Making the decision to do a round the world trip or just strap on the backpack and head off for months is a huge decision not easily made, so it’s important to evaluate if you are cut out for long term travel. So, the next time you hear about someone who has done exactly that, instead of just thinking “I wish I could do that,” why not check out these ways to see if you are indeed cut out for long term travel and if the world might well be your oyster?
1. You Can Stick to a Budget
If you’re the type of person who needs to live the high life and eat out every night, then long term travel may not be for you. Living frugally and planning exactly how you’ll spend your money allows you to prolong your time away and splurge on important items such as tours, or activities that will make your travels a once in a lifetime experience.
2. You’re Not High Maintenance
Does missing a bus, not being able to wash your clothes, or having messy hair make you lose your mind? These are the kind of situations that are bound to occur during long term travel and you really need to be able keep your cool and adapt to different circumstances. Seasoned nomads will all tell you that some of the best experiences you’ll have whilst travelling will stem from unforeseen and often unpleasant occurrences.
3. You Don’t Mind Being Alone
Long term travel generally means that you’ll meet a plethora of different people and have some fantastic shared experiences, but it can also mean that you spend a great deal of time alone. If you can’t picture yourself braving lengthy train, plane or bus rides solo, or arriving by yourself at a hostel where no one speaks English and having to make yourself understood, perhaps you should reconsider extended travel.
4. You’re Not Worried about Missing out on Something at Home
If you choose to travel long term you will undoubtedly miss out on significant events which occur while you’re away, such as births, deaths, weddings, graduations and engagements. For some people this is too much to bear and they find themselves unable to enjoy their time away, which ultimately results in them returning home early. Before you decide on a round the world trip, you should consequently ask yourself if you’re willing to miss out on events at home in exchange for the adventure of a lifetime.
5. You’re Not a Quitter
Long term travel is not for the faint-hearted, and there will undoubtedly be times when things aren’t going your way and you’ll want to jump on the next flight home. If you give in to every bout of homesickness, however, you’re certainly not made to travel long term. Whilst most long term travelers regularly experience homesickness, the difference between those that stick it out and those that don’t is normally just plain bullheadedness!
6. You Pack Light
If you feel the need to pack everything but the kitchen sink when you leave home for any period of time, then globetrotting may not be for you. Over-packing not only makes for a physically exhausting getaway, but it also creates a great deal of unnecessary stress, such as: worrying about your luggage being overweight every time you fly; not being able to fit all of your valuable items into small lockers at hostels; having to constantly walk around carrying a great deal of weight; and not being able to collect any souvenirs along the way due to lack of space.
7. You’re Patient
Everyone who has ever attempted long term travel knows that a prolonged trip abroad requires a lot of planning, money and time. You consequently need to be willing to work hard leading up to your getaway and to save money, which often means forgoing the instant gratification that comes with buying a new dress or pair of shoes. You may also have to come to terms with the fact that your current employer will probably not be willing to hold your position at work while you globe-trot for an extended period of time, meaning that you might have to face unemployment upon returning home – a scary proposition if you’ve spent the last of your money abroad!
Have you answered the questions? Are you cut out for long term travel? Will you be making plans to go globetrotting or will you stay happy with your annual vacations?