An around-the-world trip in 2010 sparked a whole new way of living for Valerie Conners. She and her fiancé, Ayaz, have been location independent since early 2013, and have spent most of that time exploring their own backyard in the United States, as well as taking several jaunts abroad.

Valerie Conners

In This Episode

  • Finding accommodations and touring national parks in the United States
  • How our round-the-world trips opened our eyes to unconventional ways of living
  • How she and Ayaz went from work buddies to travel partners to life partners
  • Breaking the mold in how we choose to live our lives
  • Finding like-minded community
  • Full-time travel vs location independence
  • Logistics of being a nomad
  • And much more

Most Memorable Location-Independent Experiences

Taking a quick break during the day and winding up at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim on a random Wednesday to watch the sunset, just because we felt like it and we could.

To that end, I had worked on an enormous research-based project years ago for the Travel Channel writing about America’s National Parks, and I became obsessed with their beauty and wonder. I always wondered how I’d be able to see so many of them when vacation time is so limited in the American life. When we decided to head to the Southwest and Western US in summer of 2013, I was able to visit so many of the ones I’d dreamed of seeing, like Bryce, Glacier, and Zion–and did so in a leisurely fashion, while living in cabins or apartments near the parks. It was realizing a dream.

Biggest Surprise along the Way

That it’s been relatively easy to live this way. People always ask in wonder how it’s possible to do this, and honestly, I feel like it’s almost a letdown that I don’t have any tales of major strife. I mean, yes, there are inconveniences to figuring out the logistics, but overall, placing our stuff in storage and finding really nice and affordable short-term sublets in the US and South America has been easy. In two years, I can say we really only had one disappointing stay. That was in Florianopolis, Brazil, and even that wasn’t terrible.

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