Does anybody have a home base?

My boyfriend and I, from California, are starting our travels first around the USA. We’ve only stayed in a few locations, California and Colorado with Airbnb, and basically an entire semi-decent place to ourselves is $2k a month. And with payment securing our next month’s place - rent comes to $4k a month. Obviously not sustainable, and not to mention a place missing most functional items to live comfortably is not ideal.

Unfortunately, this has turned my boyfriend off to traveling in general. He proposed we get a “home base”, live cheap and travel out from there.

Do any of you do something similar? Have a home that you stay in for a certain amount of time, and do trips out from there? My worry is that normal life will settle in and no traveling will happen. But we are thinking if we can be on the winning side of Airbnb (the renters) then we can rent our place while we travel, and come back as needed.

I appreciate your thoughts and input!

Hi, I’m writing this from my base in Central Bulgaria. In some EU countries, especially Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania the apartment costs are driven down greatly by migration to the rest of EU, so 250-300$ / m2 is quite common.

Traveling will definitely happen because Bulgaria will kick me out after 90 days.

Have you tried negotiating a price off? Instead of booking an Airbnb, try contacting the host and ask 50% off. That works in low-season.

Also, the US is big, so try to find places that are cheap and live there.

why stay in one of the most expensive countries when you can go anywhere in the world and it will be dead cheap? Not to mention the tax advantages. Why nomad if you’re not really going to take advantage of the benefits?

I agree! My boyfriend isn’t ready for that yet. He works with clients here and is worried about the time difference. I’m working on convincing him that it can work…as probably everyone on here can testify to :stuck_out_tongue:

Haha yes! Most of us have faced that challenge at some point.

There’s lots of places in the U.S. with small timezone differences that are cheap, see https://nomadlist.com/country/united-states

There are also lots of cheap countries that are easy to live in which are in the same time zone. Give Mexico a shot for a while. You can get the same standard of living for a fraction of the price with no timezone issues and easy entrance back to the USA if necessary. Sounds like your bf doesn’t really want to do this and is just humoring you until you change your mind.

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The time difference in South America is also negligible. Because it is a few hours ahead of the US West coast it can work out nicely as it gives you a few hours in the morning to work uninterrupted before the clients come online.

Kept condo in Florida for years. Use it as drop-ship address for discounted supplies to export. Pretty much pays for itself.

We have absolutely LOVED this approach. We establish a comfy home base somewhere interesting, then rent it out on Airbnb and go on mini-holidays in the area.

For example, we lived for 7 months in Ao Nang, Thailand, and rented it out 1-2 weeks of each month so that rent worked out to about zero, and we used that time to explore Phuket, Krabi Town, and cool nearby locations. We did the same in Hoi An Vietnam. Can’t wait to do it again! :smile:

We wrote about it here:

Thanks for your input! I love that idea too, and it seems like a great approach and blend for what we are going for.

I agree, a home base is certainly nice to have. My wife has a non-profit that she started in Nigeria, we were able to get an apartment there for $2,500/yr so we maintain that as we travel to different places. Honestly though, I don’t think I would miss it too much if we didn’t have it. There are many countries where you can get an apartment for a similar cost (places in EU, maybe even central US). It really helped us to have a virtual mailbox, so if you leave your place in the US, make sure to get that!

I own 2 houses in Costa Rica and in the process of buying 1 additional for “automated” (property management company handles them) rentals, I think everyone should consider having a fix address in a place he likes (or home country) to always be able to go back to and I think every nomad in a good financial position today should look into investing in healty rental properties that can be automated (while we travel) so if dark times arise online you are always safe and can continue travel and exploring different projects.

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My home base is in Charleroi, Belgium: I’m not a full-time nomad, but I travel several times a year and work from a rural location using solar power, usb internet, and when all else fails, a hotel lounge in town (which is an hour’s walk from the spot in the country).

Most of Latin America is in the same time zones as the US and is quite a bit cheaper. One destination very popular with retirees and reportedly both cheap & pleasant:
https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Cuenca_(Ecuador)

Perhaps easier since it is closer to home & English is spoken:
https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Belize

I’ve been using Calcutta as a base for four years. Trips range from a week of working up in the hills in Darjeeling to three months of motorcycle camping north - south through India and building websites from my tent. Back in Chicago this month, then off again…not sure where I’m headed next. Might wrap up a few things in Calcutta, then do Thailand next year.

I like having a home base because it lets me set up a desktop w/ dual monitors for code :slight_smile: And once you have a home base up and running, working nocturnal hours to match US time zones isn’t that hard at all…I worked better at night in the US anyway, so in some ways it actually becomes more convenient.

I’ve been nomadic in the US as well. Motorcycle camping down the Pacific coast highway and working out of a tent was wonderful. You could probably find an el cheapo apartment year a place like Yosemite, Yellowstone, or Crater Lake for peanuts and spend a couple of months at a time there, or if you’re more into people / culture, maybe NOLA’s your thing? I prefer being outside the US myself, but there are definitely US options that you could use to try and ease your boyfriend into the lifestyle without freaking him out too much.

I personally feel more secure with having a home base, because with the passport I have, I do not have access to a lot of countries. Also, from where I was born, i’m actually leaving a very cheap place to live in to go to my dream countries (Europe). Even Mexico or Costa Rica and Thailand are more expensive for me than where I am. So I guess it’s relative. I am in Cape Town where I’d like to establish my home base. It’s very cheap, my rent comes to less than $300 per month in a very upmarket and safe area about 5 minutes walk from the ocean. If you’re based in USA, you can always rent out your place and have some form of passive income too. This might help put your boyfriend at ease, at least for the first few months before he makes the total change to become a full-time nomad. For some it does take more time and that’s OK too, we have to respect their pace. :smile:All the best!

Over the last two years, my homebase has been in Charleston, SC, and I’ve also lived for a month at a time in Dublin, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Italy, coming back to my homebase in between for some periods. I wrote about in detail here (http://www.gohomebase.com/blog/2015/9/2/how-to-grow-your-business-while-traveling-the-world), but basically, the deal is you just have to offset your rental costs. I did it by giving my place up at first, but that was exhausting and unsettling, so then I did it by keeping my place and renting it out while I was gone, but I got lucky because it can be hard to find reliable longer-term renters like that. I’m building a startup (actually called “Homebase”) to try and solve this exact problem…because I’m too old to backpack around like a legit nomad, and I’d rather feel like a baller with multiple homes living the dream…and clearly I’m not the only one. Let’s connect and hopefully I can solve our collective challenge!

@carolinegnuttall oh wow! This is our sentiments exactly! Thanks for this info, I’ll be connecting with you over on gohomebase.com. We are in Denver now actually :slight_smile:

Hola! My home base is currently Barcelona. I usually take a winter break and go travelling in Asia. Up for a house swap or to rent it out to nomads :smiley: