A Major Realization in Our Nomadic FIRE Life (Financial Independence, Retire Early)

We’re full-time nomads WITHOUT A HOME and our main goal is to feel settled. Huh? Exactly. We’re almost 6 months into our nomadic FIRE life and we noticed …


Post Author: GoWithLess

26 thoughts on “A Major Realization in Our Nomadic FIRE Life (Financial Independence, Retire Early)

  • GoWithLess

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Watch out, I'm feeling passionate about this "aha moment" and that means I have a lot to say! Poor Tim just lets me go. I have some takeaways from this shift in thinking…
    1. Look to spend 6-8 weeks in one place.
    2. Don't plan much at the end of one stay and into the first 1-2 weeks of the new stay.
    3. Reduce short stays between long ones…try to maximize 6 weeks in a place as much as possible. If we want to do a 1-2 night trip, do it in the middle of our 6-week spot, after we're already settled. We can bring a backpack of stuff instead of everything we tote from place to place. A vacation within our stay!
    4. Enjoy the ongoing process of designing our lives.

    Amy Wallace

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    While I would be completely on board with being a full time nomad, I don’t think my husband is there yet but I do have a few years to work on that before he retires!  Since we live in a cold climate at the very least we plan to get out of Dodge for the winter months  (we have many, many options…even cities like Reykjavik or Helsinki are warmer in January!) but hopefully we will be about 7 months of traveling, with May-Aug and Dec based at home.   Stays would be a minimum of one month to take advantage of discounted pricing but would likely be closer to two months per locale.  The idea is to be based in a city that has enough activity in the general area to keep us as busy as we need for two months.  Then make a few short stops en route to the next long stay.  I would love to include housesits as part of our plan, however, we are not banking on them, they would be a bonus for the budget.

    BTW, I unpack if staying two nights or more.  At home I can close the doors on the mess, but when I am in a small space I like it to be tidy.

    Todd Thalimer

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    This is confusing to me. You established early on that the purpose of your future lifestyle was to spend less, retire early, and travel. Now I know plans change, and especially with the current worldwide conditions, things are much different, and you've had to pivot. The travel still works I guess, but now you talk about settling in. Does this make your channel name a bit off topic now? Should it be Stay With Less?

    Elisabeth Miller

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    I have a very similar story, retired at age 56 at the end of 2019, sold my house, car and gave away most of my belongings. I had a three year plan to travel all over the world, hopefully finding a place to come back to. Minimum of two months stay every place I stay. I started in Mexico for five months and got no further than that because of the COVID-19. I just closed on a house in central Mexico! Will spend much less there then in California! Will travel 7-8 months each year still. Just now I have a home base!

    Terry Ann

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Fun discovery! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Wendy Mays I House of FI

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Do you think that you would have had this revelation if the pandemic had not happened?

    P C Rose

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Soon to be RV nomad here. Your realization makes total sense! I can’t wait to see how you accomplish this when you leave the country and do not have your own vehicle.

    Kristie Champion

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    I've enjoyed your posts. Ashville is on my list to travel to so would love to hear suggestions for must sees. 😁

    Victoria Gore

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    As a fellow Nomader, I would agree that the sweet spot is more like 6-8 weeks. But that may be a function of travelling in the US/Canada in a car, which allows us to be more like turtles and carry more around with us. 🙂 It will be interesting to see if we feel the same way when we’re doing this overseas. That is, when they let us in again!! 🙂


    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    It's called slow travel.

  • Rebecca Waters Quest to FIRE

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    I get it! Y’all wanna have enough time to ~~feel~~ settled, but just not in one single place, permanently. 😊🔥🔥

    Melissa Lee

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Just came across your channel. Sounds like full time RVing would be good for you. I’ll keep watching and see what you are all about. This video resonated with me.

    Beverly Gisonna

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    We spent much of last year and through the winter house sitting. We had lived on 2 different boats for the 9 years following (2 on yacht, 7 on a sailboat spending the winters in the Bahamas and the summers on the east coast). We sold the boat, we are in a small apartment that is a co-op and ridiculously inexpensive to keep. Covid did not stop some of our repeat sits and we have one in July and August about 2 weeks each. We also have a cat and so we have sitters everytime we go to sit for others. Covid and some grandchildren issues (helping both establish jobs, cars, homes successfully) have slowed us down and now we see even though we sold the boat, we are not ready to stay in one place all the time, in fact we hate it. All of this is to say we ,LIKE YOU ,are looking and having discussions about what we want to do. And like you we like the house sitting but it is WORK lol, and may sound silly to some but we miss Jack out cat. He always traveled and lived on the boat with us. So at lunch yesterday we decided to be completely honest to each other about the future and we are landing somewhere between continuing housesitting or getting an RV (never seen that coming lol) to just roam about and see what that life is like, also Jack can be with us, he is 19 yrs old. Nothing will happen like that this year and we will probably house sit through this year. But like you we are just reevaluating the future and like you think the longer sits are what we prefer. i am a nester, meaning if I have my sewing, computer, reader with me I am happy anywhere. Jimmy is a walker so any new interesting walks he loves in the morning. Also we have found it easy to get sitters for extended times surprisingly, so we are not the only ones who feel this way. I KNOW THIS IS LONG , but wanted you both to know we have some good friends in Asheville if you would like some lunch partners that are great people. They have had a house in Asheville for years while he did a contract job in Thailand for the last maybe 4 years and recently moved back to their home in Asheville. If interested let me know and I will introduce you to them.

    Mike Wallin

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Buy SOMETHING so you have a home base…condo in Saginaw for $10k that you can keep most of your stuff and keep doing whatever you wanted to do.

    Nesa Dcruz

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Watching your video I realise “ Settled” means something different to each of us. I have moved house many times in my life and often lived in 2 homes at a time like one in Singapore and one in Malaysia , spending weekends in one. So it is not like I cant imagine living any where except my current house.
    But to me what you describe sounds like having a Base while travelling, staying in a place for 6 weeks or so and using that as a base to explore that area.
    Being settled to me would mean putting down roots. Building my life around a community. The guy at the corner store would know me, I would go to a regular mall , market, church etc and have my weekly routine built around that. I love having a garden and waking up in a familiar house everyday.So I would need to Live there rather than just Stay. Live for at least 6 months, have Friends, know my neighbors etc. I would find it disruptive if in 6 weeks we had to move on. But then again I love going on Vacation and then coming home. The Nomadic life isnt what I am after. In your case you arent going on Vacation each time you move to a new place. This is a Lifestyle you have embraced.This is a good video as it creates awareness that the Nomadic Lifestyle isnt an endless Vacation. How do you “ Getaway” when your Getaway never ends and you never Come back? It isnt a Getaway at all, it is a change in how you live. It is a way to Travel but one that changes your Lifestyle drastically, Extreme Travel if you will. For us, and most folks I think, we are happy with temporary Getaways .But since this works for you go for it.
    I have enjoyed staying home during the Pandemic, spending more time with my family and catching up on work around the house we never had time to before. So it is ok that we arent travelling this year except may be a short trip later in the year to a nearby destination , provided things get better. Likely we will do a Road trip.

  • Nesa Dcruz

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Before Covid 19 hit our Air bnb bookings were typically for an average of a month. Guests would often leave useful stuff behind like additional cooking utensils they purchased to suit their individual needs, like just the right sized saucepan or knife or even unopened sauce bottles that they purchased but didnt use.


    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    We are getting rid of everything as I type this and putting the house on the market next week. We are concerned about not having a home base. We will have most all we own in our 40' RV as we travel across the US. Excited and scared at the same time.

    Pat Lucking

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    In thinking about retirement travel from Canada I have learned that to remain a resident and keep my pension I need to live in Canada for six months per year, also keeps my Canadian medical as well, which is free. Is it difference to as an American?

    Troy Mills

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    As you may recall (or probably not since you have almost 13K subscribers), my wife and I retired and moved to Mexico in 2017. Our original plan was to visit several Central and South American countries before deciding on a new permanent home. Like you, it didn't take us long to figure out that we're home bodies. We enjoy being at home. While COVID has been a pain in the butt in many ways, 'Stay at Home' wasn't one of them for us. We have lived in the same house for the past 3 years and have no intention of moving anytime soon. I would like to visit some more places but they will be 'vacations', even if we're already retired.

    My suggestion for y'all would be to consider no more than 5 house sits in one year. Break it down by seasons. Lots of wealthy folks have 2nd and 3rd homes that they'd like to have someone watching after when they're not there. That would likely mean you'd be house sitting in the off or 'low' season but hey you still get to live like royalty and see beautiful parts of the world.

    Maxwell Lee

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Google algorithm decided to recommend this video to me from my google cards. Pretty soon I realized I had heard you guys on a podcast recently…took me a minute to search through the handful of travel/expat podcasts I listen to but I found it! (Travatical…this was my AHA moment lol)

    Haha glad to stumble upon your channel. I would agree about wanting to be settled and travel slower. I think our timelines are different (I can settle a little faster and can feel settled even living out of a suitcase) but the sentiment is the same. We are hoping to do world nomadic travel with our kids when they are a little older, so that's probably when we will truly find out!

    ron whiteleo

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    i cant wait for you to get to Thailand, your going to love it..

    Erin Austin

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    It’s hard to know what you don’t know. We hope to sell our home and slow travel in the future. I don’t quite know what you are felling so I will be watching for it.

    Elie Mounsef

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    What are you living off a month? Your monthly expenses?

    Angela Malavolta

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    It's really interesting to hear about your alternative way of living. It sounds amazing! Well done and thanks for sharing.

    Emily R.

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    One thing we do to help with that “settled” feeling is as soon as we get into our AirBNB we take pictures. Then I rearrange everything, including furniture and the kitchen cabinets, to make it feel useful and like home. Then when we leave, we put everything back like in the pictures. It gives me an instant peace about the place. You learn more each time you make a move!

    Patricia Staples

    (October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm)

    Glad to hear this from you!!! While everyone is different, it is our plan to spend 2-3 months at a time in one place about 3 times a year. We may or may not do side trips from there – but that will be our “home” away from home. We have found the go go go just isn’t as exciting as it used to be and we now prefer to settle more and get a more local feel. Hopefully we can learn from you the pros and cons of that!!
    I’m happy for your aha moment and hope to see you soon where we can talk more about it! Safe traveling!

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