How I Decided to Become a Nomadic Traveler in Mozambique

How I Decided to Become a Nomadic Traveler in Mozambique

foreign-correspondent badge finalMozambique was meant to be nothing more than a relaxing holiday on the beach.  I had brought a swimsuit and a pile of books, but didn’t pack sexy underwear.  I had no intention of meeting the man that I would marry and travel the world with in a camper van.

But that’s exactly what happened.

Let me back up a bit: I was finishing off a challenging year teaching on a farm in Zimbabwe.  This was to be a final hoorah before my impending return home to get yet another degree.  It’s what I’d convinced myself I ought to do.

Nomadic Travel
Finding the unexpected in Mozambique

I’d been traveling the world for the better part of a decade, returning to the West whenever I felt a pang of inner guilt telling me it was time to grow up and get a real job.  “Real jobs” in the West, however, never worked out for me, and I was usually gone again within six months, volunteering, backpacking, or working my way around the world.

I was at the penultimate stage of my recurring loop–the point where I’d been abroad for awhile, had convinced myself to be responsible, and had made sensible plans for myself back home.

Bruno caught me in that moment, and reversed the course of my loop in 24 short hours.

My heart leapt with excitement, before my mind brought it crashing to the ground.  I had a career plan, responsibilities, cats!

“I have an empty seat in my Toyota,” he teased, an hour into our fateful encounter at a campsite in Vilanculos.  Bruno had been traveling for 14 years in the back of his Toyota-cum-camper, and was just beginning his second trip around the world.  “You could come with me, if you wanted…”

My heart leapt with excitement, before my mind brought it crashing to the ground.  I had a career plan, responsibilities, cats!  “I can’t throw all that away for a man I just met,” I reasoned with myself.

But when I looked into his eyes, overflowing with the curiosity of a child and the inner peace of a Buddhist monk, I knew I had to follow my heart.  She knew what was best for me.

camper van in africa
Brittany chose nomadic travel over a normal life.

And so, on that beach, Bruno and I carved out a plan that changed the course of my life forever.  Gone were ideas of master’s degrees, internships, and responsible career advancement.  Instead was a simple idea – to do what I wanted to do, rather than what I thought I should do.  And that meant traveling the world.

We have the time to travel slowly, to stay longer in places we love and to dig deeper into just what makes that place tick.

It’s been two years now since I boarded the empty seat in the Toyota, and I’ve never looked back.  I’ve never played the “What If” game, except to think about how much less amazing my life would have been had I gotten that master’s degree instead.  I wouldn’t have been surrounded by wild elephants in Namibia or climbed a dormant volcano in Kenya.  I wouldn’t have tracked lions in Zimbabwe or spotted Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  I wouldn’t have slept on a salt pan in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert or seen the source of the Nile River in Uganda.

Traveling the way we do has infinite benefits besides ticking places and experiences off a bucket list, however.  We have the time to travel slowly, to stay longer in places we love and to dig deeper into just what makes that place tick.  We can visit off-the-beaten-track and hard-to-reach places in our own independent transportation.  We stretch our dollars further, allowing us to be on the road–happily jobless–longer.  Yet we have the comforts of home, sleeping in our own bed rather than living out of a suitcase.

food on the road
Life inside the traveling van

More importantly, we have the control to live according to our own value system–which for us means contributing to local economies, living outdoors and in nature, and minimizing our ecological footprint.  And most importantly of all, it means having the freedom to do what we want now, to follow our passions, curiosities and desires each and every day.

We’re not the only ones living this way, I’ve learned.  We have met countless couples (young and old), families, and solo women traveling the world overland in their own vehicles.  They travel for a few years or a lifetime (we know a couple on the road for almost 30 years!), sleep in tents on their roofs or in colossally comfortable campers, and with budgets tiny or large.  What we all share is a passion for travel, for the constant surprises and thrills that a nomadic life on the road brings.

And most importantly of all, it means having the freedom to do what we want now, to follow our passions, curiosities and desires each and every day.

I guess you could say that I’ve finally accepted who I really am – a wanderer.  My nomadic travel self was always inside of me, but it took love and a camper van in Mozambique to let her blossom and take charge.

camper van and sunset
Love and a camper van started an incredible adventure

How I Decided to Become a Nomadic Traveler in Mozambique

About Brittany Caumette

Brittany CaumetteBrittany Caumette has been traveling around the world almost non-stop for nearly a decade. What started as an obsession has now become a way of life. Currently three years into an overland around-the-world trip that has brought her through Africa, into the Middle East, and now into Europe, she writes about her experiences on her website,
, Wandering Footsteps.

8 thoughts on “How I Decided to Become a Nomadic Traveler in Mozambique

  1. February 17, 2017
    Reply

    I love you guys.

    • Brittany
      Brittany
      February 19, 2017
      Reply

      Haha, thanks john!!

  2. Dodie Maxwell
    April 28, 2014
    Reply

    Hi Brittany – you never cease to amaze me with something new & exciting. How your Grandmother (my sister) would love what you are doing & be so proud of you. Am anxious to meet Bruno & pray for your safety on the road in such foreign country. I really love to read your blog so keep that up, too. Keep travel alive! Hugs – Aunt Dodie

  3. Louise Jones-Takata
    April 25, 2014
    Reply

    Nice job. Keep it up. Go for it, Brittany, Hugs to you and Bruno, Louise

  4. Freya Gnerre
    April 24, 2014
    Reply

    Brittany – I’m so proud of you! I told you there would be “interest” in your writings about your adventures. I’m really enjoying your blogs, and now – your articles. I look forward to when you are back in New York – and really look forward to meeting Bruno.
    Love,
    Auntie Freya

  5. Leslie Brown
    April 24, 2014
    Reply

    I wonder what amazing tales this story will hold next? I’ll be waiting to read what lies around the next bend!! Stay safe, Love, Grampa

  6. cynthia
    April 24, 2014
    Reply

    WOW….terrific…
    best of luck to you, brittany!
    cynthia (louise’s nyc friend)

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