Dear Nomadic Life
I really wanted this to work out. It’s not you, it’s me. I love the idea of you more than the reality. I need my own space. I need to focus on me right now. There are plenty of other people out there who want to work and travel at the same time. I’m just not right for you.
I’m sick of living in other people’s homes. I’m sick of tiny kitchens with almost no counter space. I’m sick of not having a dishwasher. And that month without an oven was rough. I’m sick of not having my blender. I’m sick of pans that look like they could give me tetanus. I’m sick of dorm-sized refrigerators and three-tined forks.
I’m sick of showers that require me to turn the water off and on in order to make the tiny amount of hot water last. I’m sick of sink faucets that barely stick out over the sink, so my hands hit the sides of the sink when I’m washing them. I’m sick of hot water that doesn’t work unless two faucets are running at the same time.
I’m sick of space heaters. I’m sick of hotel-style air conditioners that only sort of blow hot air. I’m sick of windows that don’t seal. I’m sick of uncomfortable beds. I’m sick of climbing up 50, or 83, or 114 stairs. I’m sick of only having one set of keys. I’m sick of promised internet that never worked. I’m sick of hearing, “It’s not usually this cold!” And the sound of airplanes overhead now drives me nuts.
I’m sick of spending so much time at my computer working instead of exploring where I am. I’m sick of losing a week or so on figuring out how things work when we arrive someplace new. I’m sick of all the things that take so much more time and energy all the time.
It wasn’t all bad. We had some fun times. Remember that one amazing shower? And a couple of the beds were actually super comfy. We saw a lot of beautiful places together, like here and here. And without the hard times you put me through, I never would’ve realized all the changes I need to make.
I still want to see the world, and I don’t ever want to work in an office again. But I need more stability than you can offer me right now. We’re just in two different places. I think we need a break.
As you can tell, this trip hasn’t gone at all the way we had hoped. Some of it was our own fault, some of it was circumstances beyond our control. The end result is that we are really looking forward to getting back home in a few days. We are unlikely to try a trip like this next winter. Instead we’re hoping to save enough money to take a few weeks to a month off in the winter to travel without working. More announcements and updates coming soon!
You might also enjoy:
- 5 Reasons Why Being a Digital Nomad Not For Me
- On Living a Non-Traditional Life
- How I Make Money Online and Travel Up to 4 Months a Year
- Blogging Income Reports: see how much money I make from working online
February 12, 2015 @ 5:22 PM
it is refreshing to find someone who admits not all full time travel is fun, pleasant or what ‘everyone should do’
take you trip experiences and think how it may have turned out if you were solo traveling?
all you see online are ‘i travel full time on $50.00 a day” or sleep with a stranger and travel full time…………. there is NOTHING wrong with traveling in the manner that makes you happy……………so if it costs me $100 a day and i can only travel 3months a year………….my trips may be just as rewarding.
brava for finding what makes you happy
February 13, 2015 @ 11:13 AM
Thanks Lee! The nomadic life is definitely not for everyone, and certainly not for me. I’d still like to take a few longer trips, but preferably without having to work at the same time. And I agree with you, $50 a day is great if you’re ok traveling like that, but in many places that doesn’t get you very far, and I don’t like rock bottom budget travel. I like having a home and certain comforts and a level of routine, so traveling for smaller chunks at a time works great for me.
February 12, 2015 @ 6:10 PM
I hear you. I realized when I tried working while traveling how much I hated it. It was the worst of both worlds for me. I didn’t get to enjoy working or traveling. I much prefer traveling without having to think about work and working where I have an apartment to go home to and stability. Good on you and hope you find the balance you need!
February 13, 2015 @ 11:16 AM
Thanks Val! You’re right, it did sort of feel like the worst of both worlds. We were spending too much time inside on our computers working, or when we weren’t working, we were spending so much time getting to the “good” grocery store that was 15-20 minutes away and dealing with all the other things that just take more time when you’re in an unfamiliar place. We hardly had any time (or energy for that matter) to enjoy our surroundings and go sightseeing and try new foods. I don’t know what the balance is I need, but I’ll keep working on it!
February 12, 2015 @ 10:02 PM
While I love full-time travel and am itching to get back on the road, I so loved this post. I think it’s so important for everyone to understand that we’re all different. We travel differently. We feel comfortable in different scenarios. Bravo for listening to your heart and body and shifting to make yours and Andy’s lives into something that is best for you.
February 13, 2015 @ 11:19 AM
Thanks Gigi! Exactly, you’re so much better at adapting to a new place and dealing with the oddities of living in someone else’s home. Everyone is different, so everyone travels differently. I can handle the annoyances of the road much better when I don’t also have to work at the same time. So for me, having a home base is important.
Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren
February 13, 2015 @ 1:11 AM
I can handle a lot (I think) but cold showers and uncomfortable beds?! Thats rough. So is finding the balance between work and travel, something that I have yet to find. I wish you all the best! <3
February 13, 2015 @ 11:21 AM
Thanks Lauren! Yeah, the shower we had in Sevilla was quite annoying. The apartment had a tiny water heater, about 5 liters I think. So there was no way to get through an entire shower without running out of hot water. I can handle the whole turning the water on and off thing for a little while, but a month of that was so annoying. Luckily that was also the apartment with the super comfy bed!
February 13, 2015 @ 2:49 AM
It sounds like you made the best decision.
I feel the same about long-term travel. The freedom is great, but I missed home-comforts too. The older I get, the more I want decent eye-cream, proper showers, a comfortable bed etc… I travelled for 9 months a few years back, but I was tired of all the moving around after about 2.
Teaching is the perfect solution for me. I get a home-base AND I get to travel as much as I want!
Good luck with the move back home. Your solution of travelling over the winter sounds perfect 🙂
February 13, 2015 @ 11:23 AM
Thanks! Long term travel is tough enough without having to deal with working at the same time. It’s just not for everyone. Your teaching situation sounds great. You’re getting the expat experience, which is a little bit travel, a little bit home. That’s one of the things I like about living in Germany, plus it’s a good base for shorter trips to other parts of Europe!
February 15, 2015 @ 5:59 AM
It’s real and refreshing to read the other side to nomadic life. Just like the rest of life it is not as the rose colored glasses paint it to be. I really respect you for calling out your experiences and blogging about them. There are plenty of other travel permutations that you can work out that suite you and your circumstances better (maybe short trips or longer stays, who knows) and you can blog about those and we’ll all be better off for them. Myself, I couldn’t handle the constant moving around all the time. I would need to base myself out of a large city for at least a number of months and I would need to get quickly familiar with a place for the whole digital nomad thing to work out for me.
February 15, 2015 @ 9:34 PM
Thanks Matthew, sometimes I just need a little rant about every tiny thing that’s irritating me. It makes me laugh at things, and hopefully gives others a chuckle too. The nomadic life is not all rosy, especially not for me and Andy. I admire the people who thrive on living that way, but it’s not for us. I think if we ever give it a try again, it would have to be even slower than one month in each place. Maybe 3 months. And Andy would have to have a different kind of contract. But we’re shelving that idea for now. If we can take a handful of short trips throughout the year and one slightly longer trip during the winter, that might be good for us.
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March 29, 2015 @ 8:56 AM
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