Today we are hosting a guest writer, Jess Signet, who’ll be guiding us through the pros and cons of full-time travel, a subject that is very appropriate for our current situation.
I would like to thank Jen and Mick for publishing this article. Their site is a great place for advice on different destinations as well as relevant and helpful tips to support you in your own travels. After reading this article, I definitely recommend you check out their post on planning the perfect travel itinerary.
All travelers have likely had the debate with themselves as to whether or not they want to take up traveling full time. It’s undoubtable that quitting your job, leaving your long-term home, packing up for life and jetting off indefinitely is a very big decision to make, and it’s definitely not one that should be made lightly. But whether or not it’s worth taking that big step is a whole other question.
Weighing up the options objectively can be hard when you’ve got such a big decision to make, so we’ve put together a short list of some of the pros and cons to help you get a more realistic picture. Here are three reasons to make you want to do it, and three that might convince you to stay at home.
Any sort of travel brings tremendous benefits to your life, and that is undeniable. So surely long-term travel just amplifies those benefits indefinitely?
Everyday is an Adventure
When you’re traveling full time, this phrase could not be more relevant. Aside from a basic structure, you literally never know what the next day or month is going to bring. Maybe you’ll be working on a farm in rural Australia, or volunteering in an orphanage in India. Who knows! And who cares?
When you’re main occupation is “traveler”, there’s no Wednesday hump, no Monday blues and certainly no lack of motivation to jump out of bed in the morning. Being a long-term traveler is a constantly fulfilling and exciting experience and allows you to see the world and experience all the different elements of life on this planet in a way that nothing else can.
You Get to See More
The difference between going somewhere for a week and going somewhere for a year is definitely measured in the depth of the experience. While a week-long holiday will allow you to visit the major tourist sites, experience a short taste of the culture and maybe have a few spontaneous run-ins with local festivities, living somewhere for a year will allow you to experience the place almost as intimately as if you were a native.
Full-time travel is by far—and perhaps—the only way to really experience and get-to-know a culture, making it an experience that is unmatched by any other. Not only do you see much more of the world than would be possible otherwise, you also get to know the people and their way of life and form a lifelong understanding of what it’s like to be from the countries that you visit.
The Mind-Opening Potential
Travel’s ability to open your mind and help with your personal and spiritual growth is no secret. So for those who chose to pick up their backpack and never let it go, the mind-opening potential is uncalculated.
Everywhere you go and every experience you have when traveling teaches you more about our world than any textbook ever could, and for those who never stop traveling, the world-wisdom that you will gain is priceless. There is no other way to gain the experience and understanding, and even despite all the other reasons that it’s a worthwhile pursuit, this fact alone should be enough to convince those on the fence to pack up their things and set off on the adventure of—quite literally—a lifetime.
Although jetting off and never looking back is the dream of a lifetime for many, it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are a few drawbacks to consider for those considering full-time travel.
You Miss Your Home Comforts
Although your life will suddenly be filled with endless exciting and fulfilling experiences, no matter who—or where—you are, there are days when you will crave your home comforts. Whether it’s curling up on your living room sofa with your own duvet to watch a film or settling down in a hot bath with your favorite candles and a good book, there are some luxuries that just aren’t possible when on the road.
For some people, losing these home comforts is a deal breaker. But for others, a quiet evening watching Netflix in your hostel or getting up early to treat yourself to a long shower in the morning can be enough to make up for these losses. If you are willing to opt for the former, then remember to get yourself a good VPN to get around the geo-blocking that Netflix is subject to when you’re overseas.
It’s Hard to Form Lasting Relationships
When you’re traveling full time, you very rarely spend a substantial amount of time in one place. Because of this, it can become very hard to build meaningful relationships, and when you do gain real friends, you have to leave them almost as quickly as you found them. Similarly, it’s very easy to lose contact with old peers as the distance and difference in lifestyle can sometimes become a difficult barrier to overcome.
For some, full-time traveling can feel very lonely and isolating. However, the rise in the use in social media means that this point is possible to resolve. By getting new acquaintances details and remembering to organize regular Skype sessions with loved ones back home, you can stay in touch and maintain relationships. Plus, you never know where in the world you might run into someone again!
The Future is Uncertain
For many of us, the uncertainty of long time travel is an exciting and freeing feeling; however, this is not the case for all. Not having a clear plan for the future, and in some cases not even knowing if you’re going to make enough money to survive, can be a very daunting and stressful experience.
The joys of travel are definitely accompanied with some significant survival challenges and for some the reward does not outweigh the burden. Long-term travel is definitely not for the fainthearted, and if you’re the sort of person who likes security and certainty, then it may not be the pursuit for you.
Full-time travel is a lifestyle so different from any other. Though it’s filled with undeniable benefits and brings you experiences that are unmatchable in any other way of life, it is by no means an easy way to live and comes with a lot of its own baggage. These are just a few considerations to make when deciding if full-time travel is for you, but if you have any more ideas that you think should be included, then be sure to comment below.
About the Author: Jess Signet is an avid traveler and enjoys writing about her adventures. Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble she lives in makes her want to travel even further. Traveling is her drug, and she’s addicted. (Please, no intervention!)
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