As we’ve shared the news of our upcoming with folks, people tend to point to a number of circumstances in a way that seems to imply “oh, you can do this because…” Of course, these are not the circumstances that I pointed out in my last blog post that I think are making this possible. But it seemed worth a rundown so I can dispel some of the myths.
- Childlessness – Chad and I don’t have children and likely never will. However, LOTS of people enjoy a full-time travel lifestyle with kids. There is literally a website with the URL digitalnomadwithkids.com that explains how. Yes, it would be a bit more expensive because you have to buy extra plane tickets and maybe rent slightly larger AirBNBs, but it is definitely doable. And what a great opportunity it is for kids to see the world. Simply Googling “digital nomad with kids” will introduce you to all sorts of blogs from families recording how they are making this lifestyle work for them.
- Skill sets – it is hard to address this topic without sounding braggy, but a frequent reaction we get when telling people our plans is along the lines of “well, you both have really good skills for working online.” While it may be true that we have good skills for the work we’re going to be doing (you can see our projects on the Hustles page), there are infinite possibilities for things one could do to earn money while on the road. And you don’t have to be entrepreneurial. Remote work and telecommuting is becoming increasingly easy, popular and available. You could get a typical 9-5 that can be done online, or sign up to teach online conversational English or do transcription. These are all options I’ve considered and have as backup plans in case my hustles fail. Whatever your career path is (or if you’re just starting out and have no current path), there is definitely something you could do to earn a living from the road. At worst, you might need to learn a new skill like coding to get started.
- Relative youth – several people have said to us, “oh, it is great that you are doing this while you’re young” and sometimes even go on to say, “I’m too old to try something like that.” Just like with the families with kids, there are LOTS of people who do this lifestyle as a second-career shift or in their retirement. This type of lifestyle isn’t that different from snowbirding. Many of the resources I referenced in my Tools post talk specifically about best places to stretch a social security check. (Featured photo on this post is of Chad with his parents who snowbird in Florida.)
- Travel experience – while it is true that Chad and I have been lucky enough to have already traveled to many different countries (nearly 20!), planning this trip is completely different from planning a vacation (I know, because as we’ve been planning for this, I’ve also been planning other people’s vacations through my travel agency, and it is a completely different mindset). I want to emphasize again, there are so many sources of information available about full-time travel or living as an expat that I truly believe someone with no prior travel experience could make this sort of shift. Just make sure you get a passport!
So, while I agree that some of these factors may make it easier for Chad and I to create our new lifestyle, they are in no way prerequisites. I truly believe that anyone could do this if they truly want to. If you’d like to talk to me about your specific circumstances and how to design a similar life a travel, I would love to arrange coffee or a call.