My Truth about Long Term Travel
Me and my beautiful partner Bailey have been traveling South America for 9 months now. “Wow” you’re probably thinking, “aren’t you sick of it? Do you get bored?” These questions seem to pop up a lot when we meet new people, however, there is something else many people say, “when you travel for so long, isn’t the experience not as good?” Well, that may be true for some people, but for us long term travel is actually quite the opposite. Let me explain.
“Do You get Bored?”
I feel I should start with “do you get bored?” In short, the answer should be “yes,” I mean we can’t be doing something all the time. And it’s true, all of our days are not filled with the crazy experiences that you see on social media like canyoning, skydiving, visiting wonders of the world, or going to huge parties.
However, long term travel on a budget (yes, I said it, we DO have a budget and its not as much as you think but I’ll get to that one in a later post) takes some behind the scenes work – mostly researching what we want to do, but most importantly how to do it cheap. Bailey and I are not the type to skip something because it costs a small fortune so spending a little time finding out how to still have these experiences the cheapest way possible helps us out a ton. All of this research really keeps us from getting too bored as it seems like there is always something to be researching.
We also have our Blog, it is our little project while we are away and between writing and photograghy it keeps us busy. I think it’s important while you are on the road to find a subject or hobby and build your skills on it. Whether you want to learn a new language, or like us write a blog, these things will help keep you sane while away from home for so long.
While traveling you will also meet so many amazing, interesting, and some down right crazy people. If you take the time to listen you will learn so much in conversations with other travelers. One thing that sticks with me the most is that you learn that we are all not so different. With so many people on the road it takes time getting to know them all! The social aspect of backpacking definitely helps keep us entertained.
Travel takes it out of you and can be hard work, from trying to sleep on buses as long as 24 hours to lugging large backpacks around cities built on giant hills. Long term travel requires a little bit of rnr (rest and recovery). It’s important to allow time for rest and it’s not hard when we usually have beautiful views and cheap beer nearby. In fact, right now we are sitting in a cafe drinking Colombian coffee, resting after a 4 hour hike through Salento’s breathtaking Valley’s.
With all this said, you can see that the majority of our days are not spent visiting Machu Picchu or hiking in Huaraz – they are spent socializing with fellow travelers, writing, research, photography and much more but its all part of the experience of long term travel.
“Aren’t you sick of it?”
No, I’m more hooked than I was a month ago. The best stories are the worst times, and the best times make the worst times worth it. Don’t get me wrong, long term travel brings it’s shit days. There are a few things that can make you feel like getting on a plane and heading home. Have I thought about it? Yes, I think most long term travelers do at some stage. However here I am, I guess travel makes you resilient.
“When you travel for so long, isn’t the experience not as good?”
This couldn’t be further from the truth, like anything you love, doing it everyday is a dream come true. It’s hard work sometimes but it doesn’t feel like work, it challenges you but it doesn’t beat you. Do I still enjoy the tenth Inca ruins as much as the first? No, but am I happy I got to see them? Hell yeah! Every place is unique, whether it be the people you meet or the things you see, I enjoy myself as much today as I did on day one.
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July 15, 2017