A thing that sucks about nomad life is all the “normal life” stuff you miss out on.
Birthday parties. Making coffee in the same appliance every day. Knowing your way around the grocery store. Budget hacks like buying out of season, bulk shopping, and being one place long enough to get an Amazon package delivered.
Enter: Amazon Lockers
Here’s how a normal Amazon shopping experience goes for me:
- Need a thing.
- Find options on Amazon.
- Research too much.
- Spend too long deciding if the product quality and quality-of-life gain is worth the cash.
- Decide I want the thing.
- Try to guess where I am going to be when the shipping process completes.
- Send a sometimes-awkward message to the owner of said location. (When it’s a friend, no-big deal. When it’s someone I’m housesitting for, or work-exchanging with, or a couchsurfing host, it’s like, “Hey stranger who I won’t actually meet for a few weeks… would you mind telling me exactly where you live. Like… exactly? Don’t worry. I’m not an ax-murderer who will come in the middle of the night to kill you now that you’ve taken a chance on someone you don’t know. I just want to use your resources (i.e. having a physical address) before you actually know me.
- When things go poorly, asking the friend or host or home owner to forward the package for me to the next location where I’ll probably be. I hate when this happens. I don’t like putting anyone out, especially with this kind of chore.
Since #7 and #8 are icky, I usually just give up the whole concept of Amazon shopping. The price of nomad life is so often going without.
Now, thanks to an awesome fellow nomad I met while traveling in Austin, Texas, #7 and #8 are finally null-and-void.
Amazon lockers are giant outdoor public mailboxes scattered across America. And FWIW, dude is headed to Japan soon and says, “I was playing around on amazon.jp. On the country-specific site I can have items delivered to most convenience stores and pay when picking up. Other countries might have similar niceties by going to their country-specific amazon sites.”
You just pick which locker location (or perhaps convenience store in another country?) you want to use upon checkout and your package magically appears. No inconveniencing your friends or people you don’t even know.
(Disclaimer about the lack of disclaimer: I’m not a sell-out blogger getting paid to talk about stuff like this. But if you’re listening, Amazon… you’re welcome. Feel free to drop me a gift card, hey?)