I’ve always suspected that there are more people living like gypsies and nomads than is recognized. It must be fairly common if the Wall Street Journal has it on Page 1 of their “Wealth Management” section in today’s paper:
Hubby and I are now 7 months into our gypsy living adventure. Like the author in the article above, we sold or donated nearly all of our earthly belongings. We travel from seasonal job to seasonal job, picking places that we want to see. In between jobs, we camp in our old van. Andrew and his wife are a bit braver than we are… (so far). They’re enjoying gypsy living in Europe. We have our hands full just trying to figure out this gypsy lifestyle here in the States.
He’s right, in that like everything in life, there’s a trade-off. We’re just starting this gypsy living journey, so I’m sure the list will change and grow. But, here’s my list of pro’s and con’s so far (in no particular order):
Pros (Benefits) of Gypsy Living
- Sense of freedom
- Variety in scenery
- Variety in work
- Much less stressful (work and home)
- Helps you focus on the things that are important, without the noise of modern life interfering
- Less worry and more peace of mind
- Sense of independence
- Social – it’s a vey social lifestyle. There are always new friends to meet and old friends and family to catch up with
Cons (Rather, I’d say “Challenges”) of Gypsy Living:
- Difficult to figure out how to mange things like how to vote, where to send your mail, how to manage healthcare across state lines, or even what state to call your residence.
- Financial uncertainty of not knowing how a new job (and living space) is going to work out (if you’re working seasonal employment with housing provided).*
- Possibly burning a bridge with your past career work, as you’re likely shooting holes in your resume (if you’re doing seasonal work).*
- Car trouble is doubly challenging, as it’s also your place to live.
- As you’re always moving, finding things that we often take for granted like good auto mechanics or hairstylists is a bit challenging.
- Even living small, it is still very easy to accumulate things. This means that you’re always having to pick what stays and what goes. There’s very limited space with this lifestyle, and it’s hard (but not impossible) to break the pattern of consumerism that we’re all used to.
*If you’re lucky enough to have either a guaranteed income (social security, pension, disability) or else employment that’s portable, you don’t have to worry about these challenges. I suspect that your challenge then becomes how to manage your travel schedule to meet your work deadlines.
All in all, it’s just nice to know that there are others out there trying to live the same way, and seeking similar goals.