6 Reasons I’m Going From Home to Hobo in My Fifties

Yesterday, my husband and I completed the daunting task of packing up our house and handing over the keys to the managing agent.

After 5 years in our lovely house and 7.5 years in the same expat neighbourhood, we finally pulled the plug and have started our nomad journey.

The most heart-wrenching moment was saying goodbye to our beloved rescue dog, Buddy. Fortunately, he’s moving in with a family who already know and love him like their own. They live just a few doors from us and Buddy has grown up staying regularly with them and playing with their beautiful same age labrador Honey.

picture of our beloved Buddy
Beautiful Buddy

While it’s comforting to know he’ll be loved and well cared for, it didn’t make the farewell any easier. Seeing my usually very stoic husband show some raw emotion was particularly gut wrenching.

Our journey began yesterday afternoon in Khao Lak, about 90 minutes north of our house in Phuket. We’ve planned a 9-day stay at a lovely hotel here to rest and recharge after the whirlwind of the past few weeks, which included our daughter’s graduation, packing, and moving.

outrigger hotel - khao lak
Outrigger Hotel – Khao Lak

However, instead of feeling excited and looking forward to this new chapter, I found myself overwhelmed with regret and homesickness last night. I longed for the comfort of my house, my couch, my bed, and of course cuddles with Buddy.

The thought of living out of bags and hotel rooms suddenly filled me with dread, and after hours of tossing and turning, I fell into a disturbed and anxious sleep.

I realise in the cold light of day that it is going to take some time to adjust to this new reality. But despite the fears and uncertainties, I know in my heart that embracing this nomadic lifestyle is not only right path for us, but also an incredible an opportunity for growth, adventure, and self-discovery.

Here’s why I’ve chosen to throw myself into the deep end and embark on this journey, at the ripe young age of 51!

Reason 1: This Was Always the Plan!

When we first embarked on our online adventure in 2010, our plan was to travel full time. We took our first step by house-sitting for a friend in Cyprus, with our then 4-year-old daughter in tow.

It was during this time that we began building our online business, which would become the foundation for our nomadic lifestyle.

our first house sit in Cyprus

After Cyprus, we lived in Australia for a while but continued to travel through Thailand. As our daughter reached school age, we made the decision to settle in Thailand and adopt the expat lifestyle.

At the time, it seemed like the perfect compromise – we could provide our daughter with a stable education while still enjoying the benefits of living abroad.

However, as the years passed, Phuket became increasingly expensive, and our once-flexible lifestyle started to feel more like a ball and chain.

We found ourselves tied to one place, waiting for our daughter to finish school before we could resume our original plan of full-time travel.

New Beginnings

Now, 14 years after we first set out on this journey, we’re finally picking up where we left off. Our daughter is nearly 18, and we’re ready to embrace the nomadic lifestyle we always dreamed of.

Of course, embarking on this adventure feels very different at 51 than it did at 37. We’re older, wiser, and perhaps a bit more cautious than we were back then. But we’re also more experienced, more resilient, and more certain of what we want out of life.

In many ways, this journey feels like a fulfilment of a long-held promise to ourselves. It’s a chance to reconnect with our original vision and to create the life we’ve always wanted.

And while it may come with its own set of challenges and uncertainties, we know that it’s a path we’re meant to take.

Reason 2: Facing Fears and Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

As we navigate through life, it’s easy to become comfortable with the familiar and avoid stepping out of our comfort zones. This is especially true as we grow older, when the idea of making significant changes can seem more daunting than ever.

However, facing our fears head-on and embracing new challenges is not only empowering but also essential for personal growth and fulfilment.

Comfort zones are, by definition, comfortable. They’re the spaces where we feel safe, secure, and in control. But while there’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying the cosiness of familiarity, it’s important to recognize that staying within our comfort zones can also be limiting.

When we become too comfortable, we risk stagnating, missing out on new experiences, and failing to reach our full potential.

Embracing new challenges and confronting the things that scare us can have a profound impact on our confidence, resilience, and overall life satisfaction. By pushing ourselves to try new things and venture into unknown territories, we prove to ourselves that we are capable of much more than we often give ourselves credit for.

This newfound confidence can spill over into other areas of our lives, making us more self-assured and better equipped to handle the ups and downs that come our way.

Facing our fears is also a powerful way to keep our minds sharp and our emotions in check.

When we challenge ourselves and step outside of our comfort zones, we create new neural pathways in our brains, which can help to keep us mentally agile and adaptable. This is particularly important as we age, as it can help to stave off cognitive decline and keep us engaged and excited about life.

Of course, stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable, to take risks, and to embrace the possibility of failure. But it’s precisely this willingness to be uncomfortable that sets the stage for personal development and transformation.

By leaning into the discomfort and pushing through the fear, we become more resilient, adaptable, and self-assured.

In my case, the decision to leave behind the comfort and familiarity of my home and embark on a nomadic lifestyle is a direct confrontation of my fears. It’s a choice to embrace the unknown, to push myself beyond what feels safe and comfortable, and to prove to myself that I am capable of thriving in new and challenging circumstances.

Reason 3: Staying Young Through Adversity

One of the most surprising benefits of facing adversity is its ability to keep us feeling young and vibrant.

When we encounter challenges and obstacles, we’re forced to tap into our reserves of strength, creativity, and resilience. We have to think on our feet, adapt to new circumstances, and find innovative solutions to problems we may never have encountered before.

This process of constant adaptation is crucial for maintaining a youthful outlook and spirit, regardless of our chronological age.

When we embrace adversity as an opportunity for growth and learning, we stay mentally and emotionally flexible. We avoid getting stuck in ruts or becoming rigid in our thinking, which can make us feel old and stagnant.

Adversity also has a way of putting things into perspective.

When we’re faced with real challenges, the small, everyday stresses that once seemed so important suddenly feel much less significant.

This shift in perspective can be incredibly liberating, allowing us to let go of petty concerns and focus on what truly matters.

In my case, the adversity of leaving behind my comfortable home and embarking on a nomadic lifestyle is sure to keep me on my toes. I’ll be constantly encountering new people, places, and situations, each with its own set of challenges and opportunities. I’ll need to be adaptable, open-minded, and willing to learn from each new experience.

But rather than seeing this adversity as a hardship, I’m choosing to view it as an adventure.

By embracing the challenges that come my way and staying open to the lessons they have to teach me, I know that I’ll be approaching life with a sense of wonder and enthusiasm. And while the road ahead may be uncertain, I’m excited to see where this adventurous mindset will take me.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Reason 4: Reinventing Myself Through Travel

Travel has a way of changing us in profound and unexpected ways.

When we leave behind the familiar routines and surroundings of our everyday lives, we create space for new perspectives, experiences, and discoveries.

We encounter new people, cultures, and ways of living that challenge our assumptions and broaden our horizons. In the process, we often find ourselves questioning who we are, what we want, and what truly matters to us.

This process of self-reflection and self-discovery is at the heart of why I believe travel is such a powerful tool for personal reinvention. Every new place I visit, every new experience I have, and every new person I meet will contribute to a shifting sense of self.

By immersing myself in new environments and embracing new challenges, I’m giving myself permission to explore different facets of my identity and to imagine new possibilities for my life.

Perhaps I’ll discover a hidden talent or passion that I never knew I had. Maybe I’ll meet someone who inspires me to pursue a new career path or philanthropic venture. Or perhaps I’ll simply gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the world around me, and a stronger sense of my place within it.

The beauty of travel is that it breaks us out of our routine and exposes us to new ideas and ways of being. It challenges us to adapt, to grow, and to see the world (and ourselves) through fresh eyes.

And while the process of personal reinvention is never easy, I believe that travel provides a unique and powerful catalyst for this kind of transformation.

Ultimately, the decision to embark on this nomadic adventure is about more than just seeing new places or having new experiences. It’s about giving myself permission to explore, to grow, and to become the best version of myself – wherever the journey may lead.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Reason 5: Embracing the Gift of Lifelong Learning and Adventure

As we grow older, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our best years are behind us and that it’s too late to pursue our dreams or embark on new adventures. However, I believe that every moment we have is a precious gift, and that there’s no better time than the present to make the most of it.

One of the greatest benefits of travelling later in life is the opportunity it provides for lifelong learning and personal growth. By immersing ourselves in new cultures, trying new things, and stepping outside of our comfort zones, we continue to expand our horizons and gain fresh perspectives on the world and our place in it.

Travel has a way of challenging our assumptions, forcing us to question our beliefs, and opening our minds to new ways of thinking and being.

Whether it’s learning a new language, trying a new food, or engaging in meaningful conversations with people from different backgrounds, each new experience adds to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

The process of continuous learning and personal growth is also essential for staying mentally sharp, engaged, and curious as we age.

By embracing new challenges and experiences, we keep our minds active and agile, staving off cognitive decline and maintaining a youthful sense of wonder and enthusiasm for life.

For me, embarking on this nomadic adventure is not just about seeing new places or having new experiences, but about seizing the opportunity to make the most of the second half of my life.

Plus if I can inspire others along the way and demonstrate that it’s never too late to pursue your passions, challenge yourself, and create a life story that inspires and leaves a lasting impact on the world, all the better!

Reason 6: Living with Purpose and Passion

At the core of my decision to embrace a nomadic lifestyle is a deep desire to live a life of purpose and passion. For me, this means aligning my daily actions and choices with my values, pursuing experiences that bring me joy and fulfilment, and making a positive impact on the world around me.

In many ways, the decision to leave behind the comfort and security of my home is a reflection of this commitment to living purposefully.

By letting go of the things that no longer serve me – whether it’s material possessions, limiting beliefs, or stagnant routines – I’m creating space for the things that truly matter.

By embracing a life of travel and adventure, I’m opening myself up to new opportunities to learn, grow, and make a difference.

One of the things I’m most passionate about is exploring the world and connecting with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. I believe that travel has the power to break down barriers, increase understanding, and create bridges of empathy and compassion.

By immersing myself in new communities and learning from the people I meet along the way, I hope to gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and complexity of the human experience.

At the same time, living a nomadic lifestyle allows me to pursue my passions in a more focused and intentional way. Without the distractions and obligations of a traditional home life, I’ll have the freedom and flexibility to devote myself fully to the things that bring me joy and fulfilment.

Whether it’s writing, photography, volunteering, or simply spending quality time with loved ones, I’ll be able to prioritise the activities and experiences that matter most to me.

Ultimately, my decision to embrace a nomadic lifestyle is about more than just travel or adventure. It’s about living in alignment with my deepest values and desires, and making the most of the precious time I have on this earth.

And while the road ahead may be uncertain, I’m excited to see where this purposeful and passionate approach to life will take me.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Our house in Boat Lagoon, Phuket

Final Thoughts

As I sit here, at a breakfast table in The Outrigger, Khao Lak, on this rainy Saturday morning on the cusp of this new adventure, I can’t deny that there’s a big part of me that feels scared and uncertain.

The thought of leaving behind the comfort and familiarity of my home, my routine, and of course our little Bud, is daunting.

To be honest there’s a part of me that wishes I was in my twenties again, with the boundless energy and fearlessness of youth.

However, I also recognize that at 51, I bring a level of wisdom, perspective, and appreciation to this journey that I simply didn’t have in my 20s. I know that I’ll savour each new experience, each new connection, and each new lesson in a way that my younger self never could have.

And while I may not have quite the same physical energy I did back then, I believe that the adventure itself will reinvigorate me, filling me with a renewed sense of purpose and vitality.

If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a similar leap, I encourage you to listen to your heart and take that first step. The world is waiting, and the possibilities are endless.

Embrace the journey, stay open to the lessons and opportunities that come your way, and trust in your ability to navigate whatever challenges lie ahead.

As for me, I’m ready to face the unknown, to chase my dreams, and to make the most of this one wild and precious life. The road ahead may be uncertain, but I know that with an open heart, a curious mind, and a spirit of adventure, I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ❤️

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