How to be a modern nomad (moving sucks)

box of random crap that you probably don’t need


Since I turned 18, I’ve moved nearly once a year — nearly every single year.

As far as locations, so far I’ve lived in Pahrump, Sacramento, La Mirada, Santa Cruz, Taiwan, Australia, Orange, Long Beach, San Francisco, South Korea, Flagstaff, Tempe, Scottsdale, and soon to be Reno. I’ve also visited several other spots and considered many others.

One thing that I’ve learned from moving so much is that you are a slave to your stuff. The more stuff that you own, the more difficult it is to pick up one day and be like “peace out yo!”

Now that I have two feline companions, it’s even more complicated.

However, I thrive on chaos and movement so I’m going to make it work. You can always get rid of stuff, pack it up, stow away your animals, etc. If you want it bad enough then you’ll figure it out.

Some people would see the list of places that I’ve lived above and say ridiculous things.

“You’re so lucky!” 

“How did you do that?” 

“You must be independently wealthy!”

“Must be nice!”

Dude, no. I’m not currently wealthy (one day my sugar babies) and there’s no secret. It’s all about one thing: choices.

Every single day you decide how you’re going to live. I’ve decided that I like to move around a lot. To be frank, it sucks. It’s expensive and difficult. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So this begs the question: why do you move so much?

Sometimes it’s circumstantial. I had to move to go to college and to take certain jobs, mostly.

Other times, I just moved because I was unhappy in a particular place. Could I have made it work? Sure. But why be unhappy when you can easily pick up and go somewhere else?

The old adage is true though, “wherever you go, there you are” and perhaps I’m running from something inherently inside of myself. 

Have I ever been truly happy anywhere? Not really. I’m still working on that. My biggest fear is regret though. I don’t want to lie on my deathbed wondering what might have happened if I had tried just one more time.

So, I move. It’s not easy. It’s not convenient. It’s a massive expense and a physical pain in the butt.

Sometimes when I’m working out and people ask me what I’m training for I think to myself, “my next move and to carry groceries in one trip, duh.”

I’m not looking forward to this upcoming move to Reno at all, in fact. It’s going to be pricey because I want to keep most of my furniture. My cats are going to hate it. I’m going to lose a lot of privacy right off the bat as well.

I have so much to gain though.

I will gain the company of my mother whom I miss dearly.

I will gain a new experience and a chance to start over after a failed attempt to make things work in Arizona.

I’ll gain a chance to save money and pay off some debts.

I’ll also lose a lot though.

I’ll lose having my own space as mentioned before.

I’ll lose some creature comforts that my fancy luxury apartment gives me.

I’ll lose the year-long warm weather and proximity to an international airport.

Everything comes with a cost and an expense. It’s up to you to decide what’s worth it and what’s not.

For me, I will make anything in life work somehow. If I don’t have the money, then I’ll find it. If I don’t know the right people then I’ll meet them. If I don’t have work then I’ll find it.

Every single “problem” is solvable with the right mindset.

So you want to be a modern nomad? Do it. That’s my advice.

There’s no secret tactic or skill to this stuff. You make up your mind to do something and you do it.

When I wanted to teach English in Taiwan, I just went out there and found a job and bought a plane ticket. It wasn’t even that difficult. The hardest part was the decision and then the universe conspired to make it possible.

Decide what you want. Make the decision. Take some action. It will work out. The worst thing that you can do is nothing. So stop that.

If you want to work abroad then do it. If you want to move then do it. I refused to belittle the power of the universe with some lame tricks and tactics for this. You have the ultimate power in your hands all the damn time.

Now time to make a choice.

Want to move? DO. IT. 

Get the boxes, sell your shit, break your lease, tell your roommates, and get moving. The money will appear to make it possible when you make the decision and have a strong desire.

If you want a nice little list then here it is:

1. Make a decision

The most important step of all. If you think about moving forever then you’ll never do it. You’ll just waste your time not enjoying where you are while still staying there. Just decide. Do it or do not. There is no try.

2. Decide what to keep, sell, or toss

Ditch all the garbage that is holding you back. You probably only wear 20% or less of your ugly clothes anyway. Donate or toss them and move on. Big items like furniture? Depends on where you’re going. You can store them or just sell it. Doesn’t really matter, though. You can always get more stuff. Only keep the stuff you absolutely love.

3. Move

This is usually the worst part. Actually packing your stuff, loading into some type of vehicle, hauling it somewhere. This is the worst. It’s way better to have no stuff at all and just hop on a plane but that might not always be an option for you.

That’s all the advice I have for you here.

I’m not going to coddle you but I will support you.

If you want to be nomadic then do it, dammit. It’s in my nature and may be in yours, too.

The world is waiting for you. See you out there.

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