How do you avoid settling in one place?

As a follow up to my previous question (I guess I don’t have the right to post links here?), but on a larger scale: if living as a nomad in a place for, say, more than a month (which will be beneficial for the sake of getting work done), how to you prevent yourself from getting too involved in the local society?

I find that every time I stay somewhere for a significant amount of time, I naturally start to settle into the idea that I’ll be there permanently, or at least long term. I guess this is human nature: wanting to have a stable lifestyle, with stable friends, relationship, workplace, recreational activities, etc. But, indeed, that is not my goal-- I believe the benefits of the nomadic lifestyle are far greater at this stage in my life…

So, for those of you who have successfully avoided settling somewhere time despite staying for months at a time, what strategies do you use to stay afloat, as in, not getting too deeply integrated locally?

The “anthropologist way of life” for one month or two maximum is a solution: observe people, have some chat, attend meeting, experience life, but avoid making friends (just some contacts) and over all… lovers :sweat_smile:
If you have a huge self-control and you don’t mind braking hearts potentially you could stay longer and go deeper, but after there is the risk that you could loose your status of nomad :slight_smile:

1 Like

Maybe try making some enemies everywhere you go :smile:


It come down to practice. First ‘break-up’ with a 2mo location won’t be pretty. The second one will be somewhat better. By the third one, you know to appreciate the change of scenery more than the connection you develop with the place (knowing you can develop a similar connection with your next place).

In the end, I think the secret is knowing that you can always come back! But maybe, just maybe, that next location will be better still.

1 Like

I own a small island in Canada and live there when it’s ice free. That way I have a stable home, a place to keep my stuff and knowledge of where I will be May to October. This gives me time and a place to consolidate, reflect and decompress. I have consistent friends their and I can truly get work done. Fortunately I have never married and have no-one in my life that I have to make decisions with.
However, over my travels, I’ve been to incredible towns/village and cities where I regularly return to and would love to have a small flat in as a base. My plan is to buy and share it (when I’m not their) with other travels of similar mind.
It is really nice to know that you have a place to go that’s yours.

1 Like

Why not settle in a few places? Moving around from place to place got tiring and psychologically straining for me pretty quickly (within a year) and I had to slow down. Now I go to maybe 4 places regularly. That means I have friends in all those 4 places, or me and my friends decide to meet in one of those places.

I’d say figure out why you are:

  • prioritizing work
  • running away from friendships and relationships

It also seems like a pretty egocentric mindset. People invest in relationships with you but then you run away to never come back. That’s beneficial to you (short term), not to them. Short-term that might work, but long-term that’s probably going to leave you without anyone.

Everyone is different of course, but friendships and relationships are possibly the most important thing in life. They’re the biggest influencer of happiness in humans. Not money. Not success. Not how many places you’ve traveled. Not even total freedom to go anywhere without any bounds. But relationships. Not for all humans of course, there’s exceptions and maybe you’re one of them of course.


Interesting approach (the levelsio’s one). For instance by now I would do what you suggest in Sicilia and Scotland (and my village in Italia of course), but I had to roam a bit to understand it.

I find the perspective that “a place will always be there” to be helpful too. If I want to go back later, I can. This opens up the prospect of traveling more, yet not saying goodbye to any one place, rather an “I’ll be back if I want”. I also would want to stay somewhere long term if that’s what feels right (minus any visa restrictions), so I would be open to what you are yearning to do; go or stay.
That perspective got me through my sadness of leaving Italy, yet also wanting to travel more! :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Lots of interesting responses here. The social aspect is perhaps the common theme, so let me summarize them from that perspective.

It seems there are two general approaches:

  1. Deliberately avoid making deep connections with the knowledge that you are only in a place temporarily. This approach assumes a spontaneous lifestyle which does not entail going to the same places repeatedly. That way, you are not tiring yourself out by starting and ending friendships in a short period of time.

  2. Don’t hesitate to get involved socially, and invest yourself in a few places. Make friends in those places so that you have a community to go back to, and plan your lifestyle around staying in those select places in a cyclical fashion.

They key point, at least that @levelsio made is that one should not mix the two and develop deep relationships in a place and then leave, never to come back. That’s neither good for you nor those people with whom you’ve connected.

The points to consider in deciding route #1 or #2, in my opinion, are: how to decide on the specific places to go repeatedly, and how much incentive you have to develop a strong social community given one’s life situation. (I’ve alluded in my original question that this latter reason has led me to choosing the first approach, which will inevitably change at some point, along with my priorities, as a result of career/financial situation). I don’t think either one is necessarily wrong or right; it depends on the individual. We all have different circumstances in life which bring us to different lifestyle choices which are best for us, but may not be best for others.

Appreciate your responses and happy to continue the discussion further if anyone has anything to add! =)

1 Like

Me too… It is so great to change places, yet it is so sweet to have a place you know you can come back to.

For me if I meet a Girl I am staying - and is hard not to and get to know each other. And i do avoid getting involved with Expats too much - had some bad experiences - someone once said is a lot of Alpha Male Expats - could be why. I was 42 when started living like this (11 years later and still do) and most of them were in 70’s so ya - wasn’t popular due to they had their “gf’s” with them. Anyways - after 11 years I cannot go back to where I grew up etc - when i do go to visit I think am going In Country - as in - get in and back out of there as fast as I can. My family not like what I do but ya - is my life - I do what I want. Living with nothing for 11 years and can’t change. I can get up and move with 2 bags and my laptop - have good passport - can go anywhere and will =)