Don’t Just Travel, Live In A New Country For Months

I quit my corporate job in NYC around 3 years ago and started traveling with my husband. Even though I had lived in several different countries growing up, I was still apprehensive about leaving all the comforts of the US. But we decided it was time for some adventure and to get out of the rat race.  

Instead of backpacking, we decided to travel slow, which basically means that we would often stay for several months in one location exploring it in depth. This gave us more time to discover amazing food and coffee spots. And it also meant we didn’t have to eat out for every single meal or lug our luggage around with us all the time.

louise model traveller remote life

Instead of backpacking, we decided to travel slow – exploring a location in depth.

These are just some of the memories I shall always treasure. In Myanmar, we ate fermented tea leaves and drank fish soup for breakfast!  In Scotland, we enjoyed haggis (along with haggis stories…) and in Portugal we discovered that barnacles can not only be eaten but are actually really delicious.  

We’ve also been lucky in that we’ve been able to time many of our visits with major festivals.

For example, we watched more comedians than I can count in Edinburgh during their annual Fringe Festival, which is the world’s largest arts festival. We enjoyed the magic of the Yi Peng and Loy Krathong (lantern festival) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And we ate a ton of grilled sardines at the Santo António festival in Lisbon, Portugal.

And I still recall vividly the night Portugal won the Euro Cup. We were in Lisbon and got to celebrate with the friendly crowds at Marquis de Pombal. Impromptu (and not very safe) fireworks flew in the air as children and adults danced and cheered.

traveller remote nomad

I’m not sure how long we’ll keep on traveling as we’re both focused on growing our businesses more, which is really hard to do from the road. But I will never forget these amazing experiences I’ve gained and the lessons I’ve learned over the past few years.  

I’ve been told many times by friends and strangers that I’m “living the dream”  and while I definitely still have many days filled with frustration and weariness, I am also supremely grateful for the life I live. Honestly, if you saw the view I see from my balcony of the São Jorge castle up on the hill, you’d feel pretty grateful for your life too!

This has also made me more appreciative of the life I had back in the US.  There’s something nice about same day Amazon deliveries, Whole Foods Market and being understood by people (because they also speak perfect English).

But perhaps the most useful lesson I’ve learned is the ability to pack in 30 minutes and fit all my belongings into carry-on luggage.

JOIN THE TRAVEL COMMUNITY

Become The Remote Life Travel Community Member

The first few weeks after landing in a country would always be chaotic. We’d have to find somewhere to stay that was furnished and clean, figure out where to go to work out, where to get internet, and most importantly where to find good food.  

But after that initial settling-in period, things would dramatically improve. I love searching for great cafes, and I’d always end up finding a few favorite places. In Chiang Mai, I found an amazing café opened by an American and a Thai – they served organic produce from local farmers and some of the best Third Wave coffee I’ve ever tried!  In Taipei, I found a cute small café with 2 cats that roamed around. And in Lisbon, I have many favorites.  

Landscapes nature remote life

What’s great about staying for a while in one place is that you get to think of yourself as a local (and often treated as one too).  The barristers at the cafes get to know me (most know my order by heart), we make new friends (often expats who are also traveling), we start picking up some of the language, and we stop having to look at Google Maps every five seconds for directions.

Some of my closest friends now are expats I’ve met while traveling!

My husband loves searching for the best food, and so we’d also start trying food that’s both exciting and delicious.

I have to say, my favorite countries for food have to be Japan and France!  If you’ve never had beef that literally melts like butter in your mouth, then you’ve got to go to Japan and try real wagyu (it’s way better than that stuff they serve in America and charge you a fortune for).  

And in France, some of the best food I had was in small towns in the Loire valley.  The produce was so fresh and local, and the cooking was simple but done to perfection.  We had a seared foie gras that was phenomenal!

But one of the best parts about visiting new countries is also discovering foods that I didn’t know about before.

For anyone wanting to experience the world, this is one of the best time – start traveling.

Louise traveller nomad remote

I didn’t realize my life would turn out this way, but I’m glad it did.  And I’m excited traveling to new countries and foods that the future will bring.

About the Author

Louise and her husband, Jeremy, are currently in Lisbon, Portugal.  They run digital businesses while they travel for fun and to support their lifestyle. Louise Hendon is the co-founder of Paleo Flourish Magazine and her husband does consulting and writes about business, travel, and food on his own site.

6 replies on “Don’t Just Travel, Live In A New Country For Months

  • Tanya Kacher

    This is the best idea to travel and live your dream. As the author says , she is grateful for her life. Anyone will be grateful with this kind of life. Although it is very difficult for most of the people but it’s really adventurous to do so. When we live in different countries for a bit longer period we learn different cultures, gain knowledge about different economics, their taste and preferences but most of all we expand our vision. We see the world with all new perception. It is really cool to follow this lifestyle .

    Reply
  • Tanya Kacher

    This is the best idea to travel and live your dream. As the author says , she is grateful for her life. Anyone will be grateful with this kind of life. Although it is very difficult for most of the people but it’s really adventurous to do so. When we live in different countries for a bit longer period we learn different cultures, gain knowledge about different economics, their taste and preferences but most of all we expand our vision. We see the world with all new perception. It is really cool to follow this lifestyle . And it is very important to get out of the rat race. Everyone is following a boring and Monotonous lifestyle so we must try to do something different .

    Reply
  • Archana Pathak

    You are definitely ‘living the dream’. Most of us would love to spend our life travelling all over the world but not everyone possesses the required courage. It is very important to appreciate the culture, lifestyle and ideas that other people have across the world, especially in the times of Post-truth. I wish more people get to indulge in such a practice.

    Reply
  • Anjali Singh

    To go around a place like a tourist on a vacation is one thing and to live there and become one of the locals is another! I have always believed in the quote- “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” and it’s inspiring how you’ve lived by it! It takes a lot of courage to to travel and live in a completely new place and that pushes you out of your comfort zone, but as can be made out from your blog, it’s totally worth it!

    Reply
  • Neelam Arya

    Wow! The whole time I was wishing of switching places with you.
    This blog digged deep into my heart. It was a perfect blend of both the things I long hard for, the good food and travelling to new countries.
    I can only imagine the essence of staying at a foreign place as a localite. I would die for an opportunity like that and if I get one then I can gladly say that I would be ‘living my dream’.
    Just the idea of travelling to new countries, meeting new people, exploring authentic food and experiencing the best of what that country has to offer just stimulates the adventurer inside me.
    And besides I couldn’t agree more with what you mentioned about how we learn appreciating more of what we had so far, in this way I too want to appreciate more of my country, my home food and many more things I am used to. And it’s not like I don’t but it has settled down and I have to revive it by travelling to new places.
    You are one lucky person and I am glad that you realise that.
    Thank you for such an enlightening blog!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *