Time for a Change: The Professional Hobo Switches Gears

by Nora Dunn on October 29, 2012

 

Swiss contemplation

 

A couple of months ago I was house-sitting in Switzerland.

 

Sitting.

 

Traveling without moving.

 

Almost inexplicably glued to the couch.

 

 

I talked to my Mum on Skype, lamenting my guilt for not doing more despite my lack of desire and overwhelming fatigue.

 

“Well, honey,” she started. “You love trains. Why don’t you just get on a train and enjoy a ride?”

 

Normally this would have been a terrific idea. It’s easily enough done, it’s relaxing, and indeed enjoyable. In fact, train travel is one of my favourite things, and Switzerland is home to some iconic train rides.

Instead I balked at the suggestion, finding even the coordination required for a panoramic train trip beyond my comprehension.

 

“Mom. I’ve been on trains. And I’ve seen mountains. What’s the point?”

 

 

Self-Check: Uh oh. Really? “What’s the point”?! This, from a full-time traveler?

 

Even as the words came out of my mouth, I realized this was the beginning of the end. Or maybe the end of the beginning.

 

The Beginning of the End.

To be truthful, the beginning of the end started a year ago in Grenada. My first three months weren’t necessarily ideal to start, but I fell in love with this lush Caribbean island pretty quickly.

 

Mt Carmel falls, Grenada

So it was an easy decision to return to Grenada last March for a second three-month stint after sailing around the Caribbean for a while.

 

It was on my return to Grenada that something happened.

 

A little thing called love.

 

Not only my love of Grenada and the people and cool easy pace of life, but of one person (or rather, two) in particular.

 

 

Love? Meh. Been There, Done That

If you’ll recall, I’ve had a few cracks at romance on the road; spending my first few years of full-time travel with a partner, and later starting a relationship in New Zealand (before it ended in a less-than-graceful manner).

 

Although incompatibilities and infidelities didn’t deter me, I also realized that finding (compatible) love on the road as a full-time traveler is a tall order, and conceded that maybe it’s just not my time.

 

Despite my decision to put love on the back burner of my life, it seemed that on my return to Grenada, love had different plans.

 

 

Anonymity

For privacy purposes, you won’t get to meet or see my current squeeze, nor his adolescent daughter. It seems that not everybody is as enthusiastic as I am about displaying their lives online for all to see. Who knew.

 

So you’ll just have to trust me on this one….there’s a guy, with a daughter.

 

 

Wha-What?!

Beach Liming

But how does love, and a guy with a daughter in Grenada fit into the life of a Professional Hobo; a girl with no fixed address who has been traveling the world full-time for almost six years?

 

This has been the subject of an inner battle and emotional journey to which I’ve alluded for the last few months, and which in part dictated my relatively sedentary summer in Switzerland.

 

I’ve been in shock.

 

 

Making Changes

I was in love when I decided to spend my summer in Switzerland. I also knew that my relationship wouldn’t end my traveling career per se, but that a lifestyle change was in store, and I needed some time on my own to emotionally process these changes.

 

When your entire lifestyle, personal branding, income, and even identity is wrapped up in the world of full-time travel, how do you make a change?

 

This is one of many issues I had to grapple with while sitting – dumfounded, fatigued, and apathetic – in Switzerland.

 

But I’d been ready for a change for a while. I’d grown to feel more stress than excitement about new travel experiences, and the schisms of the full-time travel lifestyle in general:

  • Living out of a bag.
  • Constantly researching and booking travel arrangements and searching/applying for new destinations/gigs.
  • Staying in somebody else’s home, submitting to their routine, and never truly feeling like I have a space to call mine or full control over my day.
  • Never staying somewhere long enough to develop truly meaningful relationships. (Or, staying long enough to spark a connection, then having to say goodbye all too soon).

 

In fact, some readers may have read between the lines over a year ago when I wrote about Motion Sickness on the Road and Travel Fatigue. There were some clues in there that I was ready for a change, even if I denied it at the time.

 

 

The End of the Beginning.

So here I am. Sitting on my couch in my house in the Caribbean, with a wraparound terrace and a view to die for.

Caribbean terrace

 

Well, it’s not actually mine. It’s ours.

 

In spending a Swiss summer largely on my own with lots of time to reflect, I gained the perspective I needed to realize I wanted to set up a home base in Grenada, with my guy and his girl.

 

 

Home Base?

Yes, home base.

 

Travel is in my blood, and despite my lacklustre attitude towards continuing my full-time wandering, I’m far from lacklustre about travel in general.

 

Hey – I’ve been essentially homeless for six years. You could say I’ve “been there done that”.

 

What I want is a place to come “home” to:

  • With a wardrobe that doesn’t have to be uber-practical due to space constrictions.
  • And more than two pairs of shoes.
  • Having a familiar place to flop down and not worry about caring for somebody else’s stuff or moulding to their lifestyle.
  • Enjoying deeper friendships.
  • Not having the stress of cramming everything I own into a bag and praying it arrives at my destination.
  • Having a routine.
  • A proper exercise regiment.
  • A kitchen kitted out my way, so I can cook the food I want, when I want, how I want.
  • A sense of community, aside from the global online community which I’m all too dependent on.
  • And a family to call mine, in a little piece of tropical paradise.

 

 

The Future of The Professional Hobo

beach life

Far be it for me to predict what my future will look like, as I’ve become pretty adept at rolling with what life throws at me (this recent life change being a case in point).

 

Heck – this flexibility is what spurred me to sell everything I own to travel full-time in the first place. Lifestyle design is not a singular event; it’s a continuous process. (See also: Destiny is a Direction)

 

But given that I’m also a planner at heart, here is what I foresee my new lifestyle will look like:

 

I’ll still travel, but the trips will likely be shorter

…and a little more specific in nature. I’ve had opportunities to attend and speak at various travel-related conferences, but which I’ve been unable to do because of long-term volunteer or house-sitting commitments elsewhere in the world. I also have a couple of television shows courting me to be their host, and I’d be delighted to travel in the name of shooting a season of episodes.

And my guy regularly travels for business, so I expect we’ll coordinate some trips together, with his daughter as well.

 

Obviously, most of my bookings will now involve return tickets. Ironically, with the security and comfort of having a home base, the rest of the world seems even more accessible to me than before. It seems like nothing to just “hop on a plane” and go somewhere, whereas previously, any long-distance travel move was a much more calculated part of a series of one-way tickets and volunteer gigs.

Now, I can just go somewhere, whenever I wish. And frequent flyer miles are much more cost-effective to redeem for return tickets than one-way tickets.

 

It’s time for a rebrand.

I believe six years of full-time travel experience is enough to make me something of an authority on full-time travel. I have no end of tips and techniques to share from these experiences. And in living in Grenada – a vastly different country to my own, I’m learning and growing daily as I slowly come to understand this culture, land, and people.

But it’s time for The Professional Hobo to be about more than “the adventures of a girl with no fixed address”. With popular columns like Financial Travel Tips and a Week-In-The-Life, and hundreds of practical instructive articles, this site is already about way more than l’il ol’ me.

So I’ve redesigned the site (you like?), allowing The Professional Hobo to fulfil its destiny as a site about Travel, Personal Finance, and Lifestyle Design.

I’m still here and you’ll still enjoy my regular personal rants and adventures, but it’s just not all about me!

 

It’s time to step up.

I’d be rich if I got royalties every time I heard the phrase “you should write a book!”

And I have an ever-growing list of people who have personally contacted me asking me to mentor them into a lifestyle of full-time travel.

But what I’ve lacked with my full-time travel lifestyle is the time or wherewithal to write said books, develop mentorship programs, and do public speaking gigs. By not having volunteer/house-sitting duties or constantly adapting to new environments and researching/booking my next travel move, I hope to take my business to the next level.

 

 

 

Then again, “Life happens while we’re busy making plans.”

Stick around. Let’s see what the future brings!

 

 

 

{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Josie October 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

Hey Nora,
Congratulations! I know that the adjustment will be huge, but I have a feeling that better things are in store . . .
Wishing you all the best,
~Josie

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 10:22 am

Thanks, Josie! Adjustment has become the norm for me, in constantly adjusting to new places and gigs. It’s all still a little surreal!

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Manu October 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

Good Luck Nora with your new beginning!
The bravest of all the decisions you can take in life is indeed deciding to start all over again!

PS: your new design looks fantastic!

Ciao,
Manu

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

I’m glad you like the new design, Manu!
At least I’m not starting all over again in the same way I did when I sold everything to travel full-time, since I still have a travel lifestyle and career as a base line. I’m just changing the rules of the game a bit!

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Deb October 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

Congratulations on the new romance. I think there is nothing better in life than love. For me, it’s what life is all about. If I couldn’t travel with Dave, I wouldn’t do it. It’s being with Dave that is the most important thing to me, and the travel is a bonus. You are going to do great and I know that we are going to see a lot more of the Professional Hobo. It looks like you’ve made an amazing life for yourself in Grenada and yessss, your view is to die for! We look forward to visiting you there one day. Enjoy the moment and all the best! Deb

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thanks Deb! Hopefully we’ll be able to see more of each other in various random corners of the world!

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Ali October 29, 2012 at 10:00 am

Congrats! Life is always an evolving process, and it makes sense to reevaluate what you want now and then. Sounds like a great guy and great career opportunities. Good luck with all the new and exciting changes!

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

@Ali – Let’s see what happens! Thanks for your support.

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Jan October 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

I’m in shock :-)!! But I have very much respect for your 6 years of traveling. I’m amazed you sticked out that long. We have been traveling for 3 months and can relate to what you say already. But who am I going to follow now.? Anyhoe…..

Good luck to you and your companions in Grenada!

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 10:26 am

@Jan – Don’t you worry! I’m still here and the site isn’t going anywhere! I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be doing just as much traveling as before…but I’ll be doing it with return tickets instead of one-way tickets! So stick around….and happy travels!

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Ashley of Ashley Abroad October 29, 2012 at 10:13 am

Congratulations on your new relationship and home! I think that it’s best to listen to your inner voice (as you did) in order to do what’s truly best for you. I’m sure living in Grenada will be an incredible experience and the next great adventure of your life!

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

@Ashley – Not a day goes by when I don’t take an objective peek at my surroundings in Grenada, and reflect on the path that brought me here (and imagine what’s to come). And I’m so grateful….not so long ago I couldn’t even point Grenada out on a map, and now it’s a place I’m slowly discovering and learning to call home. As a winter-avoiding Canadian, this is quite a boon!

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Cila October 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

It takes a great deal of courage to change any routine – especially one as enviable as full-time travel. Congratulations on having the self-awareness and nerve to make a huge transition. I’m sure your future is going to be even more exciting than the past! Best wishes

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 11:31 am

Thank you, @Cila, for your support. Indeed, I think I’ve felt guilty for no longer appreciating a lifestyle of full-time travel that so many people would like to have. But all good things must eventually come to an end…. :-)

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Jo October 29, 2012 at 11:09 am

Well, well, well. I am delighted for you Nora. Yes you have had the odd broken heart….or have broken others I’m sure, but those experiences are good for the soul….or something.
Carmen at Valdalavilla did tell me about the Spanish guy who fell for you.

From getting to know you online I think you are a lovely young woman and hearing Carmen talk about you just confirmed that.
I am about to return to NZ with no home,having sold it, and its a strange feeling. Like you in Switzerland, here in Carlsbad I have morphed into a TV slob and politico junkie but I think it’s because I need to make a decision. Do I buy….and if so where? Dallas? Madrid? Country town in the UK? Or NZ.
I identify with your thoughts re house sitting. It does pall after a while! I have never lived in a place which is so quiet. To start with it was “this is so peaceful.” Then “this is deathly quiet”. Now….”this is like a morgue”!! No sounds of children although there must be some cos some houses have Hallo’een decorations….are they all online??

Saying all this just means that I know how much you will love “settling” in one place and with a man you love makes it even more appealing! I wish you all the best and I do hope you will still keep us up to date with your life there. I do like your new website….well done.

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 11:38 am

@Jo – That’s right: I forgot you met Carmen and the gang at Valdelavilla! Ha ha…and how wonderful of Carmen to be saying nice things about me even a couple of years later!

I understand your position of not knowing what to do next. It’s an uncomfortable feeling (that, in my lifestyle of full-time travel, I’ve had to contend with A LOT), but one that can be cathartic if you can simply breathe through it and wait for the right sign/opportunity/guidance.

And don’t worry – I’ll still share my adventures just as much as ever!

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Jo October 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm

You obviously made a big impression at Valdalavilla!!

My motto has been for the last 6 months “I go where the wind blows me”. Its great when it’s possible but sometimes we do have to plan….like going home to avoid losing my pension!!
You have so many options with all your talents now that you have a base. I can see a great future for you Nora. You’ve worked hard for it.

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Tracey - Life Changing Year October 29, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hey Nora – love the new design and I’m excited to see where this next step takes you! You are spot on when you say you never have full control of your day when you’re volunteering/housesitting etc. And who knew that not everyone likes to spill all their secrets online eh?

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 11:52 am

Hey Tracey…thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only one who has struggled with these wee downsides of housesitting and volunteering. Have you suffered from similar fatigue?

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Tracey - Life Changing Year October 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Actually our fatigue came from visiting family and friends. After 8 months travelling it felt like we’d had our wings clipped to be staying with family in Denmark. It was great to see them but after a month we were dead keen to get back on the road. Blog when we want, sleep when we want, eat when we want…..!

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Ah…the freedom of having control of your day. I understand! Living under somebody else’s roof can be tiresome after a while. This is why I haven’t done more couchsurfing. It’s a great cultural exchange, but it’s also work! Sometimes you just want to go to bed, or retreat to working on the laptop, but it would be impolite.

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Turner October 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Congratulations to you on finding love. I really related to you in this post, if nothing else, based on finding something to which to come home. And like you said, it’s just life. Maybe your interests will change in the future, but for now, enjoy what’s been thrown in your path.

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm

@Turner – Exactly! I couldn’t say it better. Thank you.

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Dalene October 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Yowza. That’s a whole lot of info to take in from one blog post, even for someone who kinda sorta knew part of the story!

Congrats on this decision – I know it is one that you did not take lightly. You have been an inspiration to Pete and I from the very beginning of our blogging journey, and I know you will continue to be. Looking forward to the day we finally meet! :)

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

@Dalene – I hope we meet soon! Like I said in the post, travel suddenly seems easier to me when just planning little trips here and there. I also expect I’ll have much more energy for travel by virtue of having a place to recharge my batteries.
May our respective world wanderings lead us together soon! :-)

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Laurel October 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Congrats Nora, how exciting! I love having a base and traveling as an expat. I still get daily stimulation from living in Germany (through trying to perfect the language alone) and do shorter trips, where I’m always happy to return to my husband and 2 cats. I definitely think it’s possible to still travel with a partner, it just looks different than what you’ve been doing. Look forward to reading about your next chapter.

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

@Laurel – I don’t know about you, but from what I’ve experienced from the places I’ve stayed in for a while, being an expat still feels like traveling! There are so many little discoveries to be made and things to learn when delving into a different country and culture, that it’s an adventure unto itself.
Pepper it with little trips, like you say, and it’s a great balance.

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Gigi October 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Congratulations on your new adventures! I love when you said “Lifestyle design is not a singular event; it’s a continuous process.” So very true!

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Thanks, Gigi! I particularly liked that line too! ;-)

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Jorge Osuna October 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Wow Nora! I have to say I’m shocked to say the least. It was too much for a so short post… Yet, I understand you. So much time living the same way took its toll and you needed a change. That, and the romance, that usually makes everything else dull when Dude is not around ;)

I’m glad you are adapting to your new situations and feelings, and us (your loyal readers) will be there for you as you’ve been there for us. We know there’s A lot of a new Nora yet to come.

I have a saying, that people that needs to change doesn’t and people that doesn’t want to change does. Everything changes, so, we adapt. Well done Nora!

And, you’re a lot closer!! Can we come visit sometime?

Cheers, and enjoy this new phase!!

Jorge

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Thanks, Jorge, for your support! And yes, we’re just a hop/skip across the Caribbean sea now. I hope Puerto Rico is in my not-too-distant future…and Grenada is an amazing place; I’m sure you’ll love it. Have you been to any of the Caribbean islands?

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Jorge Osuna October 30, 2012 at 12:51 am

Not yet Nora, but hopefully soon :D

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Gale Collins October 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Beautiful Nora
Destiny is not a matter of chance it is a matter of choice. Blessings to you my friend.

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theprofessionalhobo October 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Gorgeous Gale – Beautiful words from a beautiful person. Thank you! I miss you.

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lisamedia October 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Wow, Nora — so excited for your new adventure. I’ve always wondered why you didn’t have your own TV show after watching some of your video clips. I certainly hope that you’ll be able to do that kind of thing, or write a book, going forward. It would be great to get some more in-depth scoop about your vision for travel, which I think is really refreshing. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 6:19 am

Hey Lisa – Let’s see what happens! I’ve been in and out of the tv biz since I was 18, so it seems to be a recurring theme in my life!
Hm….my vision for travel….I’ll percolate on that….stay tuned!

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Barbara October 30, 2012 at 12:09 am

That is HUGE news, Nora.
A home base does have its advantages. A lovely man does too! Wishing you all the best in your new adventure. You’ll still be an inspiration even if you’re not a full-time traveller. I don’t think you have to worry about that. :-)

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 6:19 am

Ha ha – Thanks, Barbara! That really means a lot to me. :-)

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Prime October 30, 2012 at 12:35 am

Congrats on your new home and new love Nora! I think every traveler needs a place which they can call home. Although I have a “fixed address”, I’m still searching for home. I’m happy that you found yours in Grenada.

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 6:21 am

Prime – I think our definition of “home” can change throughout our lives if we want/allow it to. It strikes me that you are open to these new definitions, which is both liberating but also a little scary. But it’s all good – enjoy the sensation!

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Jade October 30, 2012 at 1:10 am

You have achieved it all… and more with gracious ease! The future ahead has always been blue skies for you Professional Hobo – for you are a shining star! I look forward to getting to know the new you and your transition into a world that has been long awaiting your arrival.
My love and blessings to you,
xoxo

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 6:23 am

Thank you so much, Jade! I look forward to seeing you somewhere on this big beautiful blue planet sometime soon! xoxo

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Lisa @chickybus October 30, 2012 at 1:14 am

Really happy for you, Nora. This sounds like a fantastic change! Best of luck to you!

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 6:24 am

Thank you, Lisa! Let’s see what the future brings! It’s always an adventure.

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Fab October 30, 2012 at 2:52 am

Hi Nora,

sincere congratulations on your wise and smart decision!!

All in all, you are a planner at your heart and you are also a sociable and nice woman, hence, this new cycle of your life can only make you happier!!

Apart from that, you’ll be able to capitalize your travel experiences very well : book, coaching and so on!!

All the very best with your new life and career!!

Fab

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 6:25 am

Thank you, Fab! (*Blushing*)

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Andrea October 30, 2012 at 5:13 am

That house is spectacular – I wouldn’t have to think too hard about settling there either. Huge congrats on bringing new love into your life and wishing you all good things for your new goals and “re-brand.” What a wonderful time for you =)

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 6:26 am

Cheers, Andrea! I enjoy following your own journeys and adventures through various styles of travel and living too!

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Sarah October 30, 2012 at 11:26 am

Very, very, very happy for you. Have been waiting for this post to come for a while.
Congratulations on your new love, your new life, and your new perspective.
You will always be my hero, wherever you are, because you are flexible and adaptable. These are the traits that surpass all others in what I consider success in life.
So proud of you for this new direction in your life!

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Hi Sarah – So you saw the signs, huh? ;-) Indeed, regardless of our circumstances, flexibility and adaptability are true skills – and gifts. They can make all the difference in our happiness.

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nomadic translator October 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

“Life happens while we’re busy making plans.” — John Lennon :D

aww, such a big big change! To move in with a man you love! And his daughter! Wow. I’m shocked, not going to lie ;) I guess after six years of hopping the world one would get tired. I wonder whether the itch will kick in again?

Best of luck in your new journey,

Maria Alexandra

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm

@Maria – I love that quote!

I don’t really expect a travel itch to kick in again, since I plan to keep traveling pretty actively! But I guess we’ll both see what happens… :-)

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Pernilla October 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Congratulations on finding love and good luck with your new beginning, although I doubt you’ll need it;)

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm

@Pernilla – Ha ha, thanks! I’ll accept the good luck wishes anyway, just in case! ;-)

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Vicky October 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Awww, sounds exciting! Congratulations. I hope it’s everything you want it to be :)

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theprofessionalhobo October 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm

@Vicky – Thank you. Me too!!

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Dan October 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Hey Nora,

I’ve been avidly reading your blog for about 6 months, and am always looking forward to seeing your photos or hearing your advice. Partly because of your blog, and many others that I started reading while working an office job that I didn’t love, and partly because I’ve wanted to for the past 10 years of my life I decided to embrace the idea and do it myself. I’ve quit both my jobs (the horrible one and another that I loved), I’m moving out of my apartment tomorrow, and jumping on the road full time Monday morning. Even as I type this, my computer on my desk is the last thing I have set up in my home.

Just wanted to say that there’s a time and place for everyone. The travel story of my life is just beginning, inspired by your travel career, which ironically seems to be ending, or at least altering.

Wish you all the best. I’ll still be following and looking for your helpful travel tips. Best of luck
-Dan

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theprofessionalhobo November 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm

@Dan – Oh my gosh, how ironic indeed! Well, just in case my lifestyle alterations have made you nervous, I’ll let you know that I don’t regret one single day of the last 6 years! You’ll love it! It’s a very transformative experience.
Is your time frame open-ended? Where will you go?
Happy travels!

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Dan Duffy November 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I’m taking my car and roadtripping the US first and then hopefully backpacking Europe, but ya, open ended traveling! I’ll be keeping up on your adventures in Grenada!

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Nomadic Samuel October 31, 2012 at 3:30 am

Congratulations Nora!

I think that most of us (who have lived without a home indefinitely) eventually find a base to develop greater roots. I have a feeling I’ll be doing the same things several years down the road. Best wishes with your transition and maybe shorter trips will be more meaningful with more downtime in between.

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theprofessionalhobo November 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Thank you Samuel! Hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet up and compare notes somewhere…sometime…. :-)

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Mike November 1, 2012 at 12:25 am

Hey Nora,
I’ve been (silently) following you for about a year and a half now. Congratulations on your big change(s). Thanks for all the great columns and advice from the road. I hope one day to take a year or maybe two to put them into practice. In the meantime, I’m excited to see what you can offer for those of us who currently can/will only take the shorter, return flight trips! It makes me even more excited to visit your site. And I’m definitely looking forward to that book! Don’t disappoint your fans. But don’t burn yourself out either. Take some time, relax, and enjoy your new life fir a bit. You deserve it!
–Mike

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theprofessionalhobo November 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

@Mike – Thanks! And you’re right….there needs to be a balance. I can’t slow down my travels and pick up all the slack with my business, or else I’ll be in the same boat: too tired to appreciate what I have!
So your patience is greatly appreciated in waiting for the book! But in the next week I’ll be launching a new initiative that I think you’ll by very interested in given your short and long-term travel plans.
Keep your eyes peeled! :-)

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Baron's November 1, 2012 at 1:37 am

Congrats Nora and all the best wishes to you. Looking forward to the details which I’m sure will come in due time.

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theprofessionalhobo November 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Thanks! Your support is always appreciated!

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kimolsonphoto November 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

It sounds like everything is working out fantastically for you, Nora! I think you’ll enjoy slowing down and having a home base. Even though your 6 years of travel is enviable and must’ve been nothing short of amazing, it’s also nice to have *your* own space with *your* things. Here’s to your wonderful new life and congratulations! :)

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theprofessionalhobo November 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Thank you, Kim! I’m loving this new space to spread my wings in a different way. Cheers!

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Anthea Whitley November 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

Hello Nora,

great piece of writing and great openness about life on the road……. I wrote an article in April this year while l was house-siting in Greece… exactly on these issues……

The unfortunate part for me was my ‘love’ was only up the road in Athens 24km away, but l couldn’t have been more lonely. I titled my article: In search of an Identity….

So after 11 months l’ve woken up to the reality that love on the road is extremely difficult.. my expectations were not his and he didn’t communicate that, so l kept on living in hope… that one day…. we would be together as partners in crimes… traveling the world and having great adventures.

Im now on my second campervan because l too missed that sense of control, however in 10 days lm off to Turkey for a house-sitting job for 6 weeks. Xmas in a Muslim country never occurred to me what that may mean.
So this time lm determined not to get melancholy and not get lonely. But give thanks that l have my freedom and although love has alluded me again… one day l hope to find what you have found.

Good luck with everything and enjoy domesticity…. it is NOT an ugly word!!!

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theprofessionalhobo November 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Hi Anthea – Thank you for sharing your story! I think there are often obstacles to love, but trying to find it on the road – compatible love, that is – is an additional challenge to be sure.
I hope you have fun in Turkey, and indeed – Christmas should be interesting!
Cheers….and happy travels….

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Nomadic Matt November 10, 2012 at 9:11 am

Great minds think alike! Sometimes it is time to just switch gears and do a different type of travel. Have great fun and good luck in your relationship.

p.s. – people don’t want to be in the internet???

p.p.s. – Like this design!

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theprofessionalhobo November 10, 2012 at 9:50 am

Hey Matt – Indeed! Your’s was one of the first travel blogs I discovered when I started traveling (it was an inspiration to find somebody else out there traveling full-time as well), and it’s been nice to see our respective journeys around the world over the years.
PS – Yeah, who knew. Internet fame isn’t everybody’s cup o tea!
PPS – Thanks!

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Audrey November 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

Was reading this and thinking, “This could be my post.” Well, minus the new love :)

We’re dealing with a similar situation – creating a base in Berlin – and while it is scary at times and makes me wonder whether we’ll lose half our audience by not “living the dream” it was time for a change. That’s what living a full life is about – listening to yourself and making changes accordingly.

Congrats and enjoy having that outfitted kitchen and oversized wardrobe. Completely get it!

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theprofessionalhobo November 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Thanks, Audrey! Indeed, if we had the courage to turn our lives upside down to travel full-time, then surely we can muster the courage to change the game again.
Enjoy your base in Berlin! I hear amazing things about it being a great creative place to be!

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Linda November 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

Congratulations and lots of luck in your new future.

I emigrated over 20 years ago, when my kids were small, after my marriage broke up I always imagined that once the kids were grown up I could be a nomad at last (lifelong dream!), yet so far I keep returning to “my” island (though not so exotic as yours). I wonder if in traveling we are simply seeking something which suits us better? I have little to hold me here really, yet, I don’t find anywhere I’d rather have as a base….but that won’t stop me looking…..at least not yet!

Then, again, perhaps balance is the key. I return because I have a life time’s trivia in boxes (unintended and much downsized now from what it was, but the consequence of motherhood really) but I would love to have a “real” base, unpack them all and have somewhere to return at will.

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theprofessionalhobo November 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

Hey Linda – It’s an interesting thing, travel. Many people suggest we travel because we’re either running away from something or searching for something. And that may well be true, but I think those who are inclined to travel also have the bug of curiosity and adventure – which is more pertinent than the idea of searching/running away (which I think everybody suffers from to a point).
Determining how to structure our travels (with regards to having a base, and where we go) is something that can change with us as we do.
So, do what feels right – for now. Nobody says you can’t change the game later on! ;-)

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Sky November 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm

So Happy for you!

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theprofessionalhobo November 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

Thanks, Sky!

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Another Traveler on the Road November 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I ditto everything that you said in your article and, after being on the road for a few years myself, I can feel it winding down. Now to pick the home base spot because, really, having a home base makes it so much easier to focus on creating the books, programs, training shows, etc that you/I really want to develop. The logistics of traveling take quite a bit of time and effort. I have, however, been very amused by my American acquaintances who like to tell me that I’m “homeless” and that it’s so sad that I don’t have all that stuff that they have. To find the balance between having a home base AND not being tied down completely by material concerns (mortgage payments, insurance payments, car payments, etc) sounds blissful. Toss love into the mix and, voila, you have it. Congratulations!

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theprofessionalhobo November 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I’ve never had anybody tell me that it’s sad I don’t have STUFF! Most people – Americans included (if not specifically) have thought the “homeless” lifestyle is great, but admitted it might be difficult to get rid of their stuff.
I’ll be interested as I settle more and more into my digs in Grenada, if I too get mired (again) in having stuff. I don’t expect that it will ever tie me down again, but it can make the idea of moving unappealing!
Where do you think you’ll establish your home base?

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Glenn Dixon December 11, 2012 at 9:11 am

LOVE the site redesign! And thanks for all the writing over the years! Looking forward to your next phase.

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theprofessionalhobo December 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

Thanks, Glenn! :-)

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Dave January 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Your current ” time and space ” has answered a lot of questions for me…

Best wishes to you and your new family…

Dave

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theprofessionalhobo January 5, 2013 at 9:19 am

Thanks Dave – I’m glad this was helpful. We are all in changing times – even my home base is changing as we speak – so the trick is to flow with the river of life and see where it takes you. Enjoy!

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Maureen March 20, 2013 at 2:01 am

Hi Nora, I’ve been following you for awhile but have never commented. I always look forward to your posts and really love the new site!

Just read your latest post from Grenada where you consider what the universe is trying to tell you (a frequent thought of mine, lately especially) and one of your comments linked back here to this post – one I’d read before but that I relate even more to at the moment. I’ve been on the road since 2007 and, especially during the past 2 years, have been almost constantly living out of a suitcase. Your “what I want is a place to come home to…” resonates so deeply with how I’m feeling just now. I think the ideal period of time for me was the 4 1/2 years I spent teaching in the UAE where I had a home base, could still explore the local culture and yet pop off to various continents for as little as a few days (something you can’t do when you come from the west coast of Canada). I’m now sort of settled in again, this time in Kurdistan, and find I just want to wander about the neighbourhoods and talk to the locals. Anyway, I seem to be rambling when all I wanted to do was express my appreciation of your blog, your writing and your authenticity. I send best wishes to you and your partner and hope the healing for you both happens as soon as possible.

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theprofessionalhobo March 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

Hi Maureen – Thank you very much for commenting and sharing your thoughts and experiences!
I’ve come to the point a few times on the road where I’ve suffered a need for grounding, familiarity, and reflection. Hopefully your “sort of” home in Kurdistan will give you just that – while still allowing you to feel like a traveler while you discover this very interesting place.

That’s how I feel about Grenada – it’s a place I can call home, but is still so very different from anywhere I’ve ever been, that a trip to the grocery store is still usually a marvel! :-)

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Wendy April 18, 2013 at 5:28 am

Hello Nora darling! I was just down at the Mana Retreat Centre in Coromandel for a weekend with my vocal group and your name came up. In fact, I always think of you when I go to Mana. I am so happy to hear of your new home and love. He’s a lucky guy! Do you get to do any singing in Grenada? Big love and hugs to you. Wendy Moore

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theprofessionalhobo April 18, 2013 at 8:46 am

Hi Wendy – How wonderful to hear from you, and I think of you and the NZ singing crew so very often! Life in Grenada is up and down; my partner and I are recovering from a serious accident in February (http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/03/crash-bam-how-my-life-changed-in-a-second/), but life goes on and we are making the best of what we have.

I muse almost daily on when I’ll make it back to NZ….it feels very far away right now (in both time and distance), but you never know what winged angels/planes might carry me to your beautiful shores again!

Most of my singing in Grenada is in the shower…..but I’m still singing! :-)

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Dave Mears June 22, 2014 at 3:11 am

It’s just biology. Despite all the media fluff 80% of women still choose to give birth and the most educated and affluent are now doing that earlier. Your clock is ticking, a suitable mate appears for the nesting and I predict u will soon be having kids. How travel happens after that is an open question. But fewer people are able/free/willing to travel extensively with kids or just can’t afford to. Good luck.

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Nora Dunn June 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the analysis, and although you would generally be right, you couldn’t have been more off the mark in my case.
Nesting? Yes – maybe. (I’m still craving a place that is “mine”)
Kids? Never.
And the partner? Well, have a look at this post for your answer: http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2014/02/day-dumped-via-instant-message/

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