She’s done it again. Nora Dunn, aka The Professional Hobo has written another fact-filled, value-filled book.
She knows what she’s talking about. Dunn used to be a financial adviser, so on her website you’ll find her paying it forward with responsible advice for folks who want to keep on traveling indefinitely.
The new book, “Working on the Road: The Unconventional Guide to Full-Time Freedom,” sees Dunn pouring out the best of her many lessons learned. For this — her third publication, she’s teamed up with Chris Guillebeau, (my go-to guy for travel hacking information.) His site, The Art of Non-Conformity is a resource for all things travel and entrepreneurialism. You find inspiration, can obtain tickets to the annual grand-scale World Domination Summit, enter train-travel competitions, and many other non-conformist activities and philosophies. Guillebeau, (pronounced GIL-e-bow), has previously authored two New York Times best sellers, The $100 Start-Up, and The Happiness of Pursuit.
The two veteran world travelers are the perfect pairing to put out “Working on the Road: The Unconventional Guide to Full-Time Freedom.” In their combined 20 years of travel, Dunn and Guillebeau charted the waters for all of us to follow. What they want to tell you is how to embark and succeed by taking your money-making talents with you on the road. For anyone – and I mean anyone – remotely thinking of a life of travel, or if you’re already out there, this 97-page book is the bible to study and carry with you. Dunn and Guillebeau really went all-out with everything you need to know to make money, budget, and manage finances while traveling.
It starts out with ways to earn money, broken into “location-independent” and “non-location-independent” work. The list is long and includes online tutoring, telecommuting, or being an entrepreneur, with practical “Take Action” sidebars sprinkled throughout.
There is also a very comprehensive list of “tools and overhead costs,” for different career avenues which include incorporation, design fees, (initial and ongoing), shipping, (products, as well as supplies to wherever you are), virtual mailing services, insurance, communication, (phone, video conferencing), invoicing, and task management programs.
The book then moves into costs to expect while on the road. Over two years, 2011 and 2012, expenses are tracked for three different groups of travelers; a solo traveler,(Nora Dunn), a couple, and a family of three. Viewed in pie-charts, the revealing figures show expenditures for everything the groups spent while on the road, including education for children, medical/insurance, and personal effects as well as the more expected expenses for accommodation, food, and transportation.
Each group also lays out their own insights about those two years of travel including time management, consulate information and wisdom. Dunn tells about her philosophy of time management:
“Time management, I discovered, comes from within. It has very little to do with creating space or time in our day; rather, it has to do with how we view our day and how forgiving we are in setting (and sometimes revising) our expectations. By suggesting we need to set forgiving expectations, I’m not saying that we should aim low in life. Rather, don’t consistently aim so high that you can never achieve your goals. You can shoot for the stars, but be happy when the moon is as far as you get. Being flexible and open-minded is key to carving out time and space to work on the road. I’ve had unexpected encounters on the road that I didn’t have “time” for. But they ended up being defining experiences for me; crucial travel encounters that unspeakably enriched my life. All I had to do was rearrange a few of my expectations for the day and forgive myself for not getting everything done that I had intended. Not only does time management come from within, it evolves with our day and our lives.”
The next section deals with challenges on the road, followed by a short listing of bureaucratic steps to take prior to travel, such as obtaining visas and filing taxes. A useful chapter on techie tools is filled with tips Dunn has perfected, like carrying a USB stick with you at all times, tucked away in a secret pocket. The USB stick contains all of your vital information in the event your bags are stolen.
Dunn writes with a nice balance of philosophy, knowledge, and wisdom. And even though my own 61 year-old view of her bears a twinge of “she spends a lot of time staring at her navel,” I also understand her young age has much to do with it. She’s discovering who she is, I get it. Her readers resonate with her tone and place in the universe. In reality, many folks who sell everything and go out to travel the world may be looking for her message – much navel-staring – to sort out their own reality.
Having said all that, Dunn’s efforts on this project are comingled with Chris Guillebeau’s, so the overall feel bears a healthy dose from both. They are a powerhouse combo! Chris is a great marketer with much success putting his lesson out to the world of travel hackers. His non-conformity message rings true and we like it!
In Guillebeau’s inimitable style, the “program” of this book is offered with three-tier pricing. Pay either $49, $68, or $97. Every level receives the field guide I reviewed above. Pay more and receive “A package of actionable tools to help you build a practical escape plan for on-the-road success including the guide to insurance abroad, what to do with your stuff, options for property owners, audio interviews on developing a freelance business, full-time travel with families, building and selling a blog, and more!” In my review process, I had access to the Field Guide only, and did not review the remaining nine files offered.
Based on the book alone, the value of this project is definitely there. The information is there. The facts and figures are there. And the inspiration is there. If you are anywhere in the process of serious travel, from just dreaming to actually doing, “Working on the Road: The Unconventional Guide to Full-Time Freedom” will help you. It holds enough in its 97 pages to get your creative traveling juices flowing plus lessons for the infrastructure of your financial well-being on the road. How lucky travelers are now! They’ve got the wisdom of the ages — the last ten years anyway — from these two well-honed travelers. This notion of full-time sustainable travel is relatively new, and Guillebeau and Dunn are the modern-day Lewis and Clark to show you how!
Follow the links for a page filled with information on the three-tiered offerings and much more about the field guide and additional resources. I earn a commission when you purchase, but as always, my opinions are my own.
Wishing you safe and happy travels,