People have been asking me where I am living these days, so here’s an update. In early 2015, Genie and I started living on the road. We gave up our rented apartment in Crete, sold most of our stuff and stored the rest of it in my parents’ loft, bought a second-hand Toyota, and set off to travel around Europe.
Almost two years later, we’re still doing it. We’ve extended our definition of Europe slightly—right now we’re in Morocco.
One of the reasons I haven’t talked about our travels much on here is that I don’t want to come across as one of those digital-nomad live-your-dreams douchebags who make their lives sound so fantastic that you just have to buy their overpriced travel-hacking course or ebook to figure out how you can do it too.
Of course, travelling full-time is indeed a wonderful thing to be doing, which is why we worked so hard over so many years to get into a position to do it. We’re also lucky to be living at a time when it’s easier to make a living through the internet, and to have skills (mostly writing and editing) that translate well into freelance work online. I’m most definitely grateful for all of this, and looking forward to another year of travelling (and hopefully many more years to come).
But the reality is that life on the road is not that different from life anywhere else. We still have to work, to pay bills, to put petrol in the car, to figure out insurance and tax, and all that fun stuff. We still have good days and bad days.
In other words, it’s life. It’s not a dream, a fantasy, an escape, or anything else. Oh, and it’s most definitely not a fairytale. Don’t even think about mentioning that word around me.
I guess I’m mentioning the negative or “real-life” side of it because people often seem to miss that. They often say how jealous they are and how lucky we are. But I doubt whether many of them would actually make the choices we’ve made, if they could. We chose not to have kids—for many reasons, but partly so that we’d be free to do stuff like this. We live with no house, no assets (apart from the Toyota!), zero savings, and constant financial insecurity. We don’t have a circle of friends and neighbours, the familiarity of local shops and restaurants, the comfort of routine, or any of the other benefits of living in one place. We’re cut off from our families. It’s always a challenge to balance travel with both our creative work and the freelance work we need to complete to fund it all. And lots more stuff.
I’m starting to sound as if I’m tired of travelling, but I’m not at all. I love it. It’s just that, when I post photos like the one above, it makes my life seem perfect. The benefits are pretty obvious. It’s wonderful to see new stuff all the time, to meet new people and learn about new cultures, and I’ll write more about that on the blog as we continue our travels. I just wanted to mention that it’s a choice with pros and cons, and it involves sacrifices that not everyone would want to make. For us, it’s fantastic, but this life wouldn’t suit everybody.
Would you enjoy living on the road, or do you prefer to stay in one place and travel a few times a year to specific places? Let me know in the comments!