Jamie and I were able to save up money and quit our jobs to travel the world for a year, however we experienced travel burnout and ended up coming home sooner. Read about travel burnout here. But, being able to get that experience to travel for a couple months was a blessing that we were oh so thankful for.
Travelling over periods of time, you end up really appreciating what you have at home. We love travelling and will continue to travel, but travelling and going on a vacation are two very different things.
There are lessons to be learnt from travelling, so without further adieu, here are some things that travel has taught me.
You can’t plan everything
You may be a big planner, with travels or with your life in general. Well it doesn’t always go the way you want it.
Jamie and I had planned being somewhere for a month and ended up booking our fight to our next destination at the end of that month, little did we know, we didn’t end up liking Bali .. (everyone is different, but we didn’t enjoy it) and we wish we didn’t book our next flight already, or else we would have left Bali earlier. Later in travels we just went with the flow and didn’t book certain Airbnb’s until the day before. It’s nice to figure it out as you go, instead of booking everything in advance. We learned anything and everything can change very quickly.
I must add that it isn’t a bad thing to plan ahead a bit. Planning can be very useful, but just realize that it can all work out differently. Therefore, it really helps if your plans are a bit flexible.
No one talks about how HARD full-time travel actually is
You see all these amazing vloggers who have been travelling for years on end and not one person mentions anything that’s real about how hard it can be.. So we’re here to tell you the truth.
Travelling full-time with no income is f*cking hard. Not only the money aspect, because we did save what we needed for a year of travels, but no one talks about the 24-hour travel days, or how you get squished into a van with 15 other people and are on the worst road for 5 hours straight consisting of 700 turns going to Pai Thailand. Motion sickness is not fun and neither being squished into a van with less leg room than an airplane, or how your body reacts way differently in every country you go to, traveler’s diarrhea, bloating non-stop, and how you become scared to eat the food because your stomach is sensitive. I’m not here to be negative, but no-one mentions how hard it can be, and we should be more open about it all, because it really affects your day-to-day life. Not everything is sunshine and rainbows ALL the time! Just know that!
Don’t let social media fool you
This one is HUGE, in my opinion. It definitely sets your expectations very high when you see all these amazing IG influencers post pictures of their travels. The thing that’s unfortunate is that no one really wants to be that person who is honest and real about a destination. Everything you see on social is all perfect, it would be nice to hear some true opinions on peoples description online. Bali was a place I was truly disappointed in, I was raving about this place before we left to travel, but once we were there it was not what I expected.
First, I didn’t know that it was all about social media here, to the point certain places had dresses for rent so you could get that IG shot for those swings you see everywhere. etc. And second when you google Bali, it looks so magical, however the amount of garbage was insane! I’ve been to a lot of SEA places and I think Bali was the top one for garbage.
Every destination I’m sure has their problems, however maybe rely less on what you see online and don’t have high expectations for places.
It’s all about the little things
When you travel you end up missing things from home. I missed the simple things like grocery shopping, having family around, eating homemade meals, and having that routine. In the beginning when we started in SEA, Bali had the best food! Canggu had everything, from poke bowls, to bao’s, it was all delicious, at first it was great eating out breakfast, lunch, and dinner because it was so cheap and we didn’t get places with a kitchen, but after awhile, you just miss that comfort of being able to walk into the kitchen and make something as simple as oatmeal. Food is very important to me, being healthy and also having treat meals, but it started to affect me, Jamie and I started always being in that “I don’t know what to eat mood”, or being grumpy because all you want is something from home.
In the beginning Jamie and I always complained back home about how Toronto is unaffordable, the roads being terrible, bad traffic, how the construction never stops etc. etc. Although this all may be very true, us taking time off to travel made me realize EVEN MORE that where we come from is home and I’m very fortunate and blessed to be living the lifestyle I have. We have great healthcare, we have clean streets, we have garbage trucks, clean drinking water, and toilet paper everywhere! Bringing toilet paper around you everywhere in South East Asia or the Middle East was very annoying, it’s just another thing to remember to pack on your busy day of adventures; and if you forget it, you’re S*it out of luck!
Always get travel insurance
Before leaving for our trip we knew we wanted to get insurance, but I was also second guessing it, because it was $1700 CAD!! I also knew I didn’t want to risk anything, so of course we got it. This is always a must if you’re doing any long-term travels! I got “Bali Belly”and ended up going to the doctors twice, and hospital once for an ultrasound to make sure my bloating was ok. The total was around $300 CAD! And we got every penny back. 🙂 Also, if you look into our blog about how to travel for cheap, or free, I mentioned our Amex, how it has so many perks, one being that it covers you for travel insurance for two weeks!
Your excuses are holding you back
This whole journey made me think about how it’s actually possible to do anything you put your mind to. Yes, saving to get here wasn’t the easiest thing, but we made it work. We wanted this so badly we sold our stuff to get extra cash etc. Just know what if you want something there is always a way, you just have to work for it. It will be rewarding in the end
The world is not nearly dangerous as you think it is
If you get your opinion of the world from the news and movies, you probably view it as a dangerous, scary place. The reality, of course, is way better. The scariest part of my travels is letting Jamie drive the camper van on small narrow roads on top of cliffs. 😉 As long as you do some research and be smart about some decisions, you will be fine.
Take your time
I think we got burnt out of travelling because we were constantly moving around. 3 weeks in Vietnam we saw 8 destinations….. That’s a lot!! If we could start over, we would slow down.