In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
with The Professional
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
is The Professional Hobo. She was an actress and a Canadian
financial planner for six years, but by the time she was reaching 30, she knew
she wanted to travel the world long term. Nora is not currently retired nor
financially independent, but rather she finances her full-time travels by
freelance writing, trading labour-for-lodging and other creative approaches to
living on the road. To learn more you can visit her website
The Professional Hobo.
Lifestyle: Nora, for those who do not know who you are and what you do, could
you give us a quick synopsis?
Nora: I'm Nora Dunn (not
the one who's big in Hollywood – although I have been in Hollywood movies)
and I'm The Professional Hobo. Over six years ago, I sold everything (including
a busy financial planning practice) to travel the world full-time. More than a
few experiences (running all gambits) since then, I've perfected the art of
full-time travel in a financially sustainable way, and now I help others achieve
the same goals.
REL: What was your net worth when you decided to
set out on your discovery?
Nora: I was approaching 30 and my net
worth was about $150,000. A lot of it was locked away for
retirement, some of it was coming to me in the form of a 2-year
income from the sale of my business, and the proceeds of the sale of
my stuff plus ongoing investments made up the rest.
are your investments structured today? stocks? bonds? annuities?
options? Did the 2008 meltdown alter your allocation?
Nora: Before I left to travel full-time, I “bomb-proofed” my portfolio,
sheltering it from tax and diversifying the instruments and holdings to bear
many markets. I'm a fan of mutual funds (which adds diversification within each
investment sector and is managed actively), and of selecting a portfolio that
best suits my asset allocation needs for the short, medium, and long term.
like everybody, I didn't make any money in 2008, but I limited my losses, and
the worst-hit money is in it for the longest time frame so it has time to
REL: How much of your income and lifestyle is dependent on your web based
business? And what do you spend per year?
Nora: I don't draw a penny from my investments; rather I like to put away
money when I can!
specialty is financially sustainable full-time travel – and I sustain my travels
with income from my freelance writing and website – all the while creatively
keeping travel expenses low.
don't budget per se, but I religiously track all my expenses and income, and I
know when I need to tighten the belt or conversely can spend extra. For 2010 and
2011, I spent $17,000 each year. In 2012 my income went up, as did my expenses.
I write more about the particular breakdowns on my website.
Highest Skydive in New Zealand
for a TV Show
REL: Why would anyone
want to do what you do? Why not live a lifestyle more people could relate to,
with family nearby, saving your money and enjoying yourself along the way? Why
be so “radical?”
Nora: Ha ha! You don't mince
your words, do you? :-)
You're right. I could
have chosen a different (perhaps an easier) life. The thing is, I did. I had all
the accoutrements of a comfortable lifestyle and shining future in Toronto. I
had a successful business, I was acting/singing/dancing in theatre and appearing
in movies and TV shows/commercials, I was a Rotarian, a Toastmaster, and I was
even married for a while.
everything unraveled. My marriage ended, but I filled the gaps with work and
theatre. I got into two car accidents in a week, but I still wasn't late for the
seminar I had to give. And then, I got really sick.
I was teetering on an
overfilled schedule of activities subconsciously designed to distract me from a
nagging inner voice that wouldn't shut up; a voice telling me I needed to see
When I got sick, the
game was up, and I had to face my despair at the idea of “keeping up with the
Joneses” for the next 30 years awaiting my true dreams of traveling the world
long-term. Traditional vacations weren't cutting it; even a month spent in South
Africa left me with more questions than answers.
So in a way, I almost
didn't have a choice but to plunge myself into this radical lifestyle of
full-time travel. And you know what? It was the best thing I've ever done;
designing my lifestyle and career to leave me free to explore the world and snap
up unique opportunities.
REL: What’s the worst
thing you deal with in your chosen lifestyle? Your biggest challenge?
Nora: My biggest challenge is
managing the work-life balance between traveling, volunteering in trade for
accommodation (which I usually do in one form or another, from house-sitting to
milking goats), and earning an income to cover the rest of my expenses through
my freelance writing and website.
I've faced many
challenges in my full-time travels (natural disasters, head-on
crashes, dengue fever, heartbreak – you know, regular stuff!); life's
challenges can be harder to deal with on the road, in the absence of your
support structures at home and knowledge of local processes.
home base in Grenada, West Indies
REL: What is
exhilarating beyond words? Something you would never trade about your lifestyle
to obtain “security?”
Nora: I'm glad you turned it
around here, because although I can rage on about the challenges of travel, I
still choose it, every day.
Why? Because I love
adventure. I love change. (I also love routine, conflictingly, but that's
another story). I have a lifestyle that enables me to go anywhere, and do
anything that tickles my fancy (within reason).
If I get a call from a
friend who needs a house-sitter for two months in Switzerland, I can do it. (And
I did). If a travel TV show filming in New Zealand, France, or Nepal invites me
to come along as a host or travel expert, I can go. (And I did). If I'm offered
a sweet yurt on a remote chunk of Hawaii in return for an hour a day of milking
goats, I'm there. (And I was).
As long as I have a
laptop and internet connection, I can make a living from anywhere in the world,
and experience a new cultural landscape on my front doorstep.
Sailing in St. Martin
REL: Don’t you get
tired of traveling? Don’t you privately wish you could raise a garden or have a
pet on a long term basis?
Nora: The answer to your first
question: yep. The answer to your second question: nope.
Travel – especially fast
travel – is exhausting. And without always having context or grounding, it can
be dizzying. For this reason (and others), I'm generally a fan of slow travel,
which broaches on necessity for full-time travelers. I enjoy being able to
integrate and live in a place, not simply pass through.
On a more fundamental level,
after six years, yes, I've started to tire of traveling in general.
Or rather, I want a place to come “home” to every once in a while.
The place I've chosen as a home base is
the Caribbean island of Grenada; a place that simultaneously feels like “home”
but is different enough that I still feel like I'm traveling. And the cost of
living here is inexpensive enough that I can maintain a home here while
traveling abroad long-term in my usual frugal style of utilizing tricks of the
off-season travel and getting free accommodation.
REL: We have found
that gaining perspective is one of the best gifts of travel. What’s your
“biggest piece of wisdom” from your itinerant lifestyle that you could share?
Nora: 99% of the population of
this world are fundamentally good people. However a good dose of precaution
doesn't hurt. As the saying goes: “Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel”.
REL: What would you
say to someone who is considering tossing the conventional lifestyle and living
one of travel? What advice would you give?
sitting in the Alps of Switzerland
Nora: Just do it! Don't burn
bridges on your way out so you can come back to your lifestyle if you wish, but
I suspect once you're out there, you'll discover a whole new world of
Also, if you're
developing an online business or career that you intend to use to sustain your
travels, get it up and going to a point first. Trust me, simultaneously learning and
developing your travel style as well as your business is murder.
REL: Did you receive
resistance from family members and friends, or did they encourage you in your
creative lifestyle choice?
Nora: I initially received
almost no resistance; rather I got envy and sigh-filled replies like “Oh I wish
I could travel like that, I but I know I never could,” (for various reasons).
Although recently, I was
strongly advised to “return home to an ordinary life”.
REL: Have you left
much of your possessions in storage in Canada? Or did you chuck it all?
Nora: didn't quite chuck it
all; I kept anything that I considered “priceless” or irreplaceable. Things like
artifacts from previous travels, photos, tax files, and some heirloom china and
silverware that my Dad would murder me if I sold – which all fits into about six
REL: Has it taken you
long to digitize your life? Go paperless? What can you tell our readers about
Going digital was
relatively easy. Businesses had already embraced the concept when I started
traveling, so registering for online banking and payment systems was a cinch.
There are online services to hook you up with just about anything you need to
manage your life from the road, from a mailing address to a phone number to a
REL: What do you
offer your readers? Why should someone stop by and read your blog?
As I said earlier, I
teach people how to do what I do. One of the tools I use is my free intensive
How to Travel Full-Time in a Financially Sustainable Way. In addition, you
can check out my blog for both useful tips and saga-filled tales about life on
And I'll soon be
releasing some new tools, such as a guide that teaches you how to get free
accommodation around the world. (So that's a reason to come back again)!
We'd like to thank Nora for taking the time to give us a glimpse into her
lifestyle, and if you would like to know more about how to manage full-time
travel, visit her website. Thanks Nora!
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on
topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of
information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com,
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since
1991. They wrote the popular books, The
Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your
Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.