We have been what could be called “full-time nomads” for 3 and a half years now, or better said, it’s been 3 and a half years since we no longer have a home, no furniture, no car and a slightly “atypical” lifestyle made of travels, entrepreneurship, thoughts and questions.
I am writing this article from a beautiful coworking space on the sunny island of Tenerife. If you have been following our adventures for a while, you may have noticed that we have already stayed in Tenerife for 4 months last winter… And maybe you don’t know it, but Tenerife is actually the very first destination we have returned to since we became nomads (not counting Switzerland of course). This return to a “known” place that we love more than anything is a great thing for us and I think it is a small form of transition for what awaits us in 2020.
In short, this article is more of a thought than a travel post, but we thought it might interest you to know a little about our state of mind after 3 and a half years on the roads and the few changes that will take place in our lives in the near future.
Ode to slow travel
If there is one conclusion we came to during our years on the roads, it is that nowadays, the slower we travel, the more we enjoy it. Of course, traveling slowly also makes it much easier for us from a work point of view, because it is much easier to maintain a “work rhythm” when we have more time to explore a destination but beyond this practical aspect we simply like to settle down a bit somewhere.
It is difficult to set “clear and strict” limits to this, but what is certain is that we will probably no longer have short trips to somewhere and even less if the destination is far away. Then, I want to tell you that the distance is all relative. We came back from Chiang Mai in March 2017 and since then, we have not left the European continent… However, we have made countless absolutely magnificent trips and it is funny because it is by writing this article that I have kind of “realized” that we had not left the continent for almost 3 years. A choice that was not really conscious, but rather naturally imposed itself because it was in line with our current definition of traveling.
However, We do not exclude the possibility of leaving for a far away destination again…. New Zealand, Canada, Japan are all destinations that attract us a lot and one of them could well be on top of our list next year or in 2021 (that was before Covid happened 😉 ). But if we go, believe us that we will do everything we can to push the limits of the visa as far as possible and stay there as long as we can. 😉
Back to Tenerife, the happiness of being back
As I said in the introduction, we are now back in Tenerife, and more precisely at Nine Coliving. We came here last year and ended up “working” as volunteers. Totally seduced by the place, we promised ourselves to come back one day as “guests” but we didn’t necessarily think it would happen so quickly…. However, this year has been quite busy with both entrepreneurial and family events and we arrived at the end of the summer by being a little (completely) exhausted. We really needed to take a step back, go to a place where we feel good and take the time for ourselves and our projects. Well we did not have to think twice, Tenerife was the most obvious choice and we simply could not be more delighted with this decision.
Last year we had such a crush on La Orotava and Tenerife that we almost decided to buy an apartment here (we even met an accountant to discuss it). But we also quickly understood that we didn’t need to have a “home of our own” on this island, our home is this coliving, the people we meet and the friends we have here.
Coming back to the same place is something we hadn’t done before and I can’t hide the fact that it has a very “relaxing” and soothing side. We know the island pretty well now and we don’t feel any “pressure” to visit new things. We have our little habits, our favorite hikes, our little coffees and beloved restaurants… a welcomed routine that is very favorable to our efficiency in the workplace too.
Coworking where we spend a good part of our days:
And big bonus: our articles on the destination are starting to be quite popular and we had the pleasure of meeting here several readers for a glass of wine, tapas or even both. 🙂 A good dose of good vibe that we needed to recharge our batteries a little.
Nomads looking for a base
These 5 weeks in Tenerife, “at home”, will have been a kind of sweet little transition before we move into our new official home. We had already talked about it in our 2018 review, or even in our review of the 2 years of nomadic life, but having a base is something that has been tempting us for some time.
When we started our own business, we had set aside a good amount of savings in the event of an “entrepreneurial hard hit”. So even though our small business is clearly not what you might call a “million-dollar business” (it has never been our ambition to be fair), we have achieved a certain financial stability that now allows us to consider investing these savings and not just keeping them for the “just in case” scenario. 🙂 We’ve been discussing this for three years, we’ve been postponing it for a lot of reasons, we’ve been looking for excuses for a while…
It’s going to be complicated, isn’t it? Is it financially feasible? Are we going to be able to rent it in our absence? Will it be necessary to plan some work perhaps? We’re not very manual people…. How are we going to manage the admin part? Pfff assembling furniture? But we’re going to need a car if we live in the mountains? No, but in reality our boxes are fine at the parents’ house, right? It’s going to take us a long time to set everything up…
STOP! Let’s stop it! This time we’re listening to ourselves! We’ve been talking about it for 3 years, 3 years we’ve been thinking that we’d like to have a place where we can “go home” between two nomadic adventures. In 2020 we’re (finally) doing it!
Our future “home” – our beautiful Swiss mountains
After months and months of reflection, real estate prospecting and discussion, it was finally a great opportunity to take over a family apartment that made us decide. From this winter, we will create our little “nest” in Morgins, a small ski resort in the Valais Alps.
Living in a ski resort is a choice that may seem a little strange, but in the end I think it’s 1000% what we need. I must admit that this is probably not the destination we would have chosen if it had been to settle there full-time, but for our semi-sedentary project it is simply perfect! We will be at the gateway to nature with hundreds of kilometers of hiking and skiing trails right on our doorstep. For us, being in a place where we could hike a little was a very important criterion and I think we’ll have a front row seat there. We deeply love this region and its landscapes and we also have many friends there.
And let’s face it, living in the resort we also take it as a little bit of a personal challenge to show you that the mountain is not only beautiful when the ski slopes are open or the hiking trails are flowered in summer. From spring snowshoeing outings to long autumn walks in a golden setting, we have planned to show you all the colors of our beautiful mountains. 😉
With the winters getting shorter and the lack of snow more and more recurrent, many resorts have to re-invent themselves a little to survive. Those who rely solely on white gold and the few weeks of the winter boom are unlikely to last much longer. We have confidence in the Portes du Soleil region to continue its development into a 4-season tourism destination and if we can, on our very small scale, contribute a little to make you want to come and discover these landscapes beyond the “high season” we would be delighted. In short, expect to find even more articles about our beautiful little Switzerland in the coming months and years!
Our beloved Switzerland:
Our end of the year 2019: A slow return to Switzerland and family
In less than 10 days we will leave our little oasis of happiness in Tenerife again and set off for Switzerland. But well, as very often, we decided not to take the most direct way home! 😉
On December 2nd we will take a short flight to Malaga where we will meet a very good friend for a few days. Then we will take a train to Madrid to visit Benoit’s cousin and visit the Spanish capital that we don’t know at all.
From Madrid we will continue by bus towards Montpellier to meet Jules and Maryne , two friends we are just too eager to see again! And from Montpellier? Well… not the slightest idea yet, but what is certain is that we will be in Switzerland for the holidays! This year we will spend Christmas with our family and enjoy a little bit of our loved ones. We admit to having been pretty bad at this level for the last 8 years…. Since 2011 we have only spent 2 Christmases “at home” and we are starting to miss it seriously. In short, a month of December dedicated to friends and family!
Our year 2020: forecasts, projects and questions
Oh there, the big question that many of our friends and family ask us:
So? 2020 you’re getting semi-sedentary so we will finally get to see you more often, right?
Hmm… I admit that “in principle” our answer is yes, but in practice I’m not even so sure. Our year 2020 is filling up at high speed and our desires/getaway projects are multiplying faster than we can say.
Here is a small (provisional) and jumbled list of our sedentarization and travel projects for the first half of 2020:
- Set up and arrange our little home in the mountains (it will probably keep us busy for a while)
- Lots of friends’ weddings between Switzerland, France and Italy… Each of these weddings will probably be an excellent pretext to undertake small road trips;)
- Manage a major renovation project for my grandmother’s apartment in Zurich
- A long hike over a month or more in France in spring #Gr34 #34yearsold
- Conferences and exhibitions all over France to promote our 2 books between January and April
- take out our skis (and ski touring gear?) to explore our new home a little bit
- Continue to progress on our projects with Novo-Media, the translation of one of our books into English, and many other projects that Benoit will tell you about very soon in our 2019 review, which will be coming soon
- … and a good dose of unknown and surprises I guess!
In short, we are not going be bored and our “sedentarization” is already looking relative. But we look forward to putting all this in place. The rest of 2020 is still 100% unclear and we have not yet made any plans for after June and that is good!
We’ll see you soon for a new article and until then; take care.
Fabienne & Benoit