Putting It All Together and Long-Term Travel Tips
Wow, has it been 10 days already? I hope that it has flown by for you, that your head is full of ideas and resources to explore, and that you’re excited to hit the road. As I’ve said before, long-term travel is a totally customizable lifestyle—you determine how you want to manifest it!
Let’s take a quick look at a few of the action points on your list:
• Define your trip by asking questions.
• Decide what to do with your stuff, including property if you own any.
• Address logistical preparations to allow you to travel long term, such as designating an official representative, making copies of everything, eliminating mail, getting a mailing address, applying for an international driver’s license, getting travel insurance, making sure your phone is unlocked, and crafting a packing list.
• Arrange your finances to be travel friendly by getting out of debt, automating payments, getting the credit cards you need, setting up online banking, getting a VPN, finding an accountant, and being cautious not to get ripped off at ATMs.
• Apply the basic components of financially sustainable travel (earning an income and balancing it with creative expenditures) to your own travel strategy.
• Save big money with free accommodation hacks like volunteering, house-sitting, living on boats, hospitality exchanges, and home exchanges.
• Earn an income on the ground through techniques like teaching English, working on boats, working holiday visas, and odd jobs.
• Or, develop a location-independent career like tutoring, freelance writing, travel writing, blogging, running a business (a course unto itself), and telecommuting.
. . . and here we are.
But we’re not quite done. Below is a crucial tip to keep your long-term travels enjoyable and ultimately sustainable.
Avoiding Travel Fatigue
In 2010, I traveled at a fast and furious pace. I was on the move about every five days. The longest I stayed anywhere that year was 2.5 weeks. And although it was an amazing year of travel, it nearly killed me. I lay in a near-comatose state in New Zealand for the first half of 2011, recovering.
I had discovered travel fatigue—the hard way. It was so bad, it made me reconsider whether the full-time travel lifestyle was meant for me.
What I discovered in ensuing years, however, is that travel at that pace doesn’t have to be the way it goes, and in fact, it’s totally unsustainable—financially and otherwise. It was an expensive year (even with free accommodation), my career suffered, I suffered the emotional effects of moving too often and not having time to enjoy sincere connections with people, and I just plain exhausted myself.
To avoid travel fatigue and to rescue your travel budget, travel slowly. You can still be a traveler and spend six months or a year (or more) in one place. In fact, if you want to make travel a full-time lifestyle, you’ll probably end up doing it at some point. Here are a few reasons why slow travel is the way to go:
You’ll save money. The fewer trains, planes, and buses you’re on, the less you’ll spend. If you stay somewhere for at least a month (and you’re paying for accommodation), you’ll also end up saving money over nightly rates.
It’s culturally rewarding. Locals won’t typically engage with you on any deep level if they know you’re moving on. But if you stay for a while, you can forge new and rewarding friendships.
You’ll discover more. By sticking around, you’ll learn more about local culture and daily life and get off the beaten path more than you could if merely passing through.
It’s sustainable. In the long run, slow travel is the way to go. If I didn’t travel slowly, I’d have burnt out of this lifestyle years ago.
Alas, it’s time to say goodbye. I hope you are 10 steps closer to embarking on the long-term or full-time travel lifestyle of your dreams.
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