Travel 2023: Exploring the World (and Starting a Travel Blog) as a Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad

Traversing rugged U.S. landscape. Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Read

Escape and find a purpose! In our February/March 2023 issue of Zoomer magazine, we featured “23 Reasons to Travel in 2023”. In this edition, we focus on the delights of becoming a digital nomad. Click on the link at the bottom of the story for more ideas and inspiration for your next trip.

In the summer of 2022, I took my first post-pandemic trip abroad. I’d recently shifted from freelancing to a full-time, remote, content-writing job. My Montreal office hours allowed me to spend mornings at the beach, on Montenegro time.

I didn’t set out to be a digital nomad eight years ago when, at 43, my apartment lease and my job in St. John’s ended. I hadn’t even heard the term before, but nothing was tethering me to my hometown and I wanted to see the world. I needed to bridge the gap while I looked for work, so I registered with some freelancing websites, and lined up house-sitting gigs and signed up with a pet-sitting site to seek free accommodations while I travelled.

Gradually, I realized I felt most at home on the move. I’d fly to Europe with my laptop, take pet-sitting gigs as they came up, and stay at vacation rentals the rest of the time. I’ve now visited most Canadian provinces and cared for dogs and cats in France, Greece, Cyprus and the U.K.


Digital Nomad
Photo: Ackun/Getty Images


In 2020, during the travel ban, I rented an Airbnb in St. John’s, and resumed house- and pet-sitting as pandemic restrictions eased. In 2023, I want to spend three months at home and the rest of my time travelling
in Canada and Europe.

There have been unpleasant surprises — a hospitalization in Cyprus and an earthquake in Albania — so I find I’m more risk averse than when I started. With a well-planned itinerary, I can better savour my experience. But I’m still on the move, and that ferry ride from Corfu to Albania beckons. 

— Lynette Adams

A version this article appeared in the Feb/Mar 2023 issue with the headline ‘Find Adventure’, p. 74.


Start a Blog


My wife Ruth and I set out on a life of travel in October of 2007 at the age of 45. It may have been a mid-life crisis, but we felt we needed a change. We sold our house on the outskirts of Ottawa and quit our jobs. (I had been a lease return inspector for a major automotive finance company, and Ruth worked at a bank call centre.) We bought a used motorhome and travelled North America from the Guatemala border to the Arctic Ocean before we decided we wanted to see Europe, in 2020.

In the beginning, travel blogging wasn’t much of a thing, but it was a great way for family and friends to read about what we were doing every day. It was also a diary we could use to refresh our memories in the future.

For the first 10 years or so, Travel with Kevin and Ruth was just a hobby. We now have about 2,000 unique readers a day and an advertising agreement with a large American company. We won’t get rich from it, but it’s a decent side hustle that brings in about $700 a month.

Consistent, daily writing has been the key to retaining our long-time regular readers, and the fact that we write about things as they happen. People really feel as if they are travelling with us. Despite how blogging has changed with the popularity of video blogs and YouTube channels, a lot of people still like an old-style blog with text and photographs.

We just turned 61 and have no intention of stopping. In fact, we sold our North American motorhome, Sherman (he drove like a tank), in 2020 after 13 years of faithful service and bought a new one in Germany. His name is Max, short for Maximilian. A nice German name!


The author Kevin Read, and his trusty motorhome, in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Read


We explore and travel for $30,000 or less a year, not including the price of the motorhome. We started 2023 with three months in Morocco, will head to northern Spain in April and take a ferry to Ireland for May and June. We’ll spend the summer in Scotland, Wales and England, and we’ve got a couple of side trips planned without the RV. We will fly to Mauritania later this month for 10 days, and do a hiking trip in early September on the Peaks of the Balkans trail in Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro. A trip back to Canada to see family in mid-September will include an October visit to the polar bears in Churchill, Man.

The only problem with full-time travel is that we miss our two grandchildren, aged 9 and 11. We try to see them twice a year, but COVID-19 put a damper on that. We look forward to March, when they arrive in Morocco with our daughter for a couple of weeks. And yes, we’ll be writing about it on the blog!

— Kevin Read

For more ideas and inspiration for your next trip, go here

A version this article appeared in the Feb/Mar 2023 issue with the headline ‘Start a Blog’, p. 76.


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