This post is aimed at those for whom living in a vehicle is one of several options rather than the only option. It’s for those with time and resources to make considered decisions, and the freedom to modify them.

NOMANDS HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS about vehicles, how to fix them up, how to have electricity, what to do about heating, cooling, cooking, cleaning, beds, toilets and on and on. Those things are important, but I think they get in the way of the most fundamental question:

Am I the type of person who could be

a happy and successful nomad?

Given the best equipment and a sufficient source of money, some nomads would still be miserable. Some would fail. Because a vehicle can only transport and house you. It can’t repair you. Living in a vehicle can change you, but it’s you who’s the agent of change, not the van, not the power station, not the composting toilet.

So, what type of person has a better chance of finding nomadic nirvana? I’ve assembled a list of attributes that, from my experience, are shared by happy, successful nomads. I think a lot of the attributes also apply to the building-dwelling life. (No doubt there are more things that could be on my list. Feel free to add your own.) Rate yourself on a no–somewhat–yes scale. Obviously, more yeses are better.

        • I have an independent nature 
        • I’m self-sufficient 
        • I’m self-directed and self-motivated
        • I am low-maintenance 
        • I usually have a back-up plan 
        • I’m not tied to a location 
        • I’m not tied to a culture 
        • I’m not tied to the past 
        • I look forward to new experiences 
        • I can entertain myself 
        • I’m curious 
        • I’m alert 
        • I like solving problems and have a good track record at it 
        • I don’t require certainty in all things
        • I have a good BS detector 
        • I adapt easily to changing situations 
        • I’m usually calm 
        • I can prioritize 
        • I’m comfortable with tools 
        • I’m not afraid of getting dirty 
        • I know generally how vehicles and gizmos work 
        • I can change a flat tire 
        • I know what to do in emergencies 
        • I can find my way around 
        • I’m at peace with myself
        • I’m at peace with my bodily functions

If you did not score many yeses or somewhats, you might want to think more deeply about this whole nomad thing. You might do some work on yourself. Is your temperament changeable? Your personality? Some psychology professionals say yes. Some of the skills on the list can be learned. Knowledge can be gained.

My intent isn’t to talk a lot of people out of their nomad plans. It’s to prepare them. I try not to say, “Hey gang! Come be a full time nomad! It’s perfect for everyone!” Because it isn’t. I don’t want to see frustrated, anxious, stumbling, unhappy campers. I don’t want anyone to regret their decision. I don’t want anyone to crash and burn. I want them to have the life that works great for them. For you.