Authors: Nora

Authors: Nora traveled full-time for 12 years

13 September 2021

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Tell us about yourself

How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World is a practical guide about five different ways to get free accommodation while you travel: work-exchange, house-sitting, hospitality exchange, home exchange, and even living on boats. You’ll get anecdotal advice, practical tips, resources for finding gigs, and strategies to get the gigs you want and do your due diligence to stay safe and ensure you’re having the best possible experience.

You can buy it here:

Why do you travel and look for adventures?

I travel to immerse myself in local cultures and to better understand how people live, shop, cook, and play. I traveled full-time for 12 years from 2006-2018, living in and traveling through over 60 countries, and in the years since I have had a home base from which I travel short and long-term.

What’s your go-to travel hack?

I have so many! But of course flying in long-haul in business class for less than the price of economy tickets is probably one of the best.

Got any gear you can’t travel without?

I am a travel gear fanatic! But I never leave home without my HoboRoll (by Gobi Gear); it organizes and compresses a ton of stuff. Here’s more about the HoboRoll and other packing hacks and tools I love:

What destination are you eager to go back to?

I’d like to revisit Peru. It’s an amazing country full of amazing diversity!

How do you stay safe when you’re travelling?

A lot of it boils down to street smarts, as well as asking locals for safety tips.
Here’s a video I made about staying safe while traveling alone as a woman:

What’s the best way to experience a destination like a local?

I adore volunteering and house-sitting in trade for free accommodation. It automatically immerses you into local life and neighbourhoods and culture. And you can’t beat free for the cost!

What’s your favourite word in another language?

Thank you. (Technically two words in English, but not in other languages!) It’s incredibly useful and the first word I tend to learn. Hello is a close second.

How has travel changed in your lifetime and how will it change over the next 25 years?

When I started traveling full-time in 2006, smartphones didn’t exist. It’s funny – I’ve almost forgotten how I managed without the constant connectivity most of us now have with maps and translators and the power of worldwide communication at our fingertips 100% of the time! Travel is definitely much easier now. In the next 25 years, I hope that we will all travel a bit more conscientiously, in terms of being socially and environmentally responsible. That can take many forms, but I think the pandemic and climate change have been catalysts to combat issues like over-tourism and waste management.

When and where are you next travelling?

I am currently on an 8,000km train trip around the United States! I love trains, and I fondly remember riding about 15kms trains around Australia (The Ghan, Indian Pacific – twice!, Overlander – twice, and others).

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