How to Choose a Nomadic Lifestyle To Live Your Best Life

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The Melton's
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You know you want to be a digital nomad but you don't know how you're going to do it. Or you know you want to travel but you are torn on the best way to start. Maybe you've just been introduced to the idea of traveling full time and you're curious about the possibilities out there. Either way, hopefully, we can answer some of your questions and help you decide the best lifestyle that fits you as you start your journey. 

Obviously, to determine what the best nomadic lifestyle is for you, we need to know what our options are. We'll discuss some of the more common ways to travel the world here, however, the sky is the limit in finding creative ways to travel. This is not an exhaustive list. 

So without further delay, let's get to it!

Types of Nomadic Lifestyles


Sailing is clearly the best way to see the world! I don't even have to list any other options beyond that - it is the winner! 

Just kidding! It's the way we're choosing to live so we might be a bit biased. But we're looking for a lifestyle that fits you not us, so let's get back to work. 

Sailing is a more relaxed slow-paced choice. It's going to take a little while to actually explore large chunks of the world. Being on the water can limit you travel to certain seasons at some locations which can be prohibitive at times. For example, it's not generally the best idea to be sailing during hurricane season in certain places. 

Sailboat on the bay in front of a mountain.
Sailing can be a fulfilling way to travel the world and bring your home with you.

On long passages, you're stuck in a small boat with nowhere to go. So if you with the boat option, you might want to make sure you actually get along with the people you're traveling with before you go on a long sail. 

Boat upkeep is also a consideration and can get quite burdensome. Repairs will always come at the wrong time and are often more expensive than you'd like. There's a lot of surprises that can come with maintaining your boat that you wouldn't typically expect.

On the other hand, there are many great things about sailing. There are some places which are only accessible by boat, and sailing gives you access to those areas. You can dive almost whenever you want if you're in a good location for it. You bring your home with you wherever you travel. You can sail to Singapore, explore the city during the day, and then go home that evening. I don't know of another method of travel that gives you that flexibility. 

RV Travel

The land version of sailing is going RVing. This is a little faster-paced than sailing but, typically, you're limited to the continent that you started in. If you start in the U.S. your travel options are pretty much limited to the U.S. and Canada. That might not concern you, in which case go for it - RVing is a fantastic way to travel the U.S.

Like sailing, you bring your home with you wherever you go when you're traveling in an RV. However, like a boat, upkeep and maintenance can become burdensome. But, if you love what you're doing, maintenance is just a part of the lifestyle. 

Some people take RVing to new levels and just live out of a van. I couldn't do that, but if you can more power to you!

The Solo Traveler

This is probably the typical lifestyle most people think of when they think of a nomad. These people may or may not have a plan and are generally very flexible in where they travel. They travel on a whim and go where they choose. Complete freedom.

Or is it? There are a lot of drawbacks to this lifestyle. You're constantly at the mercy of something you don't have any control over. Many people started living this way only to find out later they hated it. 

It isn't for the faint at heart and it isn't for me! Does that mean I am faint at heart? Hmm... There's nothing wrong with this lifestyle, but do your research before you jump headlong into it. 

There are other styles of traveling out there but these seem to be the most common methods.

Woman in the back of a car working while traveling.
Van life can be rough but many people have enjoyed this method of traveling full time. It is not for the faint at heart!

Choosing Your Nomadic Lifestyle

There are a few different things to consider before you jump in and choose a lifestyle that you think suits you. Most of those considerations are unique to you but ultimately it is what makes you the happiest and is best for you (and your family).


Are you traveling as a family or are you traveling solo? 

While you could travel any way you liked with family, different nomadic lifestyles are more suited to family travel. Sailing and RV travel is generally better than hopping on a plane to some random city for a month or two if you have kids in tow. This is especially true if the kids are young.


Do you have the funds to support the lifestyle? More importantly, if you work remotely, can you perform your job while living that lifestyle?

I'm not going to profess to know which nomadic lifestyle is more affordable or more expensive. I think it mostly depends on you and your personal lifestyle than your method of travel. Our first sailboat was only $1,000 but our next one will probably be considerably more than that. It depends on the quality of life you demand to how much you'll spend - some nomadic lifestyles can offer a higher quality of life cheaper than others. 

The important thing you need to consider if you are funding your lifestyle as you travel is can you do your work while living that particular lifestyle. For example, if you are a traveling wedding photographer, sailing is probably not the best lifestyle choice unless you're constantly near an airport or you plan weeks or months in advance. 

Consider how you're going to get WiFI or other requirements for your work before settling on a lifestyle you prefer. These amenities can be your lifeline if you are working digitally. 


What do you want to get out of being a nomad? Why do you want to be a nomad?

Answering these questions will probably answer what nomadic lifestyle will be best suited for you. Are you looking for a slower life? Maybe you're looking for adventure. Or maybe you just always need to be on the move to somewhere new. Determine your goals and your "why" and chances are how to become a nomad will be staring you in the face. 

Full-time Travel or Part-time Travel

Are you looking to travel full-time or part-time? 

Unless you have the money for it, going out to buy a $500k catamaran for part-time nomadic life is probably not the best plan you've come up with. (Unless you buy a charter boat as a business, then it might make perfect sense.) On the other hand, an RV might be the perfect method if you're looking to travel part-time. 

There's a lot to consider when thinking of part-time vs. full-time travel and there is no one size fits all option. It is dependent on personal preference and budget mostly. You do you. 

Man sitting on a roof top in the middle east looking out over a village.
Whether you want to travel part-time or full-time is an important consideration in how you travel as a nomad.

Traveling Forever or Just a Few Years

How long are you planning on traveling?

If you're planning on traveling for the rest of your life, then perhaps consider bringing your home with you. Buy an RV or sailboat and enjoy life for the long term. If you're looking to take a year off and travel the world, you could consider booking flights and city hopping. 

Ultimately, you probably already know what nomadic lifestyle suits you best. You just need to look inward and figure out what it is that makes you happy and go after that. If you need to make changes so you can go after it, then make those changes. 

If you want to learn more about how you can live your best life and make a nomadic lifestyle possible, join us as we share our tips and lessons we've learned on our journey to becoming nomads. 

Until next time, Happy Coddiwompling!

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