Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Thoughts on a Nomadic Lifestyle

For the past six months my husband and I have been living a nomadic lifestyle. Both of us work from home - I do illustration and he is programming an independent video game called Crea. We have no house, children or pets, so we decided to put all our things in storage and travel the world for a while. We went to New Zealand for three months and Australia for three months. We lived in Airbnb houses, hostels and short-term furnished apartments.

We saw many amazing things, and met many lovely people.

Many people are curious as to how it was working while traveling.

I adjusted pretty well. I was able to split my focus between sightseeing and working. Actually, with no housework and very little cooking to do, I had a lot more time on my hands than before. For the most part traveling did not effect my productivity.

My husband Jasson, however, had a tough time. He has a 100%, all-or-nothing kind of personality, and he found that trying to travel while also trying to work compromised his enjoyment of both. As he put it, "When I was sightseeing I felt guilty about not working, and when I was working I felt guilty about not sightseeing."

Additionally, in New Zealand fast, unlimited internet connections were almost impossible to find. This did not effect me greatly because I only need enough internet to be able to check emails, write blogs and look up reference photos, but Jasson's work requires very heavy internet use. So this also effected his productivity.

It wasn't until we settled down in Melbourne, Australia for three months that Jasson was really able to focus again. In hindsight, it would have been better for him if we condensed all our sightseeing into a few weeks rather than spreading it out over months.

Overall, our trip to NZ and Australia was an experience we'll never forget, and I definitely don't regret it. However, it also made Jasson and I appreciate the comforts of having a predictable routine and a home. We also just genuinely enjoy our work, and look forward to being able to concentrate on it again.

I'm particularly looking forward to setting up my studio and participating in some art shows later this year! I'll post some photos of my studio (which is just a corner of the bedroom) on Thursday.


ALSO: I am doing a giveaway of postcards on Twitter! Retweet this tweet to enter to win this set of seven illustrated postcards. *EDIT: Giveaway now closed! Stay tuned for more in the future!*


  1. Great post Kelley!
    I know of a few freelance artists who travel constantly, needing nothing more for work than their tablet and laptop computer. I however, feel like I can't be productive, or maintain good quality, without two big monitors and a nice desk.

    Im writing this from a hotel now though. I've been traveling in Europe for the past three weeks. WhIle I'm loving all the cool sites and museums, i find myself yearning to return to my studio where I can put the inspiration to use.

    I can definitely relate to your husband's all or nothing mentality. I think one month of site seeing at a time will be plenty enough for me.

    Thanks for sharing, and keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Lane, it's nice to hear someone who understands how traveling while working can make one yearn for the comforts of home. :) I hope your Europe trip is going well!

  2. Life on the road seems like so much fun, and that kayak pic looked great. Me and my husband recently visited the village Giethoorn in the Netherlands and it was lovely, a real life Hobbiton. It totally looked like every villager sneaked up at sunrise just to brush every flower and have it perfect before the drowsy tourists woke up. It would be a total dream to travel all the time, but preferably in a trailer so that we wouldn´t have to carry bags everywhere.


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