Full-time travel is probably very different from anything you've ever done. Is it a dream of yours?
Not everyone is suited to it. Are you?
Those who did the Grand Tour in Victorian times, Traveling Forever - Then vs Now, didn't have all the electronic help that we have today. They didn't know what they were missing. You, on the other hand, are lucky to have electronic gadgets to make traveling easier.
In order to decide whether full-time travel is right for you, take some time to think about all of the planning and costs that will go into making your trip. Don't rush into this on the spur of the moment. Here are some things to keep in mind as you ponder this decision.
Are You Sure Full-Time Travel Is Important to You?
Have you ever stopped to figure out why you are drawn to the idea of full-time travel?
Some people are not interested in travel of any sort for any length of time. Other people love to take short vacations, but would never consider traveling for six months or more. And then there are those of us who yearn to spend months or maybe even years on the road.
Which kind of person are you? If my posts intrigue you, then you probably want to spend months on the road and become a bit of a nomad your.
Congratulations! Putting this idea on the table means that you're expanding your frame of reference about how you want to live your life.
You may not understand why you're drawn to the idea of full-time travel, and the reason is probably not terribly important. But it is interesting to understand what benefits you will reap from travel, whether for a short vacation or longer.
Revitalization starts before you even leave home. The excitement of getting ready to hit the road gives your mind a break from the routines and stresses of your everyday life. If you go away for just a weekend, you'll get some benefit while away for that short time. Two weeks in the Caribbean is even better.
On those relatively short vacations, you can recharge your batteries until you have time for the next one. These breaks from the daily routine help you to avoid ‘burn out.’
But for some, only full-time travel is enough for true revitalization. Just don't expect that every day will be fun filled. In fact, you'll inevitably have some up’s and down’s while on the road. On some days, you'll probably question what possessed you to set out with such ambitious plans.
But your travels will have enough excitement to make up for those few down days. And you'll find yourself revitalized in ways that you never thought possible.
Fun, Adventure, Discovery
Travel to distant locations gives you the opportunity to broaden your mind by learning about other cultures, history, plants, animals, and more. You may even develop a better appreciation for how good your life at home has been.
Short-term travelers don't have the luxury of doing in-depth investigation of their destinations. They often don't go too far from home, but still, they choose vacation spots that contrast distinctly with their home environment. Perhaps to the beach to escape bitter snow storms. Or an active outdoor adventure to counter their sedentary office lifestyle.
While these tourists might not learn as much as someone who goes away for a longer time, they still have fun on their adventures. But those who choose full-time travel have the chance to discover new food, new museums, new cultures. They make memories that will be discussed and enjoyed over and over for years afterwards.
Yes, full-time travelers explore the world and discover the joys of different cultures and locations. But probably the most important aspect of full-time travel is the chance to discover much about yourself.
"Often, I feel I need to go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes – with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That’s not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating." – Michael Crichton
Once you find yourself in a foreign destination, you no longer have to play the roles that you adopted with your family and friends at home. What freedom! People you encounter do not have the same pre-conceived ideas of how you should act and think that your family and friends did.
Without feeling the need to meet the same expectations that you've dealt with all your life, you have time to examine your values, your beliefs, your attitudes - without being hindered by past training.
Self-discovery was definitely the most important part of full-time travel for me. I tested out new behaviors that were more in line with how I wanted to define myself. And as a result, I gradually made a lot of changes that took me closer and closer to the person I'd always wanted to be. Closer, but not completely there yet.
Contemporary Books That Inspired Me
The following books inspired me to dream about hitting the road. And they made me realize that full-time travel was possible although I wan't going to do it by bicycle! It just took desire, determination, and a willingness to risk. The risk was well worth it.
Miles From Nowhere: A Round-the-World Bicycle Adventure by Barbara Savage
Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman
So don't hesitate. Follow the advice from Mark Twain.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." – Mark Twain