Every time I encounter a snail, I think a little more about my nomadic life and the meaning of home. In the last nine weeks, this has meant a great deal of thinking as snails seem to be everywhere I turn.

This snail has been keeping me company for a while

Like a snail, I’ve been making myself at home in countless places, carrying a shell of possessions and defenses to keep me safe from the elements and potentially predatory forces. With every year, I’ve slowed my pace a bit more, learning to stop and rest when I find a place that feels comfortable and moving on when the time…


A dragonfly is sitting on my toe. It has been there for more than an hour, taking a few breaks to circle the air above my foot. It alternates between my third and fourth toes. Its iridescent wings catch the afternoon sunlight: pink, blue, and green sparkling at the tips. Its feet tickle gently and each time my toe twitches the dragonfly lifts, circles, and re-lands. I feel bad for disturbing it.

My first thought on seeing it was what’s the symbolism of a dragonfly? For most of my life, that thought would not have crossed my mind and if…


Not long ago, after learning how long I’ve been on the move, someone asked how I handle the loneliness. At the time, I was far from that state and hadn’t dealt with it in a while. So I gave a bullshit answer about contacting friends for a comforting chat. A few days later, I found myself with far too many hours alone, no internet or phone connection, and no one around with whom I had anything in common. Loneliness engulfed me. I cried, I wrote in my journal, I watched a movie that always makes me laugh, I listened to…


For more than three years, I’ve had no interest in buying new things. When a zipper breaks or a bag tears, I repair it myself or pay someone else if the job is beyond me. I have, of course, bought a few things during my travels: rain and cold-weather gear, replacement shoes and clothes when things have worn out; bars of shampoo and other necessities; a few basic upgrades to the technology I carry. It’s all been stuff that I needed for one reason or another. This lack of a desire to buy shit has been one of the greatest…


To the women of Ubud:

Thank you.

Thank you for being so kind. So patient. So warm. So open. So beautiful inside and out. Thank you for showing me that goodness prevails.

Thank you for the welcoming and supportive words you gave me time and again. Thank you for the smiles and the hugs, the friendliness and the warm welcomes. Your kindness has meant more to me than you will ever know.

Many of you have never left Bali. Others come from around the world. Each of you is amazing.

One of you pulled over when you saw me walking…


When I set out for Bali and made the conscious decision to convert myself into a digital nomad, I knew it would be a time of transition with various challenges to face. I’d prepared myself for the change in mindset from going out and exploring every day (or lazing about in a hammock if that was the mood I found myself in) to finding a balance between exploration and work. But it didn’t occur to me how different the friendship landscape would look.

When you’re backpacking, friendships form fast. Far faster than they would at home. Surviving a harrowing minibus…


A quick jaunt to Gili Trawangan (or: The Healing Power of Diving)

It’s been a little more than three weeks since I arrived in Bali, one of the 17,000+ islands of Indonesia. Yet it wasn’t until a few days ago that I threw myself into the ocean. Even then, it wasn’t on Bali but on the neighboring island of Gili Trawangan. In Bali I’ve settled inland for a little while, thinking it would do me good to not be distracted by diving while I focus on figuring out how to bring more money into my life. More on that another…


It’s been two weeks since I arrived in my first destination as a digital nomad. After nearly three years of travel, rarely having my own space or staying put for more than a month at a time, I’ve been excited to make the change to a different way of living. It’s an interesting shift, one I’m chronicling here on Medium when I want a break from projects that I hope become lucrative and those I’ve undertaken for reasons of personal growth and well being.

My first few days on the island I’ve landed in were spent searching for a home…


I have climbed mountains with slippery paths and few footholds. I have stared over the edges of cliffs and peered down their sheer rock faces. I have felt the power of sharks ramming into me in the open ocean. I have spoken in front of hundreds (thousands?) of people. I have traveled alone in places some consider risky for a woman on her own. I have jumped out of airplanes strapped to people I met only minutes before, trusting that the parachutes will work and they know what they’re doing. I’ve been within spitting distance of a violent hate crime…


It’s been about 10 days since I arrived in Ubud, a known digital nomad hub in Bali. I came here to surround myself with the beauty and energy of spiritual, artistic Bali and the entrepreneurial mindset of location independent expats who have made this their base. I’m launching a business and writing a book. The two are completely unrelated but both are exciting me and keeping my attention. Generally speaking, I work on one during the day and the other in the evening.

Writing the book is a solitary process that I delve into at home. Working on the business…

Marbree Sullivan

A recovering attorney exploring the world. I plan other people’s trips; I write; I dive; I refuse to return to an office. Find me at chasingtheunknown.com/blog

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