An American Woman Driving in Mexico: Prepping for my Mexico Road Trip from the U.S.

I embarked on my cross-Mexico road trip a few weeks ago. While I had driven in Mexico before, this time was different: one, I am a solo female. Two, I was going deep into the heart of Mexico. Three, I'll be driving around Mexico for six whole months! These are the preparations and precautions I took for the trip, plus some advice for getting gas and for solo women.

Privilege, Luck, or Choice: How I’m Able to Do What I’m Doing

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.

My 3 Rules For Finding Balance while Traveling, From a Full-Time Nomad

"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.

My 2021 Budget Breakdown as a Solo Nomad in the U.S.

As you all know if you’re reading this blog, 2021 was my first full year of full-time nomadic living. And since there are a lot of you who tell me, “Julie, I wish I could do what you’re doing!” and cite cost as a factor, I want to bare my actual spending to you so you can: - See what I chose to spend money on and compare to your own spending - See where you could cut or make adjustments - See where you could share costs with a friend or partner and how that could significantly affect the numbers - See how I plan to cut in 2022, since as of mid-December 2021 I don’t have a job and will be in Mexico starting January. Read on...

Money-Saving Food and Dining Hacks for the Frequent Traveler or Nomad

Dining is one of the biggest categories people spend money on. Being nomadic and mobile, I don't have the same ability to buy groceries in bulk, stock my pantry, and make a ton of meals at home. But comparing my spending last year to this year, I’ve spent less in 2021 — by about $4,000. Here are some of the travel hacks to keeping my dining budget in check.

Upping the Ante: I’m 36 and I’m Retiring (Temporarily)

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. 

Nomad Life is NOT for the Faint of Heart

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...

Nomad Life September 2021, Montreal: Getting Into Canada from the U.S. by Car!

In August, Canada opened the border between the U.S. and Canada for non-essential travel after what seemed like ages of closure. So naturally, given that I was in the northeast in early fall, I decided to venture into my neighbor of the north in month #13 of nomad life! But all the rules and restrictions were… a little overwhelming, especially when it came to the complicated timing. Let me break it down...

#FirstSoloTrip: Gathering the Courage to Solo Travel

For anyone who’s contemplating a dream trip, a dream destination, a dream activity, or just something you’ve never done before — identify what’s holding you back. If it’s fear, how can you address that? Consider research and planning. Consider groupthink, chaperones, and safety in numbers. It’s fine to lean on resources before you become fully resourceful yourself. You’ll grow, you’ll practice, and you’ll graduate over time. The important thing is getting started. The important thing is trying something you’ve never tried. 

Saving Money on Housing: Travel Hacks for the Frequent Traveler or 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.

Month #11 of Nomad Life is a Wrap: What I’ve Learned So Far

Today, Aug. 4, 2021, marks 11 months since I left Phoenix — sold my house, 99% of my things, and embraced a nomadic lifestyle. I figured there was no better time to summarize some of the learnings and lessons from these past 11 months than today. Using the categories on my website (travel, finance, career, and love) as a guide, read on...

Nomad Life Love Update: Understanding, The Highest Love

"When two people seek to understand each other, they build bridges of meaning. One person’s rope reaches out and ties up with the other person’s cable, and even while materially different, even while coming from different places, a link is formed. When we ask questions, when we listen, when we quietly absorb, when we seek to understand, when we empathize, we are showing people the highest love and most ultimate respect. A precursor, of course, to any budding courtship."