The Five Best Things About Nomad Life

There are tons of travel blogs and websites out there that will advise you on lots of really great information for people with disposable income – like the most luxurious wedding destinations, the most fashionable cities, the coolest airlines flying the skies. However, as you probably already know, Life Aboard The Traveling Circus isn’t about jet setting middle-aged bores who wear fur coats and drink cocktails in first class – it’s about dingy wanderers with used scarves and unclean hair hopping trains and sipping cold beer.

However, even though this kind of life is always new, always exciting, and always dirty, it sometimes can take a toll on our heavy and tired hearts. Once in a while, we yearn for a stable spot to sleep, a clean pair of drawers, and a toothbrush that hasn’t been sitting on the bottom of a backpack. Unfortunately, sometimes we get a little stuck. We’re already on the road and the option to lie in a bed that only we have laid in isn’t an option. So for those days, when even you, ever-exciting you, would kill to wake up in a room that isn’t shared, here are some reminders of why nomad life is freakin’ awesome.


1. You will never have too much junk. Actually, you will never really have any junk. You may have started out with birthday cards, vacation shot glasses, and bobble heads, but let’s be serious, when you started living out of a backpack all that stuff slowly began trickling away. Without any junk, your life becomes more clear, unclogged by material items that don’t really have much meaning after all. Plus, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to travel light when you’re not paying overweight baggage fees.

2. You have the coolest friends all over the globe. When you’re stuck in one place, you probably hang out with the same people most of the time – they’re probably good kids, they’re probably an okay time, and bowling and movies on Saturday night isn’t so bad. But when you travel, you meet people in a whole new ball game. The people you will come across have no fear, no ties, and no regrets. They’re down to work hard and play hard – everyday. They want to stay up all night, they want to talk to every person in the room, they want to jump in the ocean at midnight, and then they want to do it all again tomorrow… in another country.

3. You make yourself built-in parents. I don’t know about you, but at this point, my parents are kind of over me. They don’t want to make me lunch anymore, they don’t want to pay for my dinner, and they don’t really want to listen to my boy problems. However, parents across the globe never get tired of taking care of new scavengers. Once they have empty nests, they love having some lost kid to take care of for a few days… before they get sick of them, too, so in the meantime, it’s nice to have someone tell you about back in the day for a little while and bake you some cookies.

4. The little things in life stop mattering. When you don’t have much else going on, it’s easy to get irritated with the dumb chores you have to do – doing the laundry, going to the food store because you ran out of instant coffee, putting the dishes away after dinner three days ago. However, when you’re traveling, none of this stuff matters anymore. You can revert back to being a kid, when you ran rampart, jumped in mud puddles, and ate Pop-Tarts for dinner. There is something incredibly liberating about having a day free enough that you can literally just do whatever you want, whether that be cliff jumping, biking the ramparts, or drinking wine before five… Just because you feel like it.

5. You always go to bed tired. Living nine-to-five life can be rough in more ways than one. You’re tired all day long, but by the time you go to bed, you lie awake with your mind running, wondering what the hell you’re doing with your life and where it’s all heading. However, when you’re traveling, no matter if you’re sleeping in the Four Seasons or on some rando’s couch, every night, you go to bed dead tired, fulfilled, and surrounded by the mess of the day. No salary is worth more than that.

This Could Save Your Life.

Being from a place like the unnamed mountain range that is Northwest Jersey, you come to get pretty familiar with things like private schools and BMWs  (wish I was a little more familiar with this stuff). Luckily for me, I leave my dwelling under a rock from time to time, so I have a basic idea of how the world operates. My mother, however, is not so lucky, which led her to this remark,

“God, there’s a lot of homeless people here in New Orleans.” 

Well mom, hate to be the one to break it to you, but there are homeless people effing everywhere. Actually, there were approximately 636,000 in 2011, which is about 21 homeless to every 10,000 people who are… not homeless, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Because of where we live (i.e. the Edge of Nowhere), we don’t come across too many in our day-to-day lives. That doesn’t make them any less alive.

All this brought me to thinking about an article I read recently that basically theorized that Americans were afraid of the homeless because they represent the opposite of the American Dream; the population and economy’s own failures and our inability to help one another. The article told me to basically stop being such a grouch and hey, throw a nickel in their jar and make some friends!

Um, negatory. I’m not afraid of the homeless for any of those aforementioned reasons. If you want me to be honest, I’m effing scared of the homeless because 1/3 of them have untreated psychiactric illnesses, according to Also, I still get carded for R rated movies, I weigh less than some dogs, and I know damn well that if one of those 1/3 got pissed at me I would be up the creek without a paddle. I think this is fair reason to be a little nervous.

I have a pretty good game face. I tend to not be nervous and put my best foot forward. But like any good traveler, you too probably get a little nervous from time to time when you’re in a not so great area. So here’s a few tips that hopefully aren’t common sense. I’m not gonna lie to you and tell you how I am safe all of the time. But just try to follow a few of these, okay?

1. Wear a money belt. They’re these dopey fanny packs that (thank God) you wear under your clothes,where you keep your passport, majority of your money, credit cards, license, etc. This is so that if you get mugged and have to hand over your wallet, you’ll still make it home.

2. Look alive. Don’t look nervous or lost or be peering around like an idiot. Look like you have a plan and a destination. This won’t help you get invited on a seedy pub crawl (as I have unfortunately found) but it could save your life. And your money.

3. Keep a free hand. Always have one free hand while walking, carrying bags, etc. This is literally one way that people search for victims to mug or assault. If you don’t have a free hand, you look a little more jumbled and not in control.

4. Leave your backpack at home. Does it fit a ton of shit? Yes. Is it easy to carry? Yes. But is it easy to rob? YES. People will cut them open in large crowds and before you even realize, the jerks have taken off with your dough.

5. Don’t let yourself be easily distracted. Pickpocketers and other wonderful people have been known to work in pairs, even kids, by throwing fake babies at you, newspapers, basically anything to make you lose control and drop your bags or lose a good handle on them. DON’T FALL FOR THIS.