What Is A Nomadic Lifestyle And The Benefits Of Being A Nomad?

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So you've heard us talking about becoming nomads, you've read about people becoming a nomad online, or you're considering becoming a nomad yourself. Or you might be wondering what the heck we're doing and to answer that question we need to answer what a nomad is.

What often comes to mind is the historical version of nomadic shepherds or herdsmen who would travel their region looking for pasture for their flocks. Chances are, that's not the definition you're looking for and it's probably not why you're asking what a nomad is. With the advent of modern technology, we've redefined what nomads are - or at least how they live their lives. 

What is a Nomad?

A nomad is someone who does not have a permanent residence and moves from place to place, often because their work or lifestyle requires them to be on the move. In 2020, a nomad is generally associated with being a digital nomad where someone chooses to work remotely while traveling locally or even globally. This is the lifestyle we're choosing to live. 

Nomads can vary a lot in how they live and what they do for a living. Some only travel within their country while others travel internationally. Some fly here, there, and yonder living in hotels and sleeping on flights. Others buy an RV and travel from campsite to campsite - hardcore RV'ers live out of a van exploring different national parks and attractions. While others, (this is what we're doing) buy a sailboat and sail from destination to destination exploring the world. Sailing is obviously the coolest way to live a nomad lifestyle, but we might be a little biased.

See Also: 11 Things to Think About Before Quitting Your Job To Travel The World

Girl working online on a balcony abroad.
Working abroad online as a digital nomad is a popular way to travel. Online work has opened countless opportunities for people to work remotely while traveling.

Why Would Someone Choose To Live As A Nomad?

Cause it is exciting!

OK but really, there are many reasons why someone might choose to live this way. We discussed our reasons why we were choosing to live this way in a previous post. There are many reasons why someone might choose to live this way - incidentally, excitement, or the draw to adventure, is one of the reasons many people choose to live as nomads. 

Many people are not content to live their lives in the same way every day, working day in and day out at the same job. This is a point I feel very strongly about for myself, I want to live my best life while I am still young - there are no guarantees in life and waiting to really live life when I'm old and retired is, in my opinion, extremely foolish. 

I'm not talking about delayed gratification here - we most certainly should wait in some instances for good things - but waiting 40 years to retire in hopes that you're healthy enough to do what you wanted to do at 20 is - again my opinion - stupid. However, rushing to decide to live a certain way is most definitely stupid as well - and that one isn't just my opinion. There is a balance that should be considered when someone chooses to live this lifestyle.

There are other reasons people choose this lifestyle. Often, it's because they have the means to do so. Whether they don't have to worry about where the money comes from or they are retired. Some even retire early and just travel.

Sometimes people become nomads because their job requires them to be. They're constantly moving from one place to the next in search of new work. I could be wrong, but I think this is a rarity in the United States at least (Central and South Asia would be the exception to this.)

Some people just want the benefits a nomadic lifestyle brings.

The Benefits of a Nomadic Lifestyle

There are a few benefits to living nomadically but ultimately it is dependent on your particular needs and wants as to how much you'll benefit (or not) from the lifestyle. This list is by no means exhaustive but there are a few benefits I'd like to highlight here. For us, these are the benefits that stuck out and made us want to commit to this lifestyle.

More family time

Bringing our home and work with us to travel enables us to spend more time together as a family. We've found that when we travel together we become closer to each other. 

No day is the same

When I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10, I remember telling my dad I couldn't live my life the same way every day for the rest of my life. I wanted every day to be different. I still do. Traveling and being nomadic allows that to happen. 


This is kind of self-explanatory. There are days filled with adventure but don't get me wrong there are boring days as well. Some days are even filled with monotonous work - fixing equipment, cleaning the boat, or other activities that you'd rather not be doing. But, you have those activities in a sedentary lifestyle as well, so why not do them as a nomad?

A man sitting on a rock on the coast staring into the sunset.
Traveling by itself offers many benefits on it's own. Spending your life traveling as a nomad can incorporate many of those benefits in every day life but there are also disadvantages as well.

Drawbacks of a nomadic lifestyle

Obviously, there are no disadvantages to becoming a nomad. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk!

Ok, ok, fine. There are a few downsides to living a nomadic life. 

Connecting with friends

By definition, constantly traveling makes it difficult to hang out with friends or even meet new friends. Sure you meet new people when you travel but it can be difficult to develop friendships when you're always on the move. Luckily, in 2020, we have the internet and can keep up with friends online. 

Missing family events

When you're always traveling it is difficult to attend every family function. Weddings are missed. Your nephew's graduation celebration goes on without you and you become an afterthought and you're dead to the world. Ok, that's a bit extreme, but the point is there are family events you'll miss.

Life is inherently more difficult - in some ways

Somethings are just harder when you spend your life in flux without living in the same place for any length of time. Receiving mail, for instance, your parents want to send the grandkids Christmas presents, where do you tell them to send them? The logistics of traveling through life can be a little more intense than if you live a settled life. 

Two people on paddle boards in the ocean at sunset.
Anyone can become a nomad if they purposefully start working towards that goal.

Can I Become a Nomad?

Yes, I believe becoming a nomad is within reach of almost everyone.

If you're considering becoming a nomad you'll need to consider what is important to you. Some of the things mentioned above as benefits might not actually be benefits to you and vice versa about the drawbacks. This list hardly scratches the surface of the different variables of nomadic life. You'll need to figure out what you want out of life and how you're going to get and that's what is most important. 

You need to determine what is important to you and work towards that. If you determine that you want to be a nomad and start working towards that goal today, you will get there. Half the battle is determining what you want and working for it. 

As the proverb goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Start by taking that first step, develop a plan, and purpose to become a nomad - if that is your goal - and continual forward movement in that direction will create the momentum to carry you to your goal. I know that sounds like a lot of feel-good advice, but there is a lot of power to actually setting your mind on accomplishing something. 

We're continually updating our blog on the things we learn as we work towards becoming a nomad family - from ways to fund the lifestyle to suggestions to start. We want you to be successful in achieving your goals and that is why we started this blog. We want it to be a resource for you as you start your journey.

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Until next time, Happy Coddiwompling!

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