Three years ago, we handed over the keys to our home and flew away determined to see the world and escape the daily grind of the 9 to 5 . During the run up, we experienced a lot of fear and trepidation. In fact, there were many times when the little nagging voice of fear and doubt almost persuaded us to “not be so stupid and get on with what was expected of us”.
The consternation, fear and yes, envy of our family, friends was apparent in the questions, and comments we received and still receive. Michael–once word spread at his workplace– was called a traitor and even a b*****d, although this was often preceded by the word lucky. Many people focused on how dangerous the world can be and regaled us with tales of rapes, robberies, shootings and disease.
After three years, 30 plus countries and 1,000’s of miles we are happy to report that none of these tales of woe have happened to us. Instead, we have enjoyed beautiful locations, in Europe, Central America and the Caribbean, made many new friends and developed new skills. We have not been robbed, raped or even been called a b*****d lately either.
With three years of nomadic lifestyle hindsight to share, we want to cover some of the questions that crop up on a regular basis.
What if you get sick?
It has not been entirely smooth sailing as we have experienced both minor and major ailments, yet we have survived them all unscathed.
Prevention is better than cure so be careful where you eat, drink boiled or filtered water if necessary and treat minor cuts immediately. We carry antibiotics for treating stomach upsets/travelers’ diarrhea and skin infections (we both have fading scars from minor cuts that were infected in the tropics years ago). Always make a point of knowing what medical facilities are available wherever you are and always ask for personal recommendations for local Doctors, dentists etc.
Always have travel medical insurance and if you need treatment, have a backup plan and a way to return home.
Don’t you get tired of always moving?
Strangely enough no, perhaps because we prefer slow travel and often spend weeks or months in one place (especially when housesitting). Even when we are on the road and moving every two or three days, it is more exciting than tiring. However, the year we spent backpacking, decades ago, was eventually exhausting, especially repacking that darn backpack.
Don’t you get bored with nothing to do all day?
If we had nothing to do all day, I suppose we would, but there is always something to do. When housesitting we have a home and pets to care for, exploring a new area, shopping and cooking for ourselves. We also do fun stuff like scuba diving, take the odd sailing trip and treat ourselves to a nice meal or a night out listening to some very talented bands.
Since we started travelling, we have also acquired new skills (photography, videography, travel writing and blogging). These all require research, practice and often hours of ‘work’.
How do you cope being together 24/7?
Surprisingly well, like all couples, we do have the odd tiff, but these are rare. Like many married couples, we have learnt what leads to strife and how to head it off. Hunger and tiredness are the two biggest culprits, we always travel with munchies and make allowances for fatigue grumpiness.
Our real ‘secret’ is that we have learnt how to communicate effectively with each other and when to give each other a little space, a little praise or a gentle scold. This allows us to say how we feel, what is bothering us or share a difference of opinion without antagonizing each other.
The most common comment we hear though is none of the above, it is “how did you get so lucky”? We didn’t get lucky, we made our lifestyle choice happen and you can too if you really want to.
Watch out for our upcoming report ‘How to Retire in 5 Years or Less’ where we explain how you too can achieve financial independence and .