The highs and lows of long term travel
The internet is our lifeline these days, and the freedom it gives us is phenomenal. It has allowed a whole new generation of digital nomads, online influencers and location independent travellers not only giving people the opportunity to make a living online but also to travel the world full time. Welcome to the age of millennial where nomads call the world their home and have no plans on returning back to ‘real life’. Everything we could possibly need is at the touch of our fingertips, travel is cheaper than ever, and we are reminded everyday of others travelling the world. There’s an influx of us travelling the world for extended periods of time. But what are the effects of this kind of lifestyle? Is it sustainable? What happens if you have to go back to ‘normal life’? Will you be able to cope? We ask ourselves the same questions, and we’ve had time to think about the answers. So here we go:
This has to be the hardest part of long term travel. Maintaining a relationship is hard at the best of times, but when faced with long distance, constant changes in surroundings, different plans and different lifestyles.. it can be a whole lot harder. And we are not just talking romantic relationships here either. Friendships are equally as challenging. You make a lot of them, and unfortunately, you lose some of them along the way. You really have to make an effort in keeping in touch.
Now all that aside, the friendships and relationships you make while travelling are life changing. Suddenly you are surrounded by like-minded people, ones that do not only support your lifestyle but are actively encouraging it (which, sometimes can’t be said for some at home). Relationships are intense, full of amazing experiences, and break boundaries. You are introduced to new cultures, traditions, ways of thinking and new ways to love. I can guarantee you will meet someone while you travel that will change your life forever. Friendships are around every corner, and quite possibly so is the love of your life. Go out there and find them.
Tropical diseases, sickness, injuries, lack of sleep, exhaustion; these are all things a long term traveller has experienced too many times. But then again, so has everyone else (maybe minus the tropical diseases). If you travel without insurance SHAME ON YOU, but if you do, costs are covered, which sorts one thing out. Ok, I have to admit, travelling non-stop isn’t the healthiest of lifestyles. And, I’ll give you this one. I may be more fit and healthy if I had a routine and an accessible gym. But I don’t. And I don’t particularly want to either.
Fresh air, sense of adventure, SUNSHINE. All these factors and more make one happy-go-lucky traveller. You will find yourself exercising more – without even realising – while trying out every outdoor activity possible. And when volunteering through Workaway you’ll have endless nights of laughter with your hosts and new friends and days full of smiles while you give back to the world. Your heart will be healthier, your smile will be BIGGER.
Flights add up, especially when you have itchy feet and are wanting to see everything. Visa also cost a lot, and transportation is another big outgoing. You also rarely have the opportunity to save when you are travelling full time. So there’s not usually a ‘college fund’ ‘mortgage fund’ or ‘run away fund’. There’s a beer fund, and that’s about it. Can you handle not having a backup?
It is entirely possible be spending less to travel the world than to live in your hometown. Since I’ve been on the road, I don’t have to buy a house, a car, go on holidays, eat out at expensive restaurants…I have saved thousands if I compare what I would be spending in the UK. You can live in some countries for $500 a month, eat for less than $150 and then the rest is up to you. And if you’ve found yourself a Workaway host, you won’t even have to pay for your food and accommodation! Now compare that to how much you would be paying at home?
Ah, the future; that unpredictable land of unanswered questions and worries. We fear the future a lot ey? And this is where full time travel leaves the equation. I don’t have your answer on where your future will take you. Neither does anyone else. Enjoy the ride.
What does it matter what the future has in store for you? There is NO WAY you will ever know. So live for this exact moment. Yes, you should continue travelling if this is what you dream of all the time. Yes, you should spend your money on experiences rather than possessions. And yes, you should take a second to stop and think what a beautiful adventure travelling is. Let’s stop worrying about the future and appreciate the moment. For yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery.
Conclusion? Yes, travel has a HUGE effect on your life, love and future. But, in the most positive way! How do we know? We’ve all been volunteering through Workaway for years now, and our experiences and new friendships gained have completely changed our lives. Where will you be volunteering next?