Can I be considered ... to have been a bona fide resident ...
Well, are you a resident of a foreign country? That's the first step. If you're not a resident, how could you possibly be a bona fide resident? If you're certain that you are a resident of a foreign country, there's a couple requirements I think you should check if you meet.
1. Length and nature of stay
According to the instructions for Form 2555,
Whether you are a bona fide resident of a foreign country depends on your intention about the length and nature of your stay. Evidence of your intention may be your words and acts. If these conflict, your acts carry more weight than your words. Generally, if you go to a foreign country for a definite, temporary purpose and return to the United States after you accomplish it, you are not a bona fide resident of the foreign country. If accomplishing the purpose requires an extended, indefinite stay, and you make your home in the foreign country, you may be a bona fide resident.
Yes, your intentions matter. It might be easier to analyze the evidence of your intentions if you start by thinking seriously about what your intentions are. From your description, you might meet this requirement if you plan to live your life in this way for an indefinite period of time. However, your situation does not fit any of the examples the IRS gives in Publication 54, so "it may be more difficult [for them] to decide whether you have established a bona fide residence."
2. Subject to foreign countries' income tax laws
The country or countries where you work and reside should consider you to be a resident and subject to their income tax laws. The specific rule, according to Federal Regulations 26 CFR 1.911-2 (c): You are not considered a bona fide resident of a certain country if you "[claim] to be a nonresident of that foreign country in a statement submitted to the authorities of that country" and one of the following is true:
- Your earned income "is not subject, by reason of nonresidency in the foreign country, to the income tax of that country."
- "[T]he accuracy of [your submitted claim] has not been resolved as of any date when a determination of [your] bona fide residence is being made"
So if you're trying to avoid income taxes in the foreign countries, you probably won't meet this requirement.
Note on Earned Income Exclusion
You linked to information on the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, and you say that you "have no employer". There are a few things you should be aware of:
- The Earned Income Exclusion only applies to what the IRS considers "earned income", which is only some of the types of income that you may have earned. The general idea is that the following don't count:
- Profits of a corporation
- Income produced by capital, such as interest, capital gains, retail profits, etc.
- Pensions and similar fixed incomes
- If you are a self-employed US citizen, you owe self-employment tax wherever in the world you live or work. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion doesn't reduce that.