The blog started right after we got to our first stop here in Panama, but the dream and the planning of going nomadic began about six months prior.
I think Todd's reasons for going are similar to mine, but I'll speak for myself for now.
Traveling has always been one of my favorite things. Ever since I was fortunate enough to go to Taiwan when I was 13 (Thanks Charlie!), I had the bug. Not only to travel, but to go off the beaten path. Honduras is more appealing than San Francisco.
For many years I'd go on a cruise or two every year with my friends, Jonah being the most regular compatriot. I loved two things about cruises - being totally removed from the millions of things going on in my life, and getting to see many new places in a short period of time.
Last year Todd and I were in the office, waiting to go to a movie nearby. We had an hour to kill.
"Hey, check out this video!"
Todd showed me this video :
"Doesn't that just make you want to travel?" he asked.
Yes, it does. We agreed that we'd go on some random trip somewhere and would buy the tickets before we had to leave for the movie.
We searched around and found good prices on Tokyo and Morocco. Tokyo won out for no reason in particular. We bought our tickets.
We flew to Tokyo with no plans. We had nowhere to stay, nothing to do, and knew no one there. It turned out to be fantastic.
I had a big realization when we were in Tokyo : The United States isn't definitively the best place on earth. In fact, I preferred Tokyo.
I had always grown up with the idea that the US was the best and everywhere else could only hope to be second place. I still believe that the US is the best place for some things, but it's not the undisputed champ of the world.
Still, the trip didn't make me want to move to Tokyo. It made me want to see EVERYWHERE. Surely there was somewhere I'd like even more than Tokyo.
Meanwhile, the US continued its decline under the wise leadership of Bush. Freedoms began to go down the drain and our international reputation started to become a joke. Ron Paul came along as a glimmer of hope, but the was totally ignored by the mainstream media.
In short, other parts of the world were pulling my attention and the US was pushing it away.
Without actually committing to going, I thought I may as well plan a trip. I wrote down a list of all of the countries I wanted to go to. Then I went online and looked through almanacs to see when the weather was best. Local festivals and events were considered too.
It had to be sustainable so that it could be "Life Nomadic" and not "Vacation Nomadic". I narrowed down the list so that I could stay in the same place for a couple months at a time.
I was hanging out with Todd at the time, so he helped me plan things. By the end we were both commited to going. It was his idea to get tiny backpacks and bring almost nothing. We liked our style of just going without planning anything.
We randomly picked a day, January 7, 2008, to leave. If we didn't just commit to a day we knew we could put it off forever. There's never a perfect time to disrupt your whole life and build a new one.
I have committed to reading all of your blog posts tonight and tomorrow from day one. You two guys are awful inspiring to watch...entertaining, too.
hello guys, just wanted to say i like what your doing. i am thinking of doing something similar, but not so extreme. i am going to be doing a eurotrip in the summer, i spent 3 months in america last summer, and it was awesome. if you get a chance, checkout South Beach Miami. i loved it. if you go dont hesitate to mail me for info!
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You guys are an inspiration to my wife and I. Our 12 year old son died 5 months ago and since then we've decided that the best way to deal with his passing is to travel. We've been to Argentina and Brazil for short trips, but soon plan to just go wherever the wind takes us. Thank you for the information.
Ty, it seems like a lot of your income is passive and thus somewhat self-sustainable, so won't the "work" eventually run out? At that point "Life-Nomadic" and "Vacation Nomadic" will be the same thing!
I have thought of the same Tynan, but as it stands I do not have a way to make income over the net like you guys.
But I have thought about it and just bussing or riding the train around the U.S for a few weeks and seeing the country. Take a backpack, my mac, my camera, my ipod, and my phone.. About all I would need. Same as you both. But.. on a smaller scale :P
Great article. I'd love to hear more on how you guys did your prep (selling everything, jobs, etc.).
My friend Todd and I were waiting in the office to go to a movie. It was 8:00 and the movie started at 8:45. He showed me some weird video of a guy dancing in a lot of different countries.
"Doesn't this just make you want to travel?" He asked.
It did. Within a few minutes we resolved to go on a trip, and to buy the tickets before leaving for the movie.
One of the perks of being a stay at home parent is that you get to take off and do things at off peak times. We've been fortunate enough to do with this big trips like our October 2012 Disney trip where the crowds were considerably light and weekly trips to the grocery store which is s a different place Monday through Thursday.
This time we planned on taking a two day, one night trip to Cincinnati with our kids and before any jokes are made or eyes rolled about Cincinnati as a vacation place let me say, it was great. Our daughters - ages 3 and 5 - had a wonderful time and even though the stuff for my wife and I to do was somewhat limited we both loved seeing them have fun.
If we had so much fun then why did I keep track of every dollar we spent for this trip? Part of being an Epic Dad means making good financial choices for your family and that means using dollars efficiently, in this trip we did that. The other reason is to give other families that read this an idea about what it costs. If cost was no option you and I would fly business class to go ranching in Jackson Hole one weekend and then fishing in the gulf the next. Cost matters.
Based on the weather, cooler on day one and warmer on day two we decided to first go to the Newport Aquarium. The drive took us about 2.5 hours and like all our road trips I made some PBNB sandwiches (peanut butter, Nutella, and banana).