So this is the post where I write about being a nomad for more than 7 years. The thing is, I already wrote about the first 5 years in several posts and I am a really lazy and bad writer on top of it. Just look at the list below, the post for year one is from 2010 and called Part I but a part II has yet to be written – I must have run out of reflections! Talk about leaving your audience hanging in suspense and being an erratic writer. No post for year two exists, og and neither is there one for year six. I will therefore start with what I have, a list of the existing posts about my nomad travel life. Some of the early writing is a bit ehhh wonky and weird to say the least, but here they are. I recommend you read the Five Trips Around the Sun 5 year anniversary post if nothing else.
- 2016 in Travel (a look back on 2016)
- Five Trips Around the Sun (5 year anniversary post, 2014)
- Four Trips Around the Sun (2013)
- Three Trips Around the Sun (2012)
- Reflections of a nomad photographer – part I (2010)
Now you are thinking “how lazy can he be, just linking to old shit” – to that I say, there is no limit for my lazy writing! Well, I figure, why repeat what is in those posts and everything else I have written. I have plenty of posts that shows our travels to USA, Belgrade, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Penang, Australia from the past two years. I must add something new and more personal, random, quirky behind the scenes stuff.
How are things in the time-traveling life?
Glad you asked! They are great, but definitely the past two years have been a different kind of traveling. While I initially mostly lived off my savings from a long career in IT, the past couple of years have seen me and Charlene starting several business, Coffee and Magic being one of them, and spending a lot of hours every day working on various projects, gigs, jobs, etc – in an effort to now make our nomadic lifes sustainable. That means a lot of our travels were for business and it has been different and led to some both wonderful and challenging experiences.
Being a transnational couple, being nomads, living and working in several countries means dealing with many visa restrictions and also means we are forced to be nomads presently. We have no common residency. That meant, the past few years, often we were forced to travel on so we could save visa days and re-enter for a job later on and that just becomes rather silly, spending money to make money and ending at zero. We did two years of this really strange and stressful kind of travel for business coupled with travel for escaping visa laws – where we only occasionally managed to plan in a trip that we chose entirely just for us, for exploring.
It eventually starts to feel like too much work and not enough fun to travel like that. I learned a lot and also had lots of interesting experiences, good and bad, and I am super grateful for the opportunities we were given and the jobs we have performed. No regrets. But definitely, from this year onward, we are changing things, working on new plans to establish something akin to a base, most importantly with a common residency. That will not mean an end to the time-traveling but hopefully just mean I can basically do more of what I want and less of what I don’t want.
What is is like to live like this?
I often tell people, that my nomad life is not all that different from most people’s lives. I still have to try and make some money every day, I need to sleep, eat etc, and establish some kind of daily routine. What varies is the place where this happens, for a few months it might be Singapore, then Mexico, then Germany etc. But I own almost nothing. I can carry my life in two bags. It easily fits into a TARDIS. Jumping around the world like this and owning nothing, no home, no base, can be both wonderful and scary, uplifting and tiring. That is probably the main difference, this mindset of not having a home anywhere – means either nowhere is home or everywhere is home, depending on my mood that day.
Have you become a grumpy old time-traveler?
Only when I am hangry! I am really extremely grateful for all the jobs, opportunities and wonderful people that have come my way the past few years and will hopefully continue to come. It is too easy to become annoyed with the logistics, transports, packing, unpacking, immigration, airport-check in staff etc – we are still in a position where we have some of the best passports in the world and can travel and see the world.
That is a great, great privilege that must be remembered and humbly cherished.
And wherever we travel in time and space, however way the day went, one thing never changes: Charlene makes every day magic for me. I try and never loose sight of this for one second, no matter how hangry I get! She is the best thing that has ever happened in my life, and I still cannot believe just how lucky this grumpy old time-traveler is. Every second since we got together is the best second in my life.
Thus, this post must end with what has fast become one of my favourite pictures. We have this thing about making selfies and they have to be made using the 10 second timer function on the camera as there is no sport in having others shoot it and then one of us sprinting back into position. This movie-poster was made in Arches National Park back in November 2016 during our fabulous five week road trip. Most of these selfies are just for us, but this one I like to share with the world paired with a fitting Doctor Who quote:
“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.” – Doctor Who