Is it possible to be a fashionable minimalist? I really don’t know, but I think I look pretty put-together most days, and many of you seem to agree! So how do I look so “chic” without breaking the bank and without collecting too much stuff, especially since I’ve been living out of my SUV (one suitcase and three bins) for almost 2 years while traveling North America? Let's get into it.
Success isn’t linear. (Nor is financial gain an absolute indicator of success — or happiness.) I won a National Emmy Award at age 20 and a Regional Emmy Award at age 21. (Best college newscast while I was news director, and best advanced media for content my team and I produced.) Then I was laid [...]
Hola mis amigos, I am back with another spending recap for my THIRD month living in Mexico after quitting my job and taking an early (temporary) retirement to travel!! Damn, time flies! My January spending was just a bit inflated since I had some immigration and vehicle import costs and a 6-month policy for Mexican [...]
Three-bedroom house and 2-car garage. Six-figure salary and company-sponsored health care. My family, friends, and country of origin. I had all the stability and security and comfort in the world, and I gave it all up. I wrestled with my decision for a really long time, and I ran through scenarios, numbers, and options. Sure, it didn't make logical sense. Who would throw away a money-making asset such as a house? Why leave a job that more than paid the bills, that allowed me to live nomadically and travel the U.S. while working remotely? Who would drive to Mexico and stay for 6 months, leaving her family, friends, language, and way of life behind? It didn't make sense, but I kept on dreaming. My longings for a life of adventure, of discovery, of escaping tradition and societal expectations — couldn't be silenced. And so I adopted these three mantras, which I hold dear to me and share with you now.
With all the beach, bikini, and food pics lately, it’s no surprise I’ve gotten quite a few derivatives of the question: “How do you not weigh 400 pounds?” or “How do you stay thin eating all that?” While well-meaning, these comments highlight an unhealthy (pun intended) way of thinking: that in order to look good and feel confident — one needs to eat restrictively. I used to buy into all into that. I developed anorexia, body dysmorphia, binge eating disorder. This is a tale of how the scale ruled my life, my self-image, and my emotional well-being... for half my life.
Before you say, "I’m one of those people who will never get ahead, who will never be able to save, who will never be able to not work"... in 2017, I had no job, a car I owed on, a $1,350 house payment on a house full of stuff I never used, peanuts in my 401K, and only $1,500 in cash. That was my situation, and I made changes. You can too.
Over the last few years, through much research, trial, and error, I've found my must-have apps and favorite things for nomads and frequent travelers/expats... including an international no-fee ATM card, my favorite travel points credit card, health insurance for expats, renter's insurance, and where I get free audiobooks, to name a few. Since you guys often ask me, "What do you use for _____?"... here you go!
How am I able to do what I’m doing — quit my job at age 36 to travel the world? Critics call it privilege, and I’m not denying certain benefits I’ve had, but I want to get real for a second. There’s privilege, there’s luck, and there’s choice, and the differences are distinct.
"Uh oh, I better maximize my vacation and have all the fun because the clock is ticking!" "Uh oh, my free time on vacation is finite so I better choose all the best activities and nothing better go wrong!" "Uh oh, sleeping in or just taking it easy while on vacation means I'm wasting my precious time!" See how the scarcity mindset sets you up to fail? I have since learned to think of time in abundance to find balance while traveling, and you should too.
I call myself a minimalist a bit reluctantly. Sure, from 2017 to 2019, I went on weeks-long backpacking trips with nothing but a carry-on... but back then, I had an entire house to come home to. Now, nomadic since 2020, I travel with a few bins of clothes, quite a few outfits and shoes to [...]
The average person works super hard for ~45 years and hopes all his efforts have paid off; that he will still have physical health and presence of mind (and financial security) to enjoy the time he has left. It doesn’t always work out that way. Case in point: my father. I’m young (36). I’m healthy. I’m single, un-obligated and uninhibited, with only a pup to care for. So to my employer: it's over. It’s not you, it’s me. Call it a sabbatical or a mini retirement or a temporary early retirement, I need to put my priorities, passions, and purpose first. I’m going where the creativity takes me, while I have the blessing of mental prowess, physical health, and minimal obligations.
If I'm to organize my nomad life journey into chapters, this is the end of one: going back to Phoenix to clear out my storage unit in November 2021. My trip marked a decision: the nomad life will continue indefinitely.
Hi, I'm Julie! I'm a female digital nomad and blogger, working remotely and traveling the U.S. by car. Here's what my average day looks like!
My worst financial mistake ever was not shopping. Not new cars. Not salon and spa outings. Not extravagant vacations. My worst financial mistake ever was SAVING... when I could've been INVESTING. - Confessions of a former shopaholic and reformed current minimalist/full-time nomad
I've been traveling solo full-time since September 2020, moving from place to place every few weeks. And sure, I travel alone, but I'm not usually alone! So how do I end up making friends while on the road? These are my top six friend-finding tactics.
I’ve been at the nomad life for over one year in the U.S., and it suits me. It does! But I’ve made a point to be honest with you guys. I see people on the web glamorizing this life. And it’s not for everyone. I think it’s important to have as many facts as you can, and be honest with yourself. Here are some truths you need to face if you want to be a nomad...
I’ve been a full-time nomad traveling the U.S. since September 2020, and I’ve learned (and surely nobody is surprised): that hotels, housing, and accommodations are by far the biggest expense of nomad life. I have a $2,000 monthly budget for lodging, but my actual spending in that area depends on the cost of living in the city that I’m visiting and the type of accommodations I choose (which, hooray, I have complete control over)! Fellow travelers, you have a lot of choice if you do a little research. The first question: Airbnb or hotel? Let me share my methods and we can explore a few aspects of each.
Take two people who make the same income: one of them saves 50% of their salary and lives simply. The other saves nothing; their salary funds their lifestyle of cars, renovations, luxury trips, expensive brunches and nights out. Who is wealthier?
I had a great conversation recently with a new friend. As we were swapping downsizing stories, she threw this word out there — OVERHEAD — which immediately struck me. You business people know what ‘overhead’ is. But ‘life overhead,’ as I’ve decided to call it, is ongoing expenditures (whether money, time or emotional energy) that do not directly contribute or bring value or profit to YOUR LIFE — THE LIFE YOU DESIRE.
"Who takes your photos?!?!?" As a solo traveler, I get this question all. The. Time. Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeve...