Learning Spanish – or becoming fluent in any language – takes a lot of hard work. But for me, there’s nothing more rewarding than being able to converse with and understand people in their own language, in their own country. It takes travel to an entirely new level.
Life as a full-time traveler
Life as a full-time traveler is a bit of everything. It's complex, ever-changing, exciting, and even nerve-wracking at times. In this series you'll find a variety of posts that follow my personal journey of life as a full-time traveler since 2007, through 55+ countries.
Come along with me! Discover why slow travel makes my heart sing, watch me pack and tell you about my best packing tips, learn from my travel blogging mistakes, and even dissect my year-over-year income and expense breakdowns.
But remember, life isn't always pretty - on the road or off it. And sometimes, life's challenges are even harder while traveling. I mince no words and give you the real scoop on topics like finding love on the road, having my passport stolen, surviving near-fatal accidents, natural disasters, and (much) more.
Here it is for better (and) worse: Life as a Full-Time Traveler!
Here’s a summary of where I went in 2019; how my travels have changed and been redefined over the years….and how they may continue to change in future.
Looking for the ultimate packing list for full-time travel? Here’s exactly what I pack to travel the world as a digital nomad – down to every last item. This interactive packing list widget is sure to give you lots of ideas for your next trip.
Here are the 10 commandments for all travelers; some fun rules to live by when you travel that ensure you – and others around you – will have a great time.
I’ve been asked repeatedly to provide long-term travel budget templates. Here’s a framework, with info on what financially sustainable travel REALLY means.
Here’s a summary of where I went in 2018; although none of the 6 countries were new to me, the places I visited and experiences I had TOTALLY were! Enjoy.
After years of living in expat communities around the world, in this article I make some observations about expat life, including ironies, pros, and cons. Expat life is not necessarily what you would think it is!
It’s time for a new chapter. Problem is, the page I’m writing on seems to be a moving target. Either way, the ultimate goal is to find a home base. Here’s where, and why.
In this article, I share 12 truths about travel, one truth learned for each year of my full-time travel career thus far. 12 years of pictures included!
2017 was a year of new experiences and surprises. I visited 10 countries (seven of which were in Asia and almost all new to me). I started off in Ecuador “doing shaman things”, and ended up house-sitting in Japan, chilling in Bali, going crazy in India, and 10 countries later, finishing up in Thailand.
Feed your inner voyeur and watch this funny video blow-by-blow of a day in the life of me house-sitting in Tokyo. Also, a huge summary of my 7 weeks in Tokyo Japan.
I’ve had a “crisis of dislike” with Japan – which has quite taken me by surprise. But it has amounted to these reasons why I could never live in Japan.
Much as I hate to admit, finding love on the road isn’t easy. Here’s a summary of the relationships I’ve had in the last 10 years, and why they didn’t last.
Business Crisis Central at The Professional Hobo! Guess what? Screwing the pooch for the last 3 years has hurt me. Here’s why, and what I’m doing about it:
After two offensive conversations with well-meaning people, I realized there is a BIG misconception about house-sitters and lifestyle travelers. Here it is:
2016 started off in one way, turned left, got flipped upside down, then messed up in the blender. Here’s how it all came out in the end:
In this vlog, I show you what I pack for full-time travel – and how I pack it. Learn travel packing tips and techniques, and watch me cram it all in my bag!
Even though I’ve been traveling almost 10 years, my departure from Peru required that I relearn some of travel’s inherent lessons. Here’s what I’m doing.
At long last, here is an apprenticeship update about my work with a shaman in Peru. Unfortunately, it’s not pretty. Big changes coming my way….
Who knew that the simple brew of coffee could be enjoyed in so many different ways around the world? Read on to find out how to drink coffee like an expert!
Lifestyle Inflation at work: A curious thing happened when I was “living the life” in Toronto. Having crossed over into the six-figure income bracket, I didn’t seem to actually be taking home any more money or enjoying a substantially higher quality of life than when I earned half as much. Here are some musings as […]
Though I didn’t travel as much or as long as in previous years, I covered good ground in 2015, seeing 6 countries spanning 35,000 miles! Here’s the summary.
The travel state of mind is a way and means of traveling and experiencing the world. And you can even experience this without leaving home! Here’s how.
Here are some pros and cons to solo/couple/family travel, along with resources full of testimonials from professional solo, couple, and family travelers.
When you travel long-term, visiting your hometown isn’t always easy. Here’s how – and why – to visit your hometown and make it a success for all.
Here are 6 little victories of travel that make you feel good about your journey, yourself, and life in general.
Every year, I publish my annual cost of full-time travel as well as my income. Here’s my 2014 income, where it came from, and what’s on tap for 2015.
What does it cost to travel full-time? That answer varies, as it has for me over the years. Here’s my cost of full-time travel in 2014.
I’m currently in the throes of what I’ve dubbed The “C” Trip, to Colombia, Colorado, and Costa Rica. Here’s how this trip came to pass:
In 2014 I traveled through/lived in 7 countries, and traversed over 34,000 miles. Here’s a summary of what I did, and where.
In Cusco, my purse was stolen, with everything in it. Here’s what happened, what I gained from being prepared, and what mistakes I made along the way.
After eight years of full-time travel, I’ve realized that life is a journey, and the journey is the destination. Click through for some big news too!
Here are eight ways you can be impulsive on the road (as well as at home for that matter) to expand your horizons and get the most out of travel (and life):
Traveling with frequent flyer miles isn’t always easy. Here’s a sordid story of dealing with US Airways, with some rules for navigating frequent flyer miles.
This is a tale of an ugly insurance claim and its detrimental effects – and why I’m now losing in order to win this case. Also, some awesome travel content.
Financially sustainable travel is a delicate balancing act between managing income and expenses on the road. Here is an explanation of my 2013 income.
Here’s my full uncensored cost of full-time travel in 2013 – an expensive and rough year for me; testament to life happening we’re while busy making plans.
It’s done with the best intentions, but can have the most catastrophic outcomes. Here’s how tourists cripple local economies, and how to avoid it happening.
Here’s an email conversation I had with a reader, who basically asked to move in with me on the road. It made me realize travel is selfish.
I just did a 5-day digital detox in the Peruvian Andes. Although there was no better setting for it, it wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done.
Here’s the story of how I was dumped via instant message, what this instant message culture means in the grander scheme of things, and what’s next for me.
Here’s a tale of how I happened upon Gulfport Florida through serendipity, and fell in love on arrival. Enjoy these varied pictures of this colourful place.
This post outlines some of the sacrifices travelers make when getting free accommodation, and why it’s worth occasionally paying for alone time on the road.
In 2013, I managed to hit up 12 different countries, covering 28,904 miles (46,517 kilometers). Here is 2013, in a nutshell:
In the last month of being in Panama, I realized why I love slow travel so much. It’s a unique travel benefit; and one that’s very rewarding.
In just one week, $10,000 passed through my hands. And it all boils down to a stolen passport, four days before I was to travel…a saga indeed.
Here are 2 examples of how serendipity has provided opportunities in travel and business, because I was calm and patient in the face of challenge.
I was recently advised to “return home” and settle down to an “ordinary” life. I’m not so sure it’s that easy.
I may have had some mis-adventures, but the good outweighs the bad; here are the highlights of my last 6 years of full-time travel.
Brace yourself: Here’s all the crappy stuff that has happened to me in my 7 years of full-time travel. It ain’t pretty, but it usually ends well.
If you’re always on the go, living a travel lifestyle that many would equate with “holiday” life – but you’re also always working – what’s a holiday?
The time has come: I’ve drawn up a bucket list – but with a twist; I celebrate past victories, new dreams, and ongoing ambitions.
Last month, my life changed in – quite literally – the blink of an eye. Here’s what happened:
Behold a detailed breakdown of my cost of full-time travel in 2012. It’s considerably higher than previous years. Here’s why:
Despite my best efforts(!), my 2012 income was almost double my 2011 income. Here’s what I earned, how I did it, and why it’s all a bit fickle.
In 2012, my full-time travels took me to 8 countries spanning 20,000 miles. Here’s a quick recap of the highlights!
After redesigning my life 6 years ago to adopt a full-time travel lifestyle, it’s time to redesign my life again. Just a wee bit anyway. Here’s the scoop!
Communication and relationships are changing. But there’s a fine line between engaging the world, and forsaking it for the world in our laptops.
I am lucky enough to not have a university degree or a house. Here’s why I think it’s the best thing that could ever have happened to me.
Distance and geography take on a different meaning, depending on where you’re from. As a Canadian in Europe this has been quite a learning experience.
I’ve been in Switzerland for a month now, and I’m not sure if I should be proud (or guilty) of how much (or how little) I’ve done so far. What do you think?
The faster you travel, the slower time goes. Here’s why.
No life is perfect. Here are some of the things that can (and do, and did) go wrong as a full-time traveler – and how we can learn from having a bad day.
In this post I ask some tough questions: What is poverty, who exactly is impoverished, does poverty=sadness, and how can we help without insulting people?
After deciding to leave everything to chase my lifelong dream of travel, I had to walk the talk. Here are the nuts&bolts of how I Became The Professional Hobo.
Here I bare all: what prompted me to make the life-changing decision to sell everything to travel full-time. Enjoy Part I: about how it all started.
What if Destiny is a direction, not a fixed place? And what is Passion isn’t stationary? These questions and more are explored in this post.
I’m hanging it all out with this inside scoop about how romance on the road works for a single female traveler.
This poignant articles looks at how we prioritize our lives, and the root of time management and work-life issues.
The recent exercise of booking my flights back to Canada from New Zealand was a harrowing one. It took forever to actually decide on a plan of action and execute it. And for a full-time traveler, it shouldn’t have been that difficult. Then again, maybe my very freedom inspired this paralysis; the paralysis of choice. […]
Four years of full-time travel: can you believe it?! This post was originally published in 2011. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. I ended up traveling full-time for 12 years. Just as time passes more and more quickly as we age, so too I’m finding that time passes increasingly quickly […]
I am currently recovering from Motion Sickness on the road. This is a very real, very difficult condition to deal with, and something to be aware of, especially if you’re traveling solo. In this fantastic world of full-time travel (four years and counting for me, at the time of writing), a tapestry of experiences is […]
Travel Fatigue…..it’s a bitch. This post was originally published in 2011. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. About a month ago, I realized something wasn’t right. I couldn’t quite define what was going on, but I had an unsettled feeling in my gut. I was fundamentally tired; feeling like I […]
Breaking up while traveling – this is not an easy task….trust me. There are heaps of articles about survival tips for couples on the road. The stress of travel can take a toll on a relationship, accelerate the natural evolution of a relationship, or even force two people to stay together longer than they should. […]
This post was originally published in 2010. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. In the last few months, I’ve had occasion to connect with a handful of people who I’ve initially met on-line, developed relationships with over varying periods of time, and then met in person. I’ve stayed with some […]
Can’t decide if you’re a city person or a country person? Here’s an unbiased analysis of the pros and cons of city live vs country life, after having lived extensively in both. Enjoy!
Part of the fun of living at a hostel is in meeting all sorts of people with a variety of backgrounds and stories to tell. And it’s amazing to discover how many people are out there who are going through (or have gone through) similar life changes in life as Kelly & I did. See […]