I’m Officially a Nomad

In the planning for a while, now.

At the end of July, Beatrice and I moved out of a 3-BR house and took a small, 2-BR apartment near her work. For the month previous, we did three garage sales and sold countless things via Craigslist (with 100% success—that service is an amazing value). The other part is that I’m officially unwilling to live permanently in urbania—or sub-urbania—ever again. I feel my life draining away each time I’m in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or sitting at a stoplight for 5 minutes.

So, I’ll only be visiting from time-to-time, and Bea will be visiting me in the two places I’ll be most of the time.

Here’s where I am now.

photo 4
Home Sweet Home #1 — Mobile Version

For now, it’s staged at my brother’s hilltop place above Placerville, CA, where I’m just a bit over an hour to Lake Tahoe down Hwy 50, and an hour & a half to Home Sweet Home #2 down Hwy 49.

Here’s my home office.

photo 3
With a View

And here’s the view out the back.

photo 1
No traffic, no stoplight, no speed limit

Onto Home Sweet Home #2. As you know, I have a vacation home in Arnold, CA. Here’s the VRBO listing. And, a short video tour.

It’s rented out just about ever weekend of the year except for a few we block off now & then. During winter and summer, it’s often rented during the week. For instance, in July, there were 8 sets of guests, 4 same-day turnovers, and only 6 days that it was unoccupied. Busiest month ever. This month, there are 14 days I can use for myself.

So, for example, here’s how it’s going.

  1. Left San Jose Monday, arrived here in the afternoon and have since been getting everything staged, and now it’s work time.
  2. Beatrice will be up here Saturday with the doggies for my brother’s 50th Bday party.
  3. Sunday, she’ll head back to San Jose and I’ll head to the cabin for the week.
  4. Guests arrive Friday, so at that point I’ll head back up here.

That’s as far as the schedule goes. That’s how I want to keep it. I’ll just ride like the wind, I guess. I’m also beginning to look at some international travel in order to scope out future nomadic destinations.

So that’s the story for now. I feel like a million pounds is off my shoulders.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Itchy Wmd on August 13, 2014 at 11:40

    I’m envious.

    Kind of nomadic myself, but only because I’m tied to a career that demands it. Still need a way to cut that chain…

    Good luck

  2. Hello on August 13, 2014 at 13:26

    3 months and my guess is you’ll be looking to get yourself a bigger van – an RV perhaps? 🙂

    How do the doggies like the new setup?

    • Richard Nikoley on August 13, 2014 at 13:49

      Actually, the trailer is about perfect for me. Has a fully self-contained toilet and nice size shower too. A/C, and both electric and gas heater. The fridge/freezer is also the same size as in my parent’s 5th wheel trailer. Gas oven and microwave too.

      What I do intend to do is sell my BMW X-5 and get something like a similarly aged Ford F-150 4×4 pickup. I’m intending to do some landscaping and other stuff at the cabin and a pickup bed will come in very handy.

  3. Heidi on August 13, 2014 at 13:32

    sounds great 🙂

    i found a blog today about a guy who has a farm. the reason i had a look at that is because it was linked from an article where he is “unschooling” his kids.

    so i thought would post the link here incase you might be interested to read about it:

    i find the unschooling thing to be particularly interesting, but i like the farm thing too. (alot of work though)

  4. gabkad on August 13, 2014 at 18:12

    Now for the yurt……

    • Richard Nikoley on August 13, 2014 at 20:50

      Believe it or not, I’ve looked extensively into Yurts, including the loft Yurt, which is what I’d do.

  5. Jeanie on August 13, 2014 at 20:08

    My DH and I lived and traveled in a 5th wheel for 2-1/2 years. We loved it. We have been back in a small home for 6 years now, but, like you, we drastically downsized and felt lighter and younger! In our 60s now and still have the itch to take off on the road again. Here’s hoping that you love the life!!

  6. John on August 14, 2014 at 06:53

    Awesome, Richard. I’d be really interested in hearing how living this way is working for you, as well as any tips you can share for those of us starting to think about doing something similar. I think Tim Ferriss hit on this idea in “The 4 Hour Work Week.” Looking like you’re living in a very appealing mix of modern technology and nature. Is Bea planning on joining your nomadic lifestyle full time at some point, or how does that work out?

    • Richard Nikoley on August 14, 2014 at 08:08

      It depends on when Bea cares to retire from teaching. Entirely up to her, but I just can’t live in the Bay Area Rat Race anymore.

  7. John Nugent on August 14, 2014 at 08:31

    Admirable Richard. I quit my rat race life and downsized a year and a half ago and travelled to Australia while taking a 12 month sabbatical. The sabbatical was suspended after about 5 months, and is still suspended. But the rate race is well and truly out of my life. Fuck greed and fuck lots of money. I want freedom and have it at last. Good on you.

  8. Ned Kock on August 15, 2014 at 07:20

    Richard, this guy is a bit more extreme, and seems to be doing well:

    Good luck on the new lifestyle!

    • Richard Nikoley on August 15, 2014 at 07:57

      Hey, Ned!

      Always a bright spot for me to see you here. Better than money! 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on August 15, 2014 at 08:08

      Interesting article.

      Yea, far too radical for me. One need not quit money. Rather, dispense with everything you don’t really need or use.

      I have a general rule that began years ago in regard to clothing. Every year I go through every article and if I can’t recall wearing it in the last year, it goes in the sack to take to Good Will. I’ve donated thousands worth of clothing since 1885 this way–many worn but once.

      Now I have been applying that to everything. I recently paid for my new MacBook Air, top of the line, with proceeds from selling stuff I don’t need, on Craigslist. And, I haven’t even sold my 3-y-o MBA yet and it should fetch about $600.

      Even still, I have quite a bit of stuff still I just don’t really need. Kitchen appliances and utensils is the next step.

    • Joshua on August 19, 2014 at 15:00

      Not the sous vide Richard! Anything but the Sous Vide!

    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 17:10

      Used at least once per year. 🙂

  9. kc on August 17, 2014 at 15:27

    jealous. moved to a city for work a couple years ago. hate it. i need to figure out how to be a nomad.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 17, 2014 at 15:33

      What price are you willing to pay for money? Once paid and have it secured, are you better off compared to all more modest alternatives?

      A question only to be answered by individuals. Moreover, the answer might change over the course of a human life.

    • kc on August 17, 2014 at 23:12

      i haven’t even thought about it. this is just what i’m supposed to do. I need to do some reading/thinking. Seriously miss alone time outdoors.

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