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Types of Working Travellers: Vagabond vs. Digital Nomad vs. Travelpreneur vs. blah blah blah

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams

oprah winfrey

After reading a few different blog posts, reddit posts, articles, facebook pages, etc., I realized I needed to get a handle on my terminology. The internet is confusing me with interchanging words used to describe, in essence, a traveller. Terms are being thrown left and right that I’m beginning to lose sight in what’s really important: leaving our cold winters for better climate while making money!

The Traveler

There are a handful of terms that I regularly come across but seem to all fall under one umbrella: Traveler. Each term, an extension of said umbrella

The differences between them are slight and you can be more than just one and at different times of your life. I can see why people switch it up, they easily blend into each other.

Take for example the article by Matthew Karsten titled: ‘Why I quit being a digital nomad’.

I know, I know. Why would I subject myself to reading this when I haven’t even started my own journey yet? Well, if I want to eventually lead a certain lifestyle, I better be prepared. I need to be able to roll with the punches and take the bad with the good. Ultimately I won’t really know until I’m living it.

Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Karstens post and highly recommended it. My point is, Karsten used different terms such as digital nomad and vagabonding and location independence, etc all in one post. I got all confused with what was what.

So, I decided to try to clear things up for myself and made a small list for me to refer to.


Here’s the starting lineup:

Vagabond – a person who wanders from place to place without a permanent home or regular work

Nomad – a member a people/tribe with no permanent home but instead moves from place to place; a wanderer

Travelpreneur – someone that owns a profitable business that is not restricted to a certain location

Solopreneur – a one (wo)man business

Digital nomad –someone who moves from place to place, not really having a home and spend their time traveling while working; someone who continuously travels the world, not really having a permanent home, while working remotely.

Digital Slomad – person who works remotely and travels at a more leisurely, slower pace. (Brent and Michael have a post on their blog that has a great description of a slomad, check it out)

Location Independent – not being tied down to living in one geographically location for any reason but are free to choose where you want to live for however long you want

Expatriot – a person who lives outside their native country and is unclear whether they intend to stay (immigrants intend to stay in their new country indefinitely)

Snowbird – person who migrates from colder climates of northern USA and Canada towards southern, warmer climates for the winter

Just an FYI, I’m getting these definitions from different sources so they may be slightly off. You’d think wiki would have them all listed, but nope. But, they make sense to me so I’m going to go with it.

I don’t know if you noticed but each definition is very similar to the next.

Are you as confused as I am?

Why are there so many different terms being used? I think everyone else is confused as well! At least that’s what I tell myself and it makes me feel better. The terms are so similar that one could be used synonymously with another. And as I mentioned before, you can be more than one type of traveler.

Perhaps the more terms you refer yourself as, the more bases you’re able to cover?! You’re a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Sometimes this, sometimes that?!

I think I get it.

Can you see why I got easily confused?! I can’t even apply any of the above definitions to my own life. I would however, hope to consider myself as a future slomadpreuneur!

New Vocabulary

I’m pretty sure I just made up a new word: s l o m a d p r e u n e r

Perhaps someone has already used this term, but I haven’t come across it just yet so I want to own it! The term actually sounds like an older, wiser version of a digital nomad.

Digital Nomad sounds hip, cool, and for the twenty-somethings and I don’t think my body could handle taking on such a name and all that comes with it. I’ll stick with slomadpreneur.

The Allure of the Nomadic Lifestyle

Today, we woke up to a warm fridge.

Shoot. Another thing not working??

Yup, another thing. Last year, we had to purchase a new washer/dryer.

Earlier this summer we dealt with a broken air conditioner. It was such bad timing because it was a really really hot week. $3000 later, we got a brand new one.

Next was the toilet. It wouldn’t stop running. We were able to youtube the answer and fixed it ourselves thank gawd but before I bought the parts, I was already looking up how much toilets costs.

As for the fridge, we scrambled to look online to see what the issue could be before I had to leave for work (btw, it was another annoying day but I gotta make the cheddah). There were several things that could have been the problem. Later on that afternoon, I got a text from Bumblebae that he tried a few things and was waiting for the fridge to get cold again.

Fridge seems to be working for now. Fingers crossed.

I’m already thinking about when our hot water tank is going to go. The approximately 12 year life span is around the corner. I am hoping the tank will last for another few years.

After todays debacle I really fully understood one of the allures to being nomadic – digital or not.

If I were to add up all the costs we put into fixing/replacing appliances and other stuff for the house, it would probably equal to the amount we need for a return flight from Thailand and two months of living, maybe more.

Apparently, Bumblebae said he lived for a whole year in China for the same amount.

That’s insane. To think how much further money can go in a different country. To be able to live more freely on so much less…I get it.

The appeal to move away from all of this just keeps getting better and better.

To not have to deal with the headache of fixing things…maybe we should just sell the place. That way it’s one less thing to worry about when we decide to go leave.

Is this just an excuse to run away though?

Yes. Yes it is.

It is definitely a great excuse for me!

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Hey there, I'm Cristine (aka Nomadgirlfriend). I want to quit my job so I can travel more. I just need to figure out the digital world so I can start making money to feed my wanderlust with my digital nomad partner. I welcome you to join my on this journey of self discovery and new adventures!

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