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Senior Nomads are Blazing Trails

Senior Nomads

Senior nomads are rethinking retirement and playing by their own rules. Typical retirement usually consists of downsizing to a smaller home and settling in for a quiet life. But what if you are yearning to see the world now that you have more time?

Nomadic seniors are deciding that they don't need to be tied down to one place. They can explore all the places they've dreamed of and also, take the time to figure out where they may want to settle down at some point. 

On this latest podcast, we're talking to Paul Heller of Fifty Plus Nomad and he is opening up about some of his favorite and least favorite experiences as a nomad. He's been to over 88 countries and has some interesting things to share like:

  • Should you pack light when traveling from place to place
  • His experience in being express kidnapped
  • How to really know if a place you're traveling to is safe
  • Tips on how to learn a new language later in life
  • His absolute favorite place he'll finally be settling down to out of the hundreds of cities to which he's traveled
  • And a lot more!

So sit back and take a listen or read the transcript below. 

TRANSCRIPT: Expand to Read the Senior Nomads Podcast!

Jerry: Hi, everyone. Today, we're talking to a senior nomad, and I'm really looking forward to it because let's face it, after being locked away in a house for a year, I'm getting really itchy to travel and experience other places.

Evelyn: Me too. And I'm really interested in this type of lifestyle where you travel and experience lots of different places, but we still work. The good news is we have remote jobs. So, we are looking at testing this type of lifestyle by choosing some cities within the U.S. to go and live for 30 days.

Jerry: Yeah, and what we're finding is that it's easy to find the places, but there are some logistical challenges that we had not thought about.

Evelyn: Right. I mean, because we're working, we definitely need to have two separate workspaces because we're generally on meetings all day. And so, we need a space in the living room, which is easy because you can set up your equipment on the table. But the bedroom, there is rarely a desk within the bedroom. And so now we're looking at finding bedrooms big enough to setup a folding table that we can ship.

Jerry: Yeah. And then, of course, I don't know about you, Evelyn, but I'm addicted to my external monitors. So, you know, you then have to figure out about, OK, if you go and let's say, hang out in San Diego for 30 days because of work and you're on these calls all day, you need to have those external monitors as well.

Evelyn: One hundred percent! So now it's like, OK, we need to get a couple monitors that we put in a box. Our keyboards and mice, too, so that we can keep our productivity high while we're visiting these places. It's kind of a bummer we're not retired yet, but you know what? At least we can start ticking places off of our list.

That's true. And maybe Paul will have some good suggestions for us today. So today we're talking to Paul Heller. He is the man behind a great website called 50PlusNomad.com.

Evelyn: Right. And it's funny that you say that because I've been saying senior Nomad. 50 plus sounds so much better, especially now that we're in our 50s. It doesn't sound so old.

Jerry: Definitely. I would agree with that. I think the moment I started feeling old is when I got that AARP sign up information in the mail. I know maybe you guys can relate to that.

Yes, they hit you right at fifty.

Jerry: Yeah, they do.

Evelyn: So, we're ready to talk to Paul and hear more information about his nomadic retirement. So, without further ado, here he is.

Jerry: Hi, Paul. So, I think the first question I have is, what is a 50 plus nomad?

Paul: I think a fifty-plus nomad is anybody who is obviously over the age of 50 who is looking to be able to explore the world and see it in a new way. I think that to me, generally, the things that I'd like to think distinguishes 50 plus nomads is that they want to make traveling or living in another part of the world an integral part of their lives, as opposed to somebody who just wants to take a two-week vacation. Taking a two-week vacation is absolutely terrific. But that's not really what I think of as a nomad.

Jerry: Got it. And I know I saw in your blog that your travel addiction really started when you were young. Can you share that story?

Paul: Yeah, I don't know what it was, but I always had a fascination from the time I was the smallest kid in learning about the world. My parents would drive through major cities in California where I grew up, and I would say, oh, I've always wanted to try Thai food, for example. And thankfully, I had parents who more or less indulged me.

Evelyn: That's so interesting because that's really insightful for a little kid, you know, to have that sort of self-awareness about that desire to go out and explore the world. So, with that said, I see that from your blog and reading more about you that your travel really began in 2011 where you earnestly were able to live out this desire to travel around the world. Do you have some favorite experiences you'd love to share?

Paul: I've had so many wonderful experiences in my life that way, actually, probably the most interesting experience I had actually happened in 1994 and 1995 where I spent a year as a volunteer teaching English in a town of Kaliningrad, which is in Russia. And I actually ended up getting married to a Russian woman and was married to her for seven years. And we came to the United States together. And it was just really very unusual because I was in a city that had just opened up about three years before I was there. So, because it was a it was a military naval base for the Soviet Union. And it was really interesting to see the transformation of Russia in those years. It was a difficult period for them, but it was a fascinating time to be there.

Evelyn: Interesting, did you find people were open to you being there?

Paul: I think that yes, they were. It was an exciting time for young people because there were all sorts of new opportunities. And it was a scary time for older people because things like being an engineer no longer had much value and the things that started to have value were things that you would think of as pretty basic skills, but things that a lot of people didn't have, like bank tellers and travel agents, because those things didn't really exist there before.

Evelyn: Right. You know, we recently traveled to Slovakia because that's where my mom is from. And it was the first time we had an opportunity to go. And it's been many, many years since communism fell there. But, you know, it's something that the younger people today even talk about is the effects are still felt even today in 2021 to where, you know, you go to these types of countries and maybe customer service isn't fantastic because it's a new emerging country still.

Paul: In some ways, it is. Actually, I've been to Eastern Europe and a lot of ways I was quite impressed by how much it has changed and how different it is and how. And I think they actually have had a lot of success in a way.

Evelyn: Yes, they have.

Jerry: Yeah, sure. If you don't mind, share one of your favorite experiences in your travels to Eastern Europe.

Paul: I really loved going to the former Yugoslavian republics, mainly because each was so completely different from each other. In just a short distance, you were in a completely different place. Sarajevo is so completely different than for exact example, Ljubljana. It's just like a totally different world. And yet they're not really very far in distance.

Evelyn: What kind of differences?

Paul: Well, Ljubljana had a lot of influence from Austria. It was feeling very European. The mountains and so forth are just gorgeous and Sarajevo, to me, felt like when I was in Istanbul in the 1980's. So, it was completely different. It was all the Islamic influence. It felt very Turkish. So, it's like it was sort of like getting a little piece of Turkey and a little piece of Austria.

Evelyn: That is interesting. Wow. What a difference between areas in one country, because that's expected from country to country in Europe, because they all have their own cultural unique pieces.

Paul: Yeah. And I thought that was really interesting. I would really love to explore more. It was also it was also, with the exception of Slovenia, it was quite cheap and it was easy to get around and I enjoyed it. It's kind of funny for me. I actually find it kind of cool to go to Eastern Europe when I see languages that are like Russian, because I did learn a fair amount of Russian while I was there.

Jerry: And Paul, I know you have kind of some advice for learning a second language for retirees.

Paul: I think actually, when I was trying to think of what my advice would be, I would say it's pretty much the same for anything that anybody does. I think the most important thing to do is to one to be serious about it and realize that it takes some time, depending on what you want to do.

But to be able to really start being conversational probably takes about 200 hours of effort, which sounds like a lot. But if you consider that that's about one month of working full time, it's not quite so intimidating sounding. But the thing is, I think nowadays most things are kind of prepackaged, especially with languages where they have a whole system to go through. I don't think that most people really work well within just one system. I think there's lots of different ways to approach it. And I think the best thing to do is to try different things until you find the methods that work for you and realize that the methods that work will work for you will change over time.

So sometimes something will work this way. Sometimes there's a whole lot of debate in language learning - is it best to be all in the other language or is it best to be all in your mother language or so forth? Sometimes it's good to be in to learn all things in the target language. And sometimes it's the only way you'll understand it is to learn it in English. I think what I would really love to try to figure out how to do is to help people to discover what their best methods are for them.

Paul: And I think that's the same even for people who want to retire in another country or want to travel full time or travel for several months a year. I think that each person needs to approach it a little differently. And at least for me, I found that when I was traveling around the world, the most important thing for me was to try different things. Sometimes I live with the family, sometimes I go to language school. Sometimes I would do volunteer work, sometimes I would go on tours.

Sometimes I would stay in one city for two weeks by myself and just go out and see the countryside with tours. Or sometimes I did things like go to museums by myself, you know what I mean? It worked for me because I loved the variety. For me, having that variety was the secret to being happy for almost five years of my life traveling around the world. It is sort of a challenge. And I think a lot of people don't realize that while it's a dream and it's a fabulous thing, I would never change it for anything. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of energy, just like anything else. And it's important, I think, for most people to try different things you might not like. And that's OK. So, what that's the nice thing about having the time, is that you might discover some things you don't like. And that's good to write.

Evelyn: Well, that leads me to another question. What are some of those things that you discovered that you don't like?

Paul: Sometimes it's nice to have a place to call your own. There's a certain niceness to having that predictability in your life and to being able to spend the time to make real friends. And to really get to know one place well. I think that if you really want to feel like you know some place, you need to be able to spend some time there and you need to be able to see it on a lot of different levels.

Evelyn: I would agree with that, where is the longest place that you've stayed at?

Paul: Well, right now I've lived in Mexico for about five and a half years now. And I've spent about three years of that here in Merida and in many that I've spent also several months traveling around Mexico. All in all, I've spent probably close to about five years of my life in Mexico.

I feel like at this point I know it pretty well. I can speak fairly good Spanish. I know a lot of the I know a lot of the history, the culture, the society. And I can relate pretty well to most Mexican people because I have an idea of where they come from, what they're about. I've also had the experience of living with about ten different Mexican families in different parts of Mexico as part of learning and learning Spanish and so through throughout. I've also taken academic courses on the history of Mexico and so forth. And through it all, I now feel like I have a pretty good handle on what Mexico is all about.

Jerry: And you mentioned you've settled down in the near term in Mérida. And how did you decide on Mérida?

Paul: Well, I knew I wanted to live in Mexico. I've always had an affection and fondness for Mexico, but that part was kind of easy. I think what happened, truthfully, is I'd spent about five years traveling around the world and I decided it was kind of time for me to think about what my next steps were. And the one thing I realized is that I had the money to be able to buy a house, and I kind of needed that to stabilize me for a while. It was just like it's time for me to stabilize and maybe that is probably the safest big city in Mexico. It sounds funny, but the one weather factor that I don't like is cold and rainy and most of Mexico being in the mountains and the winter can get very cold. And a lot of times they don't have heat. And I just find that miserable. I have a really hard time being comfortable in cold at night when you're trying to sleep. So, I decided to do the opposite. I went to the hottest place in Mexico! It is funny, any Mexican who I say, oh, it doesn't matter. They'll say, oh, that's such a safe city. It's a nice city, but it's hot here.

Evelyn: So, you're good with that. Do you have air conditioning?

Paul: Oh yeah. I wouldn't have bought the house or I wouldn't have done it without any air conditioning.

Evelyn: Yeah, I we've been down in that region and it is, it is pretty oppressive so. And is that year long. Is there a more comfortable season?

Paul: December, January, February can actually get a little cold, but it never gets terribly cold. And to my surprise, I found out that nowadays air conditioners actually have heaters. So probably about once a year I turn on the heat.

Evelyn: Well, that's not bad. I don't like cold either.

Paul: I don't really mind the heat. The biggest thing that I have to do is remember to hydrate because I have been dehydrated a couple of times here.

Jerry: Interesting. And you mentioned that you've traveled throughout Mexico. I'd love to learn a little bit more about some of your impressions of the various cities and maybe tell us a little bit about the Mexican culture that perhaps our listeners don't know about.

Paul: I think that the most amazing thing about Mexico is the diversity. It's an incredibly diverse country. There are so many different types of regions and so many different types of countryside. And there's some cultural differences between different regions as well. The Yucatan is probably the most distinct region of Mexico.

I've always loved the food. I like the music. And, I think more than anything else, what I love is color. I find that that the United States to me is kind of dull color-wise. And I love just having things like my house is full of all sorts of artifacts from different parts of Mexico that I've collected over time just because I really just love the kind of playful use of colors and playful designs and all that sort of thing. It really attracts me. It makes me feel much, much happier.

Evelyn: You know, I absolutely love some of the traditional Mexican kitchens with the beautiful, colorful tile that they have in it. To your point, a traditional Mexican home is very colorful - reds and blues and greens and oranges and yellows. And it's just an explosion of color. It just feels very lively and happy, you know?

Paul: That's what I like. I like the fact that they have different colors on their houses. It's just not quite as predictable.

Evelyn: Well, you know, we tend to have the suburban cookie cutter neighborhoods where there'sthree approved colors of neutral. So, it does get a little boring.

Paul: You know, and I just find that a little boring. It's not that there's anything wrong with it. I'm not trying to criticize it. It's just for me personally, I prefer something a little more lively and the same thing with the food. I like things a little spicy. I was finding it not long ago. I went to San Antonio and I went to a Mexican restaurant there and I was like, boy, this food needs some spice because it was meant for the gringos, you know? And there's nothing wrong with that.

Jerry: So, Paul, your 50 plus Nomad blog has a lot of great travel information that really can help travelers save a lot of money. I know I was checking out your blog about travel hacking and your frequent flier and loyalty programs. I was checking on the blog about getting the best airline ticket for your money. I'd love for you to perhaps share your top five money saving travel tips for your 50 plus senior nomads.

Paul: First of all, I want to say that this is based on Covid conditions. So, I'm not really sure how things are going to work themselves out over the next two years. I think there'll be some changes. I don't think they'll be hugely dramatic changes, but I do think they will happen and I don't know what they are at this point. So that's something to keep in mind before I give some tips. But I think the number one thing is to be flexible. A lot of times it's cheaper to take a really long flight, long, convoluted flight. Doing it on a regular basis can get very old and sometimes for just like fifty dollars more, you can actually have a more direct flight or a better flight. If I'm going to make a connection, I'd rather have a couple of hours in the connecting place than trying to run across like a huge airport, trying to find my gate. I'd rather not have that stress. I'd rather just be able to go and have a drink or have some food or something and just relax and it's, you know, and not have to be stressed. I think those are the most important things I can say is to be flexible and also to realize that sometimes small changes, just spending a little more money, sometimes it's worth it. Sometimes, for example, especially if you're going to a better market destination like Cancun, sometimes you could sit in business class for like $25 more than you can sit in the coach. And I think it's well worth the $25 to $50 to be more comfortable.

Jerry: Well, that is definitely something that I think our listeners are going to appreciate any time you can save the money or perhaps even have a little bit of a better experience. That's awesome.

Paul: Yeah, I also would say that you should you should try to at least be part of frequent flyer points and to try to figure out how to take advantage of them. I think it's worth it, at least to try a lot of times they I have about half of all the flights that I got, I got for free or not for free, but for a fairly minimal. Usually, it's somewhere under a hundred dollars. And that was because of my use of credit cards and some of the points that I acquired from using them.

Jerry: So, Evelyn and I have been talking about getting a travel credit card. So, if I were to take a sneak peek in your wallet and if you were to, you know, take out your favorite travel card, do you have one that we should take a look at?

Paul: That's hard. That's a hard question to answer, because over the last couple of years, they've changed. And nowadays I don't think they're not as good as they used to be. I know I could answer your question if you would asked me three years ago, I would say anything United Airlines, for instance, was the most useful for me because of the destinations that I went to and the rewards program that they had. I think a huge part of it depends on where you're leaving from. If you're leaving consistently from a particular airport, then you want to be able to use whatever is the most use, the most used airline, if you want a credit card branded with the most useful airline for that particular part of the world.

Jerry: Got it. Good to know. Well, United Airlines is definitely one of the ones we're going to take a close look at because Evelyn has done a lot of traveling. But let me let me pivot to something maybe a little bit more serious. One of the interesting articles on your blog was about an express kidnapping that unfortunately you experienced in early 2012. I did not know what that was until I read your blog. And while you probably don't want to relive every moment from that night, do you want to share perhaps with our listeners some of the highlights and lessons learned from that unfortunate experience?

Paul: I think the biggest thing is that you really never quite know whether a place is safe or not. I had been into Puebla, Mexico three or four times before (Puebla is about two hours from Mexico City). And every time I'd been there before, it was one of the safest places in Mexico. I figured that it hadn't changed and I kind of learned the hard way that it had changed.

And immediately after I was kidnapped and I started talking to people, they were all like, no, this is now one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico. And I was a big surprise. Three years before...it was one of the safest cities in Mexico and things can change. What I learned is if I had if I'd gone through and tried to do the research that I wanted to do in Spanish, I would have found that out. But almost all of the websites that were geared toward the English-speaking market had not noticed that that had changed.

I was waiting for an Uber and the Uber didn't show up. So I saw a taxi cab go by and I hopped in... something I've done hundreds of times throughout Latin America. And this particular time, they forced me to stay in my seat while they got my ATM card. They got my PIN number and they withdrew a lot of money out of my accounts while I was sitting in a car. And they just dropped me off in the middle of nowhere. I had no money and I was forced to figure out how to get home. Fortunately, I found somebody who was helpful and called the police for me and the police took me back to a hotel where a friend of mine was staying. Then I just had to deal with all those things like getting new credit cards and so forth after that. And it's not something I would recommend to anybody. It's more discombobulating than anything else. I never really felt like I was in total danger, but it was not something I would recommend anybody do.

Evelyn: Yeah, that sounds scary because you don't know. And I know you struggled on whether to publish your story. And I'm glad that you did because I do think it's important no matter where we travel in the world, you know, making sure that we have a sense of what's around us and maybe local conditions or that type of thing. But I do find it interesting that you said the Spanish language sites maybe had more updated information than the English language sites.

Paul: Yeah, no, that was something I learned the hard way, because when I started to look at the Spanish language ones, they were obvious. There is actually a site in English that's called Mexico's News Daily that actually have done a report on that, that I found out that they had done only about a week before I left. And it was it was based on a report from that was translated from Spanish into English for their website. So that's a good potential thing to look at if you're traveling in Mexico.

Evelyn: Very good tip. So did it change your outlook on traveling?

Paul: A little bit. Yeah, it made me more cautious. I mean, I still want to eventually go traveling again. It happened at a good time for me because I was thinking about settling down, I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and making this (Merida) my home base. And what it did is it kind of made me more able to accept that, I guess you'd say. I love traveling all the time and it was wonderful and I would highly recommend it to anybody, even though that happened to me. But it also made me more comfortable with just settling down for a while. And then Covid happened not long after that. So, it kind of forced me to do that anyway.

Evelyn: Right. It forced a decision. A lot of us have been on the travel sidelines since we've been dealing with Covid. But, you know, we're seeing the light. Things are starting to reopen. So, I know we're looking forward to traveling. And hopefully Mérida will be opening up. Has Mérida completely opened up yet?

Paul: Actually, in some ways it's very open. Most of those things are open. You do have to wear masks all the time. Just last month, they started to give out vaccinations for people over the age of 60. And actually, it looks like this Friday and I'm in my 50s and it looks like this Friday I will be able to get a vaccination.

Jerry: Excellent. Congratulations on that.

Paul: And it is partly because I am a temporary resident here. So, I went through the process to become a temporary resident, and I may very well go through the process to become a permanent resident and possibly even a dual citizen at some point.

Jerry: Now, Paul, as we were talking about, more and more people are going to be thinking about the senior nomad lifestyle now that the impact of Covid is starting to lessen. I read an interesting blog post on your site about whether or not to pack light or not. And I'll have to say the blog post went against what you so often hear. So perhaps could you give some advice? Do you pack light or not?

Paul: I think it depends on you, in my particular case, I'm a heavyset person and people say "you can find clothes if you need them". I can't. So, it was helpful for me to realize that. I spent a lot of money on clothes that I hated, didn't fit me well, didn't look well because they were the only thing I could find in a lot of the world. And so, I think it really depends on what your situation is.

Sometimes there are certain products that you can't find overseas that might be good for you to bring along with you a lot of times. The way that I dealt with the fact that I had a fair amount of luggage is that it kind of forced me to discover something that was good for me to know anyway, which is that I don't particularly like the type of trips where you spend two days in one city and spend three days in another. And one of the blessings that I had when I had large amounts of time is that I could spend more time. So, I might have taken a two or three week, two- or three-month trip. Sometimes I took four- or five-month trips, but usually I would go to five or six places in that time or seven places.

Paul: I wouldn't go to a huge number of places. And I would design things so that I could actually have all my clothes and so forth with me. So, because I wasn't moving all that much, I kind of kept to the airline baggage weight limits - trying to avoid where they would start charging extra fees and I had roll on bags and so forth. And usually, it worked out quite well for me and it kind of forced me to discover my favorite type of traveling to do is to go to a big city in the country and spend 10 days there, 12 days there and just go from there on little trips outside. That's what I love doing.

And I also enjoyed going on tours for that reason. It kind of dealt with all those type of logistical issues for me, which was a joy as well. So sometimes I guess a lot of times people's advice is, oh, you should travel independently. Oh, you shouldn't travel independently. I think each person's different. I don't think there's a right or wrong way. There's people who have been on hundreds of tours or six months on cruise ships...if you can do it, why not? If you enjoy it, there's not a right or wrong way to do this.

Evelyn: Right. And I think we're going to hit a time coming up soon once Covid really does pass where people are just raring to go. So, you're going to see all types of travel happening...from "everything I need is in my backpack and we're going to just see everything" to things like you just said, I'm going to spend a good amount of time here. I know we are looking at staying 30 days in different locations that we like. Unfortunately, we're not there yet.

Paul: I think that's a great way to approach it. I really do and try different things. It may be may or may not work for you..but one thing I love doing is staying with a local family and taking a class in a language or something about culture or something like that while you're there. It can be a lot of fun. It's very interesting. It's a great way to learn if you like the place or not.

Evelyn: Yeah. How do you find a local family if that's something that someone is interested in?

Paul: Most language schools have programs where they have, they have arrangements that allow you to stay with local families.

Jerry: I did not know that.

Paul: You know, most of them do. So, it's really the practical part of learning a language. It really helps (if you are at least at a lower intermediate type of level) because then you can actually start talking to these people and the classes can work into that. If you are a basic level, I don't know how helpful it really is. But if you already have a little bit of the language, it can be very helpful. I'm planning to develop a series of kind of individualized courses for people to teach them how to be able to travel and live in other countries. I'm going to work with people who speak Spanish here to be able to teach them how I think they should develop a course that's individualized around the interest of a particular person. I really do believe that anybody can learn a language to an acceptable level to be able to be conversational if they're willing to put about 200 hours into it.

Evelyn: But one of the fringe benefits that I've read is learning a second language is one of the best things you can do to exercise your brain as you age to stave off things like Alzheimer's and dementia. Even if you're not planning to go anywhere and live in another country, it's a great hobby to take up.

Paul: I think it can be. I think there are a lot of people have a lot of fears and a lot of them are uncomfortable because they haven't been in school for a long time. And a lot of times I think the wonderful thing about the fact that so many programs, ways to learn languages is that you can play with them, you can dabble with them. And I think the biggest problem that people make is they just think, oh, I'm just going to do it this way. There's only one way to do this. I don't think there is just one way.

I find that it's very helpful for me to be able to see patterns. One of the most useful courses I took in learning French was in Spanish because I already knew the patterns in Spanish. So, when I started to learn in French, I mean in Spanish, I could see, oh, rather than having to go through like six weeks of all of the differences in the past tense and how they're used, they just went well. There are five differences between Spanish and French. I learned both that those five differences between Spanish and French, which took like three-to-three days instead of weeks.

Evelyn: Right now, I'm struggling right now with Slovak case endings, which you're probably familiar with since you speak Russian. Oh, it's killing me.

Paul: Yeah. No, no, no. The best thing I can say to you with that is...don't worry too much .

Evelyn: Yeah, I'm struggling.

Paul: They're very difficult. I know, from Russian. So, I know exactly what you're talking about. The most important thing you can learn is vocabulary. The more words you can know, a lot of times you just throw out a bunch of words and people get you.

Evelyn: Yes. You know, I found I'm going to shout out to an app that I've been using. It's called Anki Web. And it does spaced repetition where you can tell it whether a word is easy, medium, or hard. And it repeats the words and it's the fastest way I've been able to acquire the vocabulary. It's a fantastic app. And you know, Slovak, there aren't very many shared decks to be had, but I've found some. But people from all over the world share these. They're flashcard decks. And the spaced repetition has been key for me.

Paul: Oh, absolutely. I want to learn how to teach languages that are in an individualized manner to people. And I've been practicing with a friend of mine who is Mexican. I've been teaching him English. And what I have found through the process is there's an amazing amount of YouTube videos. They're all designed to sell their products, but there's so many of them that you can go back and forth between different types of methodologies and different types of ways of doing things. And it's amazing how effective it is. Really learned a lot of English, thanks to the fact that I'm willing to try different things. The part I actually enjoy, which has been a surprise to me, is the developing of materials to accompany those videos. I actually enjoy making up tests and quizzes and exercises and vocabulary things and some different things, and I just try different things and I most people don't like doing that part of it. Most teachers want to just kind of stick to a certain routine. But to me, that's the fun part, is trying it and saying, oh, no, that doesn't work. Oh, yeah, that works. Or maybe if I did that, I should do it this way in the future. And strangely enough, I've learned a lot of Spanish students, especially as he's become more advanced. I keep learning new words in Spanish, huh?

Jerry: That's awesome. Well, Paul, you've given a ton of great advice today for someone considering being a senior nomad. Any kind of one last piece of advice that you would give to someone considering this lifestyle.

Paul: I really don't think that is one way to do anything. I think the most important I think one of the reasons why I was why I'm kind of working on the development of individualized classes for people and languages and also in how to live in another country and so forth. And I think each person has their own. The only right or wrong way to do anything is what works for you. And I think that one of the biggest problems to make is we just think, oh, we're just going to invest in this one thing and it's going to work. I don't think that's the case. I think each person is individual. And the one the blessing to being able to live as a nomadic lifestyle for a while is that you can try things and the world going to fall apart if you find out you don't like something.

And I think that's the number one piece of advice I can give you is just try it, just try different things, try different approaches. So, try to solve on one thing. I love tours and I would encourage people to go on tours. I wouldn't want to do that all the time. But there's so many websites out there and say, oh, don't ever go on a tour. It's so phony. It's a third world. No, it's not. It's it depends on you. I love just getting information, having everything organized around me, but I don't want that all the time. You know, I think that each person's individual will find their own path.

Jerry: It's a wonderful advice, so, Paul, as we wrap up, if listeners would like to know more about you and your own personal journey, where can they find this information?

Paul: I have a 50plusnomad.com website that has a lot of information. They can certainly contact me. It's kind of interesting to me. Most of the stuff that I've got, most of the most that people have found my website and most of the requests for information and so forth for various reasons have been almost exclusively about Mérida. And while I am happy to answer questions on that, it's not a subject that I think I'm the best person to answer because I live in a very different way than most people do here. So, I'm not really the best person to say, oh, this is the best restaurant. This is the best person to help you to buy a house for that type of thing. It's not really where my expertise lies or my interest lies, but I would be very happy to help them to figure out like where do they want to live in Mexico and what are the cultural differences that will help them to determine if it makes sense for them to live here and to teach them a bit about Mexico and teach them about native culture to find its way of being and those type of things. I'd be more than happy to spend lots of time talking to people about. And that's where my real expertise lies.

Evelyn: Well, I love that because you certainly have great credentials, all of your travels and experiences. And I think that could be very helpful. And I think today's discussion is going to be very helpful for all those up-and-coming senior nomads out there waiting anxiously to go travel.

Jerry: I really enjoyed our conversation today with Paul. He shared some wild stories.

Evelyn: Yeah, he did. It was actually really great to hear someone else's perspective regarding this nomadic retirement lifestyle.

Jerry: Yeah, because if you remember, we talked to Sam Roberts from The Running Traveler a while ago.  And...they definitely shared some things that I thought were very similar. And they actually have a lot of very differing views.

Evelyn: They did. And one of the things that struck me was the fact that there were some places that Paul really loved that Sam really didn't like. And it underscored the fact that it's very subjective whether you might like a place or not. So, the other thing is that you can do all the research in the world, but until you're physically in a place feeling the heat or the cold, smelling the smells, dealing with the people, you really don't know if you're going to like that place or not.

Jerry: Sort of like when we were in Panama and I decided that I didn't like the heat as much as I normally would.

Evelyn: Yeah, you were a little whiny about it, but don't tell anybody I said that.

Jerry: Yes, I was a little whiny about that. But, you know, we enjoyed the country. It was just really hot for a couple of days.

Evelyn: It was very hot, actually. I'll corroborate that story. Well, on that note, I think that's it for today's episode.

Jerry: We really hope you got some inspiration from Paul today. Be sure to check out his website, fiftyplusnomad.com.

If you're hungry for more info on becoming a nomad, you can go over to our podcast page to either read the transcript or listen to the podcast that we did with Sam Roberts. He's a digital nomad who makes money online while traveling which can be a great way to supplement your retirement income if you want to be a senior nomad!

The world has become so small and with the advent of services like Airbnb, living a nomadic lifestyle is easier than ever. 

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