Beginners Guide to A Nomadic Lifestyle

Have you ever considered the opportunity to travel and find work as you go but don’t know whether it can be done? Or maybe you would like to have a business that allows you to do this? I have been doing business this way for almost 10 years and love my lifestyle. This beginner’s guide will help you consider some of your options if considering a nomadic lifestyle.

There are different types of nomads.

There are many types of nomads. Some grab a backpack or suitcase and head around their own country or even the world using a combination of air, land, or sea travel staying in paid accommodation. Others hire or buy portable accommodation as they go. Then, there are people like me, who simply travel around their own country or perhaps adjacent countries with their own vehicle.

Some choose to become nomads, others are forced into the situation.

Can you work as a nomad?

Working opportunities may be different depending upon your skills and, if in a different country, you may need a visa that permits you to work.

If you have a trade you may be able to get casual or intern work. You have a great opportunity to travel finding work as you go. You will need some of the tools mentioned in this post but there may be some issues to consider.

a) Extra insurance or licenses may be required as you will be working in different environments. You should always seek professional advice where relevant.

b) The availability of part-time or locum positions in your profession.

c) Some employers may only consider full-time positions or candidates looking at long-term positions.

d) Available positions may be in places where the cost of temporary accommodation is high.

e) If you are a couple, only one person may be able to get a position in some locations.

It is not impossible but sometimes may require a little planning, some savings, and an industry-specific employment provider.  Many people do this to see their country and even visit other countries but it is not residual income and when you stop working your income dries up. However, it is a wonderful travel opportunity if you can make it work.

Do you need a trade?

To be able to build an ongoing income stream that will allow you to travel many people will consider a business the best option. This could be a service business using your skills, or a retail business. This is not advice, this is simply my opinion and you should always seek legal and accounting advice.

Your service could be a trade or a handyman-type skill or maybe even non-technical jobs such as cleaning may suit you.

Working in an industry part-time including retail or hospitality can also be an option if you have skills.

There are many places where you can retail goods, and this is what I have been doing. You can sell goods at industry-specific events as well as general markets. Some of these include jewelry and craft fairs, farmers markets, weekend markets, trash and treasure markets, field days, home shows, 4×4 shows, caravan & camping shows, and gift fairs.

What do you need to travel?

A vehicle to get from A to B is best because you have more control. Hitchhiking and public transport have drawbacks and the former can have personal security issues. However, this can be different depending on whether you are traveling in your country or around the world.

Again, depending on the destination and whether you wish to tow some sort of accommodation, you will need to select a vehicle that will do the job. I have met people with all types of vehicles even pushbike riders with a tent.

I have many posts that cover things to take with you. The essentials will vary depending on your destination, choice of accommodation and transport, along with your finances.

What do you need for accommodation?

You will need to have a shelter of some description. This can vary depending on your budget, lifestyle expectancy, and destination.

You could choose to have accommodation that you take with you such as a tent (camping or rooftop), trailer, (with or without bedding), caravan, gooseneck, or even a one-piece unit such as a motorhome, bus, or truck.

Other choices include employer-supplied accommodation, motels, hotels, bed & breakfasts, backpacker hostels, house-sitting options, and online arrangements such as Airbnb and Couch surfing.

Can Nomads camp in Australia?

There are many opportunities to free camp within Australia. There are sometimes different rules depending upon your choice of accommodation vehicle, and some have time limits.

What about money to travel as a Nomad?

Unless you have some sort of passive income or savings, you will need a means of earning money. You may have some savings to start, but you need to consider your ongoing needs. It is certainly advisable to have a safety net.

Travel and a business living a nomadic lifestyle.

If you are a business, you will need to act like one and have the necessary tax paperwork, licenses, and insurance. Again, seek legal and accounting advice. A business allows me tax deductions on business-related travel and motor vehicle expenses.

If you choose, as I have done in the past, to supplement your income with, or have an online business then you will need a computer, and an internet connection, and be prepared to learn how to create this business.

There are many online business types, each with its considerations. Some things to consider may include logistics, sales staff, marketing, and customer access. There is the traditional laptop lifestyle and there is the mobile sales or service-based business. Again, you need to check local regulations especially if not in your own country.

Every business provides either a product or service.

If you cannot provide a service then you need a product to retail on and offline, or you need to find products to recommend through affiliate marketing.

If you are an experienced professional, then you may be able to create products that you can promote. This could be books, online how-to courses, or even holding seminars.

You are only limited by your niche and imagination. Many doctors have written books or become celebrities, maybe you could be the next Dr. Phil.

You may be able to offer your professional skills to create a service for others. This could be something like hairdressing skills or even online marketing for others.

For those of us who don’t have a profession, there may be a hobby that you know a lot about that you can create a website, book, or course about. Often, we consider online simply as a means to dabble but if we want to earn a living from it, we need to treat it as a business.

Being professional is important.

If you elect a laptop lifestyle, or some type of digital business, you need to remember that you are a business, and being mobile does not mean you can slack off. You simply can be location-independent.

Unfortunately, the laptop lifestyle gets a bit of a bad rap as many people think it means sitting on the beach with a laptop on your legs.

This style of business simply gives nomads some opportunities to earn income that is not dependent upon working within the area they currently reside.

A nomad’s business still needs marketing.

When you don’t have a shop front that people can see in person, you will need to let people know who you are and what you are about. And you will need to continue to remind them. You can do this by building a website but also by promoting it through social media, word of mouth, advertising, and any means possible.

What are the advantages of mobile retail?

a) Some lower operating expenses.

b) Some operating costs may be reduced as you don’t need to pay for items such as rent or electricity.

c) You can travel to events your customers will be likely to attend rather than wait for them to come to you.

d) Customers can see touch-and-feel products and can purchase immediately or from your website at their convenience. This builds a relationship that an online-only business doesn’t have.

Are there any disadvantages?

a) Some people will expect a shop front even if it is just a warehouse.

b) People will view your product but look for similar products and try to compare prices.

c) As retail slumps and in tough times, people reduce discretionary spending or look for the cheapest offer, therefore, don’t always impulse buy.

d) If outdoors, you can be affected by the elements. This can affect your ability to display as well as customer attendance at an event.  

e) Higher delivery costs. Lower volume than larger stores and the inability to get delivery contracts easily can impact your bottom line.

Is the nomadic lifestyle really what people say it is?

You will need to consider your options as everyone is different, but I love this lifestyle and am doing all that I can to continue part-time in the future. I hope that you got some ideas from this post on ways that you might be able to travel and earn income.

This lifestyle is great if you are looking to supplement your passive income streams, but if your business is your only income then you need to make enough to cover costs and wages. As a business, many costs may be tax deductible. Check with your accountant, this is not advice.

A business needs time and work to build and grow and you do need to remember this while you are enjoying your travels.

If you have any questions or thoughts, I’d love it if you could drop a comment in the box below and share this post with your friends through the social media buttons on this page.

Are you considering a nomadic lifestyle? Many people have chosen this lifestyle. I love it as do others. Maybe it is worth considering.

10 thoughts on “Beginners Guide to A Nomadic Lifestyle”

  1. The blog is nicely set out and crisply presented. I left a comment on the site itself but it appears the server thinks I am posting too quickly and does not accept the comment. I don’t know what that is all about. I notice it has gone now. I also kept getting caught up with the floating “click-ons” for social media sites. I found this irritating. 

    Ironically I live somewhere that attracts a lot of people who want to come and stay long term on a tropical island and need a way of supporting themselves. Regular jobs for westerners are tricky to find and need an employment visa plus a work permit. There are some paid jobs available but generally, they need specific skills and qualifications. Examples are teaching and work in the hospitality industry. If you are a teacher or a chef you might find a job.

    If you don’t want to be an employee you can start your own business but that is tricky and expensive. My point is you need to check out rules and regulations if you are going to work in a country that is not your own. Working online is a whole another story and I am not going down that rabbit hole.  Living life hopping from one delicious location to another as a nomad is exciting and thought-provoking.  It would be nice if you could give information on some specific locations as that would be very helpful.


    • Hi Alister.
      Thank you for your thoughts. I have adjusted the share buttons, thank you for your input.

      You are correct about rules and regulations. Every country is different as is every profession. This is why it is important to check what licenses may be required as I mentioned in my post. Unfortunately, I have only been nomadic in Australia but when I find countries to visit living this lifestyle I will be sure to share the locations.

      In Australia, to open a business does not cost anything. You can be a sole trader or have a formal company or trust structure. However, as I cannot give advice I recommend anyone considering a business contact their accountant for advice.

  2. A very well done website, and a business concept I can relate to. I have published eight books and plan to travel across the country doing book signings along the way. I have done something similar in past years where I stopped at every town and city with a library and sold them copies of my books. I was surprised at how many purchased them. As you suggested, I camped along the way. I would find campsites with washrooms and showers so I could be presentable. Basically, I got to see much of the country, and the book sales covered my costs. So yes, living the nomadic lifestyle and earning along the way is a very viable concept.

    As far as your website structure, it’s very good, but the roving social buttons are a bit vexing as they cover the text. Also, check this for spelling……Hiigher delivery costs. Not a big deal, but just thought I would mention it.

    All in all, a great website and excellent topic.

    • Thanks Ray.
      Two spellchecks and still there are mistakes. I hope I have fixed the social buttons issue.

      Congratulations on your books and promotion. I just returned to one of my city camp spots only to find that the local newsagency had closed. The owner wrote a book and has retired. There are many ways that we can earn an income so that we can travel.

  3. Wow, interesting lifestyle. Not something I would do without money saved up, like you said. I would do it if I knew money was coming in from somewhere. But I wouldn’t do it alone since I’m a single female. It sounds like a cool adventure, if you’re into that kind of thing!

    • Hi Buffy,
      I started as a teenager with a couple of hundred dollars to my name. This was in the 70’s and non-skilled jobs were easy to get. If you have a trade, money is not always a defining factor.

      The person I met on a pushbike and a tent – was a lady. She stayed in campsites where there was plenty of people around. I have also met many ladies who travel alone and have camper vans or vans with the rear converted to living quarters. Don’t sell yourself short. If you want something badly enough, there are ways to do it.

  4. Hi, not sure if its because I’m viewing your website on a mobile but, the ” follow ” button and list of place I can follow you floats in the middle of the screen everytime I scroll it covers parts of the story.

    • Hi Anthony, thank you for letting me know. I will adjust the settings to make it easier for viewing.

  5. Hello, I really appreciate your time and effort on writing this guide to a nomadic lifestyle which is something I’ve always dreamed about. The way you laid it out is perfect. I’m definitely in favor of supplementing your income with an online business. Nowadays you don’t even need a desktop or laptop, if you wanted to you can even just run your online business on your smartphone.

    I love how you mentioned Wealthy Affiliate because that’s the platform that taught me how to start a blog and earn money from it. These are all great tips, thanks for the article.

    • Hi Son
      Thank you for your kind words. I love technology and embrace it. However, there are some limitations with a phone when trying to create a website. However, there are many ways to create online businesses.


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