About the Post

Author Information

Passionate experience junkie. Lover of the arts and architecture. Want to see and share the world, one village at a time.

Nora Dunn’s New Ebook: How To Get Free Accommodation Around the World, is Out!


Free accommodation around the worldhile house sitting

The Professional Hobo, aka Nora Dunn

In the world of travel blogging, Nora Dunn, aka: The Professional Hobo, is one of the big shots, the queen of solo travel, a veteran with experience and savvy galore – and well deserved, too, after her amazing seven years on the road traversing the globe. And I know her new book will soar because she has proven her worth with posts that deliver valuable, usable content with her ever-present wise language. I have read this new book, (and below I will give you all the details), and it is indeed filled with her helpful expertise, but first I want to take this opportunity to wax poetic about how I met Nora and how our casual relationship can hopefully serve as an inspiration to bloggers and social media aficionados everywhere.



(Don’t want to read my waxing poetic? Scroll down to “Book Review.”)


I believe online relationships are vitally important.

I started thinking about it after Nora emailed me last week about her new book. The two of us have never met face-to-face, but in our online world, I don’t think it matters. Nora and I have collaborated on some fairly simple transactions, but nevertheless, we touch base from time to time and watch each other’s progress in the blogosphere. Despite our large age difference, we have some common ground, (passionate about house sitting), and have respect for each other. I like knowing that she’s out there, living a determined life, something a lot of folks only dream of.

Reaching out to others is my point.

In terms of social media, it’s so easy to watch as your Twitter followers multiply and your Alexa ratings improve, but how often do you reach out to the people behind those numbers?

I’m as guilty as anyone. I could be better at reaching out to people that appeal to me.

Occasionally, a new Twitter follower seems like someone I’d like to know. I click their name to read the short bio. At their website, (if I get that far into checking them out), sometimes the colorful graphics catch my attention because they look like something I would have designed, making me think we have something in common, or their travels sound so compelling that I know a conversation with them would be awesome.

There have been times I do reach out to them, but more often I don’t because my day is already filled up with: 1. Blogs that must be written, 2. Clothes that need washing, 3. Emails to answer, and 4. We’re heading out tomorrow for. . .

You know the story.

However, the payoff is so worth the effort of reaching out! It’s darn good stuff to meet new folks online.  I love what happens each time I reach out to fellow travelers. We find common ground and then share our stories. I am constantly amazed at the uniqueness of humans. Just when I think I’ve met all types, I come across a guy that shares my living-off-the-grid fascination, but unlike me, loves to rub elbows with the glitterati. Another time, I met a wonderful woman who was a world-class scientist, but was also deeply in touch with her emotional self, expressing herself poetically, belying her otherwise technical persona. Every human has a combination of traits that is unique to them, and I love discovering that.

Sometimes the connections result in a face-to-face meeting. I have read about some of you that have met up with fellow bloggers/travelers/writers/entrepreneurs and have a blast in Sydney, or Barcelona, or Portland, Oregon. How great to play a part in another person’s life, if only to share a subway ride in Paris, a drink at a pub in Belfast, or hike a portion of the Camino de Santiago together.

I have enjoyed dinner with people after meeting online and loved how we felt like old friends the moment I opened the door. This is a unique time to be alive. The entire population of the world is at our fingertips.

Anyway, that’s my appeal. Let’s reach out more.

I met Nora Dunn in 2012 because I reached out to her to review a book of mine. My first introduction to her was in an article she wrote “The Motivation for Long-Term Travel” at TransitionsAbroad.com in which she interviewed six different groups or individuals. Everything about the article – from the subject matter, to her choice of people to interview, and her priorities – spoke to me. So I followed the link at the end of the article to her website. From there I emailed her.

So now, almost two years later, I am reciprocating by reviewing Nora’s book. I’m honored to be asked.

Book Review

Free Accommodations

How to Get Free Accommodation Around The World, by Nora Dunn is a five chapter, 54 page succinctly-written account pulled from vast experience.

There’s a point I want to make about experience. Experience is a physical, emotional, and abstract thing that happens from performing an action a million times. Somewhere around the 400,000th time you do that action, a light bulb glares its perfect wisdom into your head and you know in that instant how to improve on the action. The “new way” seems so moronically simple that you wonder how the heck you hadn’t thought of it before.

You had to live through the first 399,999 times of doing the action to get to that 400,000th time, therefore arriving at the big light bulb moment.

Nora has the experience in how to get free accommodations, alright. I mean, heck, living for three weeks on a yacht being the chef? It’s brilliant! I think she must have lived through 400,000 days of figuring out how to stay somewhere for free because her light bulb moments have been frequent.

Think about it. Seven years is a long time. It’s a long time to have to figure out, over and over – oh, about a million times – how to find lodging. Yes, Nora has the experience and has had that proverbial light bulb go off many times.

Bottom line: Read the book to reap Nora’s experience. She lays it out for you.


In the first chapter about volunteering, she starts out with woofing, (a now-generic term which stemmed from the World Wide Organization of Organic Farms, wwoof.net), that refers to gigs on farms, and beyond. You work for a set number of hours per day and get free lodging.


Nora says about woofing,


“If you have visions of hippy-esque intentional communities all picking fruit and sleeping in yurts, well, you would be right….but only to a point. While there are lots of organic gardening types of get-your-hands-dirty-and-live-simply volunteer positions, these are far from your only options.”


She goes on to explain the seven volunteering gigs she did do – none of which had any gardening involved – such as painting murals, milking goats, or speaking conversational English to Spanish students.


Nora goes on to explain that as a digital nomad, she works online writing to make money to fund travel. And so it is that with house sitting that Nora found a better way to have free lodging. Light bulb moment! Unlike the volunteer woofing-type gigs, house sitting is a passive job. The house sitter only needs to be there. And so this suits her working life better, as she has part of the day to accomplish the necessary online work and still has time to do what travelers long for – exploring the surroundings.


Nora says about house sitting,


“It allows me to enjoy the comforts and privacy of home (somebody else’s home, that is!), it lends a feeling and inside perspective of local cultures and lifestyles, and I can explore the world beyond my front door when the day’s work is done.”


How to Get Free Accommodation Around The World is the accumulation of Nora’s experience, compressed into 54 pages of valuable lessons.


Only in chapter five does Nora admit that Home exchanges are a form of free lodging she has not taken part in. But I think the addition in the book was a necessary one, and she gives a healthy list of sites you can peruse.


Overall, the value of this book is in the picture Nora paints of the possibilities for free lodging. There are many possibilities. And Nora has lived them. Read  How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World before or during travel and you will be prepared with inspiration for a wide range of choices to enhance your experiences while keeping money in your pocket.


This book is short at 54 pages. It’s a quick read to be sure, but your reading time — and fact finding — can be extended by clicking the many links included, which connect to past pertinent articles Nora has written. The $19.99 price is an amount you will have returned to you many times employing the tips within.

I am an affiliate for this book which means that when you click through this link and purchase Nora’s book, I receive a commission.

Wishing you safe and happy travels always and all ways,



Tags: , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “Nora Dunn’s New Ebook: How To Get Free Accommodation Around the World, is Out!”

  1. Nora’s book sounds very interesting! How nice of you to do a review of it! I loved your introduction, Josie. I’ve spent considerable time (time which, like you, I often don’t have working full time) building online relationships. Specifically with my blogger friends. I’m a very open-miinded,considerate, kind person. The light of my life and wing man is my Golden Retriever, Phoenix, whom I also write about frequently. But, these online friendships have become a gold mine of warmth and joy for Phoenix and I! I commented on your pie crust post from last year. And it’s ingenious on the house sitting travels! Fantastic post 🙂
    Mike recently posted..My Top 10 +1 Favorite Christmas MoviesMy Profile

    December 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm Reply
    • Hi Mike and Welcome! So nice to meet you today. The internet has changed everything, hasn’t it? We can connect with folks from all over the world – and develop friendships based on a few words printed back and forth. I appreciate your kind words and look forward to following your life journey with good ole Phoenix. Where are you, by the way? I’m in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
      Take care,

      December 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm Reply
  2. Hey Josie,

    I just have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with the bit you wrote about reaching out, because it is absolutely SO fun when the opportunity arises to meet someone face-to-face with whom you’ve had an online friendship for a while. I’ve met several of my Twitter friends over the last couple of years, and I’ve loved every single one of them! It’s just like you said — you feel like you’ve known them forever. So here’s to the crossing of physical paths, and may 2014 bring lots of opportunity for all of us.
    Laura Zera recently posted..Happy Holidays, Thank You, and See You Next YearMy Profile

    December 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm Reply
    • Hi Laura,
      So happy to have met you, too. Good, good stuff.
      Stay safe and have a wonderful 2014!

      December 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm Reply

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge