In this day and age, more and more people are looking for ways to live a life on the road. Travel is becoming increasingly accessible, minimalism is booming, and people are growing curious about the world. The definition of a “normal” lifestyle is changing to more accurately reflect each person it describes rather than the masses. One of these definitions includes the nomadic lifestyle, which describes someone who moves locations often and prioritizes their unique lifestyle above everything else.
As with any major change, diving head first (with no planning) into a nomadic lifestyle isn’t recommended. There are a few things that you’ll need to consider, especially what you’ll need and how to prepare for a life of constant movement. If you’ve been curious about making the leap, or are just interested to know a little more about living a nomadic lifestyle, this article is for you.
What You’ll Need
To get started on the path towards being a nomad, there are a few essential things that you’ll need—most of which are mental. Nomadic lifestyles can be rough and if you’re not prepared, or don’t find any joy while getting prepared, it probably isn’t the type of lifestyle that you should have.
- A Minimalist Mindset
Switching to a nomadic lifestyle is a big change, especially if you’ve been living in your own home or apartment. For the most part, we grow up with a place to call our own, regardless of how small it is, and a place for all of our things. When you switch to a nomadic lifestyle, you need to have a minimalist mindset. Longevity is near impossible without one.
Take a look at everything you currently own. Do you use it all? Do you need it all? Do you even like it all? There are only a few things that everyone actually needs to survive and it’s time to start weeding out the unnecessary. Whether you’re on the road with a backpack or a van, space is finite. Embrace minimalism! On the contrary, we understand that parting with certain items or memorabilia is near impossible. Keep your treasures safe by renting a self storage unit in your home town while you’re away—it’s much more practical than continuing to rent a home.
- A New Source of Income
Some people save for years before switching to a nomadic lifestyle, but regardless of how much money you have in the bank, it will eventually run out. Nothing screams stress like a diminishing bank account with no idea how you’re going to make it back. That’s why a lot of nomadic individuals find an alternative source of income. It may be freelance work, entertainment gigs, teaching English, or even turning your full-time job into a remote position. The only thing to remember is that if you move forward with a job that requires Internet, you may be limited unless you have your own connection.
Finally, you need to be adaptable if you want to make the switch to a nomadic lifestyle. Life on the road is unpredictable and you should be ready for anything. If you transfer to living in a van, you’ll deal with intense weather, unpredictable vehicle issues, an ever-changing road, and frustratingly frequent construction. Understanding that the journey is more important than the destination is a great way to help avoid raising anxiety and stress levels. The same can be said for if you’re backpacking. Buses break down, you get stuck with an unfavorable roommate, or somewhere along the way you take a wrong turn and the language barrier makes it difficult to get back on track. Being adaptable will save you an unbelievable amount of wasted energy and without this mindset, nomadic lifestyle will be difficult and short-lived.
How to Prepare for a Nomadic Lifestyle
If you think you have what it takes, it’s time to make the necessary preparations to head into your nomadic lifestyle.
- Save Money
If you’re planning on heading off to explore unknown parts, you’ll need a bit of cash to get you there. Make a plan and start saving your money with the intention of starting a nomadic lifestyle. Otherwise, you’ll soon be filling out applications for work in a nearby coffee shop.
- Have a Conversation with Your Boss
If you’re currently employed, you need to have a conversation with your boss. Ideally, this conversation should come after you’ve saved some money. It should also be approached in a mature and respectful manner. There are a few ways that the conversation can go.
Start off by asking your boss if there’s any way that you can become a remote employee. While some companies are against this type of work, many others are becoming more and more open to the idea of free-roaming employees. If you do suggest working remotely, talk about your hours and make sure you’ve established the guidelines prior to taking off. This also means you’ll need to ensure working Internet for a majority of your time on the road.
Giving Your Notice
If remote work isn’t a possibility, explain your situation and calmly give your notice. Giving a good notice shows that you respect your company, and your boss, and won’t burn any bridges.
If your job is primarily based on a skill rather than client communication, talk to your boss and offer your services as a freelancer instead of a paid employer. They’ll save money on health insurance and taxes and you’ll be able to land your first gig as an independent contractor.
- Figure Out Your Housing
If you live in a house or apartment, you need to make a decision about what you’re going to do. If you own the property, consider renting it! You can continue paying off your mortgage with the security that you have a home base to come back to in the future. You could also sell if you’re ready to leave you location and don’t want to deal with the details of renting.
- Quit Expensive Contracts
Internet packages, landlines, magazine subscriptions, and even streaming platforms add up in monthly costs. Quit expensive contracts that you won’t use anymore and consider minimizing your streaming platforms… you don’t need Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Showtime.
- Sell Things
If you’ve gone through your stuff and made a pile of things that you know you don‘t want anymore, head to the Internet to make some extra cash. Sell things on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or host a good ol’ fashion garage sale. If you are short on time, or don’t really care about a few extra dollars, ask your friends and family if they need anything or head to your nearest donation center.
- Pack or Store Everything Else
For the things that you can’t part with, but won’t be taking with you, pack them up and rent a self storage unit. It’s a much cheaper alternative than rent and will ensure all of your favorite things stay safe and sound while you’re gone.
A Word on Van Life
The way you define your nomadic lifestyle depends on your goals. Do you want to bounce from bed to bed or are you looking for somewhere you can call yours, while still moving from place to place? Define what you’re looking for and be specific and true to you. Don’t plan an entire lifestyle because it’s something you think you’ll want. Do your research and be prepared. For a lot of people, that means van life!
Van life involves converting a large van or other vehicle into what is essentially seen as a house on wheels. Yes, that’s essentially what an RV is, but van life describes the overall lifestyle more so rather than the vehicle. Van life takes a lot of planning and in most cases, construction. People find it more practical to buy a small van and convert it into their dream home than to get a large, bulky RV with inefficient gas mileage. If you’re interested in van life, check out this helpful guide on how to convert a van into a home.
Regardless of the type of nomadic lifestyle you want to live, you’re going to end up with a lot of extra things lying around. While it’s a good idea to sell some of the things that you aren’t attached to, it’s not that easy to get rid of things with sentimental value or your favorite furniture. Instead, put them in a self storage facility for when you settle down. Self storage units, like the ones at The Lock Up Self Storage, are a much cheaper alternative to monthly rent and will keep your things safe and secure until you’re ready to use them again. All of the units at The Lock Up have individual gated access codes, a perimeter breach system, and are monitored by CCTV. We have a variety of sizes for every budget and each of our units are climate controlled to further protect your things. Visit us at www.thelockup.com today to browse the available units in your area today.