7 Pros and cons of long-term travel

Travel Tips

Long-term travel is a wonderful thing. You have the freedom to go where you want to go, experience the faraway places you have been dreaming of, and, overall, just live by your own clock. The world you once knew and the routine you were accustomed to vanish. A new path and world lay before you. Sounds great, doesn’t it? As great as it sounds, we are here to give you the 7 pros and cons of long-term travel. Let’s begin.

As we said above, long-term travel is a wonderful thing. You get to live by your own rules, by your own clock. You get to take a break from whatever it may have been…a job, a relationship, perhaps fulfilling a dream, or just getting a little clarity on life. Whatever reason you decide to roam, there is no better feeling than setting foot on the plane that is taking you to the place you have been dreaming of. Alright, let’s get to listing the pros of long-term travel.

Ha, like every day. Your senses will be on overdrive. From new sights to new smells, everything will be new, exciting first experiences. The beauty you will see, whether it is scenery or human kindness, will blow you away.

Pros and cons of long-term travel

You will meet people and have experiences that will humble you to the core. You will see people with barely anything, happy. Like so happy it doesn’t make sense. You will learn how resilient the human spirit is and what you really need in life to be happy.

The world isn’t as scary or as dangerous as the media makes it out to be. Sure, things happen, and there are crazy people everywhere, regardless of their skin color or who they pray to. Traveling slams stereotypes. You will see how beautifully amazing our world is and the people that inhabit it. You will learn that we’re not so different after all, and we have more in common than you once thought.

You thought you knew about the world, boooooy are you wrong! Travel challenges your thinking. It challenges your perceptions. It opens your eyes to things you never knew existed and lets you have experiences you never knew you wanted or needed. It’s a welcome and honestly much-needed slap in the face.

It is easy to get caught up in the grind of routine and being at home. If traveling long-term teaches you anything, it teaches you to live now. It forces you to slow down and concentrate on the moment at hand. It makes you appreciate what’s in front of you. 

Long term travel across the world
Image source: Flickr

And most of all, it forces you to appreciate the small things in life. Think about it, on a short vacation, you appreciate the sound of the waves crashing or that amazing sunset. You notice it more than being at home. Now, imagine feeling that sense of appreciation every day. It’s just…well…indescribable.

Travel shows you just because you plan and want something to happen doesn’t mean it will. Hiccups happen while traveling – just like in life. There is no point in getting worked up over something you can’t change. Travel teaches you to be adaptable and rolls with the punches. It teaches you that certain things are beyond your control and you know what, it’s ok!

In life, there is not one path to success or happiness. People thought we were crazy for quitting our jobs and hitting the road. We are proof that there isn’t one single path to happiness or success. Travel puts people of all different backgrounds in front of you to learn from and grow from. At the end of it all, there are a bazillion paths that lead to success. Concentrate on the one that’s for you.

Now, don’t get us wrong, lounging by the beach for months on end or hopping from city to city, taking in some of the best sites on earth, is amazing, but it is not all sunshine and laughs. Travel can be testing and tiring. It can be infuriating and defeating. We encountered plenty of these moments, but it is all about dealing with what is in front of you, adjusting, and learning. Alright, here are our 7 cons of long-term travel.

Without a doubt, you will get screwed on your travels. You will overpay for food, excursions, accommodations, and transportation. You will soon learn there is what locals pay, and then there is what you, “the foreigner with money”, pays.

You will see poverty and hardship as you have never seen before. It will be in your face every day and it can be hard to swallow or look away from. People screaming for food, kids begging for money, and mangled animals walking down the street.

Cons of long term travel

The world can show you its ugly face. Be it past museums or memorials that show you the atrocities of the past or current refugee camps. You will question who the good guys really are. Why did this happen, or why is it currently happening? It seems like no one cares about the lives that are being affected. The world you thought you understood flips in front of you.

Your friends and family continue to live their lives while you are away…rightfully so. While you are gallivanting around, life back home goes on. You are away from home for lengths of time and you are bound to miss out on important events. Be it a friend’s wedding, the birth of a child, a grandparent’s birthday, or just your average Sunday dinner with family, you are going to miss it. You will miss milestones, and you will miss your average celebrations and those simple or large events you wish you could be there you can’t and that sucks.

Realize that having a friend or family member pass away while you are away is a very real possibility. Not being able to get home to say goodbye in person is something that will weigh on you.

After spending so much time away, learning from and experiencing different customs and cultures, you will have all these profound and life-altering experiences….that no one back home will understand. It is hard to share something with someone or try and talk to them about it when they can’t relate or comprehend it. It’s almost as if you left home, and time stopped, and once you return, you are playing again. You come back to all the familiar things, but you have changed so much.

The place that was once so far away feels like another home. You will miss it, every day and can’t wait to return.

Regardless of the 7 pros and cons of long-term travel, long-term travel is amazing. You learn and grow in ways you can’t possibly imagine. Your outlook on life changes, and in general, you change. We hope everyone gets a chance to leave the world and live the lifestyle they know. It was some of the best and some of the most uncomfortable times we have had, and we wouldn’t change or trade a single moment. So, what are you waiting for?!

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