Developing my strategy for nomad living and traveling
Figuring out how to think about my time on the road, where my top destinations are, where I want to Slomad and where I want to Vagabond.
PREPARING FOR NOMAD TRAVEL
It isn't often during this phase of caregiving that I have quiet hours, but this morning, I did. There was no need to strip the beds, no need to mop the floors, no struggle getting soiled clothing off, and clean clothing on, no half hour or longer to get the morning medication swallowed, and breakfast only took a half an hour to eat. Unheard of. On top of that, my loved one sat at the end of the table working on 100 piece jigsaw puzzle, quite content.
I took the opportunity for some me time. I had to stop every little bit and kind of help her not be overwhelmed by the puzzle, but mostly I could focus on something about me, which is rare. So I got out my geography coloring book, my notebook, my colored pencils, and sat down to organize my thoughts around future nomad travel.
I made a list of all the places that came to mind that I wanted to visit. Then I went back and prioritized them into the ones that were most important to me, then the ones that were secondary. I divided them up into places where I wanted a Slomad experience. At this particular point in time, my version of slomad is spending 2 months up to the maximum time I'm allowed to be in the country - without having to do any special application for any type of visa. In most cases, that's 90 days, but there are a few exceptions - Albania and Georgia allow Americans to stay a year at this moment, and Armenia currently allows 180 days.
Those places that were not slomad destinations are Vagabond destinations - those places where I might want to spend a week to a month or more and we'll just kind of play it by ear. These are places where I will act more likely traveler rather than somebody who is living there. Admittedly only spending two or three months in a place is not quite the same as the living living there, but it's my version of slomading, at the moment anyway.
After that, I broke them up into Schengen area countries and non-Schengen area countries. Then I set about coloring the map to help me visualize how I might move around and not violate Schengen area visa requirements. If you're not familiar, countries in Europe have agreed to allowing their citizens to cross borders without visas. As an American I'm only allowed to be in the Schengen area for 90 days, then I have to leave the Schengen area for 90 days before I return.
My next task I'm working on is creating a list of the countries, organized in the same categories is above, identifying what months are the best to visit - taking into weather and potential crowds.
This is an activity that will help keep me sane, help me feel like I'm working towards my future and cause use my brain cells in a way that most days I don't get to. It's also motivating me to learn a little bit more about each of the destinations and confirm whether I think it warrants a few weeks or a few months, all subject to change!