We are just weeks away now from taking a big leap to full-time travel. Mick has put in his resignation at work and my temp contact is nearing the end. We’ve moved out of our rented apartment, sold just about everything we own and moved in with my parents.
It’s a very exciting time, however I am starting to have moments of sheer panic where I think “are we doing the right thing?”. Luckily they pass pretty quickly when I remind myself of all the amazing adventures we’re about to have and that I’ll soon be feeling that sense of freedom I have been longing to feel for some time now.
It’s a big change, one we haven’t taken lightly. We’ve researched and sought advice from others who have done this before. We’ve read blogs, books and news articles; all to educate ourselves better and ensure we can stay on the road as long as possible.
Despite all this research we could always use a little more advice from those who are currently out there living their dream lifestyle. We approached some of our full-time travelling friends to see what advice they could offer us ahead of our new big adventure. Here’s what they had to say.
Top Tips From Full-Time Travellers
Sean and Jen – Venturists
After traveling full-time for over two years, we have a long list of do’s and don’ts. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Go slow! As a full-time traveler, you have don’t have the tight schedule that vacationers often do. Take advantage of that by not just visiting the tourist spots, but finding the areas where locals hang out. Find the favorite locals bar or coffee shop, and just spend some time chatting or people watching.
- Find people to connect with people in each new area. There a plenty of expat groups, Facebook groups, Meetups, that will help you meet people in the area.
- Manage expectations – the gems you see in travel photos are there, but often you have to climb over some jagged rocks to find them.
- Be flexible: with your travel dates, your schedule, your plans, and your expectations.
- And finally: Ask your taxi driver for food recommendations (where do they eat lunch?). Taxi drivers know the best, cheapest food in every city.
Stefan and Sebastien – Nomadic Boys
The best advice we would give to you is to travel slowly, giving you plenty of time (at least a few months) in between each intensive leg of travelling to chill out, work on your blog, have some down time. Travelling can be quite intense. The thing that annoyed us the most was people asked us how our holiday was going. It’s far from that – with all the planning involved, you feel like you’re dealing with a full time job almost that never stop.
But one you love – really really love!
Nonetheless it’s intense and you need some time out. We scheduled our “admin days” in places like Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur in Asia. We’d rent an apartment for a few months and just make a home for ourselves there, taking a break from travelling and giving us time to plan the next step properly and catch up on our blog.
Travelling slowly like this also eases out the pressure on the budget and most importantly, you discover and learn a place better then if you were just passing through.
Aileen – I Am Aileen
If there is one advice that I want to impart to full-time travelers like I do, it’s to always think long term as you plan and create your own sense of security.
I say this because there are a LOT of jobs out there that can keep you going on the road for years. One good example of such would be volunteering. For sure it’s a great experience and a great money-saver; however, it is still and always important to think about your future. You wouldn’t to work for bars or hostels for the rest of your life, would you? That’s why as as early as now, try to develop a remote profession or a business that can make you live a more sustainable life of travel. (Examples: an online business, blogging, etc.)
Megan – Forks and Footprints
I have been on the road for the past 3 years. It began with a move to Thailand and has brought me throughout Southeast Asia, Central America, Mexico and all over the US & Canada. My piece of advice: listen to your body/mind/heart. If you LOVE a place, don’t move on so quickly, stay, love it! If you’re exhausted from moving from place to place every couple days, find a place to take a travel break in for a week or more. And finally, don’t be afraid to NOT love a place. Not every place on this globe is meant for everyone; just because the majority of travelers you meet rave about a destination doesn’t mean you’re going to enjoy it to pieces. Listen to yourself AND each other!
Vanessa – The Island Drum
Life on the road is never a dull moment, but it can be a serious test of your patience and fortitude. My advice for anyone new to the ‘on the road’ lifestyle is to always expect the unexpected. Try not to plan your time too rigidly, because you never know what happenstance is around the next corner. Amazing experiences and a few not-always-so-pleasant experiences await; but that’s part of the adventure! You just never know where the open road will actually take you.
Margherita – The Crowded Planet
Don’t feel guilty if you have to work
I have dreamed to be a digital nomad for years, so when I finally ‘took the plunge’ and quit my job last June I embarked into full time travel straight away. Of course, while travelling we also worked on the road – my husband doing freelance photography and I taking care of the blog and freelance writing assignments. Inevitably, we found that we had to travel slower, and dedicate some days to working. This may seem pretty obvious – but never having worked on the road before, for me travel meant switching off, and so having to work from stunning locations like the Slovenian Alps and the beaches of the Philippines was quite difficult at first.
So, what happened? Quite simply, we didn’t work as hard as we should have. Who wants to edit a post when you can go hiking or diving? So we started falling behind on our deadlines and had to catch up like crazy. My advice for you is this – don’t feel guilty if you have to work, even if you’re in the most beautiful place ever. After all, it’s work that keeps you on the road.
Ria – Life in Big Tent
No matter for how long, how far and for which purpose you are traveling, the main my advice would be: travel with open heart, open eyes, not judge peoples lifestyle and accept visiting country culture.
- Open heart – will help you greet people and make friendship with them.
- Open eyes – will help to see not only destinations but as well daily life beauty, important details.
- Not judging people lifestyle – will help you travel without headache and creating negative stereotypes.
- Accepting other country culture – will help you discover country real colors and charm, understand people daily life background.
Betsy and Pete – Passing Thru
Our top tip as full time travelers is: don’t be afraid to slow down or even settle for a month or two in one place. It’s hard to keep a high-powered travel pace when you’re running an online business, blogging, writing a book, or even if you’re free of other encumbrances. It takes time to soak in a place, to get beneath the surface that temporary travelers only get to see. Part of the reason you went nomad is to experience life more deeply. Give yourself the breathing space to do just that.
Stu and Eloise – Am I Nearly There Yet?
Our top tip: Make sure you allow for time for yourselves. It sounds simple, but we quickly learned that moving too quickly from place to place put a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves.
Travellers burn out is the real deal! If you’re travelling long term, pick a date on the calendar, choose a spot you want to visit, then just totally relax.. No WiFi, no blogging, no working on your business – just books, food, sights and sounds! It’ll be a lot less pressure on you as a couple, and you’ll have the added bonus of immersing deeper into your chosen destination!
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Over to you!
Do you have anything to add to these top tips from Full-Time Travellers? Are you a full-time traveller or do you dream to be someday?
Let us know using the comments section below or join us on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed this post.