I’ve got an exciting announcement……I’ve moved to Bristol!!
I’m no longer travelling full-time and as of last Sunday, I’m a rent-paying resident in a UK city that I actually know nothing about.
Why I’m no longer travelling full time
I’ve been a digital nomad for almost 3 years now. Working for myself online while travelling full time. I started to make a list of all the places I’ve visited and stayed in that time but gave up…..it’s been a lot! I have been so lucky to travel to all corners of the world taking on adventures from pulling pulks in the Arctic circle, swimming with whale sharks in Tanzania to kick scooting the length of the USA.
My guess would be that I’ve slept in well over 300 different beds/tent pitches in that time (on big expeditions I move on almost every day). And never stayed in the same place for more than 2 months.
What an adventure!
I’ve made so many wonderful memories and friends along the way. It’s taught me a huge amount about the world and myself. I’ve learnt to deal with uncertainty and can adapt to any situation thrown at me (lost bags, stolen passports, natural disasters, house robberies, rescuing animals – and people, illness and heartbreak….you name it). I can chat with anyone, sleep anywhere and can cope with being uncomfortable and hungry.
But in the last 6 months, I really started to get tired. A holiday for me now is not going to an exciting new location but being in the familiarity of the UK and able to cook my own meals and put on a wash (an absolute privileged luxury you can only appreciate after 3 years of hand washing your clothes!). Even though we are with each other most of the time, I feel like I’ve barely had any quality time with the hubby Gil because we just don’t have the space to do normal couple things.
It was time for a change.
Moving to Bristol was an impulse decision. We wanted a change from London while still being in a city. Bristol is close to my family, has loads of great nature on its doorstep and is cheaper than London – it seemed like a good choice for 2 adventuring types.
Most couples might have a long discussion about an area before moving there, perhaps doing some research or even something as sensible as actually spending time there before committing. After 3 years of constant change, our decision making now is always a quick process though. I was attending a 1-day event in Bristol and was chatting to a local about possibly finding a base. They said Bristol is great. I’d only seen the inside of the event space but it was a lovely event space so I pitched the idea to Gil
Me: ‘Maybe we should move to Bristol for a change’
Gil: ‘Sounds good to me!’
On returning to the UK after spending January on Mafia Island leading whale shark expeditions, we jumped straight on a train to Bristol. We spent 3 days looking at places before deciding to move into a lovely central home share. Within an hour of agreeing to move in, we had hired a van (we don’t have lots of stuff but the bits we do have been stored in my sister’s loft – thanks sis!). and the next day we officially moved (along the way doing last-minute pickups for a second-hand bed, sofa, coffee table, lamp and a
I can’t tell you how good it felt unpacking those boxes and settling in. My own bedsheets. A proper English tea on tap. And a library card in hand for the first time in years.
I keep being asked if this is us settling down and the answer is a definite no. Although we now have a base, there is still a lot of travelling planned for the next year. I’ll be away for at least 5 months (you can see some of my 2019 goals and plans here).
But now, in between, I’ll have a home to come back to. I can have access to my clothes and a kitchen so I can start functioning like a proper adult again. Probably the biggest change will be with my work. Working for myself I’ve found it very difficult to switch off in the evenings especially as my favourite ‘relaxation time’ is either socialising with friends, going to the cinema or having a hot bath……3 things you rarely have access to when travelling!
Now I’ve got a base though I plan to stick to more healthy hours. Working from the library or a cheap pub/coffee shop in the day and then relaxing/having fun in the evenings. And I’ll never be more than a few weeks away from leading an expedition or a travelling opportunity.
It’s the ideal I’ve been working towards – living a semi-nomadic life. Although I know there will be challenges – making new friends in the area – and settling in phase – getting used to the cold and staying still – I’m excited about a new chapter.
Based in Bristol and want to grab a drink? Or have any tips for the area?…. drop me a message!
If you found this blog helpful, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. I give all my advice out for free on my website. If you want to say thanks, you can buy me a coffee!