Some people go overseas and never come home … by choice.
The grass IS greener on the other side sometimes and many people, known as ex-pats, settle down in a foreign country for any number of reasons.
One website, NuNomad, chronicles how and why one can live comfortably overseas. NuNomad co-founder Carmen talks about what a NuNomad is, how to become one and why you should seriously consider it.
See the link to NuNomad at the end of this post.
What is a NuNomad?
The way we define NuNomad is a person who is traveling the world while maintaining their income from a source back home. In other words, they have made their work independent of their location and have the ability to move freely where and when they want.
Are you a NuNomad? What is your story and how did you get to be where you are now?
Yes. I used to be a clinical psychologist when my great aunt turned me on to a guy who was teaching mental health professionals how to do coaching via telephone. I had two young children at the time and I quickly realized that with coaching I could get rid of my overhead, free myself from dealing with insurance companies and be mobile. My husband’s family has a house on the beach in Connecticut. Previously, whenever I wanted to visit the beach I had to keep my vacations to about a week because I could not afford the loss in income by being away from my office. It used to kill me that the house was sitting their, available to use, and I couldn’t use it. Once I got trained in coaching and began working by phone I shut down my private practice. That’s when it really started. We began doing road trips, going to Connecticut for 5 weeks instead of one, and then we started exploring other places. We’ve seen lots of the U.S., some of Europe and Central America. Tomorrow we’re taking off for a year long trip starting in Brazil! I keep coaching my clients wherever we go.
What are the some of the ways NuNomads earn a living abroad?
There are so many ways, you are really only limited by your imagination. I’ve done many interviews with nomads over the last few years and I’d invite you to read them in the Meet the Nomads category on my blog to get a sense of the possibilities . Here’s a partial list of some of the careers of nomads I’ve interviewed or met along the way:
Real Estate investors
Bio fuel enthusiasts deriving income from sponsors
So, you see, while technology brings opportunities to make money on the road, you can also form a career that is not related to the internet.
What are some of the preferred countries for US and UK citizens to become NuNomads? Why?
Many nomads seem to love Thailand. In fact, my partner in NuNomad Ventures, Ricardo, has lived several years in Thailand. Other favorites are Costa Rica, Turkey, Prague. Really what people look for in any destination is a cost of living lower than the U.S. and Europe, safety, good weather, places of interest and the ability to connect to the internet if that is vital to your work. Then after you choose a destination, it’s important to think through what type of accommodation you’ll need. NuNomads tend to stay for extended periods in a destination, often looking for houses or apartments when they find a place they like. To understand what makes a NuNomad friendly accommodation you might like to look at this post.
What is the biggest lesson(s) learned by you and other NuNomads?
It’s hard to name just one. One big lesson – especially for those new to the lifestyle – is that making that first leap is often the hardest part. People have a lot of fears about whether they’ll run out of money, whether they’ll keep their work, etc. Usually, once you’re into the swing of things you realize that you’re going to be ok and that your work is really no more precarious than it was back home. There were some interesting results on this subject in a recent survey done by Free Pursuits and Location Independent and I chose to write on the subject of nomads and their fears around money http://tinyurl.com/mu7lqw .
A big lesson I learned on my first international venture was that I needed to give myself more downtime around transitions. In other words, I scheduled client calls too soon after our arrival at our destination. I was very stressed trying to get my technology in order and trying to beat the jet lag when I was already working again. I’ve learned to give myself a little more vacation time around those transitions.
Also, I have had to learn to balance my life while on the road, making sure I have enough free time to enjoy the place I’m in instead of constantly worrying about maintaining my career. After all, what good is it to be sitting in front of the Taj Mahal if you’re staring at the laptop on your lap or discussing business on your mobile phone!
I travel with my 3 children and sometimes my husband. Once I traveled with friends and their children, bringing us to 3 moms and 8 kids. We were like a moving daycare! Needless to say, traveling with kids adds a whole other dimension to the demands in play. I have to really remember my priorities and try to maintain balance and sanity while making sure we choose places where there is something interesting for all.
For more information, check NuNomad @ http://www.nunomad.com