This is chapter 9 of a 15 part series about digital nomading and location independence. To see all of the other chapters, click here!
Three of the biggest reasons why people stop nomading are isolation/loneliness, running out of money, and becoming burned out from travel. The root cause of all of these is traveling too fast.
Contrary to what you might see on social media, most long-term travelers travel slowly.
Why? Fast traveling makes it harder to live cheaply, be productive, get into a groove, and build deep relationships.
With that primer, here are three general types of nomadic travel styles:
1. Backpackers (Less than one month per location)
Anything shorter than a month is fast. In each new place you have to figure out where to live, where to eat, where to exercise, how to make friends, etc.
So if you’re also trying to figure out how to make money, the decision-making fatigue is draining.
When you’re starting out, be conscious of the inverse correlation between travel speed and expenses/community/productivity/routines.
2. Short-Term Travelers (1-3 months per location)
The longer people nomad, the slower they seem to travel. I spent the first 18 months of my travels changing locations every 5-6 weeks. Since then, I’ve slowed to a pace of a new location every 3-5 months.
Now that I’ve explored most of my nomad bucket list, I’m prioritizing productivity and extended stays in my favorite places (Bali, Taipei, and Medellin).
3. Long-Term or “Hub and Spoke” Travelers (3-6+ months per location)
Most long-term nomads I know fall into this category. They tend to cycle between their favorite places or settle down in one region.
The “hub and spoke” model involves living in a place with easy access to nearby destinations. Popular choices for this tend to be places like Chiang Mai and Bali.