Matilda is a part-time digital nomad and aspiring professional suitcase packer.
How Did I Become Semi-Nomadic?
I have been looking for a way to travel full-time since I fled to Spain after a bad break-up (with both a job and a boy).
I was absolutely astounded by Spain and while it was probably one of the best countries I could have chosen for myself at the time, it wasn't really about Spain. It was about somewhere different, somewhere new, and somewhere that I didn't know anyone.
I was a quick convert to travel and like many first time backpackers, I could not shut up about it.
People don't talk, so much as proselytize about travel. Most people who travel once will never stop talking about how that experience changed them, sometimes to the outright perturbation of their friends and families, and I am no different. Years later, I still cannot stop talking about how much I love to travel, and I'm sure all my friends would tell you that they are sick of it. Honestly, I will probably never stop, but after trying to travel full-time off and on for a few years, I also see the downsides.
Travel is lonely, it is exhausting, and it can be extremely expensive even if you are working. This is why I rely on seasonal work to give me a sense of stability, somewhere to recharge, and a chance to replenish my bank account.
What Does My Life Look Like Now?
These days, there are two major seasons in my life: travel season and work season. I still work during the travel season, and I still travel a bit during the work season, but they are very, very different.
So, what does that mean?
Well, I have a seasonal job working in the hotel business every summer. It keeps me pretty stationary for about four months every year and extremely busy. I am not guaranteed to get my job back every year, but hey, I'm good at what I do and I'm a good employee, so, so far, so good!
When my work season is over, I leave my little tourist town for somewhere new and start my winter job, teaching English online with VIPKID.
Why Be Only Semi-Nomadic?
I love my semi-nomadic lifestyle and, personally, I could never travel all year round.
- I can't afford it! Moving around is expensive and, though I might try, I am not the most financially responsible person (yet!). Having seasonal work gives me the opportunity to settle in and top up my bank account.
- Travel can be exhausting! I love to travel, but after five or six or seven months, I'm usually ready for just a teensy bit of stability and to sleep in the same bed for more than a few nights at a time.
- Friends! Meeting people abroad is exhilarating, but it can be lonely and it's nice to come back to my own circle of friends every year.
- Mail! Do you know what's nice? Having a mailing address. It's hard to keep one on the road.
For me, neither the nomad life nor a settled life makes sense. I need both! It gives me the comfort and stability of a home without tying me down, at least, not for too long!
How Can You Create Your Own Semi-Nomadic Lifestyle?
If you are looking for location-independent work, you'll want to start with my article about the five types of digital nomad jobs.
If you are looking for seasonal work, here are the places you'll want to start looking:
- Hotels, even hotels in places that are popular year-round, often need extra staff during certain seasons.
- Ski resorts hire scores of workers for short contracts every year.
- Beach resorts: Same idea as a ski resort only warmer!
- Summer camp jobs can be a load of fun if you have experience with kids.
- Tax season: While you will need a very particular set of skills for this job, acquiring them will be worth your while.
- Tour guide gigs can be a great way to show off your interpersonal skills and make tips while you're at it!
This list is a great place to start. In fact, it could probably keep you busy all year round! If you've worked a seasonal job that's not on this list, please comment below!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Matilda Woods
What about you? Could you ever be 100% nomadic?
Matilda Woods (author) from Toronto on January 22, 2020:
Thank you Denise! I feel so thankful that I get to live this way!
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 11, 2020:
I'm intrigued! I've traveled very little in my life but each time I did I loved it, met new people, learned new things and languages, saw places I've never seen before, saw art and architecture that I truly love. I'm happy for you to be able to do this kind of thing on an ongoing basis. Good for you.
Liz Westwood from UK on November 21, 2019:
Thanks for sharing your experience to help others. Your life sounds like a good mix.