My latest World Traveller is a lady with a cool website – Nora Dunn AKA The Professional Hobo. The Professional Hobo is not only one of the best travel blog titles out there but the inspiration within is sure to make you want to venture further around the globe. Over to you, Nora…
Who are you?
Where are you from?
Where have you been?
I’ve been travelling full-time since 2007. Here’s a basic rundown of places I’ve travelled through and/or lived in, in order of visiting after travelling across Canada for the first 7 months. This list doesn’t include multiple return visits to 12 of these countries as well as a few trips back to Canada in there as well:
USA, (Hawaii), Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, Nepal, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, China, Vietnam, Grenada, St Martin, BVIs, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Panama, Peru…..and counting….
Where are you now?
I’ve just landed in Peru, where I will be spending the next three months living in the Sacred Valley near Pisac (which is near Cusco).
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
The million dollar question. Every place is special for its own reason. But three places I keep wanting to return to are New Zealand, Holland, and France. The Caribbean island of Grenada was high on that list as a place I was even calling “home” for a while, but dropped off recently when a relationship I had there imploded.
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
Must I narrow it down to one? Here are lots of highlights, but a recent special travel experience was the Club Carlson Global Travelers extravaganza, where I covered 8 countries in 3 weeks while on a mission to embrace my inner tourist.
Another one that was seriously out of the box was the Ultimate Train Challenge, where I travelled 25,000kms from Lisbon to Saigon in 30 days….all by train.
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
Again, must I narrow it down to one? I’ve had a lot of icky things happen, including getting caught in a few natural disasters, enduring three major breakups, having my passport and a ridiculous amount of cash stolen, and even getting into a head-on collision. If you’re a sucker for punishment, here’s the scoop on them all: HYPERLINK “http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/06/brace-yourself-travel-isnt-all-roses-and-lollipops/”Brace Yourself – Travel Isn’t all Roses & Lollipops.
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
I had a free rail pass for Australia’s epic trains (I have a slightly obsessive thing for train travel). After the three-day trip from Darwin to Adelaide, I was surprised that I never got bored. So I upped the ante, and rode from Melbourne to Sydney to Perth…to Sydney to Melbourne – straight. All in all it involved 11,000kms in 11 days…all to see if it was possible to get bored on a train.
(Maybe this was a little more funny-strange than funny-haha, but there you go. I’m funny what way).
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
I would say getting into a head-on collision in Grenada (I was on a scooter, and hit head-on by an SUV) and enduring hospitals in a developing country would be tops on that list. Although surviving Australia’s worst-ever natural disaster (the Victorian Bushfires of 2009) was pretty epic as well.
What is the most random job you have had on your travels?
Head goat-milker. It was my first time volunteering in trade for accommodation after leaving Canada. One minute I was a financial tycoon in Toronto, the next I was milking goats in Hawaii and living in a yurt. It was a pretty dramatic transition!
How do you fund your travels?
I’m an international freelance writer on the topics of travel, personal finance, and lifestyle design.
That may sound fancy, but initially it didn’t pay many bills, so in my first few years of full-time travel, I also perfected the art of getting free accommodation around the world through a variety of creative methods.
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
Have an idea of where you want to go, and map out your first step or two, but don’t plan too much, or too far ahead. Opportunities are everywhere, but you need to be open to them in order to jump on them.
Get your financial house in order before leaving – especially if you’re trying to make travel a long-term/full-time lifestyle. This includes paying off your debts, applying for credit cards before you quit your job, and if you’re building a location independent business to sustain your travels, getting the foundation in place before you go. It’s too taxing to balance building a business concurrent to figuring out the travel lifestyle – trust me on this one.
You can’t possibly have everything figured out about how to travel before you go. Initially you’re going to pack the wrong stuff, make booking mistakes, and probably even get ripped off a few times. This stuff happens; if you wait until you think you know everything to go, you’ll never leave the house. Just get out there and earn your travel stripes!
What are your future travel plans?
As per my advice above, I don’t tend to plan too far out, but I have an idea of what I’d like to do if nothing else comes up. I’m spending the next three months in Peru, before returning to Canada for a quick visit. I have a feeling I may spend the summer in Europe, since I may have a few opportunities there from house-sitting in Switzerland to a possible writer-in-residence program in Holland and/or France. And it’s been a while since I’ve been down under; when it gets cold in the northern hemisphere next autumn/winter, I might just hop on down to New Zealand for their summer season.
But all that is far too much planning…..let’s see what happens!
Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo; a girl who sold everything she owned (including a busy financial planning practice) in Canada to embrace her dreams of long-term immersive travel. She has been on the road since 2007, and has perfected the art of full-time travel in a financially sustainable way. She’s an international freelance writer for publications like
Thanks to Nora for being the latest in my series of World Travellers! If you travel the world and run a travel blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured (there’s a HUGE waiting list at present), either e-mail jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net or head to my contacts page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Don’t Stop Living by filling in the form below! Safe travels!