DaedTech Digest: Vagabonding as the Last of the Big Time Spenders
In last week’s digest post and vagabonding life chronicle, I talked about eating while living this lifestyle. Today I’ll answer a more blunt question that people often wonder. Isn’t that expensive?
The answer is “it has been, but it doesn’t need to be.”
Was This Past Winter Expensive? Goodness, Yes.
I guess if you’re going to do experiential blogging, you have to open the kimono more than you might normally, in polite conversation, the way I did here once, when explaining why it is that I have money. So, in that vein, let me explain last winter.
To do that, I actually have to start with last summer. It was last summer that I decided to “retire” from life as a traveling consultant (and, by and large, from the corporate world in general). Through a combination of business and real estate dealings, my wife and I had created what I’ll call an advantageous capital situation.
Basically, we had enough money in a bank account to start Hit Subscribe and have 6-9 months without income not be a problem. We were gambling on the business’s eventual success.
What actually happened was that Hit Subscribe almost immediately provided enough revenue to be sustainable as our full time job. So I spent last summer decompressing from years on the road, working 2-3 days week, and considering myself “semi-retired.” Then fall came, and we started hustling in earnest to hire and to grow the business.
As our admittedly self-indulgent reward, we decided to live it up for the winter. Our intent all along was to go somewhere warm. But we decided to go somewhere warm in style.
And so we spent the winter in AirBNBs that were right on the water. I mean, literally. We spent more than 3 months in an Ocean Beach San Diego condo where Pelicans flew right outside our window as if they were commuting on some kind of Pelican freeway. And yes, this was quite expensive. It was expensive to live in the places we lived, and in terms of our activities, food, and entertainment, we weren’t exactly price averse.
Does It Have to Be Expensive? Not So Much.
So last winter wasn’t necessarily sustainable, from a lifestyle perspective. But that doesn’t mean that next winter won’t be, or that you couldn’t vagabond for a relatively reasonable rate.
There are a lot of travel bloggers out there that chronicle their world travels on a shoestring budget. That’s not me, and it won’t ever be me — I’m more of an abundance mindset sort of person. I’d rather spend my time hustling for extra money than hustling to make the money I have go further. But we will make a different set of decisions on upcoming travel adventures.
If you decide to uproot and go elsewhere, you have the option of going to places that are both warm (or whatever it is you’re after) and not overly expensive. You could spend $5,000 per month on an AirBNB in Key West. But you could also visit the gulf shore in Alabama or drive to Rosarito, Mexico and stay in a beach house for $1,550 per month or an ocean-front condo for $1,300, respectively. This becomes even more affordable if you’re willing to live a life of constant transit and you dispose of a rent or mortgage that was probably comparable to those figures in the first place.
You Can Save Beyond Just Rent
Also bear in mind that these are all-in price tags. You’re not paying for any kind of utilities, house maintenance, or the general headaches of having your own place. It’s all someone else’s problem. Add to that the idea that, as a purely remote slow traveler, you pay almost nothing for gas or wear and tear on a car. A lot of expenses go away.
And when it comes to day to day life, you don’t necessarily need to eat out or do all the expensive things on the town. Get a lot of groceries and cook with local ingredients. Go to places with a lot of natural beauty or otherwise free/cheap entertainment nearby. Jogging up and down the beach or hiking a nearby trail generally costs nothing.
Slow travel, much like life in general, is as cheap or expensive as you make it. Last winter we made it expensive. In the future, we’ll make it less so.
But, if unsustainable, it was fun while it lasted and, in a nod to that, here’s a shot of us taking in the Montana mountains from a hot tub, enjoying a Napa Valley wine.
- I’m going to pick ASP MVC in general. I haven’t done any meaningful web development in several years, and now I’m building a little app in my spare time for Hit Subscribe. There’s a lot of out of the box stuff in Visual Studio that makes it really easy to create starter views pretty effortlessly and then tweak to taste. It’s great for the business owner who is probably too busy for it to make sense to write code, but who is doing it anyway.
- This Facebook post about a bot writing an Olive Garden commercial. You won’t be sorry.
- For NDepend, I celebrated a product update by writing in detail about something everyone already probably knows: that Visual Studio’s dark theme is objectively better.
- In a piece with an admittedly self-indulgent title, I wrote for Rollout about the future of software de-emphasizing central planning in favor of a validated learning approach.
- On the Typemock blog, I did a post about unit testing things that are typically hard to unit test.
- And, finally, for Gurock, I did a bit of a philosophical look at how the lessons from TDD can apply to life in general.
And, as always, have yourself a good weekend.