Long-term travel? It’s not for me

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

Just some random dirt road between Phoenix and Flagstaff with storms up on the horizon.

There are thousands of travel blogs out there.  A lot of them are written by people who travel long-term… that is, their full time job is traveling. They are digital nomads. These people are even paid [in the form of free trips, freelance writing or photography, doing product reviews] to travel. A lot of these same travel blogs have similar posts: How to… Top 10 reasons… Best things about… Worst things about, ect… I am trying NOT to be like these blogs. You see, I am not a full time traveler, nor do I ever plan to be. I’ve never made a dime from traveling. In spite of that, I do get out the door occasionally.

  • I’ve traveled the UK and Ireland for 3 months.
  • I’ve lived in Campeche, Mexico for a year.
  • I backpacked around South America for over a year.
  • I’ve spent several months though not consecutively traveling in Europe

but I still don’t consider myself a long-term traveller. Why? Because in almost all these circumstances I’ve had a home base [South America was my most nomadic existence, but even then I rented apartments, did home stays, and did a lot of ‘slow travel’]. Living out of a suitcase sucks. Packing and unpacking every few days suck as well. I know because I spent most of my childhood staying with various relatives. Being in a new environment, not knowing where things are, hanging around bus/train stations–all of that sucks.

For some, the thrill of a new environment gets them going. They love nothing more than to be constantly on the go.  I love nothing more than relaxing… whether it”s in my bed, on a beach in Thailand, or sitting in a coffee shop in a new location. I love having a home base… somewhere to come at the end of a hectic day [whether its all day exploring or a challenging shift at the hospital]  that’s ‘my space.

Intovert in an extrovert world

I am an introvert; I need alone time to recharge my batteries. While routine stifles me, I do like familiar circumstances. Traveling, being on the go all the time, meeting new people, is exhausting.  It’s even more exhausting when you are constantly moving. I don’t really have family roots, but I have strong geographical roots. South Carolina is where I will always consider my ‘home’ to be. Even if I’m living elsewhere, and being away from South Carolina long-term is detrimental to my health. Or at least my spirit. I am at a point now where about the most time I can squeeze into a vacation is a month [and that’s really pushing it]. I know that getting to Point B from point A is the most expensive part of traveling. Spending $1500 for airfare seems like a lot for a 2 week vacation; not so much if it’s spread across of 4 months. A lot of travel expenses are like this.

In a perfect world, I’d work for 3 months and travel for 6 weeks.  6 weeks in one location [or region] is enough time to really explore a region.  Still, 6 weeks travelling is not the norm [especially in the USA], but any longer than that, and this guy may forget who I am.

“if you traveled long-term, who would feed me?’ Christopher the Cat, probably

This post inspired by the Beatles’ Long and Winding Road, which always reminds me of being far from home.

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