This is a question I’ve been wrestling with. Am I ready to take the plunge and fully go nomad? But the better question: are you?
My boyfriend and I have been kicking around the idea of fully going nomad. Instead of traveling constantly and coming back home to a dusty bedroom, we’re thinking about ditching our house and living like locals in various destinations for a few weeks to a few months at a time. Maybe you’ve thought about something like this too, but you don’t know if you can do it.
Before you commit to go nomad, you may want to ask yourself the same questions we’ve been asking ourselves. Here’s our top five:
Can you get rid of your stuff?
We have to sell, gift, or donate a lot of stuff. Yes, some things can go with you and some things can go into storage. But if we took everything out of our house and garage and put it into storage, we’d be paying a pretty penny each month for some Ikea bedroom sets to get dry rot. It would cost nearly as much as our current housing payment!
What are we stuck paying for?
Right now we each have a vehicle payment. If we were to go nomad overseas (or in places like New York where a car can be more of a liability than a luxury), we don’t want to shell out money for car payments and insurance month after month. Buying the vehicles and selling them for cash, selling them back to the dealership (or a CarMax), or finding family or friends interested in taking over payments are all options we’ve considered.
What about mail?
Our businesses are location independent so we both have digital offices, and will hold on those for official documents. And routing mail (such as checks from clients) to one of our moms seems like a route for now. But we don’t want to turn our moms into our secretaries while we go nomad–they shouldn’t have to run to digital offices, banks, and post offices to take care of our business. It may be time for us to hire a Las Vegas-based administrative assistant again. And I think I need to convince our holdouts who love to pay by check that digital payments are the bee’s knees.
Where will we go?
Better yet: where will we go that’s affordable. Yes, many digital nomads head toward Thailand to live for less, but we aren’t looking to relocate even semi-permanently, so flying all over the globe and then paying for accommodations could make our new lifestyle more expensive than we’d like (and less environmentally sound). Right now we are looking at making some of our first “stops” places where we know we can rent a space affordably, where our friends and family are, and housesitting gigs.
What if we go nomad and hate it?
This is the case with any big move: there’s a chance it’s not for you. Or it won’t be eventually. For us, we plan on giving the lifestyle a go (maybe for six months) and evaluate then. If we can’t stand it, we can pick a place to hunker down, rent an apartment, stock it with the things we have in storage, and make way to the nearest Ikea to start again. That’s the beauty of being a digital nomad–you can go anywhere. Even your new home.