Stephanie: “I want to explore the world while I’m active and able”
December 9, 2014 | Interviews
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!
Stephanie is an iOS developer, IT risk management expert and former journalist. She’s using this year to travel, write, learn and figure out how she can best add value. Her interests include complex systems, health and wellness, and helping people learn more/better/faster. She blogs her experiences at CodeXJourneys.com and tweets at @codexjourneys.
How would you describe your current Nomadtopia?
My lifestyle balances productive working time in the U.S. with exploration of the world. I left my job in risk management in May, traveled briefly in Canada, and then attended Hacker School in New York City over the summer to indulge my personal interest in programming. Afterward, I spent six weeks in Florence, Tuscany, Vienna and Budapest, and I plan to continue traveling part-time next year.
What was the motivation that led to your current lifestyle?
My primary motivation is a desire to explore the world while I’m active and able. Waiting until retirement is an uncertain proposition, so I think it’s smarter to spread experiences throughout life. I started thinking about doing something different a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t sure what it would be until earlier this year. When I realized it was not going to get easier to leave, and my biggest regret would be never trying, I gave notice on my apartment and decided to try the nomadic lifestyle.
What is the most unexpectedly useful thing in your current Nomadtopia?
Connections with friends and acquaintances make me feel supported even while I am untethered, exploring in free space. It’s an exciting combination of stability, community and creative chaos.
What do you miss most?
My rebounder/trampoline! It’s the best exercise in the world to me, and I really miss blasting music while I jump toward the ceiling. I try to walk enough, but exercise can be surprisingly challenging while traveling. I didn’t expect that.
What is the most challenging aspect of this lifestyle?
The biggest challenge is how to keep momentum going in this new life rhythm. I’m figuring out the right balance of home-base time, where I stay in the U.S., have a good Internet connection, and focus on maximum productivity, versus travel time, where I accept more uncertainties in exchange for amazing experiences. It’s a tough balance, and hopefully as I get more contract projects I’ll get better at this.
What advice would you have for others who are hoping to do something similar?
Do a trial run first before cutting all the cords. I let my apartment lease expire and gave away all my stuff but did NOT quit my job immediately. Instead, I moved to an Airbnb sublet for a month to see if I liked living with no stuff. I loved it, so I went ahead and embarked on my nomadic adventure, but it felt good knowing I had time to change my mind.
Would you rather spend one month in a place you’ve been to before, or 24 hours somewhere new?
One month in a place I’ve visited before, definitely! Twenty-four hours isn’t long enough to sink into the atmosphere of a place. A repeat visit can be even more inspiring than a first visit, because I already know what I wish I’d done the first time.
Thanks for sharing your story, Stephanie!