$1,812
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
33
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, September 4 2018 4:55 AM UTC +00:00
Rachel SignerBy Rachel Signer
First created
Rachel SignerBy Rachel Signer
First created
$1,812
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
33
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, September 4 2018 4:55 AM UTC +00:00

About

Have you ever wanted to completely change your life, by giving up everything you have, and taking off without a plan? Or by simply leaving on the trip of your dreams, for one year? 

I did that, and I've written a book to share what I learned with all of you. 

My nomadism started during the height of my wine journalism days in New York. At least once a month, I would pack a suitcase, put an autoreply on e-mail, and lug myself through the city metro system toward the airport (or, if I was screwed for time, grab a very pricey cab). Six or ten hours later, I would arrive in a different country and go straight to the vineyards. Sometimes, I would hop from an assignment in one part of the world (the Netherlands) to a research trip on the complete opposite end (South Africa). 

This seems like a glamorous lifestyle, but it was challenging, in many ways — above all, physically. I suffered from debilitating jet lag, which would go on for weeks after returning from a trip. And the stress of airports was almost enough to ruin the beauty of seeing new places. Over time, I improved my approach to traveling.

It occurred to me that there's a real art to living as a nomad. I began to think, what if I left New York entirely, and just stayed in Europe for a year or two? I'd fallen completely in love with France. And I was falling out of love with New York, after nine years.

So, one day, I took the leap: Over one year ago, I packed up my books and artwork and brought them to a friend’s apartment, gave away whatever shitty second-hand furniture I’d been using, threw some clothes and my laptop into a few suitcases, and left for France — with the intention of never returning to live in New York. 

For most people, this would be an odd thing to do. In Paris, I didn’t have a job lined up and I did not have a visa to work in France; there was no love-of-my-life awaiting me on the other side of the pond; my savings were meager and freelance writing was my only source of income. All that awaited me was a place I’d arranged to rent for six weeks, a few semi-acquaintances, and beautiful cafés and wine bars. 

Fingers crossed for biz class upgrade!
Fingers crossed for biz class upgrade!

But instead of rooting down in Paris, as I’d planned, and getting the necessary papers to live there and establish myself, I ended up floating around for nearly six months, living on friends’ couches and exploring Europe. 

Eventually the call of romance brought me to Australia, where I have finally settled, more or less — a nomad is never fully rooted, of course, but always dreaming of the next excursion. Who will I meet? What dishes will I try? Is it finally time to learn Italian? Why haven’t we hiked the Alps? Can I make it to that music festival in Vienna if my timing is right? What if I lived in a little house, on the coast, somewhere, all alone, and ate beans and wild nettles every day for a month? Does my cousin in Buenos Aires still have a spare room? 

It wasn’t easy or glamorous living out of a suitcase for months on end. My time as a nomad taught me much about myself and about navigating the world through others, sometimes friends and sometimes, mere acquaintances or even complete strangers. I want to share these lessons: Whether you’ve dreamed of leaving everything behind, are doing it now, or know someone who lives nomadically, I’m writing a guidebook based on my lessons, for all of you.  

This book, which I am raising funds here to self-publish, is a lighthearted, yet serious guide to living as a nomad. 

It encourages the reader to find a way to finally go ahead with that long-held dream to surf in Costa Rica/study dance in Senegal/learn Mandarin/learn to cook noodle soup in Cambodia/live in Berlinwhatever is inside you. And it's also meant as a gift for those friends of yours who might be a bit stuck in life, and need inspiration to change. 

I'm asking for a relatively small amount of money, just enough to pay an illustrator and do a short print run of this book with a top quality printer based in Europe. It will be beautifully designed, with professional illustrations, attractive font, high quality paper, and nice hardcover. I am also asking other nomads I know to contribute their advice, so it won't just be my own perspective! 

Once I've printed the book, I will self-distribute to bookstores around the world. I am talking with a major publisher about printing with them, but I don't want to wait or rely on the mainstream market to get this out to you. I wrote it from the heart because I want to share these lessons.

A thousand years ago, all people were nomads: roaming from one place to another to catch good weather or prime season for buffalo. Shelters were provisional; people lived with few possessions and relied upon physical strength and their wits to keep their communities alive. It’s hard to get far enough away from civilization to live as the first nomads once did, and we probably wouldn’t want to do that. Imagine no wi-fi to share with people that you just found the most beautiful market in the world, right in the neighborhood where you’re staying — or no way to easily connect with complete strangers, wherever you land, and find new friendships. 

But it is possible to become a modern-day nomad, and believe me, if you do it right, you’ll give birth to an entire new existence for yourself. So, how to start? 

There’s much talk about where to go; all the blogs have their top-ten-destination lists and every magazine raves about the latest coastal resort where you can take a yoga retreat. Websites now offer “experiences” in addition to apartment rentals so that young travelers can find a way to visit places “authentically” instead of hopping on a tourist site-seeing bus with all the retired Baby Boomers. What I want to help people discover, most of all, is the art of nomadism: the tricks to successfully packing for any length of stay; dealing with the stress of airports; knowing the right way to ask experienced locals for information and help. 

Nomadism is a different way of seeing the world. It’s not all golden moments ripe for social media bragging, or romantic walks with a mysterious stranger, or constant adventure — there’s a lot of emotional stress and financial challenges involving in living this way. There’s loneliness, self-doubt, attachment to material things. 

You have to learn to rely on yourself and to trust others, as well, to be a nomad. You're not alone in this world when you make real, lasting connections with other people. It’s about common sense and the right attitude. And many of us know nomads and want to understand how to help them — the book also addresses hospitality toward travelers. 

I hope this book inspires people to let go of whatever is dragging them down, and head into the great unknown. It may seem impossible to leave everything behind and just go—but believe me, you can do it, and it will lead you someplace totally unexpected.

And because there are people in the world who live nomadically against their will, 10 percent of all proceeds from the first print run of this book, beyond pre-orders, will be allocated to the International Refugee Committee, a global organization that responds to humanitarian crises around the world and lobbies for policy reform on the behalf of displaced, refugee communities.

Thank you for whatever you can give. Every small bit counts. 

Thank you, as well, to the very talented filmmaker Darcy Muller for the video, and to the very talented photographer Niels Busch for some of the above portraits of me. 

Risks and challenges

The manuscript for this book is already 90 percent complete. What remains is to write a conclusion, and then hire an editor to review my work. I am also collecting some research from other people who live nomadically, so as to offer multiple perspectives.

As well, I am on the search for an illustrator for the book.

I hope to have all of this done by late October and then print in November!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Every Little Bit Counts

    No drop in the bucket too small.
    Thank you sincerely. It means a lot.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    May I Write You A Love Letter?

    Fifteen bucks goes a long way for this independent publisher!

    I'll send you a handwritten thank-you note from one of my nomadic journeys. Possibly in haiku form.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Nomad the Book

    Admit it -- you've always wanted to be a nomad! Or maybe you want this book as a little present for your niece/best friend/neighbor/that barista with the forlorn look in his eyes.

    Either way, thank you -- I'll have a copy of this hardcover book sent hot off the presses to you! I sincerely hope it inspires you to think differently about travel, relationships, airports, and your life!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    24 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Nomad the Book + Terre Issue 2

    This is a super deal. You get a copy of Nomad the Book. Plus I'll send you a signed copy of the natural wine magazine I co-founded, Terre (Issue 2 only). Limited quantities available!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Best Holiday Gift Ever

    Order "Nomad" as a thoughtful, completely unique gift for someone you want to deeply inspire. I will personally gift wrap the book with tasteful packaging, sign it, and send it along with a handwritten note using the wording of your choice, in time for the holidays (or a birthday, if you prefer). Your gift is doubly appreciated -- by the recipient, and by me!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Stockist Option | 5 Copies

    Please make my absolute dream come true and carry my book in your bookshop, concept shop, or whatever enterprise you operate. I promise you it will look beautiful on the shelves. I know how hard bookshops work to curate their selections and I am truly grateful for this opportunity! I will also spread the word on social media and my personal blog that you are a stockist of Nomad the Book. (Suggested retail price: $30 USD or equivalent.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $130 or more About $130

    Travel Consultancy

    I've had the great fortune to spend time in over 25 countries around the world, and I speak French and Spanish fluently. Odds are, wherever you are headed, I can help you plan an amazing journey. You'll receive a copy of my book, as well as a consultancy via one long phone call and several e-mails, to help you plan the trip of a lifetime. I'll help you out with research strategies, even provide advice on which neighborhoods to stay in when you're in cities, and offer tips about spending money wisely. The consultancy is available until Jan 31, 2019. This is a major help to me getting the book published, thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Stockist Option | 10 Copies

    Please make my absolute dream come true and carry my book in your bookshop, concept shop, or whatever enterprise you operate. I promise you it will look beautiful on the shelves. I know how hard bookshops work to curate their selections and I am truly grateful for this opportunity! I will also spread the word on social media and my personal blog that you are a stockist of Nomad the Book. (Suggested retail price: $30 USD or equivalent.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (45 days)