Chapter 3 of Don’t Go To Bruges In The Fall. Click here to buy it!
This book is designed more for the traveler who wants to leave for a month, maybe even six, and ultimately go home. Although most of this advice will work for the nomadic traveler, the person who wants to keep traveling and never stop, it’s not designed specifically for them. That’s mainly because there isn’t a laid out plan on how to keep traveling and never stop. The “Income” section will help you find ways to make money. The “Credit Cards” and “Debit Cards and Banks” sections will show you how to keep your money making money. “Housesitting” will give you options on how to stay for free. But none of these will help you travel forever.
Because it’s not about tips and tricks, gadgets and gear, or even collecting the best possible advice. It’s about tenacity. Tenacity and dumb luck. Most nomadic travelers simply end up as nomadic travelers. They woke up one day in Nepal, or Portugal, and thought, ‘Damn, I’ve been on the road for three years. And I never want to go home.’
You won’t know your dedication to traveling until you leave. That’s the heart of it. Everyone has ideas or plans, but until you’re on the road, you won’t know.
If you’re dead-set on nomadic traveling, one thing to understand is the goodwill of strangers and friends.
Everyone has a certain amount of goodwill in them to help out others. If someone wanted to stay with me as they were passing through town, I would be super happy to put them up. If they needed to stay a month, I wouldn’t have a problem. I might not give them my bed, but I would give them the couch, hang a curtain across the living room doorway, and give them the space they need.
People will be happy to do the same with you, as long as you’re polite, willing to help, and can offer something in return.
You’ve been on the road for seven months, your funds are running low, all of your ideas, from hare-brained to down-to-Earth, are failing miserably. The possibility of going home is seeming more and more likely. What do you do?
Find someone who understands.
If you’ve rented an apartment recently, you might find the requirements I have seen. You need first months rent, last months rent, and a security deposit. Sometimes only first month’s and security deposit, which is the same amount as a month of rent.
How do you, a traveler fresh off the road without any money, find a place to rent?
You crash with a friend. A sibling. Parent. Significant other (if you went traveling alone).
And you find that you can go back to your old job, where they let you pick up a few shifts since you left such a good impression, and didn’t burn any bridges when you quit.
There will be a point, a merger of paths, if you will, in which you have two options. Take the money you’ve earned and find an apartment. Or, leave. Go back on the road.
If you have the right friends, and family, the kind that wants to see you and visit with you, want to ask you how your trip went, then you can explain your plan to them.
“I want to keep traveling, but I need money. Can I come crash on your couch for a few months, I’ll chip in utilities, and then I’ll be out of your hair.”
You might be fortunate enough to find someone who will help you. Whether it be another traveler, a friend who doesn’t mind having someone toss them $100 a month in rent or a grandparent who doesn’t get to spend as much time with their grandkids as they’d like.
If this is something you’re going to try and pursue, try and be as impact-less as possible. Take up the least amount of space. Be quiet. Offer to cook, or at least do basic chores.
And once three months have passed, your visas reset, you can take off again, with a bank full of money and an appetite for greener pastures.
~If can’t afford it, send me a message!~