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.

Up to September 2019 I traveled over 62,000 miles (100,000 km) and completed my 4th year of this long-term road trip.

In my fifth year on the road I plan to roam the South and Southwest USA, explore many of California’s national parks, and drive across Canada from Tofino to Newfoundland.

While I rarely shop, my newest purchase is a tent so that I can start camping instead of staying in hotels expecially when I visit state, provincial, or national parks. Camping is a lot cheaper than hotels so that helps my travel budget. And it should be fun!


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 Road Trip Stops

September 2015 to December 2015 Road Trip

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!

2016 Road Trip USA and Canada

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
MarchPortland Oregon – reminds me of Austin but with MUCH better road planning, great hiking and day trips
AprilPort 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

2017 Road Trip USA and Canada

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
DecemberPalm 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

2018 Road Trip USA and Canada

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 close to the beautiful coastal town of Belfast Maine, 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. The beaches in St Augustine are beautiful!
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.

2019 Nomad Life USA Canada

January 2019 – I flew 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 saw lots of snow in Kitimat!
February – I flew back to Calgary for another week of family and friends and then back to Austin and enjoyed some of my favorite hikes in Austin.
March – Drive from Austin to Chattanooga TX with one night in Little Rock AR
April – Caught up on my writing in Chattanooga TN and took a trip to Georgia
May – Chattanooga TN to Calgary AB with one night in Hannibal MO – hometown of Mark Twain; one night in Avon MN – beautiful place I need to explore more; one night in Estevan SK Canada – not so beautiful but the people are friendly. I always enjoy my stops in Estevan.
June to early September – Calgary AB with trips to Waterton National Park, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Elk Island National Park, and 10 days in Golden BC exploring Yoho National Park, Revelstoke National Park, and Kootenay National Park.
September/October – Drive from Calgary AB to Cedar City UT in early September, with one night in Idaho Falls ID. I visited all 5 Utah National Parks and took a road trip to Page Arizona from Utah. Highlights of Page included touring the Glen Canyon Dam, sunrise at Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon. The hiking in southern Utah is amazing! Check out my Utah blog posts
October/November – Drive from Cedar City UT to Flagstaff AZ in mid-October with a stop at the Navajo Bridge – highly recommended!
November/December 2019 – Drive from Flagstaff AZ to Alpine TX in November, with two nights in Truth or Consequences NM soaking in the hot springs, hiking, and eating pie! I could only get 10 nights in Alpine because of the holidays so I moved onward to Austin TX until mid-December.
December 2019– In mid-December I drove from Austin TX to Rockport TX for a change of scene, beach walks and some birding on the Texas coast.

2020 Road Trip USA

January 2020 – I stayed in Rockport TX until mid-January then drove to one of my favorite cities in the US – Lafayette LA! I attended the Cinema on the Bayou (COTB) Film Festival and got to meet some of the directors, actors, and film crew for some of the movies. And I ate a lot of Cajun food!
February 2020 – From Lafayette LA to Alpine Texas. Originally, I planned to go east and drive to Newfoundland in the spring. But I found out that Maine is usually the last state in the lower 48 to experience spring weather. So now the plan is to go west in spring and up to Vancouver Island and drive across to New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland in the fall of 2020. My previous road trip across Canada took me from Calgary to Nova Scotia in 6 days – this one will take me a lot longer.
March 2020 – From Alpine TX I’ll drive to Tucson AZ and explore more of southern Arizona. Now that I do full-time travel blogging and only part-time bookkeeping, I have more time to see the area.
April 2020 – Short drive from Tucson to Prescott National Forest for some camping and hiking. Next I’m planning to visit six national parks in California, starting with Death Valley in mid-April. Well, the 2020 travel plans got crusthed by COVID-19 pandemic. Stayed in Prescott at an Airbnb for 6 weeks – lots of good hiking and beautiful lakes around Prescott AZ.
May 2020 – I moved to higher ground, Flagstaff Arizona is 7,000 ft elevation so it’s a bit cooler than Prescott – some would say in more ways than one LOL.
June/July 2020Flagstaff Arizona has tons of things to do nearby and it’s a good base for now. Waiting to see if I can get to Calgary to visit my family sometime this summer and drive to Nova Scotia in the fall.

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 most of my accommodation with Airbnb (if you haven’t tried it out yet click here for FREE travel credit) and I have also used VRBO and booked a short term stay directly through an apartment complex – that took a lot of extra paperwork!


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:

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