“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
Alan Watts

A Fifty Plus Nomad Is a Long Term Traveler or Expat Over 50

Fifty Plus Nomads are not easy to define; however, some 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. 

We 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, 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 a Modern-Day Nomad (people who travel for months or years at a time),
  • Living Abroad as an expat (people who live in another country without intending their forever for non-economic or political reasons),
  • 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, I hope we will find each other with the help of this website.

But it is a leap of faith that we will find each other. Until we do, 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 a Fifty Plus Nomad is anyone over 50 willing to invest time, money, and energy to make traveling 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 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 include the following: 

  • Expatriates living full-time in one country (or several countries)
  • People switching between living in several places without returning home. 
  • Snowbirds escaping 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) to hit the road for their retirement. 
  • Travelers spend several months a year taking cruises or tours (or traveling independently). 
  • Travelers like myself 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. (You can travel the world or live abroad for less money than staying home). 
  • They are more adventurous than most of their compatriots. 
I recommend visiting Mexico’s big tourist spots like Xochimilco (pictured here, near Mexico City). Sre many of these sites are a bit cliched, but Mexico has an ability to be quirky enough to give these places have a charm that you may not be able to resist (pxfuel)

Take Fifty Plus Nomad’s Living and Traveling in Mexico Workshop

Let me use my extensive experience living and traveling around Mexico to:

Help you decide if living in Mexico is right for you (it isn’t right for everyone)
Share my passion for Mexico
Find your perfect place in Mexico.
Set up, enjoy, adapt and create a joyful new life in my adopted homeland
Travel around Mexico comfortably, safely, and enjoyably on any budget.

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. 
  • Self-development. 
  • Escaping the extreme cold or heat in their hometown.  

Why Aren’t There More Fifty Plus Nomads? 

I have traveled worldwide and met a few 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. 

I encounter resistance when encouraging these people to become fellow Fifty Plus Nomads. 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 remain loyal to your home country. 

More Americans and Canadians could become Fifty Plus Nomads than pack up their bags for new climes. Only 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 70%- 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 they have never been outside 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.

Join Fifty Plus Nomad and learn my secrets for being a successful long term traveler or expat over 50. I will show you places like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. one of my favorite places. I love the beautiful dome and colorful, intricate tiles.. (photo by Haley Black from Pexels)
Join Fifty Plus Nomad and learn my secrets for being a successful long term traveler or expat over 50. I will show you places like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. one of my favorite places. I love the beautiful dome and colorful, intricate tiles.. (photo by Haley Black from Pexels)

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. 
  • More accepting of people from diverse cultures. 
  • Form lifelong friendships with people from various 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) of life in most countries I visited. The real story is more diverse and frequently more favorable.
      • While it is true, 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:
        • A vibrant culture (the art, music, and food are excellent). 
        • A fascinating history (the only country on earth formed after a successful slave rebellion).  
        • Some incredible sights (including a vast 19th-century castle, lovely architecture, and some of the most beautiful beaches).  

Fifty Plus Nomad offers personalized workshops and courses in Spanish, English, Living and Traveling in Mexico, and Long-Term Travel Book a Two-hour Free Sample Introductory Session

Additional Posts About Fifty Plus Nomad’s Courses and Workshops, Blog, News, Definitions, and Biographies

Paul Heller has been a lifelong avid traveler and language learner and teacher, Even as a child, he told Santa Claus that he wanted to visit all the children worldwide. At seven years old, Paul wanted to retire to Mexico. At eight, he memorized the name, capital, location, and some facts about every country worldwide. At twelve, he found a book "Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" and started developing his own itinerary for a future round-the-world trip. He remained obsessed with travel; after getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and working as an administrator, He spent his vacations going to different countries around the globe studying language, touring, and volunteering. In 1994, he quit his job and lived in Russia as a volunteer English instructor. He discovered that he loved teaching languages. In 2004, he decided to make a living out of his travels and founded a community of people who love to travel just like him. He developed 5 three-hour classes about living and traveling long-term worldwide which he taught in over 50 adult education programs throughout the US. After his parents passed, he realized his dream of traveling around the world; cruising and touring some of the most remote places like the North Atlantic, Patagonia, and Oceania; and learning new languages (he knows Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian). Paul encourages everyone to learn foreign languages. He knows that it can be frustrating and slow but that anyone can learn a language if they put in the work and, most importantly, learning a language is well worth the time and effort because it opens up a whole new set of people, ideas, and cultures. He is currently spending the next chapter of his life in Mérida, México. He is excited about using this blog and his classes and workshops to inspire and equip fellow Fifty Plus Nomads with the language, cultural, and psychological skills necessary to be successful and happy long-term travelers and expats over 50.


  1. Hi-I am currently a 50 plus nomad and would love a platform to connect with others. Solo travel can be lonely and would be great to have a way to connect with the global community.

    • Paul Heller Reply

      I hope that this community will serve in this capacity in the future. Does anyone else want to connect with Amanda? If you are ok WITH IT, Amanda, I can leave a post for you on my Facebook group page asking for connections.

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