Michael is all for nomadic travel. In fact, he may go again soon. But at the moment he is finding balance in having a home, working as a nurse and focusing on his online career, which currently makes him a Nomad No More.
About this series
See more in our first interview, but in the briefest terms: This series is focused on people who travelled the world, without a base, for minimum 6 months or more, and eventually found a home. Back where they were or in a different location, but a base that gives them bills, and a wardrobe with more clothes than fit in a suitcase.
Make sure you tune in each Friday to read about your favourite nomads who returned home.
1. When did you first start your nomadic journey?
Around 15 years ago now and I have travelled almost every conceivable way since then, from full on gap years, shorter snap years, extended trips with no real timeframe, as a serial expat, you name it.
2. How long did you go for?
Around 6 months for my very first trip, but I have travelled on many shorter trips and longer trips since then.
3. How many countries did you do?
Overall I am well over 100 now. I forget the exact number.
4. What did you do for money/work while nomadic?
I have done a number of things, back when I first started travelling I have relied on savings and good budgeting and occasionally used my skills as a martial arts teacher to top up a little cash while on the road. Since gaining my nursing qualification I have used the savings from working around 5 months of the year to fund travel for the rest of it, and I have used my skills to work as a volunteer expedition medic too. But now I mostly rely on steady passive income from my novels and books as well as income from my website.
5. Give us a brief description of your travel style?
My travel style has evolved over the years but is generally slow travel. I like to explore one place thoroughly and take my time. I also consider myself a backpacker and travel on a relative budget, but do occasionally upgrade myself to flashpacker status and tend to get private rooms more often than hostels than I did when I started travelling.
6. Do you have kids? How old were they at the time?
7. When did you decide to stop nomadic life?
There was no specific time, but when I gained my nursing degree is when I settled into my current routine of travel, I got a solid home base and started to work for a few months of the year as a nurse, but then travel the rest of it on and off. I work less and less as a nurse now as my online business and website are bringing in more money, but I still retain the home base and travel for a bit mentality.
8. Was there a defining moment that caused you to stop?
No defining moment no, I’ve never really stopped travelling and I never will. I just think that your travel style and how long you travel for evolves as you grow and your needs change. There is no rule that says you have to travel for any specific length of time and the expectation that everyone either ‘has to be nomadic’ or they have to stop travelling is a bit ridiculous. It’s fluid. I have travelled long term in the past, but I have also travelled on shorter snap years too and come back home as my needs and wants dictated. That doesn’t mean I won’t travel long-term again, just that at the moment I am happy with travelling for shorter periods interspersed with periods at home.
9. How long have you been stationary now?
Currently about 4 or 5 months. That will change next month.
10. Are you doing the same job when you were on the road or did you return to work?
I am predominantly working for myself now with my own online business and as an author, but as a nurse, I quit my job and travelled for a bit and then always found work as a nurse again when I returned, sometimes in the same hospital/department, sometimes in different clinics etc. If you have a nursing compact, it will allow you to practice with patients across state lines.
11. What do you miss most about the road?
Freedom, lack of responsibility and the adventure.
12. What do you love most about having a home?
It gives me a sense of balance and a change from being completely nomadic. You can appreciate the freedom of the road more when you experience both sides. It also gives me financial security, owning my own home, and I finally have a place to put all those awesome souvenirs I have picked up over the years!
13. Will you ever go nomadic again?
14. Do you recommend nomadic travel to everyone?
I do and I don’t. Anyone of any age group from any background can travel if they want to. Students taking a gap year, middle-aged professionals taking a career break, pensioners selling their houses before the government can steal them to pay for healthcare and setting off around the world, it doesn’t matter, travel is for everyone.
And if you want to travel ‘nomadically’ and work as a digital nomad or find some other way to fund permanent travel then that is awesome, go for it. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to do that. There is nothing wrong with feeling that long-term travel isn’t for you anymore, nothing wrong with stopping travelling for a short while and then starting up again. You haven’t ‘failed’ as a nomad, you are just doing what suits you at any given time. So by all means live the nomadic lifestyle if it suits you, but don’t be afraid of just taking a gap year, a snap year, a short (or long) career break or even living as a serial expat either.
Travel is awesome and I recommend it for anyone, but do it on your own terms, not anyone else’s.
15. Where can we find you?
Michael Huxley is a published author, professional adventurer and founder of the travel website Bemused Backpacker. He has been featured in some of the world’s largest print and TV media including the BBC, The Guardian, USA Today and many more. He is also a charge nurse by vocation with an interest in emergency nursing and travel medicine, but his real passion is independent travel and adventure and has been travelling the world on his own terms for 15 years. Find out more at BemusedBackpacker.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
> NEXT WEEK: Lisa from We Said Go Travel
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