One of the things traveling has taught me is it means different things for different people.
People traveling have different modes, goals, and aspirations. Some people love short-term travel; to gaze upon snowy mountain ranges or walk around foreign cities in short bursts before heading home to their creature comforts.
Others love long-term travel; spending months or even years immersing themselves in other cultures and adventures while circling the globe.
When I first started, I was a short-term traveler. As time passed, whisking away a few months a year was no longer enough.
My trips grew longer and longer until it made more sense just to live on the road full-time and for the last two years that has been my life.
Traveling long-term has taught me many lessons, given me more rewards than I could have ever imagined, and has changed who I am in irreversible ways.
However, this road has its challenges and sometimes has been extremely frustrating and hard.
Long-term travel requires an amazing amount of sacrifice, patience, and determination.
Here are some of the sacrifices, and challenges I have made for to travel long-term.
All that You Miss
One of the biggest sacrifices is all the things you miss. In my entire 20’s, I’ve only spent three birthdays at home with family and friends. I spent every major holiday in 2013 by myself on buses or airports. Special days that should be very meaningful, lose a lot of the meaning when you are traveling alone.
You also miss a lot of important events. Due to prior travel commitments last year, I missed the wedding of one of my closest friends and also missed the birth of another close friend’s daughter.
These are people that have done nothing but help support my dreams and because of constantly being on the road, not only have we grown apart, but I have been unable to return that support.
Time with Loved Ones
Another important sacrifice is time. I’ve sacrificed tons of time and memories with people in my life that aren’t going to be around forever. It has never been easy to give up time with those you love in order to follow your dreams.
In the last two years, I have seen my family only the last couple months, and when I leave in few weeks, it might be another two years before I see them.
Building an online business and job that let’s me travel also takes a lot of time and work. Money is usually unstable. It is stressful when you are traveling with $300 and not sure when the next paycheck is coming.
My income is directly related to how much time and work I put into my blog, freelance writing, and other projects.
Many times I want to go out and explore the world, meet locals, or hang out with new friends, but like anyone else, work must come first. This has caused me to travel at a much slower pace.
The truth is that none of these sacrifices are easy. In fact, when times get hard on the road, the easy thing would be to convince myself that the sacrifices are too great and return to a life back home.
While the road requires sacrifices, nothing worth having in life is easy. Travel is my passion.
While it requires sacrifices and I miss many moments with friends and family, travel is what I was meant for and what I love. To deny that would mean sacrificing who I am as a person.
Travel is my life, and I not something I intend to stop anytime soon.
What about you are you a long-term or short-term traveler? What sacrifices and challenges that you have had?