Nomadic Lifestyle – Road Trip Begins in 4 Months

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My plans to begin a nomadic lifestyle are coming together! The road trip begins in four months! September 30th I pack up Yar-Yar (my 2009 Toyota Yaris) and head to west Texas to do some hiking in Big Bend National Park. On October 15th I will arrive in Tucson Arizona, my home for 7 weeks.

I have been busy taking care of the things that need to be done before I leave Austin.

  • Relieved my apartment of boxes and bags of stuff I no longer want or need.
  • Bought a new laptop to replace nine-year old Norbert, my faithful Dell laptop.
  • Transitioned all but two of my clients to remote work.
  • Planned out the first two months of my road trip

I often take time to reflect on how lucky I am to have this opportunity. I am grateful for this beautiful life I am living. When I start to feel overwhelmed, or wonder if I am a bit crazy for planning a nomadic lifestyle at the age of 52, I pause and remind myself how lucky I am. This is an extraordinary adventure I am planning.

Two and half months have zoomed by since I last wrote about getting rid of stuff and my plans for an extended road trip in the USA and Canada. I have procrastinated with getting rid of all of my art and jewelry supplies. Although there has been some progress I know I need to get serious about listing stuff for sale. Four months until my road trip begins may seem like quite a lot of time. I know it will pass by too fast.


I take note of the things I do actually use each day. There are few things I really do need and use each day.

I notice that as my plans become more concrete I am able to let go of material possessions easier. Before I left for my trip to Barcelona and Costa Brava in April I was obsessed with getting rid of stuff. Each day I walked around my apartment looking for items to take to the Goodwill store. There are now several empty cupboards in my kitchen. I am down to just the essentials. Well, except for the Texas-shaped waffle maker. Some of my friends would argue that a Texas-shaped waffle maker is indeed essential.

I confess I that I am not taking this nomadic road trip on my own. I was going to leave without him but I have  decided that Nigel is joining me on this trip.

Who is this Nigel guy, you ask?

He is short, dark, and handsome. He makes me perfect espresso every day. And he never talks back to me. He never disagrees with anything I say or do. He is perfect for me! Yes, Nigel is my Nespresso coffee maker! I refuse to give him up.


Nomadic lifestyle in style with Nespresso coffee maker - perfect cup of espresso every time

Short, dark, and handsome Nigel Nespresso coffee maker – makes a perfect espresso


I have invited friends over to let me know what kind of things they would like to take off my hands, so long as they keep their hands off of Nigel. One friend walked out with bags full of art supplies, pillow covers from India, and some art work. She also put dibs on my futon and some other furniture. I have tagged my office lamp, a handmade glass platter, and my DeskCycle Exercise Bike for another friend.

I just bought a new rain coat and some hiking shoes from REI but my clothing is down to 115 items. Yes that is a lot but a bunch will be given away after the hot Texas summer. I should be down to around 50 items of clothing when I leave for my road trip. When I pack for any trip and bring only carry-on luggage I usually bring around 18 – 20 pieces of clothing including jackets. Probably 50 is too much but I can just give away more stuff while I am traveling. I am bringing a variety of jackets to accommodate cool and rainy weather, including 6 jackets and 2 vests.

I am looking forward to this nomadic lifestyle experiment! Maybe I will love it and maybe I will hate but I have to give it a chance. If I didn’t try living nomadic I know I would regret it forever. I am looking forward to visiting west Texas again. Working while traveling will take a lot of discipline. I have printed out my Outlook calendar with my schedule marked down. I plan to work from Monday to Thursday and take three-day weekends to go exploring and write my blog. My Airbnb (sign up and use Airbnb to receive $20 travel credit) apartment in Tucson has a heated outdoor swimming pool and a view of the Catalinas Mountains!

Vamos Yar-Yar! And Nigel! Adventure awaits us!


Nomadic lifestyle - road trip around USA and Canada with Yar-Yar 2009 Toyota Yaris sedan

Yar-Yar my 2009 Toyota Yaris – road trip wheels


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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

19 Replies

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  1. Suzanne Fluhr says:

    I seriously pared down my clothing when we sublet out our Philadelphia apartment for 4 months in 2014 when we lived in Hawaii where my husband did a sabbatical. Once I got serious about it, it wasn’t too bad. I’m looking forward to following along on your road trip adventure. I have an RV travel fantasy that is not shared by Mr. Excitement.

  2. What a great adventure you’re embarking on! I look forward to updates on your nomadic lifestyle! Happy trails!

  3. Nancie says:

    Your plans are coming along nicely. I think you, Nigel, and Yar-Yar are in for a great adventure!

  4. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru says:

    I think you are going to love the nomadic lifestyle! We started ours with a series of extended road trips while keeping a home base. It can be really comforting to have the familiarity of a well-loved vehicle as a grounding point. And, of course, it’s easier to bring along the must-haves like your Nespresso machine. Congratulations on downsizing well-done; it will all come together in these next few weeks.

  5. I think you will enjoy your new nomadic lifestyle. You will likely discover, after a while, how few things you actually need. Seven weeks in Tucson will be great – I love Tucson.

  6. You go girlfriend and admire you doing this. It is amazing what we don’t need isn’t it. If I were you I would also be taking Nigel. Some things just have to stay :)

  7. jane canapini says:

    I don’t think I’m the nomadic type personally, but I really respect other grownups who decide to rid themselves of their unnecessary stuff (like an address!) and hit the road. Yours truly is a road trip with Yar-Yar, too!

  8. I know I couldn’t handle being nomadic but think it’s fabulous for people who have the temperament (and lack of pets) for it! I think taking Nigel is a good move – he seems like a gem. Have a wonderful time!

  9. Carole Terwilliger Meyers says:

    Now that you have divested yourself of so many things, I, too, am looking forward to your unfettered reports about the nomadic lifestyle.

  10. Irene S. Levine says:

    I can understand your taking Nigel, which will allow you to start off your day with a little bit of home. I look forward to following your road trip and nomadic life! Buena fortuna!

  11. Kristin says:

    Thanks for the update, Susan. It will be fun to see how these plans change as your start in on your travels…because they will change! Will you be storing anything or divesting of all except the stuff that fits in your car?

    • Yes, I expect my plans to change along the way. Right now I can only envision the way it will go. No plans to keep anything in storage, other than some photos and keepsakes that I will store at my parent’s, very minimal though.

  12. Shelley says:

    Congratulations on taking the plunge! I would love to give the nomadic lifestyle a try, but we’re not at the point we can yet. It’s really hard to pare down, as we did some recently when downsizing, but it’s also freeing. On a recent six week trip we brought only one suitcase each, and we wondered why do we need all that stuff back at home?

  13. Thank you all for your words of support and encouragement! I am so looking forward to this new adventure!!!

  14. Sue Reddel says:

    I look forward to hearing about your travels. I’ve tried downsizing and it’s always so difficult. I’ll look to you as a role model. Best of luck on your journey.

  15. This is all so exciting for you Susan! I’m embarking on a nomadic lifestyle myself from March next year and I’m starting now to selling some things lying around the house that I won’t need. When we made the decision to change our lives, it was so easy for me to say “let’s get rid of everything”. The experiences that we will be having over the next few years far outweigh most of my possessions. I look forward to reading more about your journey over the coming months!

    • Thank you Jen! You completely understand what I am going through now. It is so easy to switch into minimalist mode and let go of all the possessions. The flexibility to live in a different place every few weeks has been a dream of mine for a while. I hope you enjoy your nomadic lifestyle! It will be interesting to see how things progress over the next year or so for both of us.

  16. Carolyn Black says:

    If you are in Tucson, you should not miss going 45 miles south on I-19 to Tubac, AZ.

    • Thank you for the tip Carolyn! I have heard of Tubac AZ from another travel blogger but I didn’t realize it is so close to Tucson, looking forward to exploring the area. I will be making a lot of day trips or weekend visits during my road trip.

      I was just sorting through more stuff to give away before I leave, nice to see your comment and get me back to daydreaming about my trip :)

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