Mat and I are very cautious people – we’re afraid of all kinds of things like germs (Mat) and bears (me) and many things in between. Knowing that, it doesn’t really make sense that we would thrive on a life of instability and uncertainty but for some reason we do. Here are half a dozen reasons why living a nomadic lifestyle works for us:
1. More Family
Our families live in different cities and I rarely got to see mine when we were settled in one city. At first, it wasn’t too bad, but as the years went by I started to realize that my relationship with them was becoming a series of short weekend and busy holiday visits. Now that we’re mobile, we’ve been able to have longer visits (sometimes up to 2 months!) with each of our families and that has been really special for both of us.
2. Less stuff
We’re natural born pack rats – we love shopping for records, antiques, and art, but owning stuff stresses us out. Now that we’re always living out of a backpack, a van or a tiny apartment, we really don’t have the space to accumulate more stuff. Decluttering has become a habit for us and it also feels really good to be consuming less stuff in the first place.
3. More time
We realize that it’s an illusion, but it feels like we have more time because we’re always experiencing something new when we’re on the road. The feeling that weeks, months and years are blurring together happens a lot less now.
4. Less Stress
When we owned our house I used to come home from work in tears a couple of times every month. I was overwhelmed at work, burdened by our mortgage, and generally unhappy with our living situation. Being on the road has it’s own set of stressful situations but we’re willing to tolerate them because the benefits of traveling outweigh the stress by a long shot. That wasn’t the case with our settled life.
5. More Travel
When we were settled, our travelling was limited to visiting family and a 1 or 2-week annual vacation. It was hard to leave for longer than that because we had to pay our monthly bills and our travel expenses at the same time. Now we can afford to travel most of the year because our living expenses are super low (no rent, no mortgage).
6. Less Responsibility
Having bills, debt, full-time jobs and responsibilities really weighed on us. We felt like we were constantly exhausted and didn’t have the energy to work on the things that were really important to us. Not having a laundry list of things to do has been really liberating.
We’re super happy with our decision to uproot ourselves and travel the world. That being said, the nomadic lifestyle is not a perfect one and there are downsides to it, too. If you’re interested, I can share them in another post – just let me know in the comments :)