Christy and Kali are the digital nomads and Round the World Trippers behind the blog Technosyncratic. We caught up with them to get the scoop on their world travel adventures…
When did you decide to become digital nomads and why?
In the summer of 2010 we sold most of our possessions and bought a motorhome to live in while exploring the U.S. with our border collie. After a year we sold Mayhem (believe me, our motorhome earned its name!) and the rest of our posessions, left our pup with family, and headed abroad.
In a lot of ways we just sort of stumbled into digital nomadism. Before we started traveling full-time Kali was already working online, so it wasn’t a difficult transition to work online from a mobile “office”. We’ve always had a bit of wanderlust, so it just seemed like the perfect time to do something about it.
Which destination has been your favorite so far?
We have a pretty well-known love affair with the Cotswolds; in fact, I think at one point we wrote that we “would make tons of adorable little babies with the Cotswolds, if we were into that sort of thing and were quite sure it was legal”. Maybe that sounds extreme (it’s not), but the Cotswolds really are picturesque and lovely! It’s just too bad a person has to be filthy rich to afford a house there (which, sadly, we are not).
What factors do you consider when choosing your next destination?
A lot of the time we just wing it. Obviously visas, relative cost, and the ability to get by without knowing the local language are important considerations, but mostly we’re drawn in by interesting opportunities. For instance, we went to Malta on a whim because we found a cheap apartment near the beach; before that, we weren’t even entirely sure where Malta was!
Housesitting in particular has taken us to a number of places we wouldn’t have otherwise considered, which is how we ended up taking care of a giant Patou Mountain Dog in a tiny hamlet of 60 people (none of whom spoke English) in rural France. That month was priceless, and we never would have experienced it without housesitting.
Is there any destination so far that has really surprised you?
Kali has always wanted to travel in Germany, but for some reason it was one of the few countries that I had absolutely no desire to visit. After a random offer to housesit in the German suburbs, and then a month spent in Berlin, I’ve completely changed my mind. Germany is amazing, and Berlin is one of the most energetic, creative, and unique cities I’ve ever been to. What was I originally thinking?!
What has been your favorite experience with a local culture so far?
We had heard some less-than-positive things about Vietnam (scams, unfriendliness, etc.), but we had the most amazing experience in Saigon. A lot of local college students head to the parks to practice their English on tourists, so if you’re just hanging out and manage to look friendly, chances are you’ll be approached for a short conversation.
We ended up really hitting it off with two (super sweet) sisters, who invited us to have coffee with them the next afternoon. They took each of us on the back of their motorbikes, introduced us to their favorite coffee “stand”, and then later that evening we talked politics and cultural differences over the most delicious and authentic Vietnamese dinner we’ve ever had. It was an absolute blast, and we’ve been continuing our conversations via email ever since.
What are some of the biggest challenges in leading a nomadic lifestyle and what are some tips and tricks you’ve picked up along the way?
I think the biggest challenge facing those who lead a nomadic lifestyle is travel burnout. It’s not something you can entirely avoid, and most long-term travelers experience it eventually.
We stave it off by traveling slowly, housesitting in lovely locations so we have great amenities (that we don’t have to pay for!), and renting apartments whenever possible. But when it does inevitably happen, we try to be kind to ourselves and stay put. If that means curling up inside and spending the entire weekend watching Game of Thrones instead of exploring a city, then so be it.
In which country (or region) would you like to live next?
While there are a lot of places we would love to live, at least for a few months, our current short term plan is to spend some time in Seattle next. The city has a fantastic culture, great food, beautiful landscapes… and best of all, we’ll be near Kali’s dad for the first time in years. After that we’re not sure what the future holds, but that seems pretty standard for digital nomads.
Check out more of Christy and Kali’s awesome life on their website, Technosyncratic.