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  • Writer's pictureKim

Preparing for a Nomadic Life

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

Top 5 Reasons It's More Complicated than I Thought by Kim

More than a decade ago, Paul said to me, “I think we should consider living abroad when we retire.” That seemed like such a radical idea, but several years of intense travel, including a 3-winter (their summer) stint with a work program in NZ and Australia convinced both of us that we wanted to travel as much as possible. When I was a child, I wanted to explore the world and now I realized I could live my childhood dream with the person I most enjoyed spending time with. So when we returned in 2017 from our second Australasian journey, we started to plan. In 2018 we sold our house and moved into a series of apartments. I thought selling the house and moving would be the hardest thing we’d have to do, but there was a lot more. In summer, 2021, I gave my notice to retire at the end of the year, but I still had no idea how many things had to be checked off the list to NOT have a home. After all, what could be simpler than going from place to place, without a residence? It turns out this is not at all a simple thing to do.

Kim’s top 5 reasons it is not simple to begin a nomadic life
Click on the arrows below

Reason #5: What do we do with all this stuff?

What to eliminate, what to pack, what to leave behind but accessible? Will we ever have a residence again? These questions were our constant companions for the six months before we departed. I “auditioned” my clothes all year – what do I like to wear? Is it comfortable? Is it light? Bulky? Shoes? Early on, we gave away sentimental things we hoped would be enjoyed in other homes. Just before the move, we decided to give away large pieces of furniture. Everything we now own, except what we packed with us, fits in one climate-controlled storage unit. It is boxed to be moved to another home, should we ever decide to have one. Physically and mentally, this was the hardest move I’ve ever made (and we’ve moved a lot!) This type of move is hard because there is no flex - no extra trips by car to the new place, or changing one’s mind once we get there. It was a relief to close the storage unit and leave that stuff behind. I guess we’ll see if we still hang onto it in a few years.

Reason #4: Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave

Reason #3: Are we Taking the Right Tech?

Reason #2: Health Care

Reason #1: The world assumes you have a residence.


Notwithstanding that it is not simple, it is wonderful. We’re only a few days in, and we’re loving it so far. Some things worth doing are worth a little bit of hassle. And, a lot of other nomads have paved the way. Some of the ones who helped us include:


Feb 21, 2022

I thought leaving the hot tub would have been #1

Kimberly OLeary
Kimberly OLeary
Feb 22, 2022
Replying to

Well, we left that behind in 2018, so it is but a distant memory! You do know me well - it is the only possession I miss!

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