When we sold everything we owned, quit our secure jobs and told people we were leaving the UK to travel the world, we had mixed responses. Some people thought we were crazy, others said we were brave and couldn’t do what we were doing but would love to follow in our footsteps.
One person, however, had us thinking when he asked “what do you think you will miss”. Good question Dave, good question.
Fast forward eight months, living out of a backpack, sleeping in different beds, never knowing which country you will be visiting from one week to the next …
… is life as a nomad how we thought it would be?
Eight months into our travels, I remembered that conversation with Dave which we had on a cold winter’s night back in the UK during December. I thought how easily we have adapted to nomadic life which made me ponder about things and what we miss.
So I thought I would speak to other nomads, talk to them about their lives and how they have adapted.
If you are thinking of becoming a full time traveller, we will tell you what it's like, and if you are thinking of doing the same, make sure you research places you're thinking of visiting. Reading travel reviews for the cities on your list is a smart idea.
Hi I’m Kelly, one half of the Trippin’ Turpins. I was born in New Zealand but have spent most of my life living in Australia. Having said that, my gypsy ways started when I was 13 and I subsequently never lived anywhere for longer than 1 1/2 years. At 31 years old I had finally lived in the same house for seven years in Adelaide.
Then in 2004 my hubby and I travelled Australia for two years and we lived in a tent for most of the time. We arrived back in Adelaide, started a business and set about planning our next big escape and hopefully our lifestyle for years to come.
We still throw on our backpacks and travel by land. But when I arrive home from visiting Laos or Myanmar or some other exotic place… I am still on holiday. I really do have the best of both worlds!
I was born in a small town on the north east coast of England. In 2006, I left the UK with my partner Kate and since then we’ve been bouncing around different countries, so far I’ve lived and worked in Thailand (twice), Spain, Vietnam and China, but currently, I live in Ukraine (for the 2nd time).
After a graduating I spent less than two years working in England when Kate and I decided we didn’t want a 9-5 job with two weeks holiday a year. I showed no interest or aptitude for home improvement. I wasn’t interested in upgrading my car. What we really wanted to do was see more of the world. So we rented out our house, sold or stored our stuff, jacked in our jobs and left for Thailand. Since then we’ve developed our careers as English teachers which gives us the opportunity to live in lots of different countries. We’ve never had the aim to find a ‘new home’, but to create a scattering of ‘homes’ all over the place!
When I left the UK I was glad to see the back of winter. After a long time living in the tropics I started longing for things like a day cool enough to sit outside without sweating or the option of wearing more clothes than shorts and a t-shirt! Then…you live through a Ukrainian winter and you long for the tropics again! More generally though, I dislike that I usually miss special events in the lives of family and friends. I just can’t fly home for every wedding or birthday.
Despite what it seems, I really like England! I didn’t leave because of anything personal about the place, but more the urge to see more places and keep moving. I like seeing new countries and cultures and trying new food and meeting loadsa people. A holiday isn’t anywhere near the same experience as living in another country, even for a few months. I’ve made friends across the world and there are several places now I could just be dropped off at the airport randomly but still feel at home. And, as further motivation, there’re still so many more places to go…!
Hey ya’ll! My name is Lorelei and I was born in Okinawa, Japan, but was raised in San Diego, California my whole life. For the last 5 years, I have been living in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany.
In 2012, I quit my job at the bank, sold all my belongings, including my car and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English abroad in order to fund my unquenchable wanderlust. I have always known I would live in Germany, it was just a matter of fate guiding me there. I wanted to leave the US for Germany simply because I find the architecture, the history and the culture so fascinating. The US is so young compared to the history of Europe.
I knew I would miss being able to put Ranch on everything, drive-thrus and stores open seven days a week, but what I didn’t know I would truly miss is the casual, friendly small talk with a stranger at the counter or in line behind you. I miss big American smiles which is so stereotypical of all Americans, but which you don’t realize until you’re gone. Germans don’t do small talk, and when you strike up a conversation while waiting in line, you usually get a stern face and no reply.
I have always said it would be comfort I would miss when I left the UK. I loved my big arsed comfy sofa and king size bed with its memory foam mattress; I spent time relaxing on this furniture and I knew that, when we were away, the simple luxuries of watching movies and sleeping soundly were something I would have to learn to deal with.
I was half right.
Beds are surprisingly comfortable! Any problems sleeping haven’t come from knobbly mattresses, but from external sources such as inconsiderate people talking at full volume on their phone in the hostel bed next to us or roosters displaying how loud they can cackle on our windowsill at 5am. Watching movies on a comfortable sofa … now that I was 100% right about, and I miss that dearly! Not enough credit is given to how valuable “down time” and relaxation means for a peaceful mind and calmer way of life.
Sy missed bacon …and salt and vinegar crisps … so when he was asked what he would miss, he was right! There isn’t a lot of bacon in Asia, and the only packet of his favourite flavoured crisps costs more than both our dinners!
However these are small things, and what I do love about being a nomad, is the freedom that comes with it. We have embraced the pace of life we have chosen to set for ourselves. We have seen and done so many amazing things so far and have met some wonderful people, life is pretty darn good and we are only at the beginning of our journey.
I definitely do not miss the UK weather – no way Jose!
So what I love about being a nomad far outweighs the tiny things I miss, and every day is a new adventure. I believe this is called “living the dream”.
I'm David from Australian and right now I'm off exploring Malaysia, still on the road almost three years after I left. My decision to leave Australia was part the constant urge to travel and part dissatisfaction with my job. My original plan was to spend a year travelling eventually to Germany to find work there. When work didn’t happen and I still wasn't sick of travel, I decided to keep travelling around Europe and try to make a living as I go.
It's surprising the things that I've actually come to miss. One is guilt-free relaxation, like sitting on the couch playing video games or seeing a movie. When I'm travelling relaxing feels like I’m missing out or a missed opportunity to work or blog. For the same reason, I miss the idea of a weekend. Nowadays, travel and work are whenever they need to be. Another is the idea of carefree spending on things like clothes, tech and books that came with a fixed income. Oh and good coffee!
Kreete – Adventurous Trails
Surprisingly, I never found it to be difficult to leave home, especially when I knew I had an adventure ahead of me. I was actually counting the years I had left before I could move out on my own since I was eight years old! Yes, the hardest part was leaving my pets and I will always miss my family, but nothing compares to the growth and experiences one gets to live through when pushing the limits of their comfort zone.
I do miss most of the food from back home, but even for that I have found alternatives. It’s surprisingly hard to get rye bread and quark, let alone black pudding and proper Estonian candies. Australia, however, delivers with its incredible nature, warm people, and amazing weather and not to mention the BBQ’s! A new group of friends and my partner’s family has made me feel like home. I am so blessed to live where I live and hope that one day when I bring my family over, they will see what the fuss is about! I bet they will never want to leave. If I could give you one piece of advice, it’s: do not be afraid to leave, be afraid of never leaving!
Are you thinking of travelling for an extended period of time? Are you planning to travel the world looking for a new place to call home? Has this post and our experiences helped you at all? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!