Every day, you’re bombarded with articles telling you to quit your depressing job or school program and travel the world instead. You’re always considering it, but you’re not sure if you’d like it. I mean, you ask yourself “What do travellers do every day? Don’t they get tired or bored?” Well, I’m here to tell you that long-term travelling is a lot like your life at home: it has its ups and downs.
When you’re back home, you usually have a main focus in your life, be it your undergrad degree, your job, kids or everything together. You pretty much know what’s happening for at least four hours of your day. The long term traveler lives in the unknown instead.
But is travel really life-changingly amazing and completely different from life at home? Yes and no! You just have different experiences, but also different problems. Let me give you some examples:
1. You Have Boring Days
“You must be joking!?,” I hear you scream! Not really.
Sometimes you plan to rent a scooter and visit that temple over the hill, only to wake up to a rainstorm crushing your dreams. You look outside your window and think you might as well buy a kayak in order to move around town – basically, your day is ruined!
If you don’t have movies, card games or nice people to talk to — or alcohol! — you’re going to wish you had your friends from home with you.
2. You Have All-Day Travel Days
These can be quite annoying, especially if they involve long bus journeys with no toilets. You wake up super early, get a tuk-tuk to the bus station and make sure you don’t have any coffee, otherwise you will pee yourself on the bus! But once you get there, the bus is late and you realize you could have slept an extra hour and a half.
By the time you get to your destination, it’s dark, you’re tired and you still have to haggle with the moto taxi rider who’s eagerly trying to rip you off! You end up asking yourself why you left in the first place.
3. You Have Completely Unexpected Days
You might be hanging your hammock, preparing for the cold night on the slow boat over the Amazon when you strike up a conversation with a fellow traveler. It turns out you get on really well and end up traveling together for three weeks.
You become good friends, he gets to meet your buddies and family and a couple of months later you visit the boat where he’s living. Now you’re going to become flatmates! (That’s actually a true story.)