The Questions I’m Asked The Most About Life As A Full Time Nomad 

Heather Markel, Author, Photographer, Speaker, World Traveler

The longer I live as a full-time nomad, the more questions I get from friends and passerby about my life choices. Here are some of the top ones I get asked. 

“What’s your favorite place?”

This is the question I am asked the most, and it’s one of the most difficult to answer because there are so many! Here are my thoughts:

Costa Rica. This is where I started my journey. It’s where I had a deep spiritual encounter and had a total meltdown that almost led me to give up. I turned it around and this became the ultimate incentive for me to continue my journey.

Scotland. This country is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Rolling hills that look like they’re part of a perfect painting, and Highland cows with hair in their face. You can’t get much closer to perfection!

Argentina. At once beautiful and raw, a country diverse in nature. I met some wonderful friends here, fell in love, and became obsessed with yerba mate!

Peru. I almost didn’t go because I was scared of many things I read about it and thought I’d have to do ayahuasca. Instead, it was full of deep healing for me and I loved the food and the people and that I made it through altitude sickness with only herbal remedies!

South Africa. Primitive, beautful and full of animals I’ve never seen, and amazing people and complexities. One of my favorite places in the world with which I experienced a deeply visceral connection.

Namibia. Billions of acres of nothing. I’ve never seen so much land that’s not inhabited, and where animals roam freely. And the sunset is unbelievable.

Enjoying the hanging gardens in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, where my journey began!

Photograph by Heather Markel, Copyright 2020

“Where do you enjoy photographing the most?”

Landscapes and animals are my favorite subjects. Some of the places that allowed me to capture both were in Patagonia, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, Machu Pichu, game drives throughout Africa.

“How do you afford all the travel?”

I planned a lot and it took years before I went from dreaming about it to doing it. I learned quickly that traveling is drastically less expensive than a fixed life in New York. I gave up my apartment (so no rent or utility charges!). I lowered my per diem budget, especially in places like Southeast Asia and Argentina where the dollar is strong, and it’s allowed me to extend my travels much longer than I ever thought possible. I also acquired paid work writing travel articles which helps a lot! Finally, I have a lot of air miles which means flights are the least expensive part of my travels. I just paid $26 for my flight to New Zealand! Click here for more tips if you want to figure this out for yourself.

“I’m glad YOU can afford all this travel.”

Usually expressed in a somewhat aloof tone. I can only presume that the people that say this to me are thinking that my life costs more than theirs and that I must be wealthy. Thanks for the assumption! But you don’t need to be wealthy to travel full time. In fact, I’ve found it much more rewarding to travel on a budget because people are so outgoing and fun and I make lots of friends! Note, I’m usually staying in hostels or budget hotels, and sometimes sharing my room with lizards, roaches, and who knows. It’s not luxurious, but it is amazing.

“Which country has the cutest guys?”

Clearly, this is subjective. I’d say South Africa and Argentina, personally! 😉

Photograph by Heather Markel, Copyright 2020

“What’s the weirdest animal you’ve seen?”

I think it’s a tie between Pumba (warthogs), sloths and wildebeest. Warthogs are hillarious – they’re stout little creatures and bend their tiny front legs to eat or drink because they have no neck! Sloths are just cool – they smile, they’re cute, they’re hairy and I totally want to cuddle them even though they are kind of strange. Wildebeest I found oddly pretty. One of my tour guides said they are the Frankenstein of animals because each body part looks like it’s from a different animal. They still remind me of some strange breed of cow, so I like them.

“How do you decide where to go and how far in advance do you plan?”

I really go by feel. I don’t do a ton of up front research, I decide on a region of the world I want to explore, and pick a first destination and book the first few night’s accomodation. The rest, I figure out via a combination of feel, costs and other people I meet and recommendations I receive.

“You travel by yourself?”

Yes! I meet people everywhere I go, so I don’t feel alone, but my plans, so far, have been solo apart from a few weeks when I met, and traveled with, fellow travelers I met along the way.

“Where are you going next?”

New Zealand is next and then I’ll be working my way west over the course of the year.
The world is truly an amazing place. After two years of travel, I’m looking forward to discovering more this year, so stay tuned for more favorites! 🙂

Learn about Heather and what set her on her world journey. She also explains why this life is not just for Millenials, it’s for anyone that wants to create a life around what they love most in life. 

Listen to an episode of the video interview series that will inspire you to follow your heart. Whether you want to travel full time or have another calling, this series is for you.

See the amazing people I’ve been meeting on my travels and the fun stories that go along with the meetings.

Check out my travel photos from around the world to see the world from wherever you are.

If you’ve been thinking that there’s got to be  more to life than work, or, you’ve lost your job, and wonder whether now is the time to do something you’re more excited about, this quiz will help you. Answer a few questions and get a free guide to help you know the areas you need to work on, followed up with inspirational and helpful tips to put your dreams into action.

Traveling the world full-time may sound glamorous and exhilirating. (In many ways, it is!) But, it’s not full-time fun. Before you decide to go, take this quiz to make sure you’re ready, and, if not, find out how to bridge the gaps.

This fun quiz helps you understand what your travel personality is, and how to make sure you indulge it when planning your next trip to maximize your enjoyment!

This one is pure fun – test your transcontinental travel trivia knowledge. Hit the button below if you dare take the quiz and see your score! 

If you enjoyed the first quiz, see how you do on the second one! More fun, more tricks, Click the button below to test your knowledge!

If you want to see every post I’ve written, starting with the most recent, this is the place to start!

In 2020, I was traveling in New Zealand as the coronavirus pandemic brewed, and, got stuck there. If you want to read about what this time was like and traveling during this time, check out this page.

Many of my blog posts are about things I’ve discovered about myself or about being, while I’ve traveled. If you’d like to focus on posts that only have self-discovery themes, click the button below.

I’ve been traveling the globe solo, and many of my posts share thoughts and resources specifically for other solo travelers. If you’re a fellow solo traveler, or you’re thinking about solo travel, this is a collection you will find of interest.

Sometimes I write posts where I give insider information on certain cities I’ve visited, which may be more along the lines of places to go, how to save money, etc. If that’s your main interest, check out this compilation of posts.

At the heart of international travel is learning about the many different cultures and ways of being around the world. The posts compiled on this page speak, specifically, about the cultural observations I’ve had.

If you’re looking to read blog posts about specific destinations, click the country of your interest below to go to it’s blog page and get country-specific reviews and thoughts.






Costa Rica


New Zealand








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Want more in-depth information about travel? Trying to figure out how to afford full-time travel (or, doing what you want to do, full-time)? Check out these items!

Looking for a photo or a travel-related item to reconnect with the spirit of travel? Check out this page to see some of my photos and where you can find them as prints and various photo-gifts..

Trying to create a more fulfilling life? Want help with planning out how to make your mark in the world? Check out this page to see how Heather can help you!

Ready to start a more fulfilling life but can’t figure out the money part? This eCourse may be your answer! Click here for more details.

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