Life Nomadic has begun. Six months of not particularly careful planning and a full week of hectic scrambling to rid ourselves of nearly every earthly possesion has paid off.
As I write our first post for Life Nomadic, Todd's in the next seat over editing our first video. The kid behind me is pounding on my seat. Holy god. It's like he's playing Rock Band back there and the tray table is the drums set.
I'd always talked about freeing myself from a single location... making my income portable, all of my belongings portable, and becoming more comfortable being a nomad. After Todd and I took a random trip to Japan I realized that there are probably MANY places in the world that I'd like as much as, if not more than, the U.S.
I told my friends about the trip I planned. Everyone was interested, some people toyed with the idea of coming. After only a few minutes of thinking, Todd said, "I'm in."
The Right Places at the Right Times
We made a list of all the places we'd like to go in the world. One by one we knocked places off the list. Unless we lived in each country for several weeks, we wouldn't get the full experience. Our goal was two months in each major location, plus side trips to some lower priority places.
We pored through travel articles and weather almanacs. If we were going to do this trip of the lifetime, we wanted to be in each place at the right time. Running of the bulls in Spain, cherry blossom season in Japan, southern France in the summer. We chose the weather we wanted. Nothing below 50 and nothing above 90.
The Right Stuff
Todd and I are both gear and gadget nuts. Every item we brought had to be the right tool for the job, and be as light and small as possible. We decided on tiny backpacks that are smaller than many school backpacks. Our entire wardrobes were brought to a thrift store and sold for a pittance. New high performance outdoor gear was purchased.
As I sit here above the Gulf of Mexico, I have every one of the things I own in the overhead storage bin. Only a year ago I had a full three bedroom house full of stuff. I'll go into a lot more detail about exactly what we ended up bringing soon.
I had already started my own business, writing and selling a book I wrote to share my experiences as a pickup artist, called Make Her Chase you and began a much more ambitious independent software project. Todd quit his job at an internet startup and created www.sendshack.com.
Life Nomadic isn't a vacation. It's life. When people ask how we afford the trip, it's like asking someone how they afford their apartment, gas, and bills. We've brought tons of technology with us to enable us to be just as productive anywhere in the world as we were back in Texas.
We're going to learn four languages this year. Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and French. I already had some experience with Spanish and Chinese. Todd's pretty much fluent in French. To fill in the (huge) gaps in our skills we're going to do the Pimsleur language tapes. I've tried a bunch of others, and they're definitely the best. I've already done three months of Japanes and Todd's done three months of Spanish.
When we're in countries that speak these languages, we'll speak only in the native language except during dinner.
We'll hit up our share of touristy stuff I'm sure, but we'll also seek out adventure everywhere possible. I'd give some examples... but it's better to wait until we do them!
All of our adventures will be well documented and posted here for you guys to see. Also, if you're one of my friends you'd better come on some of the adventures!
Want to see us do something? We're open to suggestions. Live in one of the countries that we're visiting and want to go on an adventure with us? Send an e-mail. We also need places to stay in all of the countries we're visiting, so let us know if you know a good place for us to rent.
We're off! It's Day 1 and we couldn't be more excited. We've already had a run in with the law, broken major social conventions, and have been the last to get on both flights!