This piece first appeared on TalesFromTheScenicRoute.com. See Kate’s complete bio and contact info below the post.
Lately, Iain and I have been discussing how to describe our way of living? Up until we started our international travels we talked about full-time RV’ing, or full-time travel. But what we are experimenting with right now is a bit different.
Our lifestyle at the moment is more about staying in a house for a month or two at a time and living there as if it were our long-term home. This last few months we’ve been in Malaysia, next we are going to to try Thailand for a few months. We find that we are asking ourselves – what is that called?
Are we traveling? That gives the impression that we are always on the move. In the RV that does feel like what we were doing but now we are not so sure. We haven’t traveled more than 10 miles away from home since we got to Penang 2 months ago.
Are we tourists? We are spending a lot of our days working, or researching, grocery shopping, cooking and exercising. We don’t visit many temples or museums so it doesn’t feel like we are tourists.
Are we ex-pats? Being an ex-pat implies that you have moved somewhere for at least a significant period of time, more than a month or two, so that doesn’t seem right either.
So what is it called when you set up temporary home for a month or two in a city and live like a local to get a taste of a place. We have been trying to come up with a term that describes trying on a lifestyle / culture / environment for size to see how it fits.
We feel like we are dating places right now, and we are not willing to settle down. We don’t have a monogamous relationship with anywhere as a home. We are literally and figuratively sleeping-around! That term has kind of been hijacked already so could it be that what we are doing is kind of like bed-hopping. Because we are trying out different lifestyles we came up with the term Lifehopping.
life.hop.ping (verb) – to continually move from one lifestyle to another, to experience a location or culture for a temporary period of time
What do you think? Any other creative thoughts out there?