Senior Nomads………whoever heard of such a group? Are you brave enough to sell your home, your cars, and pretty much all that you have and set out to continuously travel the world? Vicki and Bob Enteen did just that. They’re currently trying to settle down again in Walnut Creek to be near their two daughters, but one has to ask, for how long? They certainly have the wander bug and with good reason.
Vicki has an MBA in Marketing and Bob a Ph.D. in Sociology. After retirement in 2014, they decided to take to the road with their two cats but lost one in Italy, the other has its own passport, and has visited 25 countries. They spent the next four years traveling from one end of Europe to the other but have also spent time in Morocco, India, China, Turkey, and Israel (they have been to 65 countries). They had previously lived rented an apartment in Paris where they worked for seven years. Their junior high French was so rusty they decided to enroll. Finding a “Meetup’ group in Paris was a life changer allowing them to make friends with expats. and people from all over the world. And as they tell it, you can find an expatriate group in almost every big city. Without even looking for it, Bob was offered a full-time job in medical advertising.
What makes their story really incredible is that they believed, by living this lifestyle, they were actually saving money, about $1,000 a month! It was cheaper than being in the Bay Area. Living almost exclusively in Airbnbs, they usually stayed in major cities for a month to as long as 7 months, returning to Amsterdam for four summers and Barcelona for four winters. They always selected a home in the suburbs away from tourist spots wanting to blend into the local scene and have developed lasting friendships with Airbnb hists and people from the neighborhood. With their help and knowledge, they got to know where the best and cheapest restaurants were, and how to access free shows and bargains of all kinds. Taking advantage of low-cost airlines they traveled cheaply all over Europe. They preferred taking public transport, and shopping at local supermarkets, and in many ways, they become part of the community.
So how do they decide where their next stop is? They work as a team and plan their moves four or five months in advance, with Vicki doing the research and planning, and Bob doing everything else. The next move might simply be from a referral by another Nomad. They usually send their bags ahead using www.sendmybag.com.They find that in addition to being able to travel light and using a luggage shipping service means they could travel luggage free, skip long queues at the airport and avoid paying extortionate airline baggage fees while still having as much luggage with them as they liked. And its door-to-door service.
If they have one piece of advice to potential retirees, it’s “Don’t wait, do it now. It’s fun and exhilarating and keeps you young.” There is a great website www.facebook com/groups/SeniorNomads/about/ .Members ask questions and post advice about destinations, experiences, and practical matters like visas and health insurance. Some Nomads only travel for a part of the year, and some only in the USA, but there are great opportunities out there. Vicki and Bob believe most people have never imagined this wonderful alternative to traditional retirement. And these folk are your neighbors.