Ever since my first trip to Israel, I’ve loved to travel. Every school/teacher break I had you’d find me on an adventure somewhere. I talked about travel, researched travel, dreamt of travel and relished the excursions I was lucky to take. Colleagues often asked ‘where are you off to next’ when they knew a school break was on the horizon. It wasn’t until Mathew and I took our ’round the world honeymoon that I even thought a travel-based existence or a lifestyle of constant travel possible. After we returned, I took a Matador U travel writing course to get more details about the possibility of writing becoming more than a hobby and that’s where I met Candice. Holding the position of lead writing faculty, she read some of my work and we edited articles together. Nomadic for about half the year, she travels and writes her way around the world. To me, Candice’s story is a bridge between those who are able to travel when holidays allow and others who are nomadic full time without a home-base. Whether you dream of travel, save for that weekend trip with friends, take a once a year holiday with family or think it might be possible to one day leap full time-her story just might inspire you to book that much thought about adventure.
1.When did you get started traveling? I was a late bloomer! I always wanted to travel, but I could never afford to do so, and my family didn’t have much money. So when I was 21 I did a semester abroad in England. From there I took a bunch of trips to Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. And it all kinda started from there.
2.What made you decide make the jump to a location independent/travel-based existence? I was kinda forced into it. I was working as a technical writer and doing freelance on the side, and I was MISERABLE in the office world. I remember coming home from work one day, completely frazzled, and then slicing my finger open on a tin can. I burst into tears and sat down at the kitchen table and told my roommates about how unhappy I was. A few weeks later, I was laid off. I had a year of unemployment insurance to help me kickstart my freelance lifestyle, thankfully. But it wasn’t an easy transition.
3.What benefits do you feel you get from this lifestyle? How do you handle the nay-sayers in your life? I don’t have a lot of nay-sayers, to be honest. Most people seem happy for me…although my parents wish I visited more often. I like the flexibility. I like the constant switch-up. I like meeting new people, and having new experiences.
4.How did you save money to be able to afford living ‘on the road’/travelling often? How long did it take you to make the jump to a location independent/travel-based life? I didn’t save much money, honestly. I’m fortunate because I’m well known in the writer community back home in Canada, so I get a lot of work from local marketing agencies, etc. It took about two years to be completely independent. Travel writing makes up only a small portion of my income, but it’s the work I often value the most.
5.How do you choose your destinations and for how long you’ll stay? What type of accommodations do you typically choose? Are there any specific resources you recommend? I kinda just let it happen naturally. Greece was my biggest trip yet, and I’ve been fairly obsessed with the country for most of my life. I’m a big Classics freak. I tend to book apartments with Airbnb or through Couchsurfing, and then stay in one place for a while. But I did a lot of hostel jumping in Greece, as it was my first REAL solo mission, and meeting new people was so important to me. I also WWOOFed on an olive farm in Lesvos (an island in the north).
6.How much money do you traditionally need annually to support this lifestyle? It’s totally up to you. Personally I enjoy being comfortable, and can only do the budget thing to an extent. I make perhaps $40k a year and it’s been more than enough to get by.
7.How do you make money on the road and save for retirement? Oh god, I don’t even have a retirement fund yet. I have a TSFA. I think at some point I’ll settle down again, likely in St. John’s, and will deal with the retirement thing then. I do want a home and a family someday, after all, and I’d rather be settled to do those things. All my money comes from freelance writing and social media work.
8.How do you handle visas, vaccinations, legal documents/passports, taxes and healthcare while living without a home base or an ever-changing one? I spend about half a year in St. John’s, and I have an apartment there, so I take care of everything from there. I have a great accountant who handles my taxes, I have healthcare, and I also book travel insurance through WorldNomads. I’m pretty well vaccinated at this point. It’s not as hard as everyone thinks!
9.If you decide to settle somewhere – where and when do you think it will be? I’ll always belong to Newfoundland and Labrador. I can’t imagine living elsewhere long-term. That being said, there are a handful of places I’d love to make a second home: Montreal, Ios in the Greek Islands, Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It’s hard to choose.
10.What advice do you have for others trying to make the jump to a location independent/ travel-heavy lifestyle? Save a bit of cash, and then do it. When you’re forced into it, you’d be amazed at how hard you work. And make no mistake: I work twice as hard as I ever did in an office, but, I wouldn’t go back to that lifestyle ever again.
For more of Candice’s travels check out her website.