Last week, in Chapter 1 of my latest blog series, “How Did I Get Here?” I told you: I’ve always been a writer... the page my canvas, the written word my medium. But, did I ever dream of nomadism? Nope. That later came to me as a complete surprise. Like many of you, I went on vacations, both domestic and abroad... and over the years, each trip nourished my soul and whetted my appetite for more. Read on for Chapter 2.
Practical travel tips for the female solo traveler on a budget, plus personal experiences and philosophies.
Why Your Favorite Nomad Blogger Became a Travel Coach (and What That Is)
I launched my blog in 2017, borne out of a passion for travel, a desire to express myself, and the joy of educating and inspiring others. Now, I'm excited to announce the next natural step in my evolution — I'm partnering with one of the most well-regarded travel agencies in Arizona, Boutique Travel Advisors, as their newest (and only) travel coach. I'm super excited about this new endeavor and how I can serve a whole new batch of wanderlusters. Find out what I'll be up to and read the FAQ!
Things I Wished I Knew Before Driving to Mexico from the U.S.
While it’s great to have the freedom of the open road, the opportunity to go to far-flung places on my own timetable, and the ability to store a lot more belongings (including my trusty sidekick, Penny) — there are a number of downsides, like the associated costs, the physical and material responsibility, and the mental effort and concentration driving in new places takes. Here's what I wish I knew before crossing the border and driving in Mexico.
Dog-Friendly Itinerary for San Cristóbal de las Casas: What to Do, What to Eat and Where to Stay
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, feels like a place I could just sink into. It feels livable; a great place to travel on a budget. I saw and met a ton of travelers, mostly European. There is lively nightlife and bustling cafe culture, and the indigenous culture shines brightly. And there are so many restaurants and coffee shops I wanted to try, and not enough meals in the day!
How I Pack for a Months-Long Road Trip, and What I Brought to Mexico
I’ve been on the road in Mexico (this time around) for three and a half weeks now, and since I always tend to get the questions, “But, how do you look so cute when you travel, Julie?” and “And, what do people actually pack on a months-long nomadic sabbatical?” — I thought it prime time to give you a look into my trunk when it comes to my earthly possessions in this world. Plus, I’m sharing a few fun facts you just may not know about me, along with my best packing and organization tips for long-term travel. Read on!
I’m a Nomad: But Stop Asking Me What I’m Running From
“Are you running from something?” they ask me, quizzically, after learning that I’ve been traveling the world for two and a half years as a full-time nomad and solo traveler. I kinda get it: I had all the stability and security and comfort in the world, and I gave it all up. And here's why.
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!
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 [...]
How I Packed for 16 Weeks (and Two Seasons) in Europe in One Suitcase; Plus, My Monos Luggage Review
It's not sorcery... it's one great suitcase, some smart clothing choices, and a few packing hacks.
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 (& Adventurer): 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.
I’m a Full-Time Solo Traveler: Do I Ever Get Lonely?
Loneliness. As a full-time nomad and solo traveler, I am asked about this often — so here's my long-winded answer: I have never felt deep isolation or prolonged loneliness... but what about *sustained* connections?
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)...