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Ep. 73 How to become a professional traveler with Nora Dunn

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Have you ever wondered how to become a professional traveler?

This week I speak with Nora Dunn who is a freelance writer and professional hobo. 

Although Nora had a successful financial planning business, she decided to take the plunge and sold her company as well as all her personal belongings to travel the world.

Since she has been on the road, Nora has lived and traveled to more than 50 countries and has been able to sustain her lifestyle due to her location independent writing career.

Listen on to find out how Nora has been able to live a life on the road as a professional traveler and writer.


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[This episode was sponsored by Bsolo]

professional traveler


Listen Below:

In this Episode:

Why did you decide to sell your company instead of just traveling while having someone else run it for you?

  • Nora felt it would limit her choices once she began to travel.
  • She would always feel the tie to come back to her hometown, and she did not want anything to stop her from embracing anything that she would find during her travels.
  • It was a life change that she was prepared to make permanently.
  • She was ready to be a professional traveler.

What is the one thing you wished you knew before becoming a freelancer and a hobo traveler?

  • Having a work-life balance can be extremely difficult when you are starting a new career while also traveling full time.

How were you able to transition to becoming a writer without previous experience?

  • Nora had a talent for writing and she had a desire to pursue the career.
  • She realized while on the road that she could become a writer and continue to travel.

Has there been a huge change in the industry as a digital nomad?

  • There are more and more opportunities by the minute.
  • There is a lot of misunderstanding on how much work it actually takes to be a successful digital nomad.
  • It takes a lot of blood sweat and tears to make things happen as well as self-discipline.
  • Being an entrepreneur and freelancer is not for everyone- you need a lot of self-motivation.
  • However, even if you are not an entrepreneurial type you can still work on the road for a variety of companies that can give you a steady paycheck.

What has been the biggest setback you have encountered and how do you handle them?

  • When you are working and traveling you must exercise flexibility.

How do you stay productive and keep the momentum while working and traveling?

  • Work-life balance has been a constant challenge for Nora.
  • It can be difficult to carve out a productive working space while on the road.
  • Many digital nomads are turning to co-working spaces because it provides them with a productive work environment.

What are the biggest misconceptions about your lifestyle?

  • People have the misconception that because you are location-independent you are always on vacation.
  • People do not always understand your work style.
  • If you want to travel and work, slow travel is best.
  • You will not be able to maintain or grow a business if you are doing fast travel.
  • Working while doing fast travel will make you burn out quickly.

Why having the right motivation is the key to success.

  • You have to be doing something bigger than yourself and it is not just about you as an individual.

How were you able to create income from the start and how do you continue to create income today?

  • Nora began to create income as a freelance writer by writing about finance and travel.
  • Nora makes income from a variety of sources such as her freelance writing income, affiliate sales on her website, ads on her website, and she has also created income from different products she has created such as books she has written.

What legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for?

  • Making travel into a lifestyle and inspiring other people to do so is something Nora is proud of.

What has been the most unusual job you ever had and what was the best thing that you have learned from the experience?

  • Being an apprentice for a shaman and co- assisted plant medicine ceremonies.
  • The biggest lesson she has learned was identifying the patterns and behaviors in our lives that no longer serve us and to do the work of changing it.

What is the worst advice you have ever received?

  • Time to come home, settle down, and have an ordinary life.

Where can we find the free guides you have created? 

Listen to Nora’s extended interview where she shares how to get free accommodations around the world.

Listen Below:

In this episode:

How are you able to get free accommodations while traveling?

  • Nora started by finding organizations where you can volunteer in order to get free accommodations.
  • A few places to volunteer are: Help Exchange,  WWOOF, Work Away

How were you able to start housesitting in order to get free accommodations?

How were you able to live on a boat for free while traveling?

  • There are a lot of available accommodations to live on a boat if you are willing to lend a helping hand as a crew member.
  • The nautical community is small, and you can network your way into other boats easily.

Can you tell us more about hospitality exchange or couch surfing?

  • Hospitality exchange is only usually good for a few days.

Explain how home exchange can also be a good way to get free accommodations?

  • There are a lot of websites that will allow you to find people who will be willing to do a home exchange in the area that you would like to travel to.

Where can we find the free guides you have created? 

Follow Nora:

2 comments on “Ep. 73 How to become a professional traveler with Nora Dunn

  1. I was disappointed to hear that being a world traveler doesn’t mean that you are on a lifelong vacation and that it is hard work!

    1. debbie says:

      Haha, that is definitely a misconception for a lot of people.

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