I like change. I like moving to a new place every once in a while just to change things up and learn new things. I don’t like fast change which “travel” is usually associated with. Travel is for the experiences, but I like learning things more than experiencing things and learning takes time.

One problem is that the world is divided into nation states which makes it a genuine hassle to live anywhere else than the place one was born in. Free market alright, but what about the movement of free people?

One solution may be the 5 flag theory of setting up semi-permanent living arrangements in 5 different countries. Most countries allow visitors to stay for 3 months on a tourist visa. With 5 places, you would simply move around between them on a permanent rotation. I imagine returning to a familiar place would not be that big a deal as there is little time wasted trying to find out where all the good venues are.

Now, having a semi-permanent residence in 5 countries presumably costs a lot of money to arrange, but I could imagine doing it by forming a partnership which could be facilitated by a website. This website would be similar to couchsurfing.org, but the deal would be that you got a whole residence rather than a couch. In other words, the website would focus on swaps that had a duration of about 10-11 weeks. This could be 2-way swaps, where A and B simply exchange places, or 3-way swaps, where A gets B’s, who gets C’s, who gets A’s, or even 4-way and 5-way swaps. It does not really matter(*). The important thing would be to keep the system going.

(*) Although finding a core group of 5 people and just rotate between each other would probably be ideal because that would allow one to return to exactly the same place.

Obviously, this would require one to be able to fund oneself without working as working is also regulated through visa’s etc., so it is only viable for location independent work or work which does not require one to be salaried and tied to a specific place. Various trades would work as would programming and writing. Heavily regulated vocations like law, medicine, and engineering would probably not work.

I could see myself doing something like this. Could you?

Originally posted 2010-02-03 13:12:17.