The secret to being a permanent tourist

lifestyle design, Travel Perspectives — By on May 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Impossible you say? You need income, you need a home? Actually, there are a surprising number of people who live without the anchor of homes or jobs. They’ve found a way to essentially live on the road. Yes, to be a permanent tourist. Christopher Elliott, in his MSNBC travel column, recently profiled some of these individuals and provided a few tips on how anyone could become “a modern-day nomad.”

If the thought of living on the road seems appealing, you’ve got company. Who wouldn’t want to spend a few weeks in an exotic place, discovering a new culture, seeing the sights, living like a native, and then moving on to the next destination? …

So what’s the secret to becoming a modern-day nomad? I asked people who were already doing it, and here’s what they said:

1.  Find a reason. Most transients have a portable career that allows them to travel freely. They’re consultants, freelancers or teachers, for example. But there are other ways to make money when you’re nomadic. In 2006, Tiffany Owens and her husband became full-time property caretakers. Both had been frustrated with their former careers — she was a magazine editor and he was a cable installer — and needed a break. “Now, I garden instead of sitting in boardroom meetings,” she says. “I couldn’t be happier.” Check out the newsletter Caretaker Gazettefor caretaking opportunities.

2. Travel extra light.That’s the advice of Jimmy Wales, founder of He became what he calls “unstuck” about two years ago, spending a month in Tokyo, San Francisco, New York, and Buenos Aires. “Pack less, and become unattached to possessions,” he says. “And then … pack less.” You’ll be living out of a suitcase for months — literally.

There are a total of nine tips in Elliott’s article. Read the whole thing for the full scoop on being a world nomad.

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