Nomadic Life – Location Independent Modern Nomad

I dreamed of living a nomadic life for many years and on September 30th 2015 I left Austin Texas to live a life of slow travel. Starting out with a long-term road trip around the USA and Canada, I am not sure where or when my lifestyle experiment with location independent living will end.

As of September 2017 I have traveled over 25,000 miles (over 40,000 km) in 2 years on the road.

As of September 2018 I traveled over 45,000 miles (over 72,000 km) and after 3 years roadtripping I finally made it to the east coast!

Year 4 of nomad life starts with exploring the beautiful and historical area of St Augustine Florida.

White 2009 Toyota Yaris sedan in Big Bend National Park

Everything I need fits in my 2009 Toyota Yaris

 

I wrote about my plan for the first year of nomadic life but the list below has the most up to date info on my past nomad homes and future nomad locations.

USA and Canada long-term road trip stops

September 30 to October 13, 2015  – Alpine Texas and Big Bend National Park
October 13 – 15 – Las Cruces New Mexico (only two days in New Mexico?!?! I know…I must return!)
October – November – Tucson Arizona
December 2015 – Palm Springs California – mountains, hiking, art, mid-century modern architecture, great restaurants – I loved Palm Springs!

January 2016 – Carpinteria California – surf town south of Santa Barbara – beautiful!
February – Oakland California – bay area just doesn’t do it for me – not sure why, it just doesn’t float my boat
March – Portland Oregon – reminds me of Austin but with MUCH better road planning, great hiking and day trips
April – Port Townsend Washington – wonderful Victorian era buildings, great location for exploring Olympic National Park, also close enough to Seattle for a weekend trip
May – Vancouver British Columbia
June to early August – Lake Louise, Banff, and Calgary Alberta
September – Bozeman, Montana; Fort Collins Colorado; Santa Fe New Mexico
October – November – Alpine and Austin Texas
December 2016 – Lafayette Louisiana

January 2017 – Oxford Mississippi
February – Birmingham Alabama
March – Lexington Kentucky
April – August – Calgary Alberta (helping out my 85 year old dad)
September – Des Moines Iowa
October – Lafayette Louisiana (2nd stay here) looking forward to Festival Acadiens et Creoles
November – Austin Texas
December – Palm Springs – 3 weeks of sun and desert before winter in Calgary :)
December 2017 – Christmas and New Year’s in Calgary to visit my dad and siblings and friends

January to May 2018 – Lafayette Louisiana for a third visit! I decided I want to be around for Mardi Gras in February, and Festival International in April, and to New Orleans for 2nd weekend of Jazz & Heritage Festival in May.
May – I made stops in Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park on my road trip back to Calgary to visit family and friends for the summer.
August I drove from Calgary to Bridgewater Nova Scotia in 6 days, around 3,000 miles (5,000 km). This was my longest stretch of driving on my own. I booked cheap hotels/Airbnb in advance so I had to plan out each day of driving carefully.
August/September – with Bridgewater NS as my home base I explored a good bit of Nova Scotia, but I definitely want to return to see more.
September/October – finally made it out to see the fall foliage in New England! My nomad home was in Northport ME, staying with an artist out in the woods but close to many coastal towns.
October/November – I spent 3 days driving from Maine to St Augustine Florida.
November – Lafayette Louisiana – gotta visit food and friends in Louisiana!
December 2018 – finishing up the year with a stay in Austin Texas, catching up with friends and clients and some great central TX hiking.

January 2019 – I will fly up to Calgary to spend time with family. Then I fly out to Kitimat BC for 3 weeks to visit a friend and explore the BC coast. In winter. I am afraid!
February – I fly back to Calgary for another week of family and friends and then back to Austin.

Preparing for location independent life

Read highlights of my first 6 months of nomad life, road tripping from Austin Texas to Portland Oregon.

The most time consuming thing about switching to a nomadic lifestyle was the getting rid of stuff stage. It was like having a part-time job each evening. I spent hours reviewing documents and sorting the papers I wanted to scan, keep, shred, or toss in the recycle bin.

It felt great to get organized and have all my documents scanned. It also gave me a bit of anxiety in the beginning. Changing up routines can be scary.

I am booking all of my accommodation with Airbnb (if you haven’t tried it out yet click here for FREE travel credit) and I have also heard good things about VRBO and HomeAway but when I have checked their sites the prices are higher than I see on Airbnb.

 

What is the biggest challenge of nomad life?

The biggest challenge with nomad life so far has been trouble with internet access. In both instances the Airbnb hosts told me that previous guests had trouble with internet – but they didn’t resolve the problem as no one seemed too stressed about no internet. I found out that I turn into a crybaby when I have no internet! And coffee shops are not a practical internet option for my bookkeeping business.

I started researching co-working spaces as a backup internet plan while I’m on this long-term road trip adventure. In Tucson I visited Connect Coworking and they gave me a tour of the space. I was impressed. Definitely a viable option for a work space with secure high-speed internet in Tucson.

I am keeping my schedule (for previously on-site) client work basically the same as when I lived in Austin Texas. The main reason is so that my clients can rely on a set schedule for when I will be working on their bookkeeping.

The other reason is that I need some sort of order and discipline with my schedule, otherwise I would procrastinate and never get any work done. And I already have enough temptation to go out and play instead of work!

If you have any questions about living a nomadic life or long-term road trips please email me at:

Susan@SoloTripsAndTips.com

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