Interview with nomads who make a living on the way

This is the story of Olivia and Alex

They are nomads since 2012 and an exam­ple of how you can trade some­thing you do not like in your life for some­thing you do. They have lived 30 some­thing years in Roma­nia, and chose to start a life of trav­el­ing. They are in their 30’s, both grad­u­ates and together since 2011.

Why I write their story?

Because I believe in change when you feel stuck and I believe in liv­ing off the grid. know Oli and Alex for 5 years now. She was work­ing as a bank clerk, he was an IT spe­cial­ist. Oli was my friend before Alex appeared, so I know that she was day­dream­ing from her bank desk. She wanted to do some­thing else rather than come every day to the same office and stare at the same win­dows.  She did not have the courage to do that alone. So when Alex showed up, and had the same desire to escape…they have dared to do it together.

So here they are, in 2012, quit­ting their jobs and decid­ing to take a chance and live off the grid. Did they have money? Where they pre­pared to do it? No. They had just enough sav­ings to buy plane tick­ets to the des­ti­na­tions they have cho­sen for 2012. For food and daily life they used a credit card, and were pay­ing back bit by bit.

Were their fam­i­lies happy with their deci­sion? Not really. It took them years to accept, this could be their life style.

They have started their trav­eler lives get­ting house sits with the web­site trust­ed­hous­esit­ters.  They did it for 4 years and still do it.

The interview. Amsterdam, July 2016

How you felt in the beginning when you started to travel

When we started trav­el­ing in 2012, Dubai seemed like reach­ing the moon. None of us had done a lot of trav­el­ing before. I was work­ing in a bank, spend­ing most of my day in an office. What daz­zled me were the win­ter months. I was  going to work at early morn­ing hours in pitch dark­ness and com­ing back too late to see any day­light. My life had 3 actions then: work, gym, home, rewind.

When we met, Alex was already a fit­ness trainer in his free time, and was think­ing of even­tu­ally liv­ing from it. We cre­ated the account on trust­ed­hous­esit­ters, applied for the first house sit and headed to Spain. I did not know much about pets, but knew I would man­age.

Where did you travel these 4 years

In Europe we were in Spain – Valen­cia, Malaga, Sevilla;  Ger­many – Munich; Eng­land – Lon­don, Manchester,Sheffield; Italy – Rome; Bel­gium – Brux­elles. In Asia, Dubai, Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land, Indone­sia.

Which was the shortest and longest stay

2 weeks the short­est and 2,5 months longest

What do you dislike about traveling

You know the  buffer­ing time…the first 2 days when we arrive in one place and the last 2. When you arrive in a new place, you need time to accom­mo­date, find the shops where to buy food, under­stand the trans­porta­tion sys­tem, get the idea of daily rou­tine that suits you best.

All these years of travel have increased your desire to see new places or the opposite

It decreased it. We became slow trav­el­ers. It is more impor­tant for us to stay longer in a new place, and get the feel­ing of it, than change places more often. For exam­ple, now that we have seen Ams­ter­dam, I do not feel the need to go and see a sim­i­lar city. we need to stay at least 3 weeks in a place to feel com­fort­able.

What makes a place special and interesting for you

The peo­ple is what makes us stay longer or shorter in one place. The social inter­ac­tion we have is very impor­tant for our com­fort. For exam­ple in Ger­many, we did not make any friends…with one exception..but we were not speak­ing Ger­man and we had a hard time con­nect­ing with the Ger­mans, so we decided to leave because of that. If the peo­ple are open, friendly, we build rela­tions and a small uni­verse around us. Even if its new every time.

Where do you meet new people to interact with

In the fit­ness stu­dios mostly, then in cof­fee shops or meet up events for for­eign­ers.

What do you feel you have gained in all these years

I feel we could live and find our way any­where in the world. We have enriched our hori­zon and have less, infinite much less fears about going to new places and start­ing a new life some­where.

Do you feel you will settle down one day

Oli: I fear, I will no longer be able to stay too long in one place, because trav­el­ing causes addic­tion to being dynamic. It is a hunger for new.

Alex: I would stay in one place if it would be rich in social net­work­ing. I mean, friends, peo­ple shar­ing our inter­ests. I do not feel my home is Roma­nia. It can be any­where.

Your work is done from the laptop. Which are your favorite locations you work from

Well, we def­i­nitely like cof­fee shops. We find some that we like and go there some­times daily, and work for hours. It’s like going to the office, but in a dif­fer­ent way. We have also often worked by the sea, or a pool, when the home we sited had one, like in Spain ..or from home, where ever that was

How was your financial situation when you started traveling

We had some hun­dreds of dol­lars in sav­ings and a credit card. We saved every penny the first two years. We were check­ing price tags care­fully when buy­ing any­thing because we needed money for the flights and they did not come cheap. But then things got bet­ter. We both have web­sites, writ­ing pro­grams on body train­ing and nutri­tion. We worked hard to get some online books ready for sale and when we did, money started to come. Slowly in the begin­ning, very slowly, but we did not give up. Now, we have enough income from our online sales to live from it.

Websites that you use most

Airbnb – to book rooms when we have day gaps between our hous­esits, trust­ed­hous­esit­ters for our hous­esits, meetup – when we want to meet trav­el­ers like us, blablacar for eco trav­el­ing and nomadlist.


Best moments
The best moments of our trav­els are def­i­nitely mak­ing new friends along the way: talk­ing busi­ness and per­sonal devel­op­ment with Steve in Spain, hav­ing sand­wiches with the friendly Toa’s after our long flight to Dubai , work­ing with Piet and Julia every morn­ing from a small cafe in Kuala Lumpur where the baris­tas did incred­i­ble cof­fee art, train­ing on the beach with Zoe and John and cruis­ing on the crazy sex street in Patong at night, Christ­mas Eve din­ner with Craig and his amaz­ing wife and kids watch­ing a great sun­set in Phuket or sim­ply meet­ing my life­long friends in the cities we vis­ited. so, yeah def­i­nitely mak­ing friends.
Worst moments
My worst travel moment was for sure being robbed on my first day in Bali and feel­ing totally vul­ner­a­ble and with­out power watch­ing the motor­cy­cle run with my bag and mem­o­ries on my phone. In the end it was a good lessons to be more vig­i­lant, but the feel­ing of help­less­ness and shock gave me panic attacks every time I heard a motor­cy­cle sound for weeks. Other than that and maybe a few sick days from bad food, we hadn’t had other mem­o­rable issues dur­ing our trips.
Plan for 2016/2017

Every­body asks us: what’s next??? The thing is we are really not sure about what’s next, but the big pic­ture of the plan is to travel to Thai­land, the Philip­pines dur­ing the cold win­ter months in Europe and if we are lucky get to expe­ri­ence the cherry blos­som weeks in Japan and visit Shiori from Tokyo, another one of our travel friends.

I hope you find their story inspir­ing. I am a big sup­porter of their path.

Fol­low them if you read in Roma­nian):



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  1. Fan­tas­tic arti­cle post. Cool.

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