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As remote work options rise, so does interest in nomad life

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Posted at 9:38 AM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 10:38:19-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Julie Rose says she can’t imagine being in one place very long.

“I have this curiosity that I want to see what the world has to offer. There’s so much to do,” she says.

Beginning in 2017, Rose began slowly testing the nomad lifestyle; meaning she spent less and less time in one location to call “home.” Instead, she spent months traveling through Europe, the United States and Canada.

In her early nomad days, Rose was working a remote job — even before the COVID-19 pandemic made remote work commonplace. Some estimates predict by the end of the year. 25% of the U.S. workforce will have the option to work remotely.

Big companies in finance, insurance, technology, and other industries have embraced remote work since COVID-19 somewhat forced them to move that direction. In April, Airbnb announced its employees can work from 170 different countires.

“We also had the most productive two-year period in our company’s history—all while working remotely,” CEO Brian Chesky wrote on Twitter.

In 2020, Rose fully committed to the nomad lifestyle. She sold her house and actually quit her job to give her more flexibility in her travels. She documents all her successes and failures on social media and through a website, where she even offers one-on-one consulting for people interested in learning more about the nomad lifestyle.

“I think there are more and more nomads joining the ranks, and you can make it work for you,” Rose said while visiting family in the Kansas City suburbs before leaving for Europe this week.

Her first piece of advice is to practice the nomad lifestyle. She suggests spending two to four weeks away from your home. This will give you the opportunity to find a routine (or discover you don’t need a routine), flush out any hiccups and generally help you understand if the lifestyle is a good fit for you.

When it comes to budgeting, Rose suggests traveling to cities or countries with lower costs of living so you can stretch your dollars.

For remote workers, Rose reminds nomads to be cognizant of different time zones which might affect their work hours.

Rose says most people she consults are less concerned about taxes, work visas and other logistics of being a nomad, and more cautious of committing to such a non-traditional lifestyle.

“I think a lot of people like the comfort and the structure and the routine,” Rose pointed out. “You really have to be honest and say, ‘Am I good with not knowing where I’m staying next week? Am I good with knowing this is going to be an expensive month for my budget, but I’m going to have to make up for it next month?’ There are all these things you have to work through and get better at over time.”

Rose, for example, is flying to Slovenia this week, but has no plans for the remaining three months she’ll spend in Europe.

“I’m seeing incredible places, I’m meeting really cool people, I’m getting out and about, and I think I’m living a life I wasn’t living before. That is so special,” she said without any regret.