Each person’s unique vision of Nomadtopia is a reminder that there is no one way to create your ideal life, no right or wrong approach. Many people just like you—or in even more complicated circumstances—have made it happen, or are working to get there. Hearing others’ stories keeps us all inspired, and reminds us to dream big!
Akira Morita is one half of Design Kompany, a “legacy-making design consultancy,” and Orangutan Swing, where he and his wife, along with their five-year-old, have been visiting communities in Asia since April 2013. OS helps people who make and do things everywhere connect with each other through art, conversation and creative thinking.
How would you describe your Nomadtopia?
We have been on the road since April of last year. We are totally improvising the whole way and it’s been great! But a few adjustments will be needed soon (we are flat-out broke) and we are working toward that currently.
What led to your current lifestyle? How long did it take you to get from “here’s a crazy idea” to making it happen?
We lived in Ireland in the early 2000s for four years, and it really changed the way we look at things. After trying to settle down back in the US, we eventually realized that the settled lifestyle just wasn’t for us.
We always struggled financially. When I realized that the cost of living abroad can be a fraction of the same lifestyle in the US, it became evident that we’d take the leap. It was just a question of when. It took us about two years to work up enough gumption to actually leave.
What is the most unexpectedly useful thing in your current Nomadtopia?
Having a child around. It’s a pain at times, but he’s opened so many doors for us! Where otherwise the interaction might have been staid and on the surface, we could get deeper into what we all cared about through talking about our kids, and we get so many more smiles just walking around.
What do you miss most that you didn’t (or couldn’t) bring with you?
Nothing I can think of. I can think of many things we did bring that we regret, though! “Less is more” is a lesson we can’t seem to learn enough.
What is the most challenging aspect of this lifestyle? What’s the most satisfying?
Uncertainty, both ways. Not knowing what we will do next, where we’d be going, or under whose roof we’d be sleeping. It’s at times nerve-wracking and exciting.
What advice would you have for others who are hoping to do something similar?
Just pack what you absolutely need and go. As someone half my age sagely quipped: Everything is easy if you let it be. He had just a small backpack, couchsurfed all the way through China and Vietnam, and is on his way to India. This American from Florida had lived in New Zealand, and planned nothing in advance.
Just for fun: Would you rather spend one month in a place you’ve been to before, or 24 hours somewhere new?
Hmmm. Hard one. I think I want to go to a new place, but if I go, I’d want to stay for a month.
Thanks for sharing your story, Akira!
Have any questions for Akira? Does his story resonate with your own Nomadtopia dreams? Share in the comments below.