Q+A with Julie B. Rose, Travel Blogger & Life Coach/Mentor
Julie is a travel blogger that sold her home and most of her possessions in 2020, in order to live the "nomad life." As a single woman in her 30s who is child-free by choice (and refuses to settle), she takes her spirit for adventure exploring the world-- 50 states, 31 countries and counting. By sharing her stories, the ups and downs, she encourages others to "Live life on YOUR terms." She's currently working on a memoir, blogging about her experiences on juliedevivre.com, and mentoring clients who want to pursue a similarly nomadic lifestyle.
1) Before you became a full-time nomad you were a homeowner. Was there a catalyst event or final-straw moment that inspired you to change your situation?
I don’t really think there was one moment or one single thing. It was almost like I woke up knowing what I wanted and needed: to travel, and to do it full-time. I had motive — I’m healthy, I’m young, and I’m single — and opportunity — if I could work from home, then I could work from anywhere. And so I decided to fully commit: I would sell my house and liquidate my belongings, and be totally mobile. Seven weeks later, I was setting off into the sunset.
If anything, the pandemic shone a light on what I knew to be true — I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. I was far too comfortable, too complacent. I was doing the same thing every day and I wasn’t happy, made even more painfully obvious by the lockdown. I had to take action, and I did. I’m very matter-of-fact like that — when I make up my mind, I make it happen.
2) You self-describe yourself as a minimalist. Are you typically attracted to men with a similar way of lifestyle or home-environment?
I think it’s pretty important for my partner and I to share a value system. It would never work if he were obsessed with fashion and brand names and luxury cars, for example. I just can’t see myself being interested in all that — it’s not me, not anymore.
Lifestyle is harder to match with, because there are so few nomadic people out there — people who want to be untethered, who don’t like to own a lot of things, who don’t want a big house to take care of, who LOVE to travel and do it often. Realistically speaking, dating someone who is geographically-bound or wants a traditional way of life (house, stability, standard male-female roles) is likely not going to work at this point in my life. But on the flip side, just because someone is a nomad or has a lot of location flexibility doesn’t necessarily mean we share the same worldview and values. And chemistry is a whole ‘nother ballgame!
That being said, when I’m attracted to someone, sometimes I just go with it and ask questions later. Whirlwind romances can be fun, and being open to love where you least expect it is part of how I take life day by day.
Whirlwind romances can be fun, and being open to love where you least expect it is part of how I take life day by day.
3) You wrote a blog about your past relationships, titled "WHY WE SHOULD STOP LOOKING FOR SOULMATES". I thought that you had a very positive outlook, despite some unfortunate experiences (including being in a verbally abusive relationship for 7 years). Where do you think you found the emotional strength to 'move on & move forward'?
I think it takes time for women to figure out who we are, what we want, and what we don’t want when it comes to relationships: time and exposure and experience. When I was younger, I wasn’t confident. I didn’t value myself. I took sexist messages and media images to heart. I didn’t have powerful women (who knew what they deserved) as role models. I’m 37 now, and I think and see the world completely differently than in my teens, 20s, and early 30s. It’s night and day. I needed to live and learn to become the woman I am now, and I’m still a work-in-progress.
I am so at peace with where I am and sure of what I want in a partner. It wasn’t easy, and it took work and self-reflection, and there was a lot of pain and growth along the way. And that’s also the reason why I’m hopeful.
4) Can you explain why you believe 'We can have a lot of great loves in our lives' is an important perspective to have?
I used to think that nobody would love me, or get me, like my abusive ex did. But with each relationship I had, I saw how wrong others had been for me that I couldn’t have seen in the moment. I saw how, in the past, I had been “grading on a scale,” the dysfunction or incompatibility indiscernible to me, but clear to an outsider.
So I think it’s important to understand, when a relationship ends, that is NOT your only shot at love and happiness — I know because I’ve had a lot of relationships end where another one — the one that I needed at the time — was right around the corner. Bad relationships remind you of what you deserve, and good relationships (even, and especially if, they end) remind you that there ARE good men out there. Time spent with the wrong person is time spent away from yourself (and the potential right one), so I cut those men loose as soon as incompatibilities become clear.
Not only that, but love is different and separate from long-term compatibility and commitment. You can have a great love that runs its course, that you can look back on and cherish, that has prepared you for the next one.
5) How do you help your clients shift their mindset, when they are seeking lifestyle changes but are scared of how it will affect their relationship goals?
“How are your relationship goals working out in your current lifestyle, hmmm?” I kid, but for most of my single clients, love is not a primary concern when they come to me.
I believe, if we really, truly, want a change… single people can’t allow the fact we don’t have a partner (yet) to stand in our way. The greatest tragedy is putting off something that matters to you because you don’t want to do it alone or that you’re scared it will be harder alone. 1) We are SO much stronger than we think we are. 2) Life is such a surprise, we can’t control these external forces and their timing — love happens when you least expect it. 3) Your future is not guaranteed anywhere, so the least you can do is to go be where you want to be, doing the things you care about.
I’ll share this quote: “Never go in search of love; Go in search of life; And life will find you the love you seek.” – Atticus
6) Do you get lonely traveling solo?
No, not really. That’s because I believe alone is a state of being, while loneliness is a state of mind — that’s to say, loneliness is of your own making. It’s kind of like the difference between solitude and isolation — it’s the same idea, but it comes down to how you look at it and what you do with it. Because solo travel doesn’t happen in a vacuum, you choose how, when, and how deeply you want to connect with people — the couple at the table next to you, the folks in line at the museum, the ones on the train next row over. Or, put in your headphones, listen to a book, do some journaling, and get in touch with you. I answer this question in another blog entry in a lot more detail here.
Julie Rose, Blogger & Mentor
Editorial images are photo courtesy of Julie Rose.
Editorial images are photo courtesy of Julie Rose. Contributors Disclaimer: Submissions are memoir. It reflects the authors/guests present recollections of experiences over time. Some names and characteristics have been changed, some events have been compressed, and some dialogue has been recreated. Personal stories are not intended to hurt others-- the intention of this blog is to inspire and entertain.