If I look back at the last TEN or so years of us travelling around the world, there is not a minute that I regret making the decision to leave everything in the ‘real world’ behind and embark on this life of long term travel. Every waking moment I feel extremely lucky for the opportunities that have led me to create this lifestyle. Compared with the majority of the planet, we come from a privileged background that has offered us the freedom to jet off and explore the world indefinitely. Honestly, our lives are pretty awesome.
But there is a downside to everything. Not every day is full of fun, adventure, spectacular sunsets and cocktails on the beach.
1. It Gets Harder And Harder To Be Impressed
After years of exploring the world’s best temples, national parks, museums and attractions, it gets harder and harder to be impressed. I am more frequently becoming nonchalant when visiting places that others wait their whole lives to see. We need to remind ourselves to appreciate every wonder we encounter, no matter how small or how many times we think we’ve seen the same thing before.
2. You Miss Out On Those Special (And Sad) Moments Back Home
Weddings, birthdays and other celebrations pass you by with the main connection on social media. Even more tragic is if a dear relative or friend passes while you are away, But you can stay connected via apps like Skype and FaceTime.
3. Friendships Are Measured In Days, Not Years.
When you are always on the road it is harder to form such close, lasting bonds with people. Being transient means that we usually only get to spend a few days (or sometimes even only a few hours) with people who we genuinely like and get along with.
4. You’ve Changed But Everything Else Is The Same. After an extended period of time, I end up questioning whether I really belong at home, or sometimes even rethink what “home” really means to me. I’m not saying I have changed for the better, but I have changed.
5. Experiencing The Traveller’s Burn Out
If you travel to a lot of countries or over long distances continuously it is easy to feel completely burnt out. After 10 months riding our motorbikes around South East Asia, checking into a different hotel every couple of days, packing and unpacking our backpacks and spending every hour of daylight exploring new sights, we were totally exhausted. We were getting frustrated way too easily and becoming more and more jaded with life in general. Stop for a few months and recharge the batteries, or risk quitting travelling altogether. The only cure for this is to slow down.
6. Always Searching For The Next Adventure
Even though it is harder to become impressed, when we finally are “wowed”, it just makes us want to seek out more adventures. Visiting 100 countries doesn’t quite cut it when you know there are 197 countries to explore. It is a hunger you can never satisfy, and every jaw-dropping experience just forces you to want to discover another.
7. The Idea Of Settling Down Scares The Hell Out Of You
“When are you going to stop travelling and settle down?” It is the dreaded question that us full time travellers get asked all the time. If you’ve made it past your gap year and never stopped moving, then you know that nothing is more frightening than the idea of getting a full time job, getting a mortgage and rejoining the rat race. Some people call it running away, but who says that is how we are meant to live our life? Why does a life of unwanted responsibility have to be adhered to? When I feel completely happy making a minimal income and living a basic life, why should I have to change that?
“Think about the future!” But why not think about the now?