Nomad No More: The End To 5 Years Of Nomadic Family Travel

Each of us left our home existence in search of something. And when we returned, we returned finding it. Or we returned still searching.

In my new series, I explore the trials and tribulations of those that returned still searching. And the joys and benefits of those who returned found.

When a Nomad returns: explore with erin

I had a hard time choosing a name. Poll results had Nomad No More winning. I also had When Nomads Return Home and The Return of the Nomads. Some people argued that I couldn’t use the word ‘home‘, because many of them find themselves somewhere else. I argue that home is where you stay. Where you base yourself. Where you are.

So in loose terms, this series is based on people who travelled the world without a base for more than 6 months, and then eventually found a home. Back where they were, in a different location, but a base that gave them bills, and a wardrobe.

Make sure you tune in each Friday to read about your favourite nomads who returned home. To start off this new series I will take the reigns and go first.

No longer a Nomad: Explore With Erin

 

1. When did you first start your nomadic journey?

May 2012. I packed up my house and rented it to a friend of a friend. I sold my car, gave the dog to a friend and hit the road for a 6-month Asian jaunt. First stop Bali, Indonesia.

2. How long did you go for?

What was suppose to be 6 months ended up being 4 years and 8 months. Let’s round it up to an even 5. 5 years!

3. How many countries did you do?

My kids and I managed 67 countries during this period. With many return visits to favourites within the US, Canada, Mexico, and Bali. Oh yes, I’ve been to Bali 16 times!

4. What did you do for money/work while nomadic?

I started with money in my savings account before realising that my blog could become a digital nomads dream job. I started my blog, etbender.com in 2012, which was soon renamed Travel With Bender.

No longer a Nomad: Explore With Erin

During 2012 – 2014 it started making a small annual income of around US$10,000. In 2015 it tripled and then during 2016 it more than tripled, making a 6 figure income.

It was more than enough to keep the kids and I travelling, while saving for the future.

5. Give us a brief description of your travel style?

We were fast movers. We would spend 1 – 3 weeks constantly moving. And then take a break for a month. The longest time we were in one spot during that 5 years of nomadic travel was 2 months. Quite frankly it was exhausting! And it’s taken me just over a year to recover haha.

6. Do you have kids? How old were they at the time?

Mia was 3 years old when we left and my son, Caius, was 2. By 6 & 7 years they had done 67 countries.

No longer a Nomad: Explore With Erin

7. When did you decide to stop nomadic life?

The kids and I returned home end of December 2016 when they were 7 & 8 years old. Since 2015 we had been feeling that we would like a base. Somewhere we could build a shoe collection, practice sports, attend a gym, try school. July 2016 we booked our tickets back to Australia for December 2016 with the intention of finding a home base. Little did I know that brief visit to Melbourne to visit family would become our new home from January 2017.

8. Was there a defining moment that caused you to stop?

While I had long thought about stopping nomadic travel, the final moment was much like the moment it all started. By accident and quite suddenly. Our family went through a drastic life change (yes, that ugly word, divorce), which enabled me to stop and take a breather near my family. This breather became a new life and one the kids, nor I wanted to give up. It became our next chapter and one we embraced wholeheartedly.

When nomads return home : Explore With Erin & kids

9. How long have you been stationary now?

One year and four months. I’ve just moved house and signed a year’s lease – scary!

10. Are you doing the same job when you were on the road or did you return to work?

Yes, I love blogging. I would never intentionally give it up. While I no longer blog at Travel With Bender, for now, I created Explore With Erin as a means to continue my blogging passion and to support my children. My hope is it takes off and supports us as much as my last one did. I was born for this. I have no doubt it will.

While I spend time building my new brand, I am excited to freelance write for some of my favourite companies like Travelocity and Wotif. I also spend a lot of my time in Melbourne promoting different food restaurants. Melbourne’s food scene is off the chart.

No longer a Nomad: Explore With Erin

Explore with Erin blogger

11. What do you miss most about the road?

Flexibility. Being able to go anywhere at any time. While my job allows me to do that, we are somewhat constricted by school terms now.

12. What do you love most about having a home?

Shoes. And clothes. And makeup. All material things you say, but oh yes how fun it has been to be able to own items that make you look and feel good.

On top of this, I love the relationships and community that comes with having a home. Having friends to call, having family to hug, attending weddings and taking the kids to birthday parties. It was the biggest regret of my travel lifestyle.

13. Will you ever go nomadic again?

Tough question. Maybe one day when the kids have flown the coop, I’ll set out again. But never for as long. Ideally, I’d love to take long vacations every quarter once my kids are all grown up and no longer physically needing me. But who knows, because grandkids will surely call me home 😀

No longer a Nomad: Explore With Erin

14. Do you recommend nomadic travel to everyone?

No. It takes a special type of person to travel nomadically. You have to have a means and a will. Do I recommend everyone see the world? Yes! But that doesn’t mean you need to give up everything you have (and love) to do so. Set your own pace, create your own lifestyle and never regret a moment.

 

> NEXT WEEK: Gary from Everything Everywhere! 

 

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Showing 16 comments
  • Tonya Denmark
    Reply

    Being a fellow travel blogger, I read so many of the travel full time blogs and know we could never do it. The kids want sports, dance, friends. I’m so glad to read an honest article about why you stopped the full time life and that not everyone who travels has to do it in just one way. There’s more to travel and see and many ways to do it.

    • Erin
      Reply

      Fabulous Tonya! And exactly. I loved my time on the road, but I so love being home too now. So many ways to make travel dreams come true.

  • Reply

    I love this interview series! It is very relevant for us. We are just ‘finishing up’ 6 months of travelling and need to find a new home. We have less than a month to decide on where to settle, and don’t even know which continent yet (I am European my husband is from the US). We enjoyed our time on the road, but are looking forward to mundane life. We also understand even better know why they say it takes a village to raise a child and how hard it is to travel with a toddler, lack of date nights due to reliable babysitters.

    • Erin
      Reply

      I am so glad you are enjoying it Jules! I understand exactly how you are feeling and I really hope someone’s story in the series resonates with you.

  • Jane Tara
    Reply

    Great stuff. I was the same, grounded in Sydney after 13 nomadic years… 5 with my older son. I always missed it. So early this year I took off again, with my younger son (the older one is an adult now)… and guess what? I missed my beautiful Sydney and the wonderful community I have… Damn it! So three months in Japan (which was fabulous) and I pulled the plug on nomadic and I’m back in Bondi regrouping… wondering how to have the best of both worlds…

    • Erin
      Reply

      Awesome Jane. I love this, because there is no right way and what we want now might change later and that is ok! Good luck with your decision making, I hope you find the way.

  • Sharelle Page
    Reply

    Amazing love it 😍

  • Christa Thompson
    Reply

    So proud of you

    • Erin
      Reply

      Same can be said about you. You are amazing. Thanks Christa!

  • Taya Jacob
    Reply

    Love this Erin 👍🏼👍🏼

    • Erin
      Reply

      Thanks so much Taya.

  • Paz Adventuras
    Reply

    Great article I love it!!!

  • Lisa Michell
    Reply

    Good job Erin 🙂 I suggest you just plan to take the grandkids on adventures

    • Erin
      Reply

      Now there’s an idea! Good thinking 😀

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