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Life Nomadic is Available on Amazon NOW

I think the people who pre-ordered for Haiti have had enough time to read the book, so now it's time to make it available to everyone.

You can buy the book here at Amazon!

In case you're new to the site, I haven't had a regular condo or house in 4 years or so, and have been traveling around the world and around the US. Life Nomadic a really practical guide about efficient traveling -- experiencing a LOT while spending relatively LITTLE. It has everything from travel stories I didn't publish on the blog to packing lists. If you broke it down, about 1/3 is life outlook sort of stuff, 1/3 is stories (maybe a bit less), and 1/3 is take-action-now howto advice. It will change how you travel, one way or another.

Tourism vs Travelling vs Living

On Aesop

There's a cultural norm out there among the crowds I frequent that being a tourist is a bad, shameful thing to do. That if you visit a country, you should not do it as the stereotypical tourist: wearing ostentatious clothing (fannypacks and hawaiian shirts), speaking loudly in English, only going to the few tourist attractions in the area, eating off the tourist menu at the few westernized restaurants, not getting to know any of the locals, and in general just acting like you've no idea how things are done around there.

I basically agree with this. I think that travelling can be a great thing, can teach everyone a great deal (though beware the false lessons), and can really improve your life and your outlook on it. And I think you don't get that if you only look at the tourist traps. But that said, I think there sometimes people err too far in the other direction, utterly avoiding tourist attractions. I mean, they're tourist attractions for a reason. The Pyramids at Giza are a truly mind blowing thing to witness, even if there are touts trying to sell you camel rides the entire time you're there. And to be honest, the camel rides aren't that bad either.

The oft-times discussed counterpart to tourism is travelling. The distinction is usually nebulous, but it focuses on paying attention to the people in a country rather than the things or attractions there, using a lower budget, travelling via traditional or popular transport instead of modern, expensive means, and generally doing things in ways that bring you closer to the day to day lives of folks who live there. This is definitely an improvement over tourism. Getting to know the culture as an actual, living, breathing culture, full of apes and meme-creatures, is the only way to have the experience "broaden your horizons." Otherwise, you might as well be watching a movie, right?

That's the position I held for a long time, and it worked really well for me. Not ideally, but it was great. It showed me a lot about myself, taught me how to deal with comfort-based hardships, and did actually expose me to a great deal more of the culture than I would have seen if I was just going to the tourist attractions. Backpacking around Europe is a great and storied tradition, and I totally recommend it if you haven't ever done it. Southeast Asia would probably be even better to start with-I did Europe first, and then Asia a few years later, but reversing that might be preferable. Asia's not actually much more difficult, just more intimidating, and so probably teaches bravery better.

But there's a third way to deal with going places (man, "travel" having a specific jargon meaning here is inconvenient). Namely, living in them. This is both a practical distinction in terms of time, and also a philosophical distinction, so let's discuss both. This is the mode I'm currently employing, and have for

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