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.
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...
“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...
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!
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!
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?
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.
If you're new here (or just catching up!), I'm Julie, I've been a full-time nomad for about 2 years, and in this blog, I'm answering 16 of YOUR most frequently asked questions... about money, my sleeping arrangements, making friends, and the challenges I've faced as a full-time nomad. P.S.: What else do you want to know?
Five years ago, I jetted off to Europe on a one-way ticket. A few weeks ago, I did the same again. But this trip looks A LOT different. I made a lot of mistakes back then — with transportation, bookings, planning, and spending — and now, I'm a bonafide expert traveler. Here's my stories and advice, and what I'm doing better this time around.
I’m back in San Miguel de Allende for Easter. It's the first city I visited when I arrived in Mexico over 3 months ago, and the first city I’ve come back to… and I’m seeing it in a whole different light. Why? Because I was a different person back then; I didn't have the confidence and the know-how I have now.
This week marked a few milestones on my epic 180-day Mexico road trip: my 9th week in Mexico (17 weeks to go!), 2,500 kilometers driven in Mexico, AND my 9th home base (Puerto Vallarta). So, now that I feel really very comfortable in Mexico — getting around, conversing, the ways of doing things — I feel much better suited to answer that persistent question: “How safe do you *really* feel in Mexico?”
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.
"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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
When I made the decision in 2020 to embark on a nomadic lifestyle, there was no question that I would bring my miniature Australian shepherd Penny with me… even knowing that traveling with a dog will make my full-time vagabond life much more complicated. Here are some of the realities I’ve encountered.
"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."