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Thread: The Nomadic Life

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    Default The Nomadic Life

    Casa TT et al. have recently taken to glamping. We use a Travel Trailer to find places to go eff' off for a few days or few weeks. We are frequently impressed meeting others who similarly are traveling with one difference, this is their entire life. These folks are working remotely or not at all, they simply travel. Taking off for a few days or weeks is hardly a change in lifestyle, taking your game on the road is a different matter. Somewhere in the middle lies the need/want many of us aspire.

    I'm going to kick this off with a (verbatim) cut and past of a portion out of a recent article by Amelia Borg and Timothy Moore -
    (Quoted Text)
    ....Currently in the idealized capitalist economy, the working subject is retained until a time when they can be free to enjoy leisure and explore the unknown where their bodily output is no longer linked to labor or financial production. Nomadism is a rewarded after a lifetime of permanent work, a rebuff of the societal and economic systems that during the twentieth century largely tied a working subject to a single static piece geographically.

    ....The extension of a life leisure may soon impossible as people become so indebted that they are no longer able to retire. While gray nomads are primarily privileged baby boomers, their way of life reveals much about physical and digital infrastructures that support and facilitate nomadic living. This subcultural for of living may instead be a precursor of a life for future generations--not one of nomadic leisure but one of nomadism--following cheaper land, going off grid or working remotely.
    Last edited by Too Tall; 10-04-2018 at 07:34 AM.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I don't feel privileged, I'm a 53 year old Engineering Manager that intends to work to 60. My recent divorce took a hit on my retirement savings but as a retired naval officer, I'll be okay. What I do have is my TSP account which I have intended for years, is to by a travel trailer. A nice 25' Airstream and I've got around $150K so I can get another vehicle if needed. My current vehicle is a Ford Expedition which would tow it with no problems. I want an Airstream, nothing with pull outs. I've shifted my life to paperless, the only thing that gets delivered to my house these days are packages from Amazon. My goal over the next 7 years is to get my life down to minimal stuff and bikes. Even get down to minimum numbers of bikes, a road bike, gravel, and MTB.

    I think the challenge is a "home base" even if that's a storage unit. I live in a neighborhood of snowbirds. About half the houses have a three car garage and the 3rd door is a 12'+ high and extended for parking an RV or trailer. I don't think I have that amount of income but I could see having a 1500 square foot home with RV parking. Months on the road, months at home, I could be a snowbird.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I think it only works for that period of your life when you are retired and 'healthy'. Eventually, old age catches up to us all and a 'home base' is really needed. Unfortunately, I know on this forum, I am not alone in dealing with aging parents.

    I will eventually be an aged parent, and being far away from any extended family as a snowbird seems an incredibly lonely life to me.
     

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Has anyone done the math on buying, maintaining, storing and towing an RV, versus just VRBOing a vacation home wherever you want to go?

    Just squinting at the numbers, it seems like you'd have to spend a whole lot of nights in the RV, or just really value having your own space, for it to make sense.
     

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    My retirement plan is to move to a less expensive area of NYS and yes, get an Airstream and travel, especially during the colder months.

    Small house with storage as a home base is a must, but I don't need much space.

    Sometime in the next 3-7 years.

    SPP
    My name is Peter Miller.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Has anyone done the math on buying, maintaining, storing and towing an RV, versus just VRBOing a vacation home wherever you want to go?

    Just squinting at the numbers, it seems like you'd have to spend a whole lot of nights in the RV, or just really value having your own space, for it to make sense.
    I'm pondering something a whole lot smaller and cheaper than an RV and it still is hard math...
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Interesting timing. I just started a 100% remote job. A few years back I bought a second home in Moab. I have been going back and forth between the two for the past few years. But now I’ll probably do a month at each. The place is smaller than my main house and it lets you know how small you can get away with.

    But for me the math of an RV as a depreciating asset didn’t work out vs a modest vacation home. Although I see the allure of the open road.

    Happy trails to all no matter what path you take.

    Joe

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    I don't feel privileged, I'm a 53 year old Engineering Manager that intends to work to 60.
    I'm not going to get into a discussion of this but I feel compelled to point out that if you're white, male and educated in this country you're privileged. That doesn't mean that you didn't run your laps and make some decent decisions but you absolutely are privileged. And compared to much of the rest of the world we're privileged in many more ways.

    As relates to the larger subject: When I stealth camp alone, generally to go surfing, I get a glimpse (a very lite one, from which I can easily extract myself) of what being homeless must be like. Untethered, with nowhere I "belong", looking for some place to be. With my spouse I'd feel much differently, but solo I feel unmoored.
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I am all of that and then some, and only too aware of the privilege. Talk about the 1% obscures this a bit.
     

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    All issues/complaints on this board are "First World Problems" we are all 1%ers maybe not in the US or EU but certainly compared to the world.

    On the RV side - I hate driving and the thought of pulling a trailer/driving a motor coach is only slightly more appealing than a nursing home. I am doing the math on the small base home and Air BnB options for long retirement vacations. We have friends that have successfully rented their condo (Boston/desirable) and used Air BnB to travel the US/EU for the past 18 months with only short stays with Family, friends or the occasional hotel.
     

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I read a book last year entitled Nomadland, that chronicles the lives of many who fell through the cracks that developed after 2007/8. I can recommend it without reservation. I've met a number of people who have taken this route as a way to drop out of the rat race because of life changes or just plain lifestyle choice. I can recommend this distaff view of living out of a car or trailer.
     

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I've got a daughter and son in law with a cabin in N.C. mnts, a sister in law with a cabin on a small lake in Mich., best friend with condo in Colorado and another with a cabin in Maine. I'm set for retirement traveling.

    Mike
    Mike Noble

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Regarding returned value and "home base"...

    This is a lifestyle with benefits. You get to live in many places and meet all sorts of interesting people, it's your choice. Also, this is not about living cheap it is about living well.

    The idea of living constantly on the road, for myself, is not the goal. In my case we have already found two really cool small RV parks where we can purchase a permanent spot. Both are located in primo bicycle / hiking / peace and quiet locales. The plan is to stay at these places as much or little as we want and use them as a jump off to go to other places. The "home base" RV spots will always be there for us.

    Winter travel is when we'll be home based in a real life house....but that could change. There are RV spots you can buy in warm weather areas as well...if that's your gig ;)

    Consider that the RV community and in particular the Airstream community is well organized. There are planned caravans which travel for weeks at a time to awesome places. You can join them and be in a different place every night while someone else manages logistics.

    So many possibilities.

    The next JO to fan the "privileged" flame needs to drop and give me 20. xxoo
    Last edited by Too Tall; 10-11-2018 at 05:22 PM.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I am green with envy. I’ve had my eyeballs on Airstreams for years and can definitely see doing this one day.

    But I’ll definitely have a home base, even if it’s a 1-bedroom “lock and leave” condo somewhere.

    I watch Airstream videos on YouTube all the time.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Check out tincantourists.com, vintagevintcampers.com, vintagetrailercamp.com

    there are plenty of options

    TooTall- where are these trailer parks near riding trails? Inquiring minds want to know.
     

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    Check out tincantourists.com, vintagevintcampers.com, vintagetrailercamp.com

    there are plenty of options

    TooTall- where are these trailer parks near riding trails? Inquiring minds want to know.
    Top secret. Sorry man, I truly covet this. That's not to say you won't get a invite.

    FWIIW Vintage Airstreams as in the really old ones are cool for school, nice to look at but I really like what goes with a new(er) one. When I say "new(er)" that's to say young enough to have AC, Microwave and new axels ;) The idea is really attractive however at some point you need to stop fixing broken things and enjoy yourself.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Agreed on the modern amenities. Better AC and electrical and many are now outfitted to use solar. If I ever do it I'll be buying new.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I've now talked to a few people who have done classic Airstream renovations, and from them, it sounds like the biggest challenge is water-proofing. All those beautiful aluminum sheets riveted together are basically a sieve in the making, and there's nothing like driving a bunch of miles in a rainstorm to a camping site to find the interior of the thing is totally soaked from a place that has never leaked before ever. The twin themes of their advice is "get a new one" and "build a roof over it".
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Just as a datapoint, since you asked: I've got no interest in the nomadic lifestyle. I've got a home I love in a city I love and that's that.

    Yeah, I want to travel (still yearning for the cross-country driving trip[s]...) but want to do it in a vehicle that's fun and responsive rather than lumbering and ponderous. I'll pilot a sports sedan/wagon and stay in a hotel, thanks. Or an AirBNB.

    Which gets me to my second point: No vacation home for me, either. I'd rather stay in a hundred different places in dozens of different locales, rather than own and maintain a second domicile, no matter how nice the spot. One home is enough for me. And as caleb asks, I think the numbers favor my plan:

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Has anyone done the math on buying, maintaining, storing and towing an RV, versus just VRBOing a vacation home wherever you want to go?

    Just squinting at the numbers, it seems like you'd have to spend a whole lot of nights in the RV, or just really value having your own space, for it to make sense.
    GO!

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I travel too much as it is integral to my work. Thus hotels are of little interest to me. Still trying to find a place I love for retirement, even though thatís a ways off. Minneapolis is the obvious place, if I stay in the US, which isnít a certainty. But itís great only for about 8 months of the year. The other 4 months are OK if one is a winter person. But the idea of hooking up the Airstream to a truck in November and rolling home about April 1 is appealing at some level.

    Love, love love my trips to California of late and with two crew bases there itís more interesting every day. But thatís another topic for another thread.
    Last edited by Saab2000; 10-12-2018 at 10:50 AM.
    La Cheeserie!

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