In the past six months, my longest residence in a single place has been one month in Kiev — despite the fact that I “live” in Los Angeles. And since I came back from my summer abroad I have moved six times and taken up housing in five different abodes. Some people think I’m nuts, others wonder how I can handle moving all the time. The truth is not only do I like it, but that with some upfront and concentrated efforts this nomadic lifestyle can be done with ease…
Step 1 – Clear House
Material possessions are not your friend. You need to get rid of absolutely everything you do not need, and for the few things that are either important to you or you just cannot replace at a later time, find some storage space and throw it in there. I used to have a lot of possessions, but once you decide to get rid of them you will feel liberated. Get rid of all appliances, dishes, unused clothes, furniture… everything. Trust me on this — I decided to keep some nice speakers, some art and other random things and I regret it now. Just a waste of time and space.
Keep whatever you need for work, clothes to wear, toiletries and a few other things on you. Everything else can be bought for use as necessary. Max cost – $100/month storage.
Step 2 – Secure A Permanent Address
If you are going to be moving around a lot, it will be nearly impossible to keep forwarding your mail from one place to another. Instead, seek out some sort of permanent address to have your mail delivered to. It can be your family home, your business address, or a virtual address (google search, can be had for $20/month or so). Personally, I use my business address and just have my office scan me anything important. Max cost – $20/month for a virtual address.
Step 3 – Housing
If you cleared house as described in Step 1, you should be rolling around with your clothes, toiletries, maybe some vitamins/supplements and your laptop. Now search Craigslist or Airbnb and negotiate the hell out of those prices. Or something that has worked for me – put an ad on Craigslist and describe what you are looking for. You will be surprised at the number of responses you will receive. Most of these people that rent out their apartments for short timeframes travel a lot and just want to recoup some of their rent. If you are a good tenant, like I am, they will keep your number and contact you whenever they are gone again. The last two places I took up were repeat landlords. Here the cost will vary by location and preference. In my area, and even with my desire to live alone, I’ve spent as little as $200/week and up to $550/week. Max cost – varies.
Step 4 – Transportation
If you live in a city with public transportation, you are lucky and nothing changes. However, if you live in an area that requires a car, then you will have to rent one. They can be had cheaply. Look to rent from the centers by the airport and on a weekly basis, as they tend to offer better deals. I’ve gotten as low as $90/week and spent up to about $130/week. Decline insurance, use a credit card that covers you and just carry liability insurance. Try to get added onto a family plan if you can for liability, usually that costs little to nothing to do so. Yes you will pay more per month than a conventional lease, but you have no contract to worry about, no down payments, no attachments and you can bail at any time. Plus you get to try a new car every week and never have to pay for a carwash. Max cost – $130/week.
Step 5 – Explanation
“Who cares what people think!” That’s what you would like to say, and in most cases so be it. In fact with women I’ve found they are intrigued by this means of living, especially when I explain to them it stems from my desire to travel and be mobile. But in one situation – business – I would caution you to be careful with your words. Clients, or people paying you money for services, may perceive your nomadic lifestyle as unstable. You do not want to appear too far from the mainstream here if it will come at the expense of your ability to earn money. With others, feel free to proceed as you wish.
This it is not meant for everyone. You have to be willing to live a very minimalistic lifestyle…I can fit everything I own (not in storage) into a car. And in some situations, it may not make sense to move around so much. For example, if you want to do a stint in a foreign country or new city, you may just want to get a steady home pinned down. This will allow you to anchor yourself and have a home base while experiencing the new city you are in.
But if you like to travel from your home city a lot and have been wondering how to do so, this may work well. Or maybe you just don’t want to be tied down to a car or apartment lease. I have gotten used to this lifestyle and I love it. I get to live in different communities and experience the slight differences of each area in doing so. have nothing tying me down and can take off whenever I want to wherever I want. For now, I’m happy to be a nomad.
Read Next: How Can I Go Back?