The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
Fifty-Plus Nomads are a Community of Long-Term Travelers and Expats
Fifty-Plus Nomads are not easy to define; however, a few common threads stand out. Unlike immigrants, most of us have our economic needs met and are not in danger of becoming refugees or escaping a natural disaster.
Fifty-Plus Nomads also are not satisfied with traveling just for a couple of weeks a year to recharge our batteries. We crave more travel or living in another country to become more self-actualized people, and we want to find ways to scratch our travel itch.
To scratch our itch, many of us, including myself, will find ourselves moving between being Modern-Day Nomads (people who travel for months or years at a time), expats (people who live in another country without intending their forever for non-economic or political reasons), and staying at home.
Since there is no discussion of Fifty-Plus Nomads in the media, these posts define a previously undefined group.
Yet, I know many Fifty-Plus Nomads. Over time, we will find each other with the help of this website. But it is a leap of faith. In the meantime, I will continue to develop useful information for the community on the belief that Fifty Plus Nomads will eventually discover that they are part of the community.
What I Tell People When They Ask What Is a Fifty-Plus Nomad
When people ask me: ¨What is a Fifty-Plus Nomad¨? My reply is that anyone over the age of 50 willing to invest time, money, and energy to make travel or living abroad an integral part of their life.
What do I mean by ¨making travel or living abroad an integral part of their lives¨? It is not easy to define; however, I know if someone is a fellow member of The Fifty-Plus Nomad tribe after I have met them. They possess a global outlook and a mindset from spending a lot of time outside their home country.
Some Common Fifty-Plus Nomad Profiles
Some of the more common profiles of Fifty-Plus Nomads that I have encountered include the following:
- Expatriates who live full time in one country (or several countries) entirely different from their home.
- People who switch between living in several separate places without returning home.
- Snowbirds who escape the cold and heat by living several months a year in another country.
- Travelers who don a backpack or buy a motor home (or caravan, in Europe) and hit the road for their retirement.
- Travelers who spend several months a year taking several different cruises or tours (or travel independently).
- Travelers, like myself, who go back and forth between traveling and living abroad for many years.
The Fifty-Plus Nomads come from various nationalities, ethnic and economic backgrounds, and political and religious beliefs. However, I have noted some common traits, including:
- They are retired or about to retire.
- Some Fifty-Plus Nomads take up the lifestyle to save money, However, the majority have an average, or slightly above average, income compared to most other people in their home country. (Future classes will show you how you can travel the world or live abroad for less money than staying at home).
- They are more adventurous than most of their compatriots.
Why Do Fifty-Plus Nomads Choose the Lifestyle?
While it is hard to generalize why Fifty-Plus Nomads choose this lifestyle, the most common reasons are:
- Living out a lifetime dream.
- Becoming more worldly.
- Learning about unusual ways of life.
- Discovering new talents or interests.
- Being able to live better for less money than at home.
- Pursuing a passion that they could not do at home.
- Escaping the extreme cold or heat in their hometown.
Why Aren’t There More Fifty-Plus Nomads?
As I have traveled around the world, I have met a couple of hundred fellow Fifty-Plus Nomads. I have, however, known thousands of people who could be potential members of the tribe. Yet, I know they will never leap.
When I encourage these people to become fellow Fifty-Plus Nomads, I encounter a lot of resistance. Some of their hesitations are understandable, like family obligations or earning more money before hitting the road.
However, most will not become Fifty-Plus Nomads based on fear of trying something new. Some even appear to fear being different from their fellow home compatriots.
While these responses are understandable, they are not necessary. It is not that hard to hit the road. Besides, you can live and travel abroad and still be loyal to your home country.
More Americans and Canadians could become Fifty-Plus Nomads than will pack up their bags for new climates. Only a little over 3% of Americans live abroad, and only 6% of the native-born population has ever lived abroad. (Even then, most of these people (almost 90%) are sent overseas for a business assignment). Also, the U.S. State Department reports that only 40% of Americans have a passport. Only slightly more than half of all Americans say that they have never been outside of the U.S.
Being a Fifty-Plus Nomad is not for everyone. As you will see in my posts, it requires a lot of patience, curiosity, adventure, and flexibility. Yet, it is well worth the trouble.
The Advantages of Being a Fifty-Plus Nomad
However, when done right, becoming a Fifty-Plus Nomad changes you. It is:
- More than just a short escape from your reality. It is, instead, a new way of being.
- A challenge to your beliefs about yourself and the world around you.
- A powerful antidote to the paranoia and negativity that plague our planet. It is hard to dislike people once you have spent time in their homes and enjoyed their hospitality.
I know it has changed me in many ways, including making me:
- Much more conscious of the history/culture of the world.
- Accepting of diverse cultures.
- Form lifelong friendships with people from a broad range of cultural and economic backgrounds.
- Believe that the earth is compelling, fascinating, and beautiful. While life on the road can get lonely, it is seldom dull. If you learn to be observant and resourceful, you can always find something unique and enjoyable. Every community has people with passions that they love to share with others. Just watching people do ordinary tasks in diverse ways can be enthralling.
- Less fearful of the world. The news presents only one-side (usually the worst side) of life in most of the countries I visited. The real story is more diverse and frequently more favorable. While it is true that, for example, that Haiti is impoverished and can be unsafe. It is also, however, potentially one of the Western Hemisphere’s great tourist destinations because it has:
Some Additional Related Posts on Fifty-Plus Nomad Terms and Definitions
- 200+ of the Best Expat and Long-Term Travel Quotations From Fifty-Plus NomadAll of my blog posts lead off with a quote that is relevant to the subject of the post. I also frequently post quotes on my Facebook group page: Long Term Traveling and Living Abroad Over the Age of 50. This page of quotes is from my blog and Facebook group page mostly. However, I have added a few extra of my favorite travel-related quotes.
- Unique Definitions of Immigrants, Refugees, and Migrants Versus Nomads, Expats, and Fifty-Plus Nomads.A Fifty-Plus Nomad is anyone who dreams or has become a long-term traveler or an expat. We explore the world and live abroad for personal growth, intellectual curiosity or other intangible reasons. This post explores how Fifty-Plus Nomads are different and similar to expats, refugees, immigrants, and migrants. It also talks about different communities that are similar to Fifty-Plus Nomads like snowbirds and vanlifers.
- Why Online Commentaries Pitting Travelers Versus Tourists are a Waste of TimeMany people take pride in being a traveler rather than a tourist. They think that because they travel independently they are superior to people on tours. Yet, to really get to know a place requires time and an effort to get to know local traditions, people, history,
- Long-Term Travel and Living Abroad: 8 Reasons Why We are the First Generation to Enjoy the Awesome OpportunitiesUntil World War II only the wealthy had the ability to travel for extended periods or become expats. Today these nomadic dreams are available to many people.
- Travel Definitions Used In The Fifty-Plus Nomad BlogFind out definitions for the following words used frequently in the Fifty-Plus Nomad website: fifty-plus nomad, developed countries, third world (emerging) countries, expats (expatriates), long term (extended) travel, learning travel, and volunteer travel.
- Want to be a Successful Long-Term Traveler and Expat? Take the Fifty-Plus Nomad Quiz #1Take Quiz #1: Find out if you have what It takes to be a successful Fifty-Plus Nomad? (Hint: Chances are, you do).
- What is a Fifty-Plus Nomad?: A Member of an Awesome Community of Long-Term Travelers, Nomads, Expats, Or Fellow Dreamers Over the Age of 50When people ask me: ¨What is a Fifty-Plus Nomad¨? My reply is anyone over the age of 50 willing to invest time, money, and energy to make travel and/or living abroad an integral part of their lives.