1. How and why did you choose to go nomadic?
By the time I was 18, I had already lived on 3 different continents. So going nomadic wasn’t quite as novel for me. However, my husband had grown up in the USA and had always wanted to live abroad, and so I supported his desire.
We had started a couple small businesses on the side while we were both working at law firms in New York City, and we planned to start our 4-hour week life when the businesses got going more.
Luckily for me, the universe clearly read my desires, and my department moved to a different firm. When faced with having to make an affirmative decision to continue with my job, I just couldn’t face the thought of saying yes. I was at a great firm, working with amazing lawyers, and doing what I still consider the most interesting aspect of law, but I just knew it wasn’t for me. And I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to change course when I did.
We built up the businesses a bit more, closed down our food manufacturing business (which required us to be US-based), sold all our furniture and books, and then left.
2. What was it like leaving your home country?
I think having lived and moved around so much for all my life has made me immune to feeling any major emotions when leaving a place. I left my birth country when I was 7 and I left the UK when I was 21. And I didn’t see moving out of the US as a permanent decision.
3. What are your biggest struggles? Fears?
Community. And by that, I don’t mean just having other English-speakers around. By community, I mean people who “get” me and who have shared experiences or beliefs (and speaking a common language helps too!).
I’ve changed so much over the past few years (from traveling and from running a business) that I don’t feel as connected with my old friends, and I move around so much that I don’t have the time to create new deep friendships.
My recent trip with some of my law school friends provides a simple illustration. One of the most common vacation discussions is “what do you take with you?” But I found it really hard to care about that conversation because all I possessed fit into one carry-on suitcase and that was what I was taking with me. And a popular vacation activity is shopping (for clothes, trinkets, etc.), but again it was really hard to look happy walking from shop to shop when I not only didn’t want to buy anything but couldn’t because of my suitcase restriction.
I only really valued the feeling that my friends “got me” after I didn’t have it as much any more.
4. How are you funding your lifestyle and what projects are you working on?
I was really lucky to have worked for several years at a large law firm. You definitely get paid well, although as most law students find out, you also end up spending a lot of what you earn and paying it in taxes (especially when you live and work in NYC).
Those savings gave us a bit of a buffer while we got our businesses going more. All of our businesses have been profitable, and the first one that took off was our digital magazines, which we sold a year ago. Since then my focus has been growing my website, Paleo Flourish Magazine, and expanding it to help more and more people with different health issues.
5. What is the estimated monthly cost of living for one of your favorite locations? What lifestyle does that afford?
(What do you pay for rent and what does this cost get you? Describe your apartment as you wish. What do you typically pay for a meal out? Share any other expenses as you wish).
I’m currently loving Portugal, hence why I decided to stay in Lisbon for a whole year!
We pay about $2000 per month for a 2-bedroom fully-furnished luxury modern apartment with balcony views of the Lisbon castle. It’s literally next to the Times Square of Lisbon! If you live just a bit further out (15 min walk) and don’t go for a modern apartment, then prices drop dramatically.
Rent prices in Lisbon also differ a lot depending on whether you opt for short-term or long-term (1-year) rentals. So, we initially paid more for a much smaller 1-bedroom through Airbnb.
Food here is pretty cheap by European standards. Eating out in central Lisbon will still run you around $10-15 per person including drinks (wine is dirt cheap!), but if you eat where the locals eat (which tends to be better), then it can go down to $4-5 per person.
6. What is your top tip for someone who aspires to earn money online and travel?
Get started. A dream will stay a dream unless you take action.