I’m dragging my family around the world for the next few years. We’re becoming what they call “nomadic”. We leave tomorrow.
Twelve months ago, when my husband and I started tossing around ideas on what to do next, we didn’t have a clue that this nomadic lifestyle was something that real people do, families, fairly normal ones, lots of them.
We thought we’d be the first couple ever to have such a crazy dream, but then I started poking around on the internet and discovered a whole new world, there are hundreds of families out there living this life, enjoying more family time, exploring the world and giving their children an enviable educatation.
We leave tomorrow. It has been an unusual 12 months of saving, planning and exploring the nomadic family travel scene, we’ve met some incredible and inspirational people in cyberspace, we hope to convert them to IRL friends at some point.
We’re ready, but these last few months have been hard, really hard. Here’s why.
1. You Will be Miserable
We set ourselves a weekly budget while we saved, I took the cash out every Thursday, that was all I could spend each week. It worked great, we’ve saved loads, but boy have I been miserable!
Not all the time, sometimes you get a real buzz out of coming in under budget, but some weeks it’s hard. When you have no diesel in the car, you can’t go anywhere, you’re staring at the four walls yet again and wondering if missing out on this year is a fair swap for living life to the full for the next few year, it sucks.
2. People Will Hate You
People love to knock anything that doesn’t conform to their way of being, their way of living.
We want something more out of life, more than cosy domesticity and a giant TV. People don’t like it,they take it as judgement on their lifestyle. We’re not judging anyone, we fully accept that we are probably a bit unhinged and we know that it could all come crashing down around our ears, but we’re willing to give it our best shot.
I’ve never lost so many friends as I have in the last year.
My few real friends are still with me, I love them even more for that.
3. You Will be Stressed
Stressed like you wouldn’t believe!
Trying to juggle saving, selling all your possessions, packing, purchasing travel necessities, organising insurance, selling or renting your home, disposing of your pets, last minute travel health issues and, in our case, taking paying guests through AirBnb right up to the day of departure, has totally fried my brain!
I need a holiday and a large marguerita!
The good news is, rehoming pets is actually really easy, easier than selling the furniture, we have a queue of people wanting to take on our lovely Ho-Cat ( short for Ho Chi Min).
4. You Will Worry About Your Children
I worry so much. They have spent the last 12 months in the house. We saved our diesel for the weekly trip to homeschool group, we wouldn’t miss that for the world, but all of the outings, trips and holidays we normally take have been cancelled. Drama and tennis fizzled out a while ago. But do kids really need all that stuff?
My boys are happy as a couple of pigs in you-know-what when they get to stay home and use screens. Couple that with playing out on the street with neighbours of an evening plus our normal homeschool routine and I think we have balance.
Just because we think our kids need money spending on their development, doesn’t mean they think that way.
5. You Will have to Get Rid of All Your Memories
Is it just me, or do you have boxes full of theatre tickets, kids’ drawings, first teeth and baby shoes? Dresses hanging in your wardrobe that you once looked fabulous in for that one special occasion and souvenirs of past holidays on your walls and shelves?
Well, all that stuff has to go.
It can be heart wrenching but it gets easier after a while. Do your first cull with months to spare, come back at it a month later, it will be easier, by your time of departure you’ll be fine with it, I promise.
Take photos of the memorabilia, it is a lot easier to part with if you have a digital record.
Try to remember, the memories are in your head, not in the things.
So, like I said, we leave tomorrow. We’ve come through all the crappy stuff and I feel great, ready to take on the world. Bring it on!
- 5 reasons not to consider nomadic world travel, ever - June 10, 2013