I Became a Nomad in My 60s, Leaving the US for a Life Abroad

I Became a Nomad in My 60s, Leaving the US for a Life Abroad

In 2013, Norman Bour took his first worldwide journey at 62 years outdated.
His worry throughout that journey impressed him to journey overseas extra usually, and encourage others, too.
“Regardless of your age, you aren’t too outdated to journey,” he stated. 

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This as-told-to essay is predicated on a dialog with Norman Bour, 69, who, alongside along with his spouse, Kathleen Plumley, 70, left California for Europe in 2021. It has been edited for size and readability.My identify is Norman Bour and I’m 69 years outdated. I was born and raised in the Philadelphia space however have lived in California for most of my grownup life.In 2013, I found the great thing about touring abroad. I was a video advertising and marketing advisor and was invited to talk at three completely different occasions in Warsaw, Amsterdam, and Prague. I was 62 years outdated and it was my first worldwide journey. I bear in mind feeling intimidated and scared as a result of every part was new to me. I was utterly blown away by how effortlessly the youthful attendees at the occasions made touring seem.It completely modified my life. I knew I wanted to comply with their lead and journey overseas extra usually.

Bour in Romania.

Courtesy of Norman Bour)

Since 2019, my spouse Kathleen and I have lived in and traveled to 37 completely different nations. While I am principally retired, I now take into account myself to be a full-time nomad and journey journalist.My recommendation is that no matter your age, you aren’t too outdated to journey. It isn’t as costly or tough as it’s possible you’ll imagine. Be courageous and do not be afraid. We are having fun with a increased high quality of life for a fraction of the price While journey and high quality of life are huge motivations for our travels, I would say that affordability is the largest affect.Before leaving the States in 2019, I was residing in Southern California. Back then, I was livng in Costa Mesa and renting a two bed room, one rest room condominium for $2,300 every month. The space may be very costly and I was at all times struggling to make ends meet.Kathleen and I realized that we may have a a lot increased high quality of life abroad.That yr, we left California with two massive suitcases and a couple of backpacks, arriving in Europe with $10,000 in money — although Kathleen had a bit extra money that got here from a earlier divorce settlement. 

Bour and Plumley in Egypt.

Courtesy of Norman Bour

While in Europe, we’re touring on a shoestring price range. For the most half, we have been residing off of my Social Security and the revenue I’ve generated from journey journalism and e-book gross sales.The actuality is you do not want that a lot to dwell comfortably. We’re now down to 2 massive backpacks and two small ones. We do not care about having a automotive or tv, and we do not purchase clothes. The {dollars} we spend go in direction of lodging, journey, and meals. Fortunately, neither of us need to dwell in costlier cosmopolitan areas like London, Paris, or Stockholm, and have been interested in cities which might be reasonably priced and, sarcastically sufficient, the most enjoyable. We are enormous followers of Airbnb, which is the commonest lodging entity that we use. Kathleen and I additionally depend on native transportation like buses, trains, and bikes.In 2022, we visited six completely different nations in the Balkans, together with Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia. Over the course of 87 days, we traveled about 3,600 miles on a bike. We spent about $100 per day on lodging, meals, and transportation.Fear will not stop us from residing our lives to the fullestWhen you are older, there are fears related to touring abroad like falling sick or turning into injured.Katheen and I each have Medicare, and beforehand considered it as a security internet. I believed that in the occasion of one thing occurring, we may come again to the United States. However, we now notice that we will not depend on it as a result of we do not have a everlasting residence in the US. If we flew again to California, we must determine the place to dwell and the price of lodging is considerably increased in the state, regardless of the place we’d select to dwell.The excellent news is that healthcare is insanely cheap abroad in comparison with the United States.Throughout our travels, we have had a few ambulance rides, however nothing dramatic. Fortunately, we’re each nonetheless in good well being and plan to maintain touring so long as God will enable us to take care of our life-style. If the inevitable comes, a minimum of we’re doing one thing that we need to do.

Bour and Plumley with mates in Europe.

Courtesy of Norman Bour

Fear in life is such a deterrent, whether or not or not it’s in relationships, enterprise, or journey. My mom was Holocaust survivor, and lived in Auschwitz for three years. While she had legitimacy for her worry, she nervous about every part. I determined to go the other way. Kathleen and I need to maintain having enjoyable, touring, and having fun with our remaining years, as a result of if you’re approaching 70 years outdated, you acknowledge there’s extra time behind you than forward of you. If you are not going to do it now, then when will you?The thought of residing in a convalescent, nursing, or retirement house is to this point off of my need record. I’d fairly exit with a bang than a whimper.


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