Twipper of the Week: Nora Dunn from The Professional Hobo.


Current city: Pisac, Peru

Age: 38

What makes you interesting: In 2006, I sold everything I owned (including a busy financial planning practice) to embrace my dreams of traveling the world long-term, volunteering and working around the world, and embracing local cultures from the inside out. I’ve been on the road ever since, traveling full-time and making a living with my laptop and an internet connection. On my own website, I teach people how to travel full-time in a financially sustainable way.

Total countries visited: 50+

Most magical place on Earth: One thing I’ve learned in my years on the road is that although a specific destination is crucial in its own way, the “magic” moments we have on the road have more to do with who we’re with, what we’re doing, and our emotional state of being at the time. The most beautiful sunset on earth could be a tragic sight if you’ve just had your heart broken. Likewise a little beach town could be a sleepy bore if you’re stuck with just tourist sights, or an out-all-night never-to-be-forgotten experience if you’re invited to a local wedding. Having said that, I haven’t actually answered the question. Four such places where I’ve found magic and have returned to (or plan to return to) are New Zealand, Corsica, Nepal, and Peru (where I’m currently living).

What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip: One of my favorite pieces of travel gear is the Hoboroll, which organizes and compresses most of my miscellaneous stuff. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to travel full-time with carry-on luggage only.

What do you put in your carry-on baggage: Everything! After years of schlepping checked bags around, I narrowed down my travel entourage to just what fits in a carry-on bag. I love the ease and convenience of it, and I don’t miss for much. Here are some of my tips on how to travel ultralight with carry-on luggage only.

What is your favorite mode of transportation when you travel:  I’m a complete evangelist for train travel. As such, I’ve done some epic train journeys; for example in Australia, I covered 16,000kms of train tracks, 11,000kms of which I did in 11 days (straight) – all to see if it’s possible to get bored on a train. I didn’t get bored; in fact those train trips, along with a mammoth journey I took from Lisbon to Saigon in 30 days (25,000kms, all by train) form the basis of my book Tales of Trains: Where the Journey is the Destination.

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: Maybe New Zealand. It offers a little bit of everything, and is a very friendly place. As with me: I have a little bit of everything in me as well (including a large and random collection of life experiences like bungee jumping and skydiving – both big in New Zealand) – and I’m pretty friendly too!

Next travel destination: I’m going to spend a month in the jungles of Peru at the end of May.