Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Perpetual Travel

I'm interested to know just how many Perpetual Travellers (PTs) there are out there.

I like to keep things simple, so I define a PT as someone who doesn't stay in the same place for more than 6-12 months I guess. Of course, there maybe plenty of PTs who decide to base themselves from one place for a few years. And I don't see why someone can't be a PT for just a year or two, before returning to a more conventional way of life.

Advancements in technology make it relatively simple to manage your life from anywhere in the world. This needn't exclude your professional life, I am fortunate to be able to pursue my career exclusively via the internet. As technology continues to advance so many more will be able work from anywhere they chose. Wi-Fi, easily available broadband and eventually even Wi-max are making simultaneous work and travel open to an ever growing community.

I anticipate a big jump in the Perpetual Traveller population over the coming years.

I'm giving thought to building a website designed for an online Perpetual Travel community. A place where people could share experiences, ideas, advice on all things PT. I can't find such a place online, if anyone else can please comment here. If registered a domain name and expect to go live with a non-commercial website within a week or two.

For those out there looking to figure out what is required to be a Perpetual Traveller I can only really define my formula, it's below and I hope it helps. For other opinions on what's needed to be a Perpetual Traveller check my links section.

My PT formula

Mortgage free with savings of US$50,000
Passport, Credit Card(s), Drivers Licence all registered to UK address of immeadiate family member.
Neteller.com account for global ATM card and online (work) transactions.
Good Laptop + Accessories
Good Rucksack (50litres is plenty for me) filled with clothes etc (Tshirts mostly!)

That's it, that's all it took for me. I look to live as good a lifestyle as possible on US$40/day. I find I can do that, certainly in South America. Rent (with all bills inc) on a sort-of-luxury studio flat with a shared pool is $20/day. The rest I spend on food/smokes/drinks etc. I'll post some pics to show you what you can get in BA for this.

To some $50K is a lot, to others it's not so much. To be honest the amount is almost irrelevant. Everyone's different, some can survive on US$5k per year and are confident to travel wit a small amount of capital saved. Others need enough to get by for a couple of months before finding a suitable source of income. Others have a lump sum saved and want to make it last as long as possible, sort of semi-retired. Yet more will have made sufficient to retire early.

For me, I figure I can travel and work at the same time. I want my savings to be edging UP not down, so I continue to logon most days, play some poker here and there. It's working for me. Others will have their own ideas of ways to make Perpetual Travel possible for themselves.

Enough for now.

Until next time: Be well



boar said...

I would certainly call myself a perpetual traveller. I have also managed to make a decent living on the back of online gaming, sport and horse racing in my case. I would agree with your figures if you can survive on 40 bucks a day -as I travel far more my daily expenditure would be far higher.
Strangely enough I have come to the conclusion that BA may currently be the best value city in the world. I am currently in New Zealand and heading to Argentina in 2 weeks time.

Perpetual_Traveller said...

Hi boar

Thanks for your comment.

Getting from A to B certainly gets expensive, so yeah, $40 USD isn't realistic in many parts of the world. $40/day definitely is do-able in BA. I should really summarise my cost of living here, it may give a little insight for others contemplatng visiting.

NZ is beautiful. If you get to Buenos Aires drop me a comment, maybe we could meet up?


Purple said...

For many the "prior taxpayer" interpretation of PT is important. In my case one spur of my "peripatetic tourism" is the desire to pay less tax and to do so entirely legally. Through some hard work and a lucky investment I find myself with enough capital to be able to live on less than the tax I save by not being in any one place long enough to be considered tax resident. I supplement my investment income with automated trading on betting exchanges and a little computer consultancy from time to time. The extra cash goes on luxuries such as learning to fly, business class travel, comfortable accomodation. Notionally I live in the Bahamas but I spend most of my time in New Zealand and the UK with "holidays" in other countries added in. The UK tax resident rule is no more than 90 days a year on average, the NZ rule is up to 183 days a year. Spain & South Africa are similar. Owning fixed property is, in many countries, one way to become tax resident. So I rent. That way I also avoid the admin of rates & services. With the exception of a motorcycle all I own fits into a wheeled suitcase. Not a rucksack!

Perpetual_Traveller said...

Hi Paul

I'd imagine the tax benefit of Permanent Tourism is the primary attraction for the majority of current PTs.

Hill first devised the PT strategy as a way to legally avoid income tax in the 70's I believe? Back then this way of life was really only viable for the relatively very wealthy. What I'm trying to get across here is that this wealth pre-requisite is not necessarily applicable in todays internet age.

Providing you are debt-free (amazing how so few actually are), have 'some' savings, and have a means of generating an income via the web you can live where you please. I guess this isn't PT in the classical sense, but rather "techno-nomadism"!?

Thanks for sharing a little of your background, very interesting stuff indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hey PT,

How are you finding BA? I've been an expat for 8 years now, but now I'm going to go that one step further and become what I suppose you could only call a PT. I'm still not sure where my first stop should be. I've been to Argentina before and loved it, but I didn't spend long in BA. How've you found it - has it been easy to meet locals, is the expat scene pretty big? My spanish is good enough to get around, almost conversational with some people. I think 2-3 more months immersed in it and I'd be pretty fluent.

Perpetual_Traveller said...


After 18months I still have a love/hate relationship with BA. The locals are generally fantastic, and of course the cost of living is a significant attraction. I find the noise and the general grime (dog crap and trash mostly) sometimes get me down.

Argentina has way more to offer then BA IMO, it's a geographically spectacular place. Whilst I do see myself spending 9months/yr in Argyland, I don't see myself staying in the Capital for too much longer.

It's pretty easy to meet locals, but a reasonable command of Spanish is a must. Immersion is the way forward, it's amazing what you can learn when you have to. Not everyone is interested in foreigners, but in my experience most are at least inquisitive and open to conversing with you.

I believe the expat scene here is big, and growing significantly. I can't speak from experience however....I have just one english speaking friend here.

Good luck with your PTing, and hope this helps.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply PT,

I can totally understand the love/hate thing - i get that in most large cities. And yes, Argentina has a lot besides BA on offer, my favourite memories of Argentina are from Mendoza and Bariloche, definitely places I want to get back to.

Where are thinking of moving to?

Perpetual_Traveller said...

Chris....I'm thinking along the lines of some land in Mendoza (San Rafael), or perhaps further north in Salta. Somewhere peaceful and with a view of the mountains. ;-)

Drop me an email if/when you make it here.


Anonymous said...

Great blog, it's good to find kindred spirits online...

I wanted to know why you chose neteller.com as a way of getting paid for jobs, I know there are a few solutions on the net..like 2checkout have just brought out a debit card too meaning money never has to hit the bank in theory..

Perpetual_Traveller said...

Hi Cyber Gypsy

Neteller kind of found me tbh. It's an e-wallet that is almost universally accepted by poker rooms, online casinos and sportsbooks. Very few others are.

Aside from funding these outfits I do not use neteller for sending and receiving money (i.e as a payment processor for any other "work").

I'll look into echeckout, I'm also looking into e-gold right now also.

Perpetual_Traveller said...

Crickey, this from echeckout puts me off straight away:

"2CO applies a 5.5% commission on each transaction, plus a $0.45 charge per transaction."

5.5%??! That's huge.

Just passing through said...

Hi PT, good to find your blog.

In the process of leaving London and corporate life for Argentina, to see how it goes, no agenda no timescale, no illusions.

Hope to be a contributor here.

Perpetual_Traveller said...


Firstly: congrats, great that you're giving this a try.

Look forward to any contributions you might make (probably more frequently than I am contributing of late....must post an update soon).

Feel free to email me or post re: life in Argentina.

j said...

Thanks for keeping this blog. I'll look to it often!

Anonymous said...

I've only just stumbled across this from a link off fishandchipspoker.com. PT you are an inspiration, I would love to pack up and take my belongings with me in the same fashion you have done. Truly terrific blog.

Perpetual_Traveller said...

Thanks guys.

I'll check out fishandchips, didn't realise he was linking here.

Anonymous said...

This concept sounds similar to Seasteading, living on a boat or artificial island so you can avoid taxes and go anywhere you want. See http://www.seasteading.org

lewis said...

Hi Paul.
I know this is a long shot as you may not be reading this blog, but i was wondering if you could contact me through email.
Im an 18 yr old from the UK at the moment and have been looking into PT for the exact same reasons youve stated. My plan (hopefully) is to get my university dergree from the LSE and save enough money as a trader or fund manager to become a PT and earn money trading my own account tax free (i may possibly try earning money through other income streams also).
Was wondering if you had any information that could help me out as you seem to be living life exactly as i plan.