We constantly are dealing with hard to answer questions to a travel nomad life. Always well-meaning, but often difficult to respond, we swim around for a truthful answer that will satisfy the queries.
After 18 months out of the United States our next stop has us spending two and a half months in our birthplace country. But it’s not our home. Even though my passport says United States of
America, my home is wherever I am today.
So answering the often asked question “When are you coming home?” is a tricky one for us. This question and a handful of others like it, often make us pause. How to explain this nomad life to non-nomads is difficult. Putting into words why we are mostly content being vagabonds in our fabulous
fifties is a challenge. We of course are polite, but when you get asked for the one hundredth time one of the hard to answer questions to a travel nomad, you try being clever and witty. Try.
When are you coming home? Someday we will again have a home in the traditional sense of the word. But home for us is wherever we are each and every day. Yes our family and most of our friends are back in the great state of Washington, where we will visit and enjoy ourselves this
summer. But it’s not our home. Being homeless is not for everyone. But for now it works for us. My friend Marty recently gave us a wonderful complement. She observed that many people talk about doing what we do, but few can pull the trigger and make it happen. A most flattering thing to say to us.
It’s also difficult to answer the question “what is your favorite place?’. We get asked this one ALOT! I think it’s the most often asked question – but most of the time people ask it because they feel a need to ask SOMETHING – even if they really aren’t interested. And we know many people aren’t interested. We are cognizant of the fact a lot of people don’t actually care about our grand adventure. If they care they are probably following the blog. If they ask we answer. Otherwise we don’t share – we understand everyone has their own life.
When we tell people we don’t have a favorite place we
often get an eyeball roll. But we don’t. We have liked certain places more than others, but there really isn’t anywhere we disliked and everywhere we have been there has been good and bad.
How can you afford to travel full-time? We dread this question because the underlying question
really is “are you rich?”. No we are not rich. But what we are is frugal. Very frugal. As well as organized and careful and committed to staying within our budget. Remember we sold everything we own before we left the USA. We have zero debt, zero bills and live a simple life on a simple budget. We spend considerably less now than we did living in the USA. Anyone who is willing to give up their mortgage, car payment, car insurance, boat, house repairs and maintenance, clothing purchases, hair and beauty expenses, gym membership, theatre season tickets, daily Starbucks visit, clubs and societies, extravagant evenings out and a host of other expenses some American’s often cling to – anyone willing to give that all up, can join us as nomads extremely affordably. And in our case, be happier than ever before.
Yet that said, we do get travel fatigue. I actually avoid mentioning travel fatigue, because there are some people on my Facebook page (masquerading as friends) who are snarky when I mention something like the fact that a life of full-time travel is sometimes, exhausting. Those are the
people who do the eye roll thing and say things like “Oh poor you. Traveling around the world is so tough”. You know the type, jealous maybe or unhappy in their own life situation – I’m sure you have those same people on Facebook. I don’t want to sound whiney, so I don’t talk about the fatigue very often. But yes it’s tiring. A few things in particular cause travel fatigue. For instance wishing for a perfect cozy chair to read in. The constant hunt for ingredients. Why isn’t there ever toilet paper? Packing and unpacking. So when I get the question “what is the most
difficult?” I will always say, living out of a suitcase causes me fatigue.
People often ask us if Arne and I get tired of spending so much time together. I think this is a funny question because it could really backfire. This hard to answer question to a travel nomad
might end up with the answer “Yes! We are sick of each other! We are getting divorced”. Lol. Of course the answer is the opposite, we get along better now than we ever have in our 35 years of marriage. And we believe that is partly from lack of stress, lack of financial burden and lack of RAIN!
Another question we often get is “Aren’t you afraid?”. Of what exactly? Living? No I am not afraid to live. I am not afraid to die. I have never felt in danger anywhere, any more than I do in the USA. I believe this question comes from people
who believe, naively, that they are safer in the USA than they are traveling outside of it. When the reality is the opposite. Ask any high school teacher in the USA how safe they feel? Really.
Several people have asked if I plan to write a book. That is not something I’ve given any thought to. There are many travel nomads before us who have written books but my blog serves as a journal of sorts and for now that’s enough for me.
Even though I’ve written this blog I fully expect the need to answer these questions from family and friends while we are in the USA this summer. And that’s okay. We are happy to answer any and all questions, particularly if we can encourage and inspire other people to step out of their comfort zone, stop hiding behind the American flag, and go learn and experience the incredible and amazing cultures of the world. You will be a better person, and the world will be a
better place if you do.
So ask me anything – including the hard to answer questions to a travel nomad. I will give you the truth. Nomad life is amazing. Absolutely fabulous. Join us.
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