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10 Years as a Technomad – Thoughts on How the Nomadic Community Has Changed

Today is my tenth nomadiversary.

If you had asked me 10 years ago what I’d be doing now, a decade later, I can pretty much guarantee you I wouldn’t have said that I’d be ‘still on the road’.

Hitting the road with Chris in May 2007

Quite honestly, I really thought this nomadic phase would have been long done and fulfilled by now, perhaps after maybe a couple years?

After all, just how much is there to see and do that would take more time than that??

Could living life in motion really be sustainable financially and emotionally for the long haul?

Ten years ago, I would have been doubtful.

Apparently, I was wrong.

As I shared two years ago in my 8 Year Letter Back to Myself, all my fears were unfounded and this is a completely thrivable lifestyle for us.

We’re excited to not only still be on the road, but to be starting a new chapter on the water.

After a decade of full time nomadic life, I can say from the bottom of my heart – it’s a big fricken world! And I still feel like we’re just getting started in scratching our wanderlust!

Ten years has flown by (errr… driven by?), and we’ve not even left the Americas yet. Crazy.

And the best discovery of the past decade has been that we’re not alone.

Definitely not alone.

10 Years Ago..

Life was a lot more lonely back then.

When we hit the road 10 years ago, we felt like we were the only ones doing this young/working-online/nomadic thing.

There were extremely limited resources available for working aged folks like us, and no online communities to connect with our peers. Heck, the online communities we all take for granted now were still barely even getting started.

It’s not like we were true pioneers though, there were others successfully living this lifestyle.

We just weren’t all able to connect easily back then.

There were even bloggers that we looked to for some inspiration – Sean & Louise of Our Odyssey (now on the water), Nick of Gypsy Journal (now part-timers), and Chris & Jim of Geeks on Tour (now part-timers) all were on our radar a decade ago.

And of course, there’s Steven Roberts, the original Technomad (he started in the 1980s and coined the term!!!), who originally inspired Chris and even our own Technomadia moniker.

The Escapees RV Club of course existed long before we hit the road, as did the FMCA and Good Sam. But it felt like they were clubs for retired folks – and at the time it seemed like they didn’t have much to offer to 30-something geeks who were more focused on connectivity and working online than grandkids and tourist traps.

The early days – working on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Hitting the road by choice in your early 30s at the height of your career while working remotely was still a relatively novel concept.

There were some early retirees around, and younger folks taking a year or two off to see the country.

But the mobile middle class that is abundant today? A decade ago it was unheard of.

The state of mobile internet pretty much kept mobile workers trapped at home. High latency slow satellite connections, primitive cafe Wi-Fi, and rare trickling 3G cellular connections were the height of connectivity at the time.

It was barely workable for even the most technically adept mobile workers.

So we were in many respects making things up as we went.

And as Chris and I merged our lives to travel together, we started a little blog called Technomadia to share our mutual journey on the road.

That was 2007.

Seeing Shifts in Resources Over the Years

In Christine Gilbert’s 2013  Brief History of Digital Nomading piece, she places us as ‘Early Adopters’ in her timeline. And we do feel we were at the start of something.

Nomadic SXSW 2011 Meet-Up.

This has given us a particular vantage point to have seen many shifts over the years in how nomadic community and resources have come and gone.

This biggest change of course is just how many peers we now have out here on the road, from so many different walks of life.

It’s no longer a rarity to encounter RVers of all ages working remotely – enjoying a mobile lifestyle long before retirement.

There’s also an almost overwhelming number of places for getting information about this lifestyle – countless blogs, YouTube channels, books, and online communities are constantly popping up.

It is easier than ever for absolutely anyone to share their perspective and experience.

There’s content out there now from such a variety of viewpoints that hopefully anyone nomad-curious can find a voice that helps propel them to the road.

And we’ve definitely seen a shift to more and more content creators building income streams out of their sharing. We applaud anyone tossing their hat into this ring, and we are glad the internet has finally reached a point where there’s enough of an audience for some to support themselves with this effort.

Unfortunately, we’ve also certainly seen our fair share of resources launch only to fade away almost as soon as they’ve begun to take off.

As hot as nomadic topics are, it’s tough work to build up resources for a relatively small community made up of independent minded individuals called to carving their own paths.

No Better Time to Be a Nomad

At no point in our years on the road have we ever seen so many resources to help a new-nomad get started. Particularly when it comes to the RVing lifestyle, it seems instead of there being a lack of content, it’s almost an overwhelm.

Here’s some of the up and coming organized resources we’re watching that are taking on the task of helping new folks hit the road:

RVers Online University – by Escapee’s RV Club

Of course we helped the Escapees launch Xscapers just over two years ago, creating a community and resources for the working-aged RVer. Xscapers are meeting up all over the country for Convergences now.

They just had meet-ups in Quartzsite, Joshua Tree, and Coachella. And in this upcoming year they are meeting up at a Bluegrass Festival, Alaska, Solar Fest for the Eclipse, and a Caribbean Cruise this winter.

And brand new, the Escapees have just announced RVers Online University – taking their very popular and extremely worthwhile RVer’s Boot Camp to an online audience for learning about ultra important topics like RV systems, weight management (of the RV, not you), tire safety, personal safety, driving, towing and more.

You can join their sign up list to learn more when they’re ready to take enrollments.

In addition, the Escapees are also teaming up with RVing enthusiasts to host free Webinars on a variety of topics – we’ll be presenting on Mobile Internet for Working Remotely next Thursday evening at 6pm – come join us!.

RV Entrepreneurs – by Health & Alyssa

Health and Alyssa have been full time RVing for about 3 years now, have managed to get sponsored by Winebago (and others), and last year started a podcast called the RV Entrepreneur.

They’ve now interviewed 60 working on the road RVers sharing their stories (we’re episode 009) – all extremely inspiring and helpful.

They also host a Make Money and RV Facebook group, and have been constantly growing this community.

A couple months ago, they hosted an RV Entrepreneur Summit in Texas that was a resounding success – filled with seminars full of inspiring speakers.

They intend to keep at it – so definitely keep an eye on these two. They are creating so much – I don’t know where they get the energy and tenacity. I’d say youth, but I don’t even think in my 20s I could keep up with them.

RV to Freedom – by Drive. Dive. Devour

Brendan and Kerensa have just hit their 3-year nomadiverary, and have taken on the huge task of starting a new community called RV to Freedom.

They started it as a very rapidly growing Facebook group, where they happily field the same newbie questions over and over again. (They have more patience than we do, that’s for sure!) They’ve told us they have plans for turning this into a business, and we’re excited to see what they’re up to.

Update: They officially launched there new RV to Freedom website with a 8-week beta of their interactive course called Roadmap to Full-Time RVing.

RV Success School – by RV Love

Also just turning 3 years on the road (is there something about that milestone??), Julie & Mark just announced they’re gearing up to launch their own eLearning series about getting started RVing. They’ve not shared details yet, except it’ll be a paid resource, while they will still be continuing blogging & YouTubing about their personal journey.

Update: They’ve launched RV Success School, which is a series of classes on various RV Lifestyle topics.

 

Of course, all of these resources are RVer focused – not more generally nomadic focused. We’ve seen similar programs come and go on the global scale too. And there’s more free resource in blogs and video content than we can shake a stick at.

Such an amazing wealth of resources compared to a decade ago!

Technomadia Content

Our content here on Technomadia will remain free – shared when we have time and energy to do so.

It’s been our joy to share as our hobby and we have no aspirations of changing that to turn Technomadia into any sort of paid site. The content will always be a reflection of the topics currently noodling on our brains.

At our core, we are technomads regardless of the substrate (RV or boat).

We actually silently made our No Excuses: Go Nomadic series an entirely free resource (instead of ‘Pay as you Wish’) – covering topics like Income, Banking/Taxes, Healthcare, Domicile/Mail, Pets and Safety.  We also have an entire RVing Resource Center setup bringing together all our guides and in-depth articles on RVing into one place.

We do also offer our own Mobile Internet Resource Center (our business focus). We feel extraordinarily blessed that we’ve been able to turn content creation into a sustainable business model (and one we LOVE!). The site will see a subtle shift in the coming months from being just RVer focused to also including some US waterways cruising content too. After all, the challenges in connectivity between RV and waterway cruising are not all that different.

 

Cheers to the Journey Ahead!

It’s hard to believe that today marks my 10th year since I pulled out of my driveway in a tiny trailer with Chris, this dude I met on a Prius forum. While we dreamed back then of eventually hitting the water, I still pinch myself that we’ve made that dream come true!

Thank you for joining along virtually for all these years (or days if you’re new to the blog) – we truly appreciate having you as part of our community.

We look forward to continuing to share the adventures ahead by land, water, air, or even perhaps space!

To kick off the next 10 years, we just updated our short intro video (3m):

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, we receive a commission. Note that all opinions are 100% our own and we only link to products we personally use and absolutely recommend! Technomadia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

37 Comments - Still Plenty of Room for Yours!

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  1. You helped us keep connected while we were on the road. Now you are helping another generation do that. I hope you can continue doing this for many more years to come.

  2. Such a great post and inspiring content. Yours was one of the very first blogs we found almost 8 years ago when we started researching the lifestyle, and I remember being super excited to find a young, geeky couple online. It felt like I had found my tribe! And it still feels that way today. Can’t wait to see where the next 10 years takes you!

    Nina

  3. We have been watching you on YouTube for the past several months and have so enjoyed following your journey. It inspires us to find a way to live our lives on our own terms – to see the things we want to see and do the things we want to do. We aren’t that complicated – we like good wine, dark roast coffee, technology, and quiet evenings outdoors – currently on the front porch of our sticks and bricks home. Last fall we bought an RV in order to take our handmade business on the road to places further than our local area – and still have the creature comforts and privacy of home. This morning I am sitting here drinking my coffee in the RV – on our maiden voyage. We decided to stay close to home – just across the river so we could dark back if we forgot anything. The first 20 minutes produced a flood in the kitchen from a water filter that was loose – and we used up our clean towels – so we will be heading back home today if we want to shower later on.

    There is so much to learn and so many ways we want to jump right in. Thanks for the constant source of inspiration – AND information.

    • Congrats on your maiden voyage and for navigating your first bump in the road (it’ll just be the first of many). But with each bump, you soon realize they get smaller as you wave good-bye to them in the rear view mirror. Cheers to you adventures ahead!

  4. Cherie, your blog posts always make me smile – I love your insights, reflection and perspective. First off, a HUGE congratulations from Marc and I on your 10 year nomad-iversary. You and Chris are truly the trailblazers (at least of our generation) that have paved the way for so many of us to hit the road with confidence. It was your mobile internet handbook that was the very first resource we purchased, to allay our fears around whether or not we could indeed get decent enough internet on the road, to take this work from home thing to working on wheels! (We’re very happy it didn’t take long to learn satellite was NOT required!) We are so inspired by how you and Chris has been able to share so much of your personal journey here on Technomadia, while turning your geeky passions for technology into a thriving business that helps thousands of us stay connected – with RVMobileInternet.com. I always love seeing people succeed doing what they love and it’s clear you two are doing this not only with your RVMI biz but also now on your boat Y-Not. Thank you also for all you do to support the RVing community, and even highlighting other people and organizations doing their bit (like us) to create value for our fellow RVers and wannabe RVers and make their journeys a little easier than perhaps ours once were. We appreciate your link to our site for when we release our new ‘online learning platform’ next week.. and look forward to catching up sometime to hear what’s up with you guys – maybe a virtual Happy Hour via Skype – our treat:) – we’ll have to find a way to get a Bota box to you! LOL We will always remain indebted to the both of you for inspiring, educating and paving the way for us all – whether by road or by sea (for those inclined) and hope to serendipitously cross paths with you again… meanwhile, we’re just so happy to see your lives are back in balance and you are clearly happier than ever, living and loving the lives you have created for yourselves. That’s the biggest inspiration of all. Hugs from your friends and fans, Julie & Marc xoxo

  5. what a pleasure to read the newest generation of “travelers” who have the courage to see the country without the ties that held us back. In 1980 Kay & Joe via letters helped us to go for it. At age 40 we retired from the Military, We had no cell phone, no computers, and no ATMs. We have had an amazing life and have formed unbelievable friendships. What a great future you have ahead of you. Now that age and health have grounded us, we have settled in North Ranch, another crazy idea from Escapees. This afternoon we spent a couple of hours visiting with 4 other people who are longtime friends and Escapees members. Someday you to will understand,

    • Our biggest regret in our first years on the road was assuming the Escapees was just about retired RVers and dismissing it. So much valuable insight there to tap into for any RVer, and it’s so wonderful to see Travis & Mel (grandkids of Kay & Joe) stepping up to keep the legacy growing!

      After just 10 years on the road, we already deeply appreciate meet-ups with friends we’ve met along the way – and look forward to continuing those friendships for decades to come!

  6. Very interesting article. When we started researching full-timing last year (been on the road eight months now) I followed you guys, Wheeling it, and the Wynns (That’s what popped up consistently in searches). We cobbled together info and made our own resources and learning content (I’m a trainer/instructional designer). I was working on turning that into online resources, and then bam–all the RVers in your article announced their own learning programs this week! Wow the timing is uncanny (or is it…3 years?). So I’m shelving my project because there’s a lot of info out there, and it would be great to see it consolidated among the people doing it well (the people you listed–and of course you guys). So glad that you paved the way for those behind you to learn from your experience. See you on the road, er, uh water?

    • We’ve seen several eLearning platforms try to launch over the years – hopefully now is the time to support it. Definitely seems to be an idea that is bubbling up in multiple places at once.

  7. We feel like we jumped in as fulltimers at just the right time – two years ago. And are of course grateful to you and other trail blazers for “paving” the way for this wonderful life style. Although we’re retired and don’t have the added adventure of making a living while traveling, we love that the demographic of travelers out here includes young, working, couples and families. It sure keeps things more interesting!

  8. Congratulations on 10 nomadic years! We can’t wait to see this new chapter in your your life unfold.
    Thanks for mentioning RV to Freedom, we are very excited about it!

    • Congrats to you Kerensa and Brandon! Hope to finally meet you guys one day, and when things settle down over here, we should connect and see how we can support what you are doing.

    • So excited to see how your new eLearning courses add to the resources out there. Thanks for taking on the task! (But I do worry about the lack of prime campground space that will become as a result of more people hitting the road 🙂 ).

  9. Congrats on the 10 years mark! The content you shared here on Technomadia and on other RV forums made it possible for us to make the decision 5 years ago that I could work from anywhere as long as we had connectivity. You helped us figure out how to make that happen and with the ongoing RV Mobile Internet site, you continue to make it easy for me to stay connected and updated!! Thanks so much for all you share with the RV community!

  10. Congrats Cherie and Chris, you are our inspiration and without you both being early adopters we would not be able to run our business on the road. We can’t thank you enough for freely sharing your life with us and your technical expertise. May you enjoy many, many, many more years of the freedom this lifestyle gives us.

  11. Happy Nomadiversary!!! May your next 10 years be as happy as the last and thank you for sharing your lives with us. Keep those cards, letters and vlogs coming.

  12. Happy Nomadiversary! Eternal thanks for sharing all you do. We are planning on taking off in about three years’ time (retiring, but keeping working options open) and already you’ve been a huge help in all of our scheming and dreaming.

  13. How is it that Chris has aged and you have not? That’s the article I want to read. Until then, thanks for the inspiring lives and relevant content you’ve chosen to share. On to 2027.

  14. Chris and Cherie, thanks for sharing your decade worth of experiences; vital information for techno-types and very useful for the rest of us who struggle with technology. Your amazing writing style; so focused, makes it seem like a one-on-one conversation between friends. I can almost hear your voices, as I read. So, thanks for sharing these links and highlights of the last ten years (this post alone is very rich), and I with all my heart, wish you continued success and more importantly happiness as you roam.

    • Awww… *blush*… thanks. Comments like this make my heart sing. This has always been our personal space, and so glad the casual conversational tone has conveyed for you!

  15. Congrats on 10 years!!! I hope to meet you one day but I have another 7 or 8 years before I can hit the road. Hopefully you’ll still be traveling then!!! Thanks for all of your great info. I love it!!

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