Fellow nomads, meet Adam and Emily.
And also these two mini-nomads they travel with.
Both grew up in the back of cars on family road trips–not just as vacation but as a way of life. They spent their dating years traveling, first around California and then around the world. During a trip to Thailand, they met a couple with two happy, gregarious kids who were sailing around the world as a family, and that was all the permission Adam and Emily needed to plan a future as a nomadic family.
After a year of planning, they set out on the road with a souped-up Westfalia and a baby just under 2 years old.
Their living-making enterprise 24 Hour Bazaar offers regular flash sales of unique, limited-supply artisanal goods hosted from the craft-rich regions they visit. They also do photojournalism gigs, art exhibits, and the occasional pop-up vegetarian restaurant.
Are you jealous yet? Keep reading to learn how they turned globetrotting into a sustainable business, where to find their favorite camping spot, and the answer to the million-dollar question: can you live nomadically with kids?
Give us the deets on your nomadic lifestyle.
Five months into what we planned to be a one-year long voyage, we were departing Colombia entering Ecuador and realized we had approximately eight weeks before the weather would make it improbable to safely reach our destination of Ushuaia.
So we opened to the possibilities set before us, decided to embrace a future unknown and the rewards of slow travel. That was the decision that changed it all!
We did not have the finances to stay on the road longer, but felt confident that with our hearts open and heads together, we could figure out some way to support our life on the road. Our finances are minimal needing food, fuel and not much else. When we mulled over the idea for 24 Hour Bazaar, we instantly knew we had found our winner!
It is incredibly liberating to have decided not to return to the safety of normal life and to see our brainstorming session turned into a viable business. All the craftspeople we work with are stoked to share their goods with a wider audience and make a fair wage doing so; to support tradition and process in the arts is infinitely rewarding to us as artists. This flow of finance, art and inspiration is a pairing that we could only have dreamed of before our departure, and are thrilled to now call our work reality.
Is it harder living on the road with kids?
We traveled together as a couple for many years, and can say that traveling with children is an instant barrier breaker. Children do not see the differences in each other, but the similarities, and relish that. Raising children in a house with or without wheels is an investment of time and love; it works for us and that adventure is the greatest of them all.
What’s the most common response you get when you tell people you’re a nomad?
Most common is “Whoa, wish I could do that, but…” We tell them to not be jealous, but be inspired. Turning interest into action is the only way to manifest your dreams.
What is one tool you can’t live without?
We are living in a very unique time, and we are able to earn our living on the road because of the wonderful world wide web. Without it, we would have to brainstorm other solutions to keep gas in our tank.
Tell us something you know now about nomadic life that you wish you’d known when you were starting out?
Wherever you are “leaving” from will remain essentially the same–it is you who will change! We should have left much sooner.
Where’s your secret spot?
Free camping and hot showers in Los West Winds campground (in South American summer only, I believe) in the future Patagonia Park, Valle Chacabuco, Patagonia Chile. ConservacionPatagonica.org is the latest in the great works of the recently departed Doug Tompkins, whose radical eco-conservation efforts were major.
Most important tip for nomadic life, in 7 words or less:
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry