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The Retiring Nomads: So Many Roads to a Life of Adventure

Category: Adventurous retirement

July 27, 2018 — There are some folks who decide the best place to retire is — everywhere! That’s right, there are people how so love adventure and travel that they sell everything and go on the road. Some do it for a few years, while others hope to do it as long as they can. While not for everyone, it is guaranteed to be an interesting strategy.

After we saw a recent NY Times article about a couple who have retired to become modern day nomads, we knew we had to share their story. But as we got into it we realized that there are many different ways to retire on the road. You can live on a cruise ship, buy a boat, travel about in a RV or van, or work as a floating volunteer. There is so much adventure available, if that is what you are looking for.

Michael and Debbie Campbell

In “Two for the Road: 80 Countries and Still Counting“, the Times recounts how Michael and Debbie Campbell, aged 72 and 62, have entered into retirement as full-time travelers. Along the way they have become role models for hundreds of people who are living the nomad life (Debbie has written 154 blog posts about their life on the road and is active on Instagram). Their Senior Nomads website has lots of info and articles about their travels. Their motto is a good one: “Living Life and Loving Each Other, One Airbnb at a Time.”

Since going on the road in 2013 one of their goals is to go places where history is in the making. That led them to England on the eve of the Brexit vote, which was quite an experience. They also find that living on the road (they usually stay in Airbnbs) gives them the luxury of time. They can slow down and observe and take part in what is going on around them, whether it is in Kazakhstan, Spain, Ephesus, Tanzania, or Omaha Beach in Normandy.

How Long?
One of the questions the couple gets is, “How long can you keep this up?” After 5 years they don’t see the end in sight, as long as they feel they are happy, learning, healthy, on budget, and in love. We love that last bit, a good reflection of this very romantic couple!

Bottom line
Selling everything and going on the road full-time is not something done on the spur of the moment. It takes planning and thought to get your affairs ready, and decide on some goals. If you are interested check out the Campbell’s blog and the articles below to get your thought process going. As you will see, it takes a lot of work and patience to travel full-time. It is not for everyone, but if you are the right person – enjoy!

More Nomad Retirement Lifestyles
One of Baby Boomers Biggest Regrets – Not Traveling.
Retire to a Cruise Ship
Van Living in Retirement
A Next Chapter…Afloat
Betty Loves the Mobile Lifestyle (5 part series)
How to Live for Free as a Second Career Volunteer

More Exciting Retirement Adventures:
Nomadic Pilot’s Search for the Right Airpark Community
Peter and Sally’s Retirement Adventures 
Here is a Retiree Who Really Likes to Drive
What Do Skiing, Rotary, and Guatemala Have in Common for This Retiree 
Living the Cowboy Life in Retirement 
SCUBA Diving Passion Leads to Marine Environment Work 

Comments? Have you thought about chucking it all and going on the road for retirement?
Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on July 26th, 2018


  1. Yes we have and yes we are. Starting in May of this year we became full-time RV’ers. We sold our house and moved into the RV and a campground. The end of October 2018, I will quit my job and we will go full-timing. It has taken about 2 years of planning and considerations. We will head south for winters and then see where the weather and wind take us. We will be utilizing my husbands military benefits and staying at some bases in their RV parks along with regular campgrounds. What we love about this type of retirement is the mobility and ability to truly travel and see things. Our bucket list includes seeing all the Presidential Libraries and as many of the National Parks and Monuments as possible. At some point we may run across a place that grabs us and where we may want to put down roots, but until we find that place, we are happy being nomads. As I write this I am still working but life just feels a little lighter and more relaxed. I am not worrying about getting this or that done on my days off. I have a small space that takes at most to clean from one end to the other about 1 hour – tops!! This type of life is not for everyone, but should be a consideration for some, especially those who love to travel and like experiences over stuff (living in an RV you are limited on what you own).

    by Kim H. — August 1, 2018

  2. Kim H ^^ I am jealous!!! Hubby and I would love to do that, but it’s just such a huge step, selling everything (but I’m working on it!) We live in a small Cape Cod style house in NJ, with my 80++ year old mom, who is still really active (I just turned 50 and hubby’s right behind me), so we have a couple years still but, we are working on our retirement plans – and those involved lots of travel and definitely down-sizing! Would love to know how your planning and adventures turn out!!! Best of luck!! (PS – I’m about to follow the “Senior Nomads” and follow their journey as well!) Enjoy life!!

    by Linda — August 2, 2018

  3. During our 40+ years of marriage we moved frequently for my husband’s job. Perhaps being slightly nomadic for most of our lives and enthusiastic RVers for almost 30 years made it easier for us to give to our kids, sell or donate everything when we retired, except the RV and car. We now travel as we wish. We seek weather and scenery that interest and please us, and we are not afraid to admit if we have made a poor choice for ourselves. By good luck and following hunches, we have found some very interesting places that are not national parks or traditional tourist stops and we can stay as long as we like. We feel fortunate to have met some truly kind and interesting people on the way; we arrange to reconnect with several of them at other campgrounds during our travels. If you are considering making this kind of change I would encourage you to consider it seriously. Possessions can be stored and homes rented so you can return whenever you’d like. We realized that we were never going to be as young as we were then (67 and 68), and we were fortunate to be fairly healthy. We have been enjoying our travels full-time for more than 2 years now, and still enjoy this choice we’ve made.

    by susan — August 4, 2018

  4. What do RV ers do about getting mail and prescription medications?

    by John short — April 10, 2019

  5. This article about Snowbirders has a section on mail. There are many possible solutions.
    Virtual mailbox services like (it seems to be for expats) will receive and scan your mail, shred it if you want, or get it to you. is another service

    Prescription drugs is trickier, but if you use mail order or a big chain you should be able to manage. Ideas from other folks?

    by Admin — April 10, 2019

  6. Dear RV adventurers:

    For fun I listen to Robin at Creativity RV on You Tube. She is a wealth of information and the best resource I have found. Below is a link to mail and packages. She is living the life in an RV while writing a book. Check out her channel.

    by Jennifer — April 11, 2019

  7. For my expat scuba diving buddies that live around the world they mostly use this option. I have recommended this vendor previously on this website so here you go again:

    by danno — April 11, 2019

  8. We have toyed with the idea of getting an RV which makes sense for us since we want to go to Florida every winter but hate looking for rentals. We have always gone camping and figured this may be for us. The last couple of years while we drove from upstate NY to FL I started paying attention to all the RVers we passed along the way and what they were driving, writing down the size we thought was best, and the ones we liked the looks of, etc. I even noticed about 80% of the drivers wore baseball caps (my husband noticed 100% of the drivers were males).
    This year we have brought our camping stuff in our car and have stayed at a few campgrounds as we make our way to southern FL, and have started talking with those in the RV areas- they all are very willing to talk about how much they love it. We have found this is a good way to research this way of life and are learning a lot especially when we watch them back there homes into a campsite. This morning we were told by a camper of AARP’s website which happens to talk about this very thing-the RV life, but they also mention you can rent RVs and also rent yours when not using it . Has anyone done this ? Wondering how it worked out

    by Paula — January 25, 2020

  9. The rental part sounds great to me! I would Also like to know the best way to find RV places to stay for one to three months? And best companies to rent from? Thanks

    by Virginia — January 26, 2020

  10. Virginia,
    We have many RV communities listed, which you can find by clicking on the “Search” tab found at the top of Topretirements homepage. Scroll down to Advanced Search, and here you can check RV/Mobile Home under “Type of Community”, and a list of RV communities will be generated for you. There are many other criteria you can check on this page to help you find the perfect retirement spot!

    by Jane at Topretirements — January 26, 2020

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