Long-term travel. Where most people in the developing world are only waking up to the meaning of ‘long-term travel’. Travelling the world has been the ‘Thing to do’ amongst people taking gap years in developed countries.
In the new world, with sturdy job markets and a much better skill set, even people from developing countries have found sense of freedom in leaving their jobs and setting up on a long-term travel adventure.
The newest addition to this list is the ‘Digital Nomad’ community. It has grown phenomenally around the world. With the possibility of working from anywhere, innumerable people have left their desk jobs and found opportunities where they can work from anywhere.
‘Flexible Jobs or Remote jobs’ is the hottest thing nowadays.
So, before you make your decision, here are 5 facts about long term travel. From yours truly – Digital Nomad and a long-term traveler, The Native Gipsy.
You cannot plan enough
While designing your first adventure, the first thing you search for are long-term travel tips. Trust me, I have been through tons of them.
Knowing your destinations, booking accommodation well in advance, doing the Visas before anything else! I have done it all. Remember, somewhere or the other, your planning will go wrong.
The most important thing is that you accept and embrace the fact that you are travelling long-term. When I want to stay in a place more than originally planned – it obviously affects my future travel. But that is what long-term travel is all about. Discovering the world at your own pace.
That also is an important reason, I never book too much in advance.
When it comes to planning, it also applies to money. Yes, there have been days where however hard I tried – I went overbudget. Landing up in places with no low-budget hotels, that boutique restaurant that serves the best local food, but is very expensive! Things like that… Give yourself a break and make for it sometime else in your travel.
Now, I am not against travel planning here and this article by Travel Charm, puts this more in perspective for you.
You shall be cheated however smart or informed you are
This reminds me of my travel in Thailand. Floating markets around Bangkok were one of the things on top of my list. I did my research well and we boarded an early morning bus by ourselves – not wanting to take a guided tour.
Because we were travelling like locals, there is no way, I would give in to a guided tour – however tempting it might sound for ease.
We reached the market stand and the lady who gave us our ticket on the local bus – very kindly walked ahead. Thinking that she is going extremely out of her way to guide us – we were all in love with her. However, it was a racket.
We were seated in a boat the lady called and were left at another boat station from where we were being charged double the normal price. And there was no option because everybody would quote the same price – in fact quite rudely to our faces.
Cherry on the top? The floating market was closed when we reached there, because of some local festival – of which no guide book or internet would know.
Learning? It is sometimes better to take expert help than trying to do everything on your own. Travel agents have survived the tests of time, for a reason.
Even though it is unavoidable at a certain point in time, read here about the 8 popular scams in South East Asia.
You will become easy going and more accepting
Travelling is having to make decisions everyday – may be twice in one day… So, there is no way you can keep yourself overwhelmed with decision making.
Whether it is over what hotels to stay in or what kind of people you like – believe me – you shall see a new side of yourself. The moment you enter a hotel, you shall make it your home – you better do – if you have a long-term travel itinerary to follow 😊
Travelling long-term solo – I have learnt how to be more accepting towards people, talk first! I have finally got into making friends, no matter how alien it seemed to me in my corporate job.
And my friend, you won’t worry any longer on what you have missed in a particular city that you were visiting. Because the meaning of long-term travel itself is to keep having adventures wherever you go.
People even quit making-up, becoming comfortable with their natural self. An interesting read on 3 ways travel changes your definition of beauty.
There are hidden treasures everywhere
This is the probably the most important thing that keeps me going. Just when you arrive in a small town of seemingly no importance – bang! It surprises you! And it happens every single time! Every place has so much awesomeness, just waiting for you to discover – only if you have got the eyes!
My recent was the shore temple of Mahabalipuram. It’s a small town, 60 Kms from Chennai where city dwellers come to party on the weekends. I didn’t think much of it – given the rowdy crowds and the dirty beach.
Well, just when I was about to discard it from the core of my heart – I saw the shore temple… and it surely missed a beat. The 8th century complex looks something out of a dream just on the edge of the ocean. I spent many hours just looking at it and wondering, so much beauty lies in the middle of nowhere.
To top it all, it was a World Heritage Site I was standing on.
You will get tired of travelling
Yes! It is possible. All long-term travellers know about it and some smart people sitting at home too. The best in the world come clean and accept it publicly – like our very own Nomadic Matt. Others will tell you it’s an eternal fountain of joy – nothing is, except self-discovery – but let’s keep that for another forum.
Although you automatically become one of the coolest people on earth – it’s a not a bed of roses. To deal with constant change is not easy and therefore sometimes, you just want to be in your comfort zone. But by that time, its time to move on.
No wonder 60% of content on the internet right now is about travel. People look at you with wide open eyes when they know that you have been travelling for a year now – solo – girl. But being rooted is important sometimes – as it is directly connected to your being mentally rooted.
That said, with a goal in mind, lots of people do it. They start for the love of it, but eventually tie it with a goal. Because everything has an expiry date, travelling included.