Travel-living is neither a typical way to travel nor a typical way to live. It is a state of flexible mind neither constrained by the 9 to 5 hustle nor bound by the desire for a "normal" life. It is the gypsy inside us that knows that life is short and all is impermanent, so we might as well actually live our life and relish the experience and derive great meaning from life.
Travel-living is about finding flexible work options as a way of freeing up time to explore what really matters in life. That may or may not involve travel. The "living" is stressed because typical travelling doesn't offer the depth that comes from settling into a place (and it can also be damaging to the environment). Living in one place for extended periods of time offers a much deeper cultural experience and opens up opportunities to contribute to the places visited.
There are typical travel experiences of course too, but these are more in the form of day trips from home or stopping in new places as you journey from one location to the next for a few days. Since we advocate surface travel it takes time to move from one place to another.
Actual travel is just one expression of the freedom that comes from travel-living. To travel-live means to acknowledge the mindset of freedom above all else. When you’re liberated, you’re travelling without even moving. You’re travelling in the space of your own home, free to just be.
We live in a world of excessive choice, yet in reality, some choices are rarely exercised. Waking up early to commute across town to do something we don’t like to buy something we don’t need to satisfy a want that was created by the same structure we’re working for doesn’t do individuals or the planet any good.
Travel-living is for those who want to be part of the world and live, live, live… not watch it pass us by as we punch the clock every day. Turn down the dial on your brain and raise the dial on your heart. Open your heart and say yes.
The Philosophy of Travel-Living
What does it mean to travel? What does it mean to live? Without getting too existential, travel-living is about questioning those two concepts to find a holistic balance of travel and life that aren’t separate, but integrated. To engage life with flexibility in order to capture the essence of travel: freedom.
What usually keeps travellers on the road is the freedom that comes from having no routine, no expectations, no predictability. The freedom of getting up and doing anything, anywhere. Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, the desire for freedom is innate. It’s humanity’s most powerful inner urge because it connects us to the truth and helps us answer that one all-important question: “Who am I?”
Travel may seem like an activity just like any other. Go here, do this, see that. But it’s far more than the actions themselves. It’s the process, the mindset. It’s through the process of travelling that freedom arises. Mundane acts such as laying on the beach all day can liberate because the choice leads us to a flexible state of mind that says, “A little bit of laziness is OK.” Feats like bungee jumping thrill not because of the 30 seconds of excitement, but because they’ve issued a challenge to open up and face fears. Whipping the laptop out to do some telework while sitting on the back of a fishing boat can liberate simply because it’s not the norm, it’s a change. From country to country, rules vary as widely as the languages between those countries and the dialects within them.
When playing on the field of change, there are no rules. Travel-living is based on the process of expanding the mind to accept change as the only constant in life. With that enhanced flexibility, life possibilities are endless. The freedom to think and do anything naturally leads to a freedom to be anything. Be freedom itself.
The 3 Principles of Travel-Living
- Work to Travel-live
- Engage Life
1. Work to Travel-live
Travel-living is about quitting the day job in favour of telecommuting or some other flexible work arrangement. I'm here to help aspiring travel-livers to find and maintain flexible work:
- Learn about the different types of telecommute, portable and other flexible work.
- Explore how to find and maintain flexible work for as long as you choose to travel.
- Practical guides on where to live cheaply so it's easier for you to get by with your work, what countries have solid internet access for your telecommute work, and other issues expats have to deal with such as which countries grant visas easily and which don’t.
2. Engage Life
Once the money side has been solved, the hard part is over. When you peel back the skin what you get is the juicy insides that are so fun to experience. It's not just typical travel fun I'm talking here. When travel-livers free up their time they get to deeply live in new places, making strong connections with people, really understanding other cultures, learning new languages and ultimately discovering a different way of life. What you will find:
- Destinations that are great to travel-live.
- Interviews from travel-livers.
- Articles about the benefits of low-impact living in developing nations.
- How to connect with other travel-livers.
- Interesting stories about cultural differences.
After you've eaten all the juicy fruit you get to the seed. And that is what travel-living is really all about.
With all the time freed up from not having to work non-stop, travel-livers often like to use their time to devote to finding their purpose or pursuing their passion.
Others find that long-term travel can actually become quite mundane and repetitive when you've been doing it for a long time, so to alleviate that it's a good to just have a purpose while actually travel-living. Volunteering for a worthwhile cause like an orphanage in India adds a whole other dimension to travel whereas having something to do while you travel-live like writing a book always keeps you interested and living purposefully rather than just roaming about the world.
Ultimately, the focus of this lifestyle is freedom. Because by freeing up your time you free up your lifestyle options which gives you more opportunity to find your life purpose or pursue your passions. It is that intention to a purposeful life that rounds out the travel-living lifestyle. Sign up to find out more about:
- Discovering your life purpose through travel-living.
- Exploring positive options for volunteering where you can make a difference.
- Learn about the ethics of volunteering abroad.
Kiva Bottero has been travel-living around the world since 2007 — first as a single guy, then married and now with his family. He's as passionate about this lifestyle now as when he started 12 years ago and he has now dedicated himself to sharing his love of the travel-life. He writes about his travel journeys in his book Inner Asia and about spirituality in The Mindful Word.