6 Years a Nomad

With 2023 behind us we are marking another nomadic anniversary!  On December 31 not only did we ring in the new year, we celebrated the 6th anniversary since we left our home on Grand Cayman to live a life of home free travel.  We have been traveling for 72 months or 312 weeks or 2,190 days!!!  Looking back, we are amazed at how fast the years have flown by and what a year this one has been, we added 6 new countries to our list in 2023 😊

I am a bit of numbers geek so our travel stats always interest me!  Over the past 6 years we have traveled 102,465 miles/164,893 kilometers through 28 countries.

2023 ended up being a good travel year for us!  We started the year by driving south to Arizona, Mexico and Utah for 2.5 months.  We had not been to these two US states or the Sonora area of Mexico before so it was new territory for us, definitely somewhere we would consider coming back to when not jetting around the globe.

Leaving the warm weather of Utah we returned to Calgary, spending 6 weeks with family and friends before flying to London, England.  After a week seeing family in Surrey we flew to Paris, picked up our leased car and headed north to The Netherlands and Belgium.  These two countries were new to us and spending only 2 weeks in each one was definitely not enough, it looks like we will be coming back one day!  From Belgium we drove south through France to Roscoff, took the car on a ferry to Ireland then drove the circumference of the island for 2.5 months.  This was our first time in Ireland and we agreed that we gave ourselves enough time there and left satisfied we saw what we came to see.  It’s a beautiful country, just a bit too wet for our liking ☔  If you read our blog posts from there you may recall we endured the ‘wettest July on record’.  At the end of August we sailed back to France from Ireland, returned our faithful little Renault in Paris, celebrated my birthday in Paris (for a week 🥳) then flew to Calgary.

We had a brief 4 weeks in Calgary before we were off once again, this time taking a 31 day cruise from Vancouver, Canada to Sydney Australia.  Sadly, this was not one of our best experiences 😞

In 2020 we spent 5 months touring Australia so we only planned one month here this time before heading into SE Asia.  Asia was on our 2020 itinerary but had to be scrapped when covid hit so it was our primary destination this time.  Leaving Australia we flew to Singapore for a few days, then on to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and finished our year in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Considering we did not make long term plans at the start of the year because of my unresolved health issues, we covered a lot of ground in 2023!!

So, how did this year’s travel stats compare to other years.  Here are some numbers for the past 6 years:

2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
Flights taken 7 5 4 8 9 7
Airlines flown with 6 3 2 4 6 6
Countries visited 15 5 3 3 11 12
Cities lived in 29 23 8 18 38 29
Apartments rented 23 20 6 18 34 17
Nights in apartments 302 260 360 363 341 206
Hotels booked 7 6 5 2 5 12
Nights in hotels 17 9 5 2 7 30
Cars rented 2 1 4 11 4 4
Countries we’ve driven in 8 5 2 3 7 7
Phone numbers we’ve had 6 6 4 5 6 6
Gyms we’ve joined 13 6 4 7 25 6

We had a busy year looking at the number of countries, but that was helped in part by the repositioning cruise stopping at 3 islands along the way to Australia.  That aside, we moved around a lot this year and it was our highest country count with 2018 a close second, that was the year we took our first cruise which also added a few extra countries.  The car we leased this year was our 6th lease through Renault TT Eurodrive and once again we were super happy with the vehicle and the price.  In Ireland you can rent a car for 28 days maximum which would have meant driving back to a starting point and switching vehicles twice, incredibly inconvenient and also more than double the price so it was a no brainer to go with Renault again.

After very little travel the past three years, our spending this year is back in line with our budget.  Accommodation is hovering around our usual 33% and transportation, our next largest expense, has remained consistent with previous travel years at around 25% of budget.  We value having a car to explore and live in the countryside so the cost is worth it to us, besides we spend less on accommodation in the countryside to help offset the cost of a vehicle.  We continue to spend no more than it would cost us to live in Canada so instead of having a house and a couple of cars we spend our savings on airfare, travel insurance and apartment rentals around the world.  It’s good to know we can continue to afford this lifestyle because we have so much more to see!!

One number that is not shown above is the time we have spent ‘at home’ in Canada…..34 months or 47% of the past 6 years!!!  It is this number that makes me anxious that we are running out of time, however all this time at home was due to events beyond our control, ie covid and family emergencies.  What we came to realize during these unplanned interruptions of our travels is that we love this nomadic lifestyle and we are not ready to quit.

Looking back over the past six years we have been to some truly unforgettable places and had some unforgettable experiences.  Here are a few of our favorites memories:

The Matterhorn in Switzerland***Mont Saint Michel in France***Petra, Jordan***Dubai, UAE***Italy….anywhere😊***Istanbul, Turkey***The Caminito del Ray walk in Spain***Cappadocia, Turkey and our balloon ride***The Algarve Coast, Portugal***The Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand***The Great Ocean Road in Australia***Scuba diving near Adelaide and finding a Leafy Sea Dragon***The Sunshine Coast of Australia***The Dolomites, Italy***The Vatican in Rome, Italy***Bryce Canyon, USA***Cliffs of Moher, Ireland***The history in Derry/Londonderry, Ireland***The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur***


He is a man of few words, but here are Blair’s thoughts on 2023:

Well 2023 will go down as the first relatively “normal” year in a while. For us that means we had a good travel year and we were in Calgary 10 weeks total.

Our drive down to Arizona and Mexico was enjoyable with no bad winter weather. The landscape through Utah, Arizona and Mexico is nice because it is so different to Canada, and time spent on a beach in Mexico is always good.

Spring in Calgary was great with lots of golf with family and visiting with friends.

The Netherlands and Belgium were interesting and enjoyable, lots of flowers and chocolate. One note is give the red light district in Amsterdam a miss. Very disappointing 😂

We have tied twice before to get to Ireland and finally made it. It was a great 2.5 months circumnavigating the island by car. As we had been told driving the narrow roads in Ireland can be interesting. Susan has detailed this time in a few blogs so I will just say I loved the country, it is very rainy and green, and Guinness really does taste better there. We saw everything on our list plus a lot more and I’m not sure we will go back.

The 31 day cruise was a bit long with few ports of call, but still not a bad way to get to Australia.

Sydney was beautiful and we had a great visit with David, Di and Emma the Maremma. Finishing off our year with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Overall 2023 was a really good year with Susan’s health getting a little better all the time, which means everything!


Thanks Blair for your take on what 2023 meant to you, it’s nice to hear from you once a year!  Your support and patience over the last 18 months as I slowly regain my health has meant the world to me 💕  We had such a successful year of travel during 2023 that I suppose we ought to give more thought to where we want to go in  2024.  We have a very loose plan to stay in Asia until around July, but that depends on if we are enjoying our time here and what countries interest us.  Plus there is the fact that Blair would like to visit his Mom in Calgary so somehow that needs to get factored into the itinerary.  Off to the drawing board, or better yet the world map!

While we are busy making plans, we hope you are looking forward to a year of adventure and discovery.   Time is marching on and there is so much more out there to experience, so off we march into Year 7 as nomads  👣👣

Thanks for joining us on our travels, we love having you along!!
Susan and Blair



2 thoughts on “6 Years a Nomad

  • January 6, 2024 at 3:17 pm

    You are impressive with all your stats. Susan! I very much hope your health continues to improve in 2024 and here’s to safe nomad travels!

    • January 6, 2024 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks Sandra! We are looking forward to a good 2024 with a few new countries in our plans. I hope you are doing well 💕


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