I’ve been living a location-independent, minimalist, nomadic lifestyle for a while now and the hardest question for me to answer is:
“Where do you live?”
Because the truth is, I don’t live anywhere!
I don’t have a permanent home address.
Everything I own fits into a suitcase.
And because my entire business is run online, I get to travel wherever and whenever I want as long as I have money and a laptop.
To some, this is crazy.
To me, this is FREEDOM.
Here are some of the questions I get asked the most when I tell people, “I don’t live anywhere.”‘
Q: Where do you stay when you’re traveling? With friends, couchsurfing, hostels?
A. It depends on where I’m going and how long I plan to be there. I have actually never couch-surfed! Mainly because I have a lot of…let’s say “preferences.” I’m picky about certain things, which prohibits me from staying in close quarters with someone who is not family. I would much rather stay in a hostel. I LOVE hotels and sometimes I stay in fancy 4 or 5-star ones – especially when I’m traveling for my business or a professional conference for a few days at a time. For instance, on my recent trip to Las Vegas, I stayed at the Trump International Hotel, which was pretty swanky and the spa was off the chain! Most of the time though, I stay in a budget 2 or 3-star hotel, like Travelodge or Best Western. When I’m staying in a city for a longer period of time, I prefer to rent an Airbnb apartment or condo for a few weeks. I also like to use Craigslist to find a room to rent in someone’s home or condo when I will be living somewhere for months at a time. I did this in Hawaii and it worked out wonderfully!
Q: How do you decide where to travel to?
A: I have a list of countries I want to visit on my travel bucket list and vision board. Thailand and Mexico had been on there for a while, so that’s what prompted my trips to those places over the past two years. My other travel throughout the year is determined by business events, fun trips with friends and family gatherings. In addition, I have my “homebase” cities which currently include Honolulu, Hawaii and San Diego, California which is where I spent a lot of time because I love those cities and I know awesome people who live there, not to mention the great weather, culture and food!
Q: Does everything you own really fit into one suitcase?
A. Yes! Actually I have a carry-on suitcase and a Lo & Sons laptop bag, where I keep my computer, soft Moleskine notebook and pens. It’s my mobile office! Currently, I own 40 items of clothing, plus underwear, socks and a few pair of shoes. Getting rid of most of my stuff has been a multi-year process that began in 2011, which you can read about here: Minimalism 101: How to Live With Less So You Can Have More Freedom.
Q: Where do you store the rest of your stuff?
A. I don’t have anything in storage. I don’t keep anything at my mom’s house. My entire life travels with me. The best thing about being a minimalist is not only that it allows me to be mobile and move around whenever I want, but it has also helped me to release attachment to material things. If my suitcase burned up tomorrow, I wouldn’t be upset, to be honest. I would be annoyed at the inconvenience, but I would just buy a new set of clothes, a new MacBook Air and get right back to work the same day with all my files I have stored in Dropbox. I literally have nothing to lose. I love the emotional freedom of non-attachment.
Q: How do you do laundry?
A. If I’m in a busy city, there’s usually a laundromat nearby. When I lived in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighborhood, I went to the little spot around the corner to wash clothes. When I stayed in San Diego’s Gaslamp neighborhood for a few days, I had my laundry picked up and delivered back to me, nicely folded in a bag with a little bow for about $20. In Thailand, I was able to send out my laundry as well. It just depends on where I am staying and what’s nearby. In San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, I actually had a housekeeper who did my laundry for me. In Playa del Carmen, there was a laundry facility in my budget hotel that was free to use. One thing I NEVER do is fancy hotel dry cleaning – it’s way too expensive in my opinion and not worth it if you have a lot of clothes to wash!
Q: Do you read? Where are your books?
A: I do! I use the Kindle reading app on my iPhone to read fiction and business books. When I moved to Hawaii in 2013, I got rid of my car and 2 final bins of stuff that I had stored at my mom’s house – hundreds of books I’d collected over the years. I decided to donate them to one of the local libraries in Virginia. It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely necessary for my lifestyle. And you know what I realized? I wasn’t really attached to the physical books themselves, but to what the books represented: wisdom.
So there you go! My answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about my lifestyle.
Now, I’d love to hear some of YOUR questions…
Go ahead and post any questions you have about minimalism or living a location-independent lifestyle below. I’d love to see what else you’d like to know about this topic so I can create future articles and resources for you!