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7 Steps to a Life of Travel

Making PlansAre you eager to create a lifestyle that allows you the freedom to travel where and when you want? It’s a scenario that many dream of—and that is becoming a reality for more people all the time, it seems.

I’ve been thinking back over the steps that led me to the life I have today, and I thought I’d break it down to (hopefully!) show you that the lifestyle you want is within reach.

I’ve tried to keep the list simple, but I’ll be the first to acknowledge that although creating a life of travel is totally doable, it’s not always a walk in the park. Many of these things need to happen simultaneously, and each individual step has its own challenges. Some steps might take a lot longer than you’d like (believe me, I’ve been there).

My goal here is to provide a brief overview—and to have you correct me if I’ve forgotten anything! Each of the links below will take you to a more detailed post on that topic.

If you’re still figuring out what your Nomadtopia looks like, start with these two posts: How to Create a Lifestyle that Aligns with Your Values and Are You Chasing Somebody Else’s Dream?

Then, move on to the logistics:

1. Make a money plan: Save money and/or develop a solid plan for how you will make money while on the road.

2. Plot your escape: Pare down your possessions—everything you don’t get rid of will either need to go with you or be stored somewhere. If you’re renting, figure out when you’ll be able to move out, if you’ll need to break your lease, etc. If you’re a homeowner, decide if you want to sell your place, rent it out, or explore options like home exchange.

3. Sort out travel logistics: Decide where to go, research and buy plane tickets, buy travel insurance, etc. As your itinerary comes together, you’ll have a better sense of how much money you’ll need (see #1).

4. Start packing: Figure out what you’ll take with you, what luggage to use, and what equipment you’ll need if you’re planning to work on the road. Determine where you’ll leave anything you’re not taking with you.

5. Disengage and automate: Cancel, put on hold, or automate all your local expenses and accounts (gym membership, cell phone plan, banking, utilities). Find someone reliable to take care of your mail and any other business that might come up while you’re gone.

6. Prepare a soft landing: Do more research on where you’re going, and arrange preliminary accommodations in your first destination so you’ll know where you’re going when you first get there.

7. Hit the road!


Also check out:

Step 1: Make a Money Plan

Step 2: Plot Your Escape

Step 3: Part 1: Decide Where to Go, Part 2: Sort Out Travel Logistics

Step 4: Start Packing

Step 5: Disengage and Automate

Step 6: Prepare a Soft Landing

Step 7: Hit the Road!


What do you think? Did I miss any major steps in the process? Which step is most challenging for you?

2017-07-18T13:36:44+00:00July 21, 2011|Nomad Life, Travel Logistics|12 Comments


  1. Ashely July 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Love that photo! India is on my list for 2012!

    • Amy July 25, 2011 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Thanks, Ashley! I love it too (not mine, though). Great to hear India’s on the list! It’s an experience like no other. You might want to check out a book I edited, Wanderlust and Lipstick’s guide for women traveling to India. (Just Google “wanderlust and lipstick india”)

  2. Rich Polanco July 23, 2011 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    That’s as brief as it can be boiled down to in a post. Good summary, Amy 🙂

    I think step 1 is the one that trips most people up. Saving, setting oneself for a location independent career, and working on minimizing possessions helps get over the mental hurdle. Setting a date for “go time” also helps.


    • Amy July 25, 2011 at 10:54 am - Reply

      Thanks, Rich! Yes, step 1 is very daunting. As is writing about it! Still working on that one. 🙂

      Setting a date definitely helps; then you have no choice but to get everything done in time!

      • Rich Polanco July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm - Reply

        Working on that as well 😉

  3. […] case you missed it, the other day I posted a list of 7 Steps to a Life of Travel. In the coming weeks I’ll be doing a longer post on each step, so stay tuned for those tips […]

  4. marianney | CityVids.tv Denver July 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Hey great tips! Automate and disengage is one we probably don’t think about too often. Can’t wait to start a new life of travel one day (after all the steps are complete of course) 😉

  5. […] to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting Nomadtopia!  A few weeks ago I wrote a post outlining 7 Steps to a Life of Travel. It’s my attempt to break down a complex process into manageable chunks—but […]

  6. […] This is Part 1 of Step 3 in the 7 Steps to a Life of Travel. […]

  7. […] This is Part 2 of Step 3 in the 7 Steps to a Life of Travel. […]

  8. […] The next step is to free yourself of all the trappings of your location-dependent life so you can plot your escape. This is Step 2 in the 7 Steps to a Life of Travel. […]

  9. What’s Stopping You? | Nomadtopia February 15, 2013 at 11:33 am - Reply

    […] is the final step in the 7 Steps to a Life of Travel. Just a little inspiration to finally hit the road! If, after going through the other steps, there […]

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