Home No Excuses: Go Nomadic

The Homebodied Nomad

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This article is the latest addition to our ever growing ‘Answers to the Common Excuses’ blog series, addressing the reasons folks think full time travel might be unrealistic.  The series is also available in a convenient eBook format on a pay as you wish basis, and includes topics like Jobs, Affording Travel, Family, Pets, Community, Safety, Continuity, Stuff, Healthcare, Logistics and much more!

We’ve encountered a lot of folks who say they’d love to travel full time, or more often, but can’t imagine being away from home.

And while being someone who likes lots of time being at home and being someone who wants to be traveling a lot seem at odds with each other, these two desires can actually be quite compatible.

You don’t have to be an outgoing, extroverted social butterfly who is always on the go exploring to be a fulfilled traveler.  And you certainly don’t have to enjoy working from crowded coffee shops to be a digital nomad.

Embrace Your Homebodyness

There’s a certain comfort in being surrounded by a familiar space.  Furniture you arranged, decorations that remind you of special times and people, a place you can just be yourself.  Knowing where everything is in the kitchen.  Hanging out naked or in PJs.

When you’re feeling down, ill or just like you need a recharge – home is where you can go and hide from the rest of the world for a while.  It’s where you re-energize so you can be fully present when you do choose to step outside and explore what is around.

For those of us who prefer working from home, it’s also where we’re most productive getting our projects done.

And, in my opinion, there’s nothing at all wrong with being a homebody. I am one.  And I embrace this.

For homebodies with wanderlust, it doesn’t have to be an either or proposition.  You don’t have to sit still in one place wishing you could go explore the world. And neither do you have to explore the world while wishing for the comforts of a place to call home.

You just have to be willing to think about home differently.

Create Home Wherever you Go

The key to indulging your inner homebody and exploring the world as a full time traveler is putting priority on making sure that wherever you go, you feel at home .

There are some forms of travel that make this much easier.

RVing and Boating

You can literally take your home with you with these forms of travel. You can put as much effort as you wish into making your space truly yours.  You can remodel, decorate and organize to your exact needs.  You travel in your home to your next destination, and you have complete choice in how much time you spend in your home versus out exploring.  And you always know that you’re coming home that night to your own bed.

When you travel with your home – you are always traveling and you are always at home.

And you never have to pack or unpack! It’s a great combination for homebodies!

Slower Pace Travel

Another option is doing extended stays in locations and putting effort into finding accommodations that you can call home for that period of time. Perhaps it’s leasing a furnished space, finding housesitting jobs or houseswapping.  When your stays are measured in months, it’s a lot easier to find affordable short term accommodations where you can nest a bit to create a homebase to explore from.

Homebodies may find that other common forms of nomadic accommodations, like hostels and couchsurfing, may not be sustainable long term.  By recognizing and honoring your needs you’re better able to make traveling long term more sustainable and comfortable.

 

 

Redefine ‘Home’

What is home?  Really think about what things and concepts define home for you. What are essential elements?  What are nice to have?  What are elements that can easily be transferrable to another location?

Is home specifically related to a physical place? A set of walls that contains your possessions?   A city or town you’re particularly connected to?

If travel is calling you strongly, learning to adapt to a new physical location on a regular basis will be key to thriving in a nomadic lifestyle.  If your connection to the concept of home is specific to a location, you may not be able to fully feel at home anywhere else. And that’s ok. You don’t have to give up home being related to a physical fixed place.   But you will need to find your balance. Perhaps by keeping a homebase.

Is home a set of people or community of like minds?

Take your intentional family with you as you travel (if they’re willing) and make lots of effort to keep in touch with those you love.  Skype, Facebook, E-mail, Twitter and more make it much more possible to keep in touch. But do be prepared for the reality that not all personal connections convey into a digital world.  You may find yourself needing to make time to integrate in quality visits with loved ones during your travels.

You’ll also quickly find that you can make new connections as you travel, and there’s not a scarcity of awesome people out there.   Anytime you stay in one place for a length of time, make efforts to connect with people.

Is home just a concept for you?

It’s a lot easier to adapt to new surroundings and feel at home if your idea of home is transferable to new locations without  much effort.  Know what elements are essential for you, honor those and make them a priority when planning and budgeting your travel.

Our Homebodied Nature

We are both major homebodies.

Folks are usually surprised to learn just how much time we spend at home, no matter where that might be today.  Seriously, sometimes we may only get out and about in a location a few times a week.

That’s one reason we think we’d really prefer being in one spot for a month or more, as opposed to our more hectic pace of the past.  We love exploring new places and meeting new people, and don’t like feeling rushed to do it while fitting in work hours, personal time and the rest of life.

While we love being at home, we’re also very quick to adapt to what home is.  We’ve found that the elements that make a place ‘home’ are:

  • Each other and our cat, Kiki
  • Our laptops and decent internet connection
  • A space that feels like it is ours
  • Privacy
  • A super comfy bed

Simply put, we don’t feel at home when we’re living in someone else’s space. Being a guest of someone or sharing space with others, no matter how welcoming they are, just isn’t being home for us.  If we don’t have the flexibility to rearrange the furniture, walk around naked, stay up as late as we want to with the lights and music on, cooking when we want and more – then it’s not home.

RVing has worked very well for us for many years. Renting an apartment for several months also worked well. We’re very consciously keeping our homebodied nature in mind with whatever future nomadic plans we explore.

This article is a newly added chapter to our ‘Answers to the Common Excuses’ eBook, which is available on a Pay as you Wish basis. It addresses 16 different excuses like this one that folks give us for why they’re not doing the travel they dream about.

Are you a homebodied nomad? How have you found balance?

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13 Comments - Still Plenty of Room for Yours!

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  1. An excellent post! The power and allure of “home” is not something everyone realizes consciously.

    I suspect that your thoughts of changing to a motor home would fit right into this understanding of ‘home’ better than the Oliver–not just for size, but also that even when traveling you’d be “home” in a very real sense. That would seem to me to reduce the stresses greatly.

    While boats are certainly alluring in many ways, by the way, they are an incredible amount of work and a real time sink…especially in salt water. Were I to want a boat as a “live-aboard” I would look for a catamaran–the useful space and sailing without being at a constant leaning angle would both seem advantageous, as would the shoal draft.

    In either case, it would seem that carefully selecting your movable home can be a huge contributor to success and happiness in your mobile lifestyle.

    I continue to appreciate your sharing your experience and realizations through the blog. I think you’re both greatly helping many people to assess their own life choices–whether it’s to be a nomad or to be content where they are.

    • We totally agree about boats.. and that’s a big reason we’ve put that idea on the backburner. We quickly came to determine that a catamaran was the living space that appealed to us, and they’re just such a huge financial investment over monohulls. And the maintenance aspect, frankly, just isn’t my cup of tea right now.

      The Oliver has actually been an awesome home for us, and we both definitely feel comfortable in it. It is very much a real home for us, as small as it is. We’re just finding we’re called to a slower pace of travel. We feel the drawbacks of the size most when still for a while and wanting to spread out more. While in more frequent motion tho, it’s been very ideal and feels very homey to us. Even our half the size T@B trailer was very much home while we were traveling in it.

      But we are very much liking the idea of more space to make our mobile home, and staying places longer.

  2. We’re quite the same, and definitely need plenty of privacy and time to recoup. That’s one of the reasons we shy away from couchsurfing and hostels – without our own space we wouldn’t be able to travel for very long! Thankfully there are plenty of ways to create that space while traveling, though. 🙂

    • While I’ve not done much couchsurfing or hostels, the idea just doesn’t appeal to me. Sure, great for when first landing in an area or passing thru. But beyond that? I just don’t think long term travel would be enjoyable for me if that’s how I did it all the time.

      And you’re right, there are plenty of other ways – especially if you recognize your needs and make them a priority.

  3. Oh, that is so us! We have some days where we never go outside our RV and the number of those days appear to be increasing. Yet, being able to change the view outside our windows is wonderful! We traveled so far and so fast our first year of full-time RVing that we burnt out during our second year. I think we may be getting the ratio right in this, our third year. 🙂

    • Isn’t it so easy to move too fast those first couple years on the road? I know we did.. so much to see and do, and it’s all so darn tempting 🙂 Just being able to change the home/office view is sometimes enough to scratch the nomadic itch, and it’s so nice to be able to choose to just stay home and enjoy it.

  4. John and I are major homebodies as well – sometimes when we’re on the road we just hole up for an entire day or night wherever we are staying and watch TV and eat takeaway food. Usually that’s enough to cure any “homesickness” we may be feeling.

    • We definitely need those recharge days ourselves at home. It’s easy to get caught up in back-to-back exploring and socializing, and sometimes we have to specifically carve out the time to be at home. Like we’re doing today. Ahh.. it feels so good!

  5. Great post! I definitely consider myself a homebodied nomad (in fact, a riff on that was almost the title of my blog, now known as Nomadtopia!). My preference is for slower travel and longer stays to create a sense of home in one place, but I am definitely attracted to the RV idea so I can take my home with me. For now, I think I’d say “home” means anywhere my fiancé and I are together, have some space to call our own, and can do things we enjoy (cook, draw, do yoga…). I think you’re right–as much as I enjoy couchsurfing and visiting friends and family, it’s just not the same as having your own space.

    • Couchsurfing is definitely a lot of fun, for short term stays. Us homebodies just need our own space in the long term. I think you’ve got a very workable balance with longer term stays, we certainly basked in home-comfort on our stay in St. John. We’re really starting to think that a combination of RVing mixed in with some longer stays overseas will be a great balance for us. Maybe swapping homes will indeed work out 🙂

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