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Life of a Nomad: Interview of Tanner Parente

By Posted on 37 3 m read

Tanner, tired of the classic 9-5 american way, decided to run off to New Zealand in 2017.


This interview is brought to you by Tanner Parente, founder of the solo travel blog Wander with Words. You can also follow his travel adventures on Instagram.



Why are you doing this?

There are many reasons, but it really boils down to one thing. I’ve grown bored and discontent with where I am at right now. I’ve wanted to make a change for a while, to experience something new. It simply worked out for me that the change I decided to make was just about the biggest one I could make.


Where do you think your desire for travel come from?

It stems from a desire to learn and grow and be better. I have finally realized within the last few years that my small corner of the earth doesn’t contain everything I want out of life. From there, it was easy to decide that seeing the world was the outlet I was looking for.

How did you choose where you want to go to?

The short answer is it is the one country where it was easy to get a long term visa allowing me to stay legally for an extended period. The long answer is I want to try living abroad for an extended period because I think I want to end up outside the States permanently. I have always been interested in New Zealand, but while I did want to explore, I also wanted a situation that would give me the right to work in the country should I need to and see what day to day life somewhere else is like. That being said, New Zealand would still have been near the top of my list if not for visa considerations.

How did you afford it?

I ended up changing my lifestyle years ago for different reasons that happen to work out in favor for affording this trip as well. After graduating I decided to live at home instead of move into the city where I was working. I was commuting a fair distance every day, but I was saving a ton by not paying for high rent in the city. I made a lot of small decisions that build on top of each other. I only had coffee that my company provided, I started getting cheaper lunches or bringing lunch to work, I made my social life about hanging out with friends rather than going out with friends. I missed out on some things, but it’s impossible to regret those things when it means I get to do what I am doing.

Do you have any fears about the trip?

I really only have one – what if I hate it? Haha. It sounds strange because why else would I be going unless I thought I was going to love it? That is why I’m going, but I’ll be living drastically differently from how I lived my whole life. I can’t know ahead of time whether or not it will actually be for me until I try.

How did you get over the fear?

It was about accepting that I am doing what I think is right and understanding that if it doesn’t turn out what I want it to be, it is still going to be an incredible learning experience and I’ll be happy I tried it. I have always thought I don’t want to end up in an office job long term, and this is one of the steps I’m taking to figure out what else I might want to do.


What are you most excited about?

Trying out life somewhere else in the world. I have traveled to a few other countries, but I didn’t really experience living there. Life for me grew a little stale, and I am looking forward to a change. I’m looking forward to not having routine and instead facing challenges.


Any advice you would give to someone else who wants to take on the same sort of journey?

Figure out what excites you. What goal are you working towards and how do you achieve it? Understanding what you want to get out of the experience will help you decide what you want to do. Figuring that out is the hard part, the rest is just work.

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