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Nomad No More: When Travel Becomes A Habit

When travel becomes more of a habit and less of an adventure, Angela decided it was better to be 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?

I decided to leave my country, Italy, a little more than one year after obtaining my MA in journalism. I had just turned 26 and my destination was Dublin.

2. How long did you go for?

Initially, my plan was to stay in Dublin for six months, learn English and go back to Italy to keep looking for a job. I left Dublin after two years, but not to go back to Italy.

3. How many countries did you do?

In almost ten years of a semi-nomadic life, I visited many countries. While in some I stayed briefly, I made some others my temporary home. I was an expat in Dublin, London and also spent one year in Shanghai.

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

I worked as a freelance writer for Skyscanner and also other outlets whenever they accepted my pitches. I was also monetising my own website, so that was part of my income, too. When I moved to Dublin I didn’t speak any English so I took any job I could find from researcher for the local municipality to make-up artist. In London, I attended university for my second MA and also had two day jobs, customer service for a market research firm and again make-up artist. It’s actually in London that I decided to shift to full-time freelance travel writer and since the city was too expensive to allow me to travel as much as I wanted, I left and moved to Shanghai after a short break in Italy.

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

When I left Italy I lived two years in Dublin, and after that two years in London, so I was more of an expat than nomadic. London is very expensive so when I lived there I wasn’t really travelling much. This is probably one of the reasons why I left. After London, I spent a year travelling around Europe and also some more time in Italy with my family. After that year, I moved to China for a year.

When my Chinese visa expired I left and travelled to other countries like India, Thailand, Iran, Lebanon, UAE, Brazil. This period has been more nomadic and lasted for a few years. This is when I started to feel worn out and in need of a more stable base.

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

No kids.

7. When did you decide to stop nomadic life?

I decided to stop in 2013, I wasn’t married back then. I’ve always loved Rome and I thought this was the best place for working from home, writing about it and as a base from where to leave for other trips.

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

Probably the defining moment that made me stop, when I took the final decision to settle down, was when I got mugged in Fortaleza during my last trip to Brazil. I had in mind to stay in Brazil for a couple of months but after being robbed on the beach I changed my ticket and left after one month. I was already tired of moving around and felt like my travelling became more of a habit than what I actually wanted to do. I also felt I really needed to be more in one place to devote more time to my work.

9. How long have you been stationary now?

I’ve been stationary since 2013, meaning that I have a base now, which is Rome. However, I barely stay home for four months in a row. Since I’ve been in Rome I travelled to Sri Lanka, Iran several times, Afghanistan, Romania, India, and obviously visited other parts of Italy, especially Sardinia, where I originate from and always like to explore and write about.

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

I’m doing the same job as a freelance writer, but now I’m actually devoting more time to my blog, I’ve opened other two websites and I’m writing a book about my experience in Afghanistan.

11. What do you miss most about the road?

I probably miss soaking in new cultures for longer. I still travel, so I still go about exploring new cultures, but not for long periods. Except for Afghanistan because my husband is an Afghan and if it wasn’t for the ongoing war I would love to spend there six months to one year in a row. Afghanistan is one of those places truly untravelled and with such a rich culture and history that you discover new bits of it literally every day.

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

I like to be able to organise my days and weeks, to have specific plans, to have a house I can organise as I please because it’s ours instead of a rented apartment. But especially, I love being able to organise my working routine, goals and projects. I’m super excited about writing my first book on such a fantastic experience I had in Afghanistan and I don’t think I would have been able to do it if I were still travelling nomadic.

13. Will you ever go nomadic again?

Fully nomadic, definitely not. I’m married now and even though with my husband we travel a lot, we also like to come back to our home.

14. Do you recommend nomadic travel to everyone?

Whether it’s nomadic, half-nomadic or expat life, it depends on one’s personality, but I absolutely recommend to anyone to get out of their comfort zone, travel, explore other countries, cultures, traditions. This helps us better get to know ourselves, and even our own country and culture.

I would probably suggest starting travel at the end of one’s educational journey, whether it’s university or high school, but if it’s after retirement or during a sabbatical year after starting working, it’s good, too. It’s never too late to travel.

15. Where can we find you?

You can find me at Chasing The Unexpected for my international travels and Rome Actually for everything about Rome. I’m also active on Twitter and Facebook.

 

> NEXT WEEK: Nick from Spiritual Travels

 

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