Every day, people around the world give up their humdrum life and 9-5 job and set off for the unknown. Some of these people will save money before they go and others will become digital nomads who work online remotely and make money as they travel. Whichever path you choose, there is no doubt that packing up and jetting off is a thoroughly liberating experience, however, there are some aspects of long term travel that are less glamorous than you might think.
Before you commit to being a nomad or throwing your old life away, be sure you know exactly what you are doing. We all know what are the benefits of long-term travel, but few people talk about the negative side. While this shouldn’t put you off long-term travel (we love it and we’re sure you will too), it should give you a well-rounded and honest view of what you’re in for.
You Will Miss Home Comforts
In the beginning everything will be new and exciting and you won’t think twice about the things you’ve left behind. After a few months, the novelty may start to fade and once you’re about a year into your travels you may start to crave home comforts. These might be certain foods, certain people, or even just your favourite slippers. The cravings can come hard and fast and you will need to find ways to help you cope without these things. Making sure you stay in touch with friends and family from back home can be a way to help.
Nostalgia Will Follow You Every Step of the Way
You will quickly learn that you can never recreate moments. Even if you were to go back to a certain place with the exact same people you were there with originally, the feeling will never be the same. There is nothing you can do about this. Nostalgia can make you feel really down and stop you from living your best life right now in the present moment. It can even creep in before a moment has even passed. You could be having fun with a group of people and suddenly have a feeling of dread that says “I don’t want this to end”. That’s normal. Don’t let it get the better of you. Accept that the past is in the past and stay present as much as you can.
People Will Come and Go
Loneliness can be crippling if you are a long-term traveller, especially if you have set out on this adventure on your own. You will meet dozens or even hundreds of people along the way. Most of these people you will know for a day or two and never think of them again, but some will leave a real impression on you. It is these people you will sorely miss when it is time for one of you to move on. The transient nature of travelling means people are never in the same place for very long and you just need to get really good at goodbyes.
Things Will Stop Impressing You
“Oh, another temple. Cool” says the long-term traveller as they stare at the Taj Mahal. Unfortunately, a lifestyle of long-term travel can start to make you immune to what other people might consider world wonders. After a while you will start to feel like you have seen everything and you will either stop being impressed by new sights or stop visiting them altogether. It is hard to maintain your enthusiasm, but feeling constantly disappointed can be a real drag. Try to balance it out by visiting fewer sights but by being selective with the ones you do visit. Hopefully that way you won’t end up yawning while everyone else is snapping shots of Machu Picchu.
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