Nomads Around The Globe – Interview With Forever Roaming The World

“Hey guys I’m Amit, from Nottingham, England. I’m somebody who’s lived two lives one pre traveling and one since I started to travel. In 2010 my new life began as I set out on an adventure and I’ve not looked back ever since. Over the past 6 years I’ve been traveling, working, living, partying and roaming around the world on the tightest of budgets”.

 

Forever Roaming The World

What can our readers find on your blog?

Readers will be welcomed with a wide variety of posts and articles predominantly aimed towards solo and budget travellers /backpackers who are looking to travel long-term. Having been on the road for so long, I share my travel knowledge and experience to help prepare solo budget travelers/backpackers with what to expect.

On the website you can find – travel and personal blog posts, solo travel insights, budget travel tips, traveling realism’s, information pages; like solo travel FAQ’s, a list of useful travel websites to use, emotional states, posts on how long-term travel can affect you.

Forever roaming the world is a roller-coaster journey rather than a standard travel diary or blog. It highlights and delves deep into what life on the road long-term is really like as a solo budget traveler. You can expect the highs, the lows and everything in between.

 

When did you start your blog and why?

I have to admit, I’m a baby in this blogging world; forever roaming the world was only born in May 2017 and actually started by accident. I had just returned back to England and being home at the time I felt so lost. For 6 years I had lived a nomad life and my traveling bubble had burst, so I started to read a lot more travel blog than I ever did when I was traveling. Although I enjoyed reading them but I still wasn’t finding what I what I was looking for within myself.

I spontaneously started a free WordPress.com blog just as an experiment and wrote a post on how I was feeling at the time. I hadn’t even told any friends or family members about it but it was surprisingly well received, so I wrote another and it garnered more interest. After a few posts I had found it; a new passion. Now you have to understand I had never even thought about writing anything, I’ve barely kept a travel diary over the past 6 years but words just kept coming out, post after post and I loved it.

The more I wrote the more I found my posts changing becoming more in-depth, I was now passing on my travel knowledge and experience and that’s when I decided to take it more seriously.

I know just how many travel blogs are out there but with forever roaming the world I aim to delve in a bit deeper, to show more what everyday life on the road as a solo budget traveler is like. I don’t just want to cover the good spots, the activities and amazing places I’ve seen. I want to give more of an insight of the things that are not really written about.

Now I haven’t jumped into this blind, I’ve done so much research; I know exactly just how much hard work goes into even getting my blog recognized. Right now, coming to the end of my 3rd full month I know I am still just a spec of sand in the blogging world there is a hard bumpy road in-front of me but I do hope you come along for this crazy unpredictable ride that is my nomad life.

Where was home prior to you starting the nomad life? and do you still go back? how often? how easy is it to return home whilst roaming the world?

Home was a small town just outside of Nottingham, England. Since I started this nomadic life in 2010 I only went back if I had to or for a short holiday. The longest time I went without going back home was 2 years but even when I did go home it was for only a week. On most occasions when I did come back it would be for a week or two then off I went again.

However I’m currently back home, this has been the longest stint. During my last trip the inconceivable happened I hit the biggest brick wall and felt like I was done with traveling, I just had enough. Things weren’t exciting me anymore; I had enough of packing and unpacking moving from one place to the other. So I came back, thankfully though it turns out I just needed a break from traveling. Infact I’ve taken a sabbatical from my nomad life, and thus given me the chance not only to recharge and replenish my funds but also to start forever roaming the world.

How would you describe the term nomad life in your own words?

“Being a nomad to me is being free from the shackles of normality and to be able to drift free from one place to another on their own accord. A nomad dances to their own beat”.

When did you start the nomad lifestyle and why?  How long have you been living this lifestyle? How long do you see your self doing this?

This life started for me in 2010, I had just reached a point in my life where I didn’t want it to continue going in the direction it was heading. Like so many other people I was going through the motions from one day to the next. At the time I felt like I was slipping into the abyss but something inside of me awoke. I made a snap decision that I was going to do the one thing I had always wanted to do; that was to travel.

The reason I was feeling like this, is that I’ve always been that guy that’s been against the grain, always saw life differently, always thought there was more to it than just doing what society deems as being normal and normal life depressed me. However, life always threw lemons at me and I didn’t make lemonade from it. Let’s just say my past wasn’t rosy and the sob story is up there with the best of them (Don’t worry there’s no need to go into it). The fact is traveling was a great thought it just wasn’t feasible.
However once I made my decision, I dug my heels into the ground, worked as much as I could, saved every penny I could and off to Australia I went to start this adventure I’ve been on ever since.

What are some of the pro’s and cons of being a nomad?

The biggest pro for me has to be the freedom it allows me. I am free to choose my own schedule, when and how I want to do. I have always been a guy that likes to do things on my own terms and the nomad life allows me to float and roam around the world as I see fit.

Other pro’s for me are the life changing experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met over the years, the things I’ve seen and places I’ve been able to explore. Over the years my mind has been opened so much, I’ve learnt so many things about the world and about myself that I would never have done if I didn’t travel.

A con for me has to be the lack of real bacon around the world (no I don’t mean streaky American Bacon 😛 I mean real English bacon.) There are times I miss England and it’s mainly for bacon reasons.

In all seriousness though there are times when you miss home, miss family and friends, things like missing out on Birthdays, Christmases, major events going on, those are the times it can get tough.

Something else I found happening to me, due to being away from home for so long; I was actually slipping away from reality. I know that may sound crazy but when you travel and especially continuous long-term travel a bubble forms around you. It’s like you’re living in an alternative reality. I mean I don’t pay bills, I don’t have a permanent address I only came back home for short holidays maybe once a year. So as a nomad floating from one place to the other I found myself slipping further away as traveling had become normal. Don’t worry once I finally returned to England reality smacked me in the face.

What types of places do you stay in when travelling? 

Over the years I’ve stayed in all sorts of accommodation from Air BnB, hotels, studio apartments, my own Villa in Bali, shared flat, but mainly in hostels. I find the social life in Hostels suits me best and it’s the easiest way to make friends when traveling. Of course there are different types of hostels from big party ones to smaller quieter ones. So depending on what mood I’m in at the time depends on what type of hostel or accommodation I chose.

I do think there is a common misconception with hostels, my post Hostel life, getting used to it has some insights into hostel living.

The big question everyone wants to know! (How do you earn an income to travel full time?)

Yeah, this is something I’m asked about all the time but the truth is, it’s not as hard as you may think. Different countries have different requirements depending on what your nationality is.
As I’m English many countries offer working holiday visas (that is until your 31, that boat has passed now) So depending where I’m traveling to and if there is a need to work depends on what Visa I’ll apply for. For example currently (Pre-Brexit) I can still work in other EU countries without needing a visa. When I lived and worked in Bali my company needed to prove a Kitas Visa (work visa). Currently for the first time since 2010 I’m not only back in England but working to replenishing my funds for my next trip.

My post How to sustain long-term traveling explains all the different types of ways you can fund a nomad life.

 

Do you have any tips for people that want to start the nomad way of living? Can you recommend any particular countries to start with? 

The biggest pieces of advice I can give anybody is to keep and have a really open mind and embrace change. The more of an open mind you have the more you will embrace and enjoy things. I don’t just mean with different countries and cultures but with people, don’ be afraid to talk to different types of people. Some of the best friends I have are people who I wouldn’t necessarily even talk to back home.

Also be prepared not to be prepared, somebody once said this to me when I started to travel and I laughed at it. However it’s probably some of the soundest advise I’ve ever been given. Things happen, plans change, spanners get thrown in the works, things don’t go to plan, situations and circumstances change, even you change so be prepared not to be prepared.

In terms of where to start, so many countries cater towards travelers, backpackers and nomads now days. Some of the easiest countries to start in for me would be Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, England (if you’re not from here) and Europe.

What types of things do people need to plan prior to starting the nomad life? (back up money, health insurance, visas, etc….) How did you plan the nomad life?

The key advice I can give anybody is to research your destination but don’t get that confused with over planning. I advise against having a crammed ittiniery , one of the first things any long-term or any traveler in general finds out is that plans can change on a whim. So of course do some sound research, check if you need vaccinations for your destination, check if you get free medical help in the country (Being English some countries, mainly commonwealth countries provide free medical care)

Some of the key things I do is make sure I have photocopies of my passport, check when my passport expires (most countries you need to have 6 months left from the date you’re planning on leaving the country) I get long-term backpacker travel insurance ( loads of companies on the internet that provide this) and of course check how long my Visa is valid for and how I will be able to renew it I.E will I need to go on a visa run or can I do it from within the country.

Over the years I’ve learnt to streamline my research and planning, this post will show you how I research and plan trips (from trial and error of 6 years of traveling)

Have you had any scary or funny experiences whilst travelling?

Haha, yeah there have been quite a few over the years, most I can’t mention but here’s a few stories:

Being left stuck on the side of a dirt road in the forest in San Gill, Colombia. After a day of chasing waterfalls through the forest, we were told to wait for the bus back into town. In a hurry night fell around us and the forest started to wake up, I mean nocturnal eyes shimmering through bushes, animal noises around us. Put it this way when the bus finally arrived I’ve never been so happy to jump on a local bus.

Another one in Colombia, in fact the night after the aforementioned – Being hauled off an overnight bus by an over jealous transport officer who somehow thought me and my friend were Venezuelan and not English. We’re both English and he’s even white; both got English Accents, so work that one out. Funny part was all the other officers could clearly tell we were English and were getting mad at him for even thinking we weren’t. We wasted an hour of back and forth before being finally allowed back on the bus. It’s fair to say the other passengers weren’t best pleased.

Giving a local Thai man the shock of his life in a village in Thailand – I along with a German friend of mine explored a local Village, one that doesn’t really get tourists. This man walked past us and was so confused by the fact that the white German girl was speaking in broken English and the brown guy (me) was speaking perfect English. He was so confused it was like we had just flipped his world upside down. It doesn’t sound very funny I know, it’s one of those you had to be there situations but will never forget the look on his face.

How many countries approx have you lived the nomad life in? Did you encounter any visas or immigration issues? 

Being a long-term slow traveler, over the past 6 years I’ve only been to 23 countries. I tend to take as long as I possibly can to experience the country to the fullest. I am not a fan of zipping through countries just to say I’ve been there. Everybody has their own way of traveling and that’s fine I just don’t see the point of saying I’ve been to X amount of countries without experiencing it properly.

The only times I’ve had any visa issues were for my 2nd year in Australia and when I was leaving Guatemala.

In Australia it was because I had to leave to go back home to England for a funeral and didn’t take the relevant paperwork with me. However I had other proof so it wasn’t a big issue and I was let back in.

In Guatemala it was more of a serious issue, along with 25 other people I had been scammed by corrupt border officers who didn’t stamp us in properly. It was only once I was at another border leaving that I was told about this and the officer tried to make me pay a bribe to let me out of the country. After a lot of haggling from my bus driver and threats from me to report this to the British Embassy that he let me go without having to pay the bribe. (Another traveling lesson learned).

As a full time nomad (what is your back up plan) if the money or work runs low?

There are precautions I take; I normally have a backup account for when the funds start to run low. However that being said there have been quite a few times when the backup funds have started to run low and that’s when my character has been tested. Over the years I’ve learnt to get creative, learnt to cope and get by on having little to know money.

This post covers how to get by when funds start to run low – You will be surprised at what you can achieve and get by with when it gets to that situation.

 

When you reach a particular destination – how do you find work? Do you have a strategy or do you try ad secure work before you arrive?

It all depends on the country I’m traveling to, if I’m traveling there to predominantly work or just to travel. When I first started to travel I would go on working holiday visa’s and looked for work as and when I needed to. In other countries if I need a work visa, I’ll get the job beforehand, if I’m just going to travel then I’ll pick up hostel work or cash in hand jobs as I go along.

Here is my post on finding work and how to sustain long-term travel

Have you encountered any issues with adjusting to local customs or the culture whilst you have been travelling? what about language barriers has this been an issue anywhere?

Nothing really major, I’m pretty open minded so there’ never been anything that’s shocked me. There have a few small adjustments, for example I’m not a religious person, so when in countries that take their religion seriously I have to remind myself to be mindful.

In some countries there have been some language barriers but I do try and learn some basic words beforehand. I use language apps to help learn and also Google translate comes in very handy. Over the years I’ve also learnt to use body language and hand gestures to get me by.

Here is my post on coping in countries without speaking the language.

 

Do you travel solo as a nomad? If so what are the pros and cons of this? 

Predominantly yes I am a solo traveler. I always go to a new country a solo traveler, I tend to make friends as I travel.

The biggest pro for me is the freedom solo traveling allows me. I can do things on my own Schedule rather than having to compromise.

A con would be sometimes it can be hard not being able to share a moment with somebody else. 80% of the time I’m surrounded by people even as a solo traveler, it’s very rare that I’m lonely. However in those 20% of times when I do feel lonely it can get hard.

Here is my post on why solo traveling suits me and also my solo travel FAQ page for anybody thinking about traveling solo.

Has been easy to make friends and socialize – whilst travelling around as a nomad?

For me yes, I always say making friends while traveling is only as hard as you make it. What I mean is, there are always other travelers around you and sometimes you just need to make a little effort. For me the easiest way to make friends is simply share a beer with someone, play cards in hostel settings.

 

Here is a post I’ve written on making friends while traveling.

 

Have you been to any good gatherings / festivals or parties / raves? or similar around the globe? if so where?

“Haha, yes there’s been plenty; here are some of the ones I can think off the top of my head.I lived on the infamous Kings Cross in Sydney when it was still the party capital of Australia”.

-Various secret warehouse parties, sunburnt party on Bondi Beach on Christmas day, Day festivals on Sydney harbor, numerous boat parties up the east coast of Australia.

-Every day in Queenstown, New Zealand was a party. Winter-fest; which marked the official opening for ski season in Queenstown.

-Various, full-moon, half-moon, jungle, and waterfall parties in Thailand.

-Pub street in Cambodia

-Beach parties and concerts in Bali

-Secret hidden parties in Central America

-Various street festivals that would pop up in Central America

-The numerous Street parties in Colombia

 

Do you have any money saving tips for flights / accommodation? Any recommended sites to book on?

Always shop around, look at different sites, compare different compare sites to each other, go directly to the airlines, play around with specific days and times. Also try to book in advance, flights tend to be cheaper the earlier you buy them. Sometimes buying multiple tickets works out cheaper and quicker to reach your destination.

For Accommodation and for hostels in particular don’t always rely on booking sites, sometimes it’s worthwhile to walk around yourself and look for yourself once you’re at your destination. Some of the smaller hostels don’t advertise or use internet sites. I’ve found so many cheaper and better hostels by just looking myself.

What has been some of your top highlights from travelling (experiences / places)

Sky diving over the Great barrier Reef, and a 2nd Sky dive from 19,000ft over snowcapped mountains.
Standing on Bondi Beach on New year’s morning watching the sun rise over the sea with travelers that became like family.
The incredible exotic wildlife I’ve seen and been up close and personal with in.
Eating Local delicacies (Fried Scorpion on a stick was the best)
Seeing a volcano erupt with my own eyes.
Volcano boarding down the side of an active Volcano.
Being lucky enough to call New Zealand home for a year.
The various Paradise Islands I’ve been able to travel to and live in.
Experiencing Machu Picchu.
Exploring the Uyuni Salt flats in Bolivia.
Fraser Island in Australia.
Traveling through Laos.
Exploring the many jungles and rain-forests around the world.
Mexico.
The incredible people I’ve met from all over the world.

What is on your bucket list (Places & Experiences) ?

-To see the northern lights
-Travel the silk road
-Experience the Sahara Desert
-Patagonia
-Atacama Desert.
-Mongolia
-Japan
-Would to experience Zero Gravity
-Sleep in a glass igloo
-Try and spend a winter in Alaska.

 

How do you see the future of nomadism?

I can only see it growing, so many more people are taking to travel, especially long-term travel. I see around me younger travellers out of university, even young families deciding that travel is the best form of education for their children. Many people have started to realise traveling is much more accessible than what was thought previously. And of course in the age we live in, more and more work can be done remotely, so digital nomads are also on the rise.

Please share one quote you love.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair, gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere”.

To see more from forever Roaming The World, check out Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Showing 9 comments
  • WhodoIdo
    Reply

    Love reading Amit’s posts every week – he’s such an inspiration! Love how adventurous he is with sky diving over the Great Barrier and mountains – sky diving is on my list! The Northern Lights is on our bucket list too! 🙂

  • Ambuj Saxena
    Reply

    Loved reading the interview. Digital Travel guru always has some interesting questions to ask the interviewee and this time the answers were amazing too! By the way, Amit even i wish to see the Northern lights. I have read the phenomenon behind it but i’m a tad bit curious! May be we can plan something together.

  • Theresa
    Reply

    Missing home “mainly for bacon reasons” made me laugh out loud! Really interesting read and good photos. I don’t have the option to go nomad (not yet anyway), but I find it fascinating.

  • Reply

    A real eye-opener to global solo nomad travel! So interesting to read and understand more about the whole process and tips shared for people who might also be considering this lifestyle. It’s certainly a way to live life and experience our world to the max! It’s also good not to be in such a hurry and to really live, experience and enjoy as much as possible from the destinations chosen.

  • Janine Thomas
    Reply

    Leading a nomadic existence is extremely difficult. I know exactly what you mean about living in a bubble. I know that when I travel after 2 months I have had enough and need to head home to get my focus again.

  • neha
    Reply

    An inspiring interview. And what really touched me is his honesty.When he says he didn’t jump into it blind. There is so much to learn from his experience for us all

  • Drew Espenocilla
    Reply

    This is a rather inspiring post, especially for someone like me who has just started my blog a month ago. Reading this post strengthened my thoughts that what I want to do in the future, to live a traveler’s life fully, is possible. Thanks for sharing this.

  • cathy
    Reply

    I’ve been dreaming the life of a nomad. One day, I’d like to achieve it myself, but probably in a bit far future, tho I’m freelance now. He’s such a cool guy, I love Japan too and it’s one of my bucket lists! Of course, Mongolia! To see the reindeer that’s part of the family! Hostels are cool to stay and to meet fellow travelers!

  • Marge Gavan
    Reply

    Like him, I also feel like a person who goes against the grain. I have my own term for it, I’m a flamingo in a sea of penguins. And no matter how hard I try to hide it, my true colors are coming out hahaha…

    I admire him for doing what most of us could only dream. I do want to become a digital nomad, but for now it’s not yet possible. But if given a chance I would do it. Such an interesting read by the way. The guy has done a lot for sure. He even ate a scorpion? That’s wild!

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