Whether you have dreamed of long term travel, given it a try or will be embarking on that long awaited trip very soon, it’s good to keep an open mind.
There are numerous blogs and articles written by long term travellers, which often make it sound like long term travel is what we should all be doing. What they often don’t mention is long term travel isn’t for everyone.
I’ve always been a keen traveller, having taken a number of extended periods to travel. I’ve managed to do this whilst working full time, albeit due to a seasonal workload and responsive employers, but also by making the most of my time off.
Every long term traveller has their own story, and mine like many others was the result of a number of events…
Experiencing long term travel
In 2012, after some major changes in my life, I quit my job, put my things into storage and let out my home, before buying a one way ticket to South East Asia.
With few fixed plans I was expecting to take 2 or 3 months to re-immerse myself in some of the countries that I had been before, but also visit one or two that I hadn’t.
After 3 months became 6, being on the road had become the norm and long term travel was where I found myself. But at around the 6 month point I started to realise that home in the UK was an OK place.
With its creature comforts and familiarity, I was missing that, and losing touch with friends and family.
The memory of a comfy bed, decent clothes and just being able to pick up the phone and catch up with friends, was becoming a distant one.
The adventure, along with experiencing the sights and cultures of the world started to become draining. I was getting fed up of living out of one bag and not knowing quite where we would be next week.
So, at around 9 months, I went ‘home’, not really knowing what would come next.
Finding the balance
For a couple of months I loved being back in the UK, despite having to rely on my parents and their spare room.
I found what I thought was a good job opportunity, and set up home in a new area, close to the city but far enough from it to keep the capital at arm’s length.
I planned to take a few trips. But it was less than a year when I found myself on a different path, so the travels took a rain check.
That was just over 18 months go…
I get itchy feet every day, and yearn to take an extended break from life, but I know that if I did, I would eventually find myself back home battling with reality once more.
Many things in life can be of greater enjoyment in the planning and anticipation phase, than the reality. What’s important is realising what works for you and making sure that nothing holds you back.
As I continue my own battles with reality versus a pipe dream, I try to remind myself that it’s just a case of finding the right balance.
There is a happy medium.
Although I haven’t quite managed to mould my lifestyle into the shape it needs to be to retain some balance, I have a plan.
And it doesn’t involve long term travel.
It does instead involve a return ticket in my pocket and some realistic dreams.
I know I can take a little adventure and then come home – and that’s really okay.
Now I just have to prove that it’s possible.