The Lie that Sustains my Travel Lifestyle

January 22, 2016

Despite everything I’ve told everyone about escaping the 9-to-5, living for today, and keeping on the road to look beyond the traps society has laid out for us, there’s one aspect of my travel lifestyle that wouldn’t be possible without a little stability.

IMG_2413.jpg

Any guesses?

It’s my Texas driver’s license, and the address – my parent’s house – to accompany it.

This has allowed me to work anywhere in the US without a lot of paperwork. Although the law varies state-by-state, if you spend more than two weeks in another state with the intention of staying, you’re supposed to go to the DMV and change your residency. I’ve never done this.

Why?

1. Even when I was living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, my living situation wasn’t permanent; I could have registered my long-term hotel address, or my friend’s apartment (name not on the lease), but I would then just have to change my residency back to Texas when I eventually returned. In other words, a lot of paperwork that serves no purpose.

2. Texas is one of the states that requires no income tax (federal level is another matter). If I were to officially “move” to California, I’d have to give up more of my income.

3. My parents have no plans to move for the rest of their lives. They’ve been in the same house for the last fifteen years, and that house has been in the family since it was built in the 60s.

This makes travel incredibly easier for me, and I know it’s not always an options for those spending years abroad. My mail can be sent to Texas, and I can find it safe and waiting for me on the rare occasion I’m home. Jury summons’ arrive, and are promptly dismissed due to my being abroad (I’ve never served on a jury). But most importantly, taxes are far, far simpler with only one permanent address in my history.

Does anyone else rely on this? Is anyone lacking?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to OAT



Created by Webfish.

Need Advice on Living Abroad?

Thinking of teaching English in Japan? Volunteering in Thailand? Backpacking around New Zealand? If you're looking for some insider tips on the places to go and the people to meet, check out my consulting services. If you just have a few questions, no worries: email me.