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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Working Nomad




There's a perception that only those who've retired can live a nomadic lifestyle. There certainly are plenty of those who retire, trade their house for a big RV and hit the road. Then there are those who've found a way to be nomadic and make a living along the way.

My lovely wife and I once met a couple who were living in a big 5th wheel. Both of them were musicians. They had a deal with a big RV campground chain. In exchange for a performance at the campground they would receive two free weeks of camping. For other expenses, they'd work gigs in whatever area they happened to be in. His wife had a small glass shop in the back of the trailer. She sold her artistic creations at campgrounds and though other outlets.

Traveling artists of all sorts are common: musicians, writers, painters, craftspersons, strippers, and street performers.

Then there are those who work in construction jobs: carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers, oil field workers, and so on. The jobs tend to pay well, but are for a limited period of time so a lot of workers live out of RVs and trailers. I've even met one guy who traveled from job site to job site on a bicycle and lived in a tent. He'd just traveled from North Carolina to the Florida Keys to do highway construction.

I know of a couple small business owners who run their companies by remote control. They are in contact with a their managers through the Internet, skype and by phone. Both these businessmen are on the road for about 6 months of the year. The other 6 months they are more hands on with their operations.

Sailors too have found ways to live on a boat and earn as they go. It ranges from working temporary jobs in different ports to performing services for other boaters like boat repairs. Of course there's the whole range of artistic endeavors that can be done from a boat as well as on land.

Being a nomad is not just for the wealthy retired.

-Sixbears





17 comments:

  1. It is our intention to live on our boat, hence the size of it.I'll be getting some income from a pension, but I plan to work from our boat. I'll adapt what I do to the confines of living on a, relatively, small boat. Whether it will be carving sticks or leatherwork, I am quite confident to be able to do that. The pension will help, but wouldn't be enough. Besides I like making things so I might as well sell them too! My wife is interested in making stained glass items so between us, I am sure you'll get by. Being a nomad is someting I have thought to do for a long time and calling myself a working nomad feels good!

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    1. Well there you go. Your plan sounds good to me and you've got the skills to make it happen.

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  2. I work for an architect, and can recall quite a few construction workers who lived out of their vehicle while on the job. They thought it was a very practical way to do their jobs, they often on site for a few weeks and a hotel cost them too much of their profit. They just needed a place to sleep because between work, food, and laundry, they were too busy to do anything else.

    Gave them more options if work had to be stopped for whatever reason and when they were done, they wuz gone! :^)

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    1. There's a certain freedom to that way of life.

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  3. Questions: If you live on a boat, how do you get around on shore for shopping, working, etc? A bicycle come to mind.

    If, like the first commenter, you make stuff on the boat, where do you set up to sell it?

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    1. Walking, bicyles, cabs, busses. Boating guides list what's near different marinas.

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    3. Dizzy-Dick. As Sixbears says. I don't know if they do that in the States, probabyl different du to the size of the place...but over here in the UK, the big supermarkets do home deliveries of their groceries. They do deliver to boats, as long as it's reasonably close to a road. As far as selling stuff, a prime spot is the internet. Places like Etsy, Ebay, there are other too in the UK. Also farmers markets, craft fairs, that sort of place. It's amazing when you start looking, there are all sort of place you could possibly sell from. I have in mind,when the boat is done and we are on board, to set up shop on the boat and sell tuff from the river bank!I know of a couple who live on a narrowboat on the canal network, the wife was into foraging the river banks for fruits etc to make jams and jellies and selling them to friends and then through farmers markets. She ended up setting a small business from their boast selling high quality, organic, homemade jams! It can be done my friend.

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  4. A few years ago i meet a couple that worked flea markets all over the southeast.They had a small motor home the bunk over the driver was packed wth boxes of sunglasses hats knives and purses.The couple told me they had been traveling like this for 5 years.Working 2 days exploring the area 5.winters spent in florida fall in the mountains.

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  5. Dizzy there is a magazine that lists flea markets,trade days arts and craft fairs and festials by region and state with contact infermation.It gives thousands of options to sell.

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    1. Gary, got a name and/or link for that magazine? Seems like I saw a copy years ago but can't remember the name.

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  6. I am sorry depatty.I got out of doing events and cant remember the mags name.Now alabama has an online listing under EVENTS/ALABAMA.

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    1. Not a problem. I did a search and found http://fleamarketzone.com/flea-market-directory/ that I think is the one I saw years ago. I'll also check out the EVENTS/ALABAMA on search and see what comes up. Mainly looking for festivals and craft type events to vend at around central Alabama.

      Thanks,
      Dave

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  7. So often it's the travelers with very little who are more able to give the most.
    They give of themselves and enhance the lives of those they meet...

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    1. You got that right.

      It's never a luxury car that picks up the hitch hiker.

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  8. You hit the nail on the head with this post! The hubster is an RV dealer & sales are hig, mostly for those on the road to work. Cheaper than renting and packing etc...family can go with you. For some it's a pain but other ideal especially homeschooling. Life is a school~

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    1. Nice to get confirmation from someone who knows the RV business.

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