What Nobody Tells You About Long Term Travel

After a trip of nineteen months and twelve countries visited, we are ready to reveal what nobody tells you about long term travel. We realized our dream to explore the world and get to know different cultures. But traveling four such a long time sometimes can be different from your exportations.

WHAT NOBODY TELLS YOU ABOUT LONG TERM TRAVEL

YOUR TIME PERCEPTION WILL CHANGE

While traveling you realize that time goes so fast. A month spent traveling around a new country feels like one week. The reason why this happens is that as travelers we receive much more inputs and we see so many new things than usual. Planning is not fundamental in the long term travel but, you should give yourself some limits. We fell in love with some countries like Mexico… the time literally flew there.

But then we realized that every extra week spent in there would have shortened our stay in the next destinations.
Spending three months in every country, for us, wasn’t reasonable in terms of money and time.

LIFE GOES ON

While you are living your dream, your parents, friends, your family keeps living their ordinary life. They are moving on, making decisions, doing stuff live their life. People will get married, a baby will be born, friends will start new lives and unexpected things will happen back home. All of it without you. As travelers, we made a courageous choice and it is important to take in consideration that nobody will wait for us, your home will be always there but maybe a little bit different.

YOU WILL GET SICK SEVERAL TIMES

Every country you will visit has its own culture, food, and bacterias that our body needs to get used to. In almost every country we have been we got sick. If you travel for a short period of time it is easy to avoid certain food and drink. But when you are getting into a new culture, how can you say no to street vendors?

We believe street food is a big part of the culture, especially in South America, so most of the time we took a risk.
And don’t forget mountain sickness, car sickness, boat sickness, insects… being prepared is always a good idea.

YOU WILL GET USED TO SAY GOODBYE

Traveling means mostly to meet new people. You will create a strong relationship with local people or other travelers. You will share dreams for a while and eventually, your path will separate.
We met so many beautiful souls and wasn’t always easy to say goodbye. But, unfortunately, the more you travel, the more you will get used to it.

Each person we met made our journey even more unique. Will be amazing to have all of them over in Italy once back.

LONG TERM TRAVEL MAKES YOU TIRED

When you find yourself yawning at 8:30 pm and all you want is just go to bed, don’t worry. It is totally understandable! You’ll probably spend your last night asleep on a freezing bus, walked all day long in the city center of Bogotà or hiked a volcano in Guatemala. Traveling can be such an exhausting experience.

Be prepared to be uncomfortable, to hate your backpack and change the rhythm of your life. Few wrinkles will appear on your face. Don’t feel guilty to take some relaxing moment or even days every now and then. That’s not a waste of time.

YOUR RELATIONSHIP CAN BE IN DANGER

Travel with your partner can be the most amazing experience you will ever do. But, at the same time, this choice can put your relationship in a difficult situation. You will share everything with your other half, all the good and all the bad. There are just a few moments for yourself, you will live in symbiosis for most of the time. While traveling, decision, some times, have to be taken quickly so there is no time for arguing. Travel as a couple we do think is not for everyone but, if you make it works, the moments you will spend together will be unforgettable.

LONG TERM TRAVEL IS SO OVERWHELMING

It is hard to put into words what this experience will give you. Probably we will never have the time to understand deeply how this experience enriched us.

Travel for so long made us more tolerant, smart, flexible and for sure happy. We think long term travel is not for everybody but definitely, it could be a cure to change the world for the better. Mostly, what nobody tells you about long term travel is that is AMAZING!

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32 Replies to “What Nobody Tells You About Long Term Travel

  1. I have traveled enough to be amazed at your ability to continue for so long. It may seem odd to you when you finally stop. I’m so stopped now, l know little beyond our garden and horses.With,no helpers this year Krish is busy harvesting our produce . Next year he wants to bring more workawayers .
    In a few months I hope to travel again. For now my attention is here. Come see us if you ever get near. Always Impressed by what you do.

    1. Hey, we are finally back home, but this doesn’t mean we will stop rolling. It is just a new beginning. We saw Krish picture of the amazing products he is harvesting, we know you are the master of the garden. Missing those amazing salad we had for lunch. It was a pleasure meeting you twice in our incredible trip, we may pass by again. Enjoy your time at the farm and your next trip. A big hug for you and your talented son!

  2. I relate to all you say and agree. We have been travelling fulltime for 3.5 years, although have the advantage of bringing our campervan home with us. So it gives us a different travel experience. My biggest lesson is that although on the surface it may look like we are living a dream, we are actually living life. Travel is not all candy-floss and unicorns.

    1. Hey Karen, thanks for taking the time of reading our blog post!
      We thought severl time about buying a campervan but in the end we didn’t. So curious to know everything about this way of traveling. We are now back home ready to start our new adventure.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. My husband and I are considering a year of travel after he retires. I think it would be an awesome adventure before our transition to “normal” retirement living. I think I’m being realistic that it’s not all roses, but we’ll see what happens. It’s always good to think of all aspects. Thanks!

    1. Thank you Nancy for reading our blog. There is no age for travel and explore the world, it is the best experience ever. With this post I just wanted to let people know all the good and the bad of this amazing experience. Send me updates about your trip. Wish you all the best

  4. I loved reading this! As a new digital nomad, it is definitely a different world traveling for three or more months at a time before returning home for a quick break to swap out clothes. I definitely feel disconnected from my friends and family as it is hard for them to relate to me now and vice versa. My experiences traveling since January has changed me in so many ways I don’t even know them all yet. But, I don’t see myself stopping. Love your stories and keep on sharing them!

    1. Thanks Heather and sorry for my late reply. Personally, I would like to try the 6 months travel / 6 months home way of living. I met so many people on this trip living this type of life and I think could be an option for me as well. Waiting for your tips ?

  5. Thank you for sharing the reality of the bloggerlife 🙂 I know it seems glamourus and dreamlike, but non of us ever show off the downsides.

  6. Oh yes! I lose all track of time. I’ve done quite a few long trips (3-6 months) and it seems like such a long time, but the rhythm of life takes over, and before you know it, that’s another week gone. I’d rather stay in one place and explore and get to know it a little bit rather that rushing through it – simply to check off another place visited! Slow Travel is the way to go.

    1. We couldn’t agree more with you. Slow travel is definitely the best way to travel, even though we understand it is not applicable to everybody’s life. Lucky us!

  7. I started travelling in January 2002. Only planned to go for 6 months. Loved it so much, I never went back home 🙂

    1. Great, lucky you! Where are you right now? And where are you planning to go next? So curious

  8. If I had a different life, this would be for me. I cannot bear to leave my family behind for so long. I love your point about having to say goodbye to the connections you make on vacation. It must be difficult to keep moving on after you meet some nice friends. I love the pictures you posted to commemorate your new-found friends along the way.

    1. The most beautiful aspect is that now that we are back we will host all the beautiful people we met on the way, recreating our big new-found family!

  9. Your reflections on a year of travel are fascinating to me. Even in a 2 to 3 week trip, some of these points are helpful. I got sick last month in Europe (just a stomach bug so I was able to keep going), but I don’t know how to prevent that next time. Maybe there’s no way! Meanwhile, my husband NEVER gets sick on our travels – ha ha!

    1. After several times I got sick and my boyfriend didn’t I developed the idea that travel sickness is also very related to your mental and physical condition. Hope you had the time to enjoy Europe despite your sickness.

  10. We have only been on the road nine months, but there is some really good information here that I am sure I will reference during the length of our trip. thank you.

    1. This was our personal experience but we are pretty sure It suits many other people.

  11. Indeed, goodbyes are hard, and I generally love street food. Travelling has its ups and downs but we only live once to experience them 🙂

  12. I think these are all valid points. I haven’t traveled long term yet, but I think the hardest part for me would be the lies of people at home still moving forward.

    1. This is definitely the hardest part. We are back now and many things have changed!

  13. I can certainly vouch for all of your comments there. I’ve been traveling for 5 1/2 years, not constantly, I come back to the UK between trips, but I can relate to all of those. Long term travel really does change your perception of the world and life and I dont think you can ever go back to how life was before after seeing and experiencing so much.

    1. We couldn’t find better words to describe how we feel. 5 1/2 year is a lot! lucky you 🙂

  14. I agree that travel does make you tired and I missed home sometimes. So, this year has been very much a staycation but now, ready to go again!

  15. Full time travel sounds amazing, life fulfilling, and challenging. I’m an introvert with 3 good friends type of person. Being around people/interacting with them is draining for me and my energy level goes down significantly. My partner is the same way.. which is why he’s my lobster. Coming back to my friends and family was never really something I thought about. I think if I did come back and find everything had changed/progressed I would be so happy for them. I know I won’t be the same after that experience,

    1. We can confirm that full-time trave is such an overwhelming experience, and absolutely we are not the same people we were before leaving home.

  16. Love these tips. Being on the road is hard but often people dont see the hardships. They only like to see the glamour in being able to travel and live out of a suitcase!

    1. There are different types of travelers, we choose to travel slow and to learn as much as possible from each country we visited. This way of traveling is for us, the most interesting but also one of the hardest.

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