals and bring alcohol.
  • Consider alternate accommodations near your friends; it could make all of your lives easier.
  • Be respectful of people’s lives while you are out gallivanting. You’re a tourist and want to explore, see new sights, eat at restaurants and tour the town, but think about what you would normally be doing on a Tuesday night after you’ve gotten back from a day at work, running errands, paying bills and living the daily life.
  • Ask questions, soak up information. Respect people’s time, thank them, and learn to both accept and give graciously. Remember what you’ve received when it’s your turn to give.

Live for the upside and the downside.

  • Travel carries its ups and downs: carry both in your memories.
  • Learn to create your own oasis wherever you are. Use it.
  • Be flexible; stuff happens, schedules shift and unexpected delights force you to re-think your plans.
  • Live for the angles in life. Learn where to find the best places to stay in towns. Learn when to visit tourist locations, when to do your shopping, when to explore areas, where to go. Learn how to negotiate. Learn your way around towns fast, where to find markets, daily needs, tourist sights and hidden gems.
  • Take advantage of the upsides. Explore when you have the opportunity; a return or another chance might never come.
  • Be prepared for the downsides. Plan on spending to replace things that break, get lost, get stolen. Photocopy important documents and store online and offline. Create backups. Use webmail. Carry important digital documents and files on USB sticks. Use an online backup service like Mozy (a personal thanks to Anil for the reminder).
  • Whatever happens, by the nature of simple probability it probably won’t be the worst thing that has ever happened to you or will happen to you.
  • We never know it at the time, but you might be living the defining moment of your life right now. What would you do if it was?

What are your tips?

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More: Less about the attitude, more about the tactics for working and living while traveling…