My 10 Commandments of Budget Travel, From a Full-Time Nomad

I spent $27K traveling the world in 2022 — $74 a day — and one thing I keep hearing is: “Teach me your ways, Julie!” Well, did you know, I DO teach?! I have a ton of in-depth, free information available on my blog, I hold webinars for those visual learners and do one-on-one mentoring for people who want a little extra attention, and I recently published an eBook entitled “Money and Mindset: How to Take a Sabbatical” — because finances are one of the biggest deterrents to having the lifestyle we want most of all — and limiting beliefs are the other. It’s a mission of mine to prove to YOU that a fulfilling life, full of travel and immersive experiences: is ATTAINABLE and POSSIBLE… so I’m counting down my 10 commandments of international budget travel!

I’m “Moving” to Mexico: My Experience Getting Temporary Residency

On January 20, 2023, I was conditionally approved for temporary residency in Mexico. This means I can stay in Mexico long-term, past the time frame allowable to tourists (nothing to do with citizenship, passports, or voting). And while I’m (partially) rejoicing now, it’s been a saga months in the making. Do you want to retire in Mexico? Find out what it takes!

Unpopular Opinion: Why Are So Many People Scared to Retire? GUILT

In the year-plus since I semi-retired, I’ve noticed something unexpected: just how polarizing and controversial the word “retire” is. (Especially among the generation older than I.) And it’s really no wonder that some people straight up scoff at retiring early, in a nation where busy-ness and overwork is a badge of honor... and when the first question we are asked when we meet someone new is, “So what do you do?" But many of those reactions confuse me. Here's why.

How I Earned $13K Without Working in 2022

Last year, I shared that I socked away $30K in cash to fund my sabbatical, and I just revealed how I lived on $27K in 2022. So... $30K minus $27K = $3K left to work with in 2023, right? Not exactly. I have a few tricks up my sleeve... dominos I put in place in years past. It turns out the moves I've made allowed me to "earn" ~$13K in 2022 without a job, real estate, or lifting a finger (except for a few clicks of my mouse!).

How I Spent $27K as a Global Nomad in 2022

I’m coming upon the end of my first year of mini-retirement, and as usual, I’m sharing yet another spending recap with you (as I’ve done all year long as I’ve traveled across Mexico and Europe)! You’ll recall, at the end of 2021, at age 36, I participated in the great resignation/financial independence retire early (FIRE) movement. After quitting my job, my goal for my semi-retirement was to take back my time, energy, and creativity for MYSELF, vs. my employer… and to get the most out of my travels sans the demands of a job.  Now that my first year “on sabbatical” is coming to a close, here’s my total spending for the year (as an unemployed person spending five-sixths of the year traveling across 14 countries): $27,014.26, or $74 a day. This is how I lived. P.S. Want to join me for a free webinar and Q&A where I dig in deep to my budget and spending? Enter to receive the details by email.

Dating Diary of a Single Nomad: The Three Most Frustrating Things I Keep Seeing from Men

I’ve been a nomad for over two years now, traveling the world and dating, and this is what I’ve found… · I meet more viable men while traveling abroad, compared to when I lived in one place or traveled full-time in the U.S. · Even with the capability to screen/filter, I meet more men I’m actually interested in in-real-life, vs. on dating apps · Even though I’m currently single, the fleeting connections I’ve experienced this year give me hope that I’ll find my future long-term partner out there in the world But a thriving dating life means I’ve also met some busters (in the wise words of TLC). From the (relatively) benign to the bad, these are the three types of “busters” I keep encountering over and over again on the nomad life...

My 7-Day Itinerary for Mexico City: What to Do, Eat & Visit

Mexico City was one of my absolute favorite destinations in Mexico during my 6-month Mexico road trip in 2022. I spent one month in the city, exploring, eating, and taking a four-week Spanish language class.... and if I only had a week here, this is my recommended itinerary for Mexico City! CDMX is to Mexico [...]

3 Mindset Shifts That Will Change the Way You Think About Personal Finance

I like to run for exercise. Running can be done just about anywhere, it doesn’t require equipment, I can do it solo, and there’s no special ability required (I just adjust my pace accordingly). In fact, I've ran five half-marathons (none of them very fast, mind you). When I train, I work on improving my physical endurance, my speed, AND my mental fortitude. These three mindset shifts have revolutionized my running performance AND, interestingly enough, my financial well-being.

I’m One Year Into My Sabbatical — How It’s Going

December 10, 2021 was my last day of full-time employment, and if I were to sum up my first year of semi-retirement in one statement, it’s this: I am prioritizing myself like I’ve never done before. And while this could be a side effect of the fact that no employer owns my workday, this is also me making a conscious choice… I’ve chosen this. I’ve re-prioritized. I’ve identified what matters to me, decided how I’m going to live my life, and I’m doing it. And ever since then, this choice has shown up in my life in several ways.

16 Weeks in Europe Recap: My “Best of” List

“Julie… where was your favorite place in Europe?” I’m not a mom, but I reckon it’s kind of like choosing your favorite child: each place I visited is unique and special in its own way, so I literally cannot pick a favorite! So, instead… how about I do superlatives, high school-yearbook-style (in a completely biased, non-scientific way, of course)? And the award for most beautiful city, prettiest old town, best food, and nicest people goes to...

A Travel Itinerary for the Foodie: Split, Croatia 

I spent half a month in Split, Croatia in October — I really needed to slow down after a whirlwind three months traveling through Eastern Europe. (Nomading is exhausting, ya'll!) And overall, I found Split to be a very nice vacation destination, with lovely weather (highs in the upper 70s) in mid-to-late October, plenty of good restaurants, and a variety of things to do... even as Split entered the off-season. Read on for a comprehensive list of my favorite things to do and the best things to eat in Split!

You CAN Afford It: How to Travel When You Don’t Have Tons of Savings

Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank. Trading and bartering has been around for centuries, and the internet has made it more possible than ever to exchange work, expertise, and camaraderie for lodging. So here are four actual, real-life, TACTICAL ways to travel without spending bucket loads of money... and all you need is a keyboard and a mouse to get started!

My Third Month in Europe: How Much I Spent & Where I’ve Been

My third month in Europe has rolled to an end, and I'm here to share another spending recap. But first, in the last month, I’ve been in five countries, I’ve taken buses or ferries in between 10 cities, I’ve spent 20 nights in hotels or Airbnbs, and I’ve dined out about once per day… What do you think I spent? Please, close your eyes and guess. (All will be revealed momentarily!)

I’m a Nomad: Here’s My Experience With Global Expat Health Insurance

Health insurance! With the astronomical cost of healthcare in the U.S, I've heard from a lot of Americans that losing company-sponsored health insurance is one of the main concerns they have when it comes to quitting their job before they’re of retirement age — and that was once one of my main concerns, too. The company I used to work for paid 100% of my medical, dental and vision premiums — meaning, I did not pay anything additional out of my biweekly paycheck. Not a bad deal! And I’m a healthy person with no pre-existing conditions, so I’ve never really had to deal much with health insurers… until 2021. In May 2021, I broke my foot — and then a few months later, I tore my bicep. Minus a few co-pays, everything was covered. And so, because it was a huge relief to have my employer mostly cover my health care troubles in 2021… I wondered what I would do once I quit my job, became uninsured, and started traveling outside the U.S. Here’s my experience.

7 Surprising Realizations I’ve Had Since Quitting My Job at 36

I was 15 years old when I got my first job working at Panera Bread for $5.25 an hour. Like most people, I’ve been working ever since, without so much as a few weeks off or a few months between jobs — until my “great resignation” at age 36. I’ve worked at coffee shops, restaurants, big box retailers, golf courses… and then post-college, in two TV newsrooms and a few big corporate organizations. Sometimes, I worked side gigs and temp jobs simultaneously with my salaried job, to the tune of 60-70 hours a week, just to pay the bills or get ahead. (Damn, those days were rough.) Then, I quit. I took a chance on myself and my future: to grow and monetize this blog, publish a memoir about my journey, and THOROUGHLY ENJOY MY LIFE. I call this Julie’s Financial Independence Recreational Employment (my take on FI/RE)! Hereby, these are 7 confessions of a corporate job escapee... who's never been happier (spoiler alert).

How Much This Full-Time Nomad Spent in Europe (Days 31-60)

I have another 30-day, full-time-traveler, nomad-in-Europe spending update for you! I spent most of my second month of my stint in Europe in the Balkans and Mediterranean, so you'd think my mini-retirement spending would be lower than western Europe, buuuuuuut... I had a couple bills come due and a few "splurges," like my 7-day sailing trip in Turkey. So, in days 31-60 in Europe, I spent (and please excuse me while I mentally cringe)...

Why We Should Stop Looking for Soulmates

11 years ago, I traveled to Greece for the first time. It had been a few years since my verbally abusive relationship ended; but during that trip, I felt like I had finally healed and was ready to date again. I was also in my mid 20s, and starting to feel the pressures from society. When would I get engaged? Would I hit the milestones I was supposed to in the right time frame? Were we dating in vain, or was my partner going to propose? Now, in my mid-30s, my outlook on marriage and relationships has completely changed. I believe some people are only meant to stay in your life for a season, and that longevity is not the primary goal. I also discuss the sunk cost fallacy. Read on...

My Travel Guide for Budapest: What to Eat and What to Do

I’ve been city and country-hopping in Europe for a month and a half now, and the single city I’ve spent the most time in has been… Budapest! And because I love to eat, I appreciate rich culture, there’s a lot to see, and I also don’t mind a party (here and there), Budapest was a welcome haven for me. I found it most convenient to stay on the Pest side of the river, as I spent most of my time there, while making fewer outings to the Buda side. Luckily, the transit in Budapest is very efficient and affordable. I was also gifted the Budapest card, a tourism card which gives the holder free public transport and free or discounted entrance to tons of museums and a number of other activities, services, and dining for a designated period of time (a 72-hour card is €56). It definitely saved me a lot of money in Budapest — a big thank you to the Budapest tourism board for the gift! So without further ado, here's my 7-day itinerary for Budapest, Hungary.