long term travel pros cons

The highs and lows of long term travel

The internet is our lifeline these days, and the freedom it gives us is phenomenal. It has allowed a whole new generation of digital nomads, online influencers and location independent travellers not only giving people the opportunity to make a living online but also to travel the world full time. Welcome to the age of millennial where nomads call the world their home and have no plans on returning back to ‘real life’. Everything we could possibly need is at the touch of our fingertips, travel is cheaper than ever, and we are reminded everyday of others travelling the world. There’s an influx of us travelling the world for extended periods of time. But what are the effects of this kind of lifestyle? Is it sustainable? What happens if you have to go back to ‘normal life’? Will you be able to cope? We ask ourselves the same questions, and we’ve had time to think about the answers. So here we go:
long term travel effects

Relationships

Negative
This has to be the hardest part of long term travel. Maintaining a relationship is hard at the best of times, but when faced with long distance, constant changes in surroundings, different plans and different lifestyles.. it can be a whole lot harder. And we are not just talking romantic relationships here either. Friendships are equally as challenging. You make a lot of them, and unfortunately, you lose some of them along the way. You really have to make an effort in keeping in touch.

Positive
Now all that aside, the friendships and relationships you make while travelling are life changing. Suddenly you are surrounded by like-minded people, ones that do not only support your lifestyle but are actively encouraging it (which, sometimes can’t be said for some at home). Relationships are intense, full of amazing experiences, and break boundaries. You are introduced to new cultures, traditions, ways of thinking and new ways to love. I can guarantee you will meet someone while you travel that will change your life forever. Friendships are around every corner, and quite possibly so is the love of your life. Go out there and find them.
long term travel relationship

Health

Negative
long term traveller volunteerTropical diseases, sickness, injuries, lack of sleep, exhaustion; these are all things a long term traveller has experienced too many times. But then again, so has everyone else (maybe minus the tropical diseases). If you travel without insurance SHAME ON YOU, but if you do, costs are covered, which sorts one thing out. Ok, I have to admit, travelling non-stop isn’t the healthiest of lifestyles. And, I’ll give you this one. I may be more fit and healthy if I had a routine and an accessible gym. But I don’t. And I don’t particularly want to either.

Positive
Fresh air, sense of adventure, SUNSHINE. All these factors and more make one happy-go-lucky traveller. You will find yourself exercising more – without even realising – while trying out every outdoor activity possible. And when volunteering through Workaway you’ll have endless nights of laughter with your hosts and new friends and days full of smiles while you give back to the world. Your heart will be healthier, your smile will be BIGGER.

Bank Balance

Negative
millennial long term travel global citizensFlights add up, especially when you have itchy feet and are wanting to see everything. Visa also cost a lot, and transportation is another big outgoing. You also rarely have the opportunity to save when you are travelling full time. So there’s not usually a ‘college fund’ ‘mortgage fund’ or ‘run away fund’. There’s a beer fund, and that’s about it. Can you handle not having a backup?

Positive
It is entirely possible be spending less to travel the world than to live in your hometown. Since I’ve been on the road, I don’t have to buy a house, a car, go on holidays, eat out at expensive restaurants…I have saved thousands if I compare what I would be spending in the UK. You can live in some countries for $500 a month, eat for less than $150 and then the rest is up to you. And if you’ve found yourself a Workaway host, you won’t even have to pay for your food and accommodation! Now compare that to how much you would be paying at home?

Future

Negative
Ah, the future; that unpredictable land of unanswered questions and worries. We fear the future a lot ey? And this is where full time travel leaves the equation. I don’t have your answer on where your future will take you. Neither does anyone else. Enjoy the ride.

Positive
What does it matter what the future has in store for you? There is NO WAY you will ever know. So live for this exact moment. Yes, you should continue travelling if this is what you dream of all the time. Yes, you should spend your money on experiences rather than possessions. And yes, you should take a second to stop and think what a beautiful adventure travelling is. Let’s stop worrying about the future and appreciate the moment. For yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery.
long term travel pros cons
Conclusion? Yes, travel has a HUGE effect on your life, love and future. But, in the most positive way! How do we know? We’ve all been volunteering through Workaway for years now, and our experiences and new friendships gained have completely changed our lives. Where will you be volunteering next?

6 replies
  1. Steve Cobble says:

    Great article! I get so many people make comments about my lifestyle. Its always well “What if..?” To which I reply;

    “What ifn’t?”

    What if all those things youre worried about don’t happen? Answer: life is amazing

    Reply
    • Sarah Victoria says:

      “What ifn’t” YES!!! Using that. I’m planning my first work-away after recently finding this BLESSING of an organization/network. My heart is on fire after finding this place!

      I CAN’T WAIT!

      Reply
  2. Shelley-Anne
    Shelley-Anne says:

    I can see all the positives and negatives you have put, but there is one in ‘the future’ that you haven’t taken account of… In my opinion, when you continue to simply travel and ‘live in the now’, making no provision for your future, you are intending to live off the backs of others later in your life, when their hard work and toil will be what is paying for your medical care, your housing and other benefits, both from their taxes and work while you ‘had fun’, and also in the infrastructure that they have laboured to support and set up through their taxes and hard work…those with savings will be deemed not eligible for help since they have assets, while you, who have irresponsibly perhaps, have done whatever you liked ‘free as a bird’ will be claiming what they should have simply because you are a ‘have not’ and can’t support yourself… I am not against people travelling and experiencing life in that way, but when it becomes habitual and supersedes providing for one’s future and intending to live off of others labours, then it is simply selfish!

    Reply
  3. Shelley-Anne Avisenis says:

    I can see all the positives and negatives the article has put, but there is one in ‘the future’ that you haven’t taken account of… In my opinion, when you continue to simply travel and ‘live in the now’, making no provision for your future, you are intending to live off the backs of others later in your life, when their hard work and toil will be what is paying for your medical care, your housing and other benefits, both from their taxes and work while you ‘had fun’, and also in the infrastructure that they have laboured to support and set up through their taxes and hard work…those with savings will be deemed not eligible for help since they have assets, while you, who have irresponsibly perhaps, done whatever you liked ‘free as a bird’ will be claiming what they should have, simply because you are a ‘have not’ and can’t support yourself… I am not against people travelling and experiencing life in that way at all, but when it becomes habitual and supersedes providing for one’s future and intending to live off of others labours, then it is simply selfish! It’s how far you carry it that becomes the issue, and then begs the question of how socially responsible it is to continue merely following one’s own selfish longings to see the world. We would all like to do that indeed!

    Reply
  4. Maria
    Maria says:

    I will send this article to so many friends of mine! Thanks for putting our passion to words for all those who still are indecisive whether to do so as well or not and all those people home who still call us the one “crazy friend”!

    Reply

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