Full-time travel may seem like the ultimate lifestyle choice but it isn’t for everyone.
While the thought of waking up in a foreign land every day may seem like a dream come true, the brutal truth is that not everyone is cut out for the nomadic life of a perpetual traveller.
I’ll probably get kicked out of the fraternity of travel bloggers just for saying this, but inspirational blog posts about quitting your job and travelling the world will only take you so far. Frankly, I think it’s important that you also prepare yourselves for the potential hardships and insecurities that come with travelling full-time.
That’s why I’ve come up with 5 reasons why full-time travel might not be for you…
1. Full-time travel takes courage
Are you brave enough to uproot your life for a lifestyle of full-time travel? Not everyone is.
Saying goodbye to friends and family is never easy; it’s harder still when you genuinely don’t know when you’ll see them again.
It always takes courage to step outside your comfort zone, and when you’re travelling the world full-time you’re going to be out of that comfort zone a lot. Get used to it; anyone can go on holiday but not everyone is brave enough to travel full-time.
2. Full-time travel is expensive
Freedom from full-time employment means you’ll likely be shackled to a strict budget.
A lot of full-time travellers try to make money by travel blogging, which takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Or you could pick up work here and there as you travel, working in bars or teaching English in a foreign country.
Full-time travel will lead to richness of spirit, then, but not necessarily richness of cash.
3. Full-time travel means less security
So long, security – hello freedom! Full-time travel means trading a sense of security for a sense of adventure.
That’s great when things are going well, but not everything will always go according to plan. There’s always a risk that you will have your passport and wallet stolen in Spain, say, or you might get sick.
You’ve got to expect the unexpected when you’re a full-time traveller and you won’t always have the same safety net to fall back on that you would back home.
4. Full-time travel means missing out on things
During the four years I was living abroad I missed weddings, births, funerals, graduations, 21st birthdays, 50th birthdays, natural disasters, a Rugby World Cup and two general elections. I don’t regret it for a second; would you say the same?
Full-time travel means you won’t be around and you will miss out on a few things. On the plus side, you’ll also get to experience things you never would have thought possible.
5. Full-time travel is exhausting
A holiday is easy; travelling full-time can be hard work.
Travelling full-time can be an exhausting endeavour, being constantly on the move, living in dinky hostels and guesthouses, always sightseeing and planning your next destination. Throw in the financial pressures and before a year is up you may need a holiday from full-time travel.
Hopefully, you’ve read all of the above and you’re still dead keen on full-time travel; then again, there’s no shame in realising that full-time travel isn’t for you.
We travel bloggers bang on all the time about how great travel is – and it is – but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Full-time travel certainly isn’t the only way to go. I wrote a blog post a while back about why I backpack (and you should too) but I know that’s not for everyone, either.
For some people it’s enough to take just a few weeks every year to explore other parts of the world. How about you? What’s your travel style?
Great post, I have all ways been an extended holiday sort of guy but then come back to a job. However I am now making the adjustments to take off on full time travel. I realized now that full time travel is what I want to do and I’ll be prepared for when I go because of all my previous travel experiences.
I was in NZ for that world cup btw. I decided to go over to watch Australia play Ireland as I was pretty sure we would win that game, sure enough though they chocked and i copped it big time. The banter was great fun though and the atmosphere was amazing.
Loving your blog mate!
Some great tips here. I frequently struggle with the financial security versus freedom conundrum and this article sets out the benefits versus the pitfalls very well.
Great points! This is why whenever people say things like “you’re so lucky!” or “I’m totes jelly!” (I honestly had one person say that), I just smile. Most people have this idealised image in their minds that long-term travel is just like a vacation that never ends. In reality, it’s not for everyone and I wouldn’t push anyone into it.
Good call, Deane – it’s not the relaxed, easy-going holiday some people think it is. It can take hard work and dedication.
This is a great article. I think sometimes people are too scared to really pose this question. It is easy to dream but doing is so much more. We have traveled for 12 years while working full time jobs because we weren’t really sure that we wanted to severe our ties at home and take off around the world. However, in our travels we found ourselves slowly crossing over, traveling more and staying gone longer. so we have now decided to just go for it! LOL
Haha, that sounds like the perfect way to ease into full-time travel! I travelled full-time all of last year and now, working again in a full-time job with money coming in, I’m not sure how I did it for so long!
Great read! We love to travel, and typically get out 3-4 times a year, but alas, we are not able to travel full time for many reasons. Not sure I will ever travel full time, though I would love to go for a month. I need to have my “base”, as do my kids.
Yeah, I think I prefer to have a base too. My fiancée on the other hand would travel full-time in a heartbeat!
I’m somewhere in between. For example at the moment I’m on 3monuths trip over the Caucasus region but I will get back to Europe after that. I go. Back home every now and than. For weddings, birthday, elections.
I. Will do some catching up with friends and family some short Europe travels and will go off soon again!
So not sure what that make me?! 🙂
That sounds good to me! You get away long enough but not so long that it can become sort of a chore. Perfect.
Great to read about the other side of the coin and I totally agree that full time travel is hard work, often exhausting
Well, they say nothing worth doing is easy – and I tend to agree 😉 I love to travel but I’m not sure I could do it for years at a time.
We’re only a month or so into our full-time travels so it’s hard for me to say. I think it will suit us though. We’re going it slow, almost a little too slow for my tastes, but I think in the long run that’ll be better for our stamina. We’re not really outside our comfort zone yet (just in Australia) so I may feel differently when we’re in Guatemala or Morocco or India.
Hope you’re having a great time, Beth! Suppose full-time travel is easier, too, when you’re escaping the cold Christchurch winter 😉