Fellow nomads, meet Joanna.
Meeting Joanna (in Asheville, Nc.) through another traveler friend (in Nashville, Tn.) is yet more proof that the best thing about us is the people we know.
Not to be condescending, but it’s always really nice to meet a fellow nomad who isn’t a single-ish freelancer in their late 20s/early 30s. I mean, it shows that this whole wanderlust thing isn’t just a millennial trend–it’s a valid life choice. Or can be.
That’s enough out of me. You’ll find Joanna’s advice on nomadic life much more compelling.
Give us the deets on your nomadic lifestyle.
In early 2014, my husband Chris and I realized we had the trifecta of travel: time, health and financial resources. There is an expression in Italian–mollare tutto–which means to drop everything, and that’s what we decided to do.
In August, we sold our home and most of our furniture, donated our car and left for a three month adventure in Italy. We traveled all over the country and spent time in Sicily, the birthplace of my husband’s grandfather. When we returned to the US, we spent another six months traveling throughout the western part of the country, twenty-four states in all.
I’m from Michigan and Chris is from Virginia, and traveling is in our blood. We’re in Black Mountain, Nc. temporarily while I study to become a yoga teacher. We’ll head back to Italy for a year in February. Our Boston terrier Stella travels with us and gets excited every time we check into a new dwelling.
missing #trapani #sicily #bicycles #sicilia A photo posted by joanna (@justpeachy11) on
What’s the most common response you get when people learn that you’re a nomad?
The first thing we hear is “wow, that’s great” followed closely by “I’m so jealous.” People don’t understand how we do what we do. I truly believe that with careful planning and saving anyone can travel for extended periods. You’ve got expenses at home and you’ve got expenses on the road. The one thing we almost always require is a kitchenette so we can cook at home. Dining out adds up quickly.
“I want my house open to sun and wind and the voice of the sea, like a Greek temple, and light, light, light everywhere.” – Axel Munthe A photo posted by joanna (@justpeachy11) on
What is one tool you can’t live without, in being a nomad?
I’d have to say the internet. We book through VRBO and AirBnb constantly, we read online reviews for attractions, activities and restaurants and we check out each new city before we arrive. Another must-have is my camera.
Her happy place. A photo posted by joanna (@justpeachy11) on
What’s one thing you know now about nomadic life that you wish you’d known earlier?
Pack half as much “stuff” and take twice the cash! Seriously, I’m a habitual overpacker and had to send clothing back from Italy. This is an expensive thing to do.
Tell us about something unexpected that nomadic life brought you.
We were in Bismarck, ND and took a nice, long walk along the river. We saw a couple with a tandem bike and started chatting. After about five minutes, we realized they also have a home in Black Mountain and we have several friends in common. Small, small world indeed!!
The mighty duomo. #firenze #dome #gothic #renaissance A photo posted by joanna (@justpeachy11) on
Where is your secret spot?
That’s easy…Calvino’s in Trapani, Sicily for the BEST pizza on the planet. And we’ve eaten a lot of pizza. Trapani is a small fishing town on the northwest coast of Sicily and a delightful secret in itself. We asked locals where we could find the best pizza and Calvino’s came up over and over. They brush each pie with two rounds of olive oil after it comes out of the oven. Mamma mia!
Circular, whitewashed and perched on a hill overlooking the Valle d’Itria. #locorotondo #puglia #italia A photo posted by joanna (@justpeachy11) on
Most important tip for nomadic life, in seven words or less.
Be flexible and go with the flow.
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