Monday, April 18, 2016

1000 Days, 100 Airbnbs, An Incredible Journey!

Our blog is usually written by me - but this time, Mr. Michael Campbell has taken to the 
keyboard to reflect on our journey so far...

We left Seattle in July 2013 with the idea that we would be gone for a year. We downsized our belongings, severely cut our monthly expenses, and rented our house. We were free to travel to our hearts content for at least 12 months.

But, in fact we hedged our bets not knowing if we'd really like living a nomadic lifestyle and bought round trip tickets from Seattle to Paris and back returning home for Christmas that year.

Well, you can tell from the title of this blog that after putting our toe in the water for that first 6 months we took to this new lifestyle like a "fish to water"! Since then, we’ve only returned to Seattle twice.
We were excited to receive French travel visas that allowed us to travel freely in the Schengen Zone for one year.
Sometimes it is hard to believe that we are still living out of two suitcases almost three years later. In fact last week we celebrated a 1,000 days as Senior Nomads - and now we are truly homeless because last summer we sold our house! Now home is the Airbnb we live in wherever we are at the moment.

In sunny Girona, Spain on day 1010!
In addition to celebrating 1,000 days on the road, we are also living in our 100th Airbnb! Here's the link: We are in the charming Spanish city of Girona about 60 miles north of Barcelona near the French border. Along the way we've explored 47 countries - tomorrow, we head to the tiny country of Andorra and that will bring us to number 48. We’ve been to139 cities, taken 46 Free Walking Tours, we've had 40 different phone numbers, and have made more friends than we can count.

To get to all these places we have ridden on almost every form of public transportation you can imagine: trains, planes, buses, minivans, ferry boats, Coco taxis (in Havana) and a horse a horse drawn cart. We have also walked our fair share of miles, which we now track in kilometers. We did the math and we’ve walked the equivalent of hiking from Seattle to Washington DC. Whew!
Arriving in Bucharest with all we need to get by stuffed into 2 suitcases and 2 day packs.
We continue, on average to read a book a week and our Kindles still perform flawlessly as we download books from Amazon as well as borrowing e-books from the Seattle Public Library. Who knew at you could log into your library account from anywhere on earth and download a new book in a matter of seconds? We can also stream KUOW and KING FM anywhere we happen to be. And of course, we use FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangout to stay connected with friends and family.

Seattle's famous librarian, Nancy Pearl is a great source for book selections. Did you know she was an action figure !?
On evenings when we are not at a free event, reading, or Debbie’s not cooking, you’ll often find us playing one of our three favorite games: Scrabble, dominoes and backgammon. Our best guess is that we’ve probably racked-up over 400 combined games. Although we have not kept track of who won every game in our daily journal, we’ve both known victory and defeat while laughing and learning along the way. Note: 2 letter words in Scrabble are the keys to success (especially ZA, QI, XU and XI).

Playing "Games" is a big part of our Nomad lifestyle.
Along the way we have celebrated holidays, birthdays and even a few wedding anniversaries. Last fall, we tallied 37 years since we were married in Epiphany church in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle in 1978. I just checked and we should have received alabaster gifts for that one but I don’t recall receiving any, but that’s okay, I am sure they would be too heavy to take with us. If we can make it all the way to October maybe someone will shower us with Beryl and Tourmaline... whatever they are.

I hope Debbie is willing to make it to 38!
Back on day 500 we shared our credo in the Senior Nomads blog:

"We will keep doing this as long as we haven't run out of money, stopped having fun, stopped learning, fallen out of love, or fallen over and can't get up".

Looking back, we concluded that blog post with this comment: “So far so good!” We are happy to say that now, almost three years into our adventure, we feel incredibly blessed to once again say, “So far so good!”

The only advice we would give to anyone thinking of striking out as Senior Nomads would be sure you are traveling with your best friend. And bring your own pillows.

Thanks for following along,

Debbie and Michael Campbell
The Senior Nomads


  1. Fabulous! We're off for a little adventure later this year inspired by you and the "Campbell Amble". I'll have to come up with a catchy name for our trip! I love reading about your adventures abroad.

    1. That is exciting news! You won't regret a moment you spent exploring the world and finding yourself. Just remember, Flexiblity and good manners go along way. Have a wonderful time.

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