Discover what (else) happens when you travel, but no one tells you.

It doesn’t matter if you read on a Facebook post or hear it from a friend, only traveling for several months and different places can provide the most diverse experiences, learning and skills you could never imagined. After two months away, reaching dozens of cities in seven countries, now I can really understand how’s the routine of someone who decides to spend a long time abroad, either like a tourist, studying, working, volunteering or even living like locals. Travel changed me.

In a very short period of time, I’ve had countless memorable and enriching moments, which showed me what’s the reality of traveling for a long time. I separated five truths that no one tells you about what’s like to stay so long on the road.


#1 Get ready to live a full experience

When I decided to leave my job to travel for longer than the traditional 30 days, I just could not imagine how everything would be so intense. Get a chance to spend more than a few days in such different places brought me the opportunity to really get to know more of the local culture and not just be a tourist in the crowd.

It is a redeemed feeling: get to a new destination knowing that you will not go away in 24 or 48 hours lets you enjoy every day at a time, without rushing to meet all tourist and most interesting points. At the same time, you have the wonderful opportunity to actually feel the place, becoming a familiar face to someone at the supermarket or coffee shop around the corner.


#2 Living healthy minimalism

Try to make your luggage to travel light for a year and you’ll understand lifestyle of a minimalist. To travel the world, your baggage definitely doesn’t need to be bigger than when you’re just on holiday. I can say that one of the happiest decisions I made was boarding with just a backpack.

Regardless of the next destination, I take with me only enough clothes for a week, personal hygiene items (toothbrush, dental floss…), a tennis shoe, a computer, my photography camera and other small objects, such as chargers, cell phone, padlock and earphone. In my hands, a passport and a jacket for cold days.

Reducing my luggage I avoid the need to dispatch it on flights, plus I can know exactly where is each item and I don’t worry so much about losing them. My attention is focused all the time for what really matters: to live every experience and to know more about the culture of each of place I visit. Bonuses, I’m sure that I need less material goods to best take advantage of what each new day can bring.


#3 No escape from responsibilities

Still, long-term journey responsibilities never goes away. Whereas before you had to worry about keeping a house, a job with a fixed address and a routine from Monday to Friday, now your mind is busy thinking about how to spend money intelligently, getting around inside the city or between them, where to stay, what to visit, how to stay safe and also how to make it all work perfectly.

Traveling for a long time requires precise planning, especially the first time. The responsibility to make it all happen is able to create a great sense of decision-making and creativity for you.


#4 Life is not a party

Many might think that traveling for a long period is like being on eternal vacation. For some it may be, but when you stay in hostels (or in other places with more daily into account) and has a set budget to spend on the entire trip, it will hardly be possible to live parties and sightseeing every day.

Especially when you decide to write about your travel experiences in a blog or social networks. Be committed to writing and creating interesting content that shows the places visited requires discipline and hours not so glamorous.

I had to learn and create a routine that would allow me to separate moments of visit the main attractions of each city, and concentrate on my articles and photographs. On the other hand, experience has taught me a lot about what are my priorities and about productivity.


#5 You will miss your family and friends

Even though a long-term trip is exactly what you should do, it’ll be hard not to miss your friends, family and everyday situations left behind. Being alone in an unfamiliar place can be a problem if you are not the type that adapts quickly to any kind of change.

Of course, you will meet people from all over the world, other travelers in the same situation, and may even make real friendship, but for that happen you need to create an interaction, often in another language, which is not easy.

Surely you will just miss how things were before starting the trip, your dog, your warm couch and even the way between home and work. Especially when you begin to feel the cultural differences, the way a little bit harsh of local people or the difficulty in get yourself understood in the most ordinary moments.

By the Worldpacker Daniel Gois, aka Trip Nova‘s Creator.


One Response

  1. Sunil Jain

    You are right, but traveling has so much fun. Long time traveling is some times irritating if you can’t manage yourself properly. Thanks for sharing your wonderful tips!

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