What Full-Time Travel Really is Like
It has now been four months since we left our jobs and home in France to travel and, despite some moments of doubt, it’s been as amazing as I thought it would be. It’s difficult to imagine what life on the road is like until you really experience it though.
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We’re not on holidays, just leading a different lifestyle
Full-time travel is definitely not like going abroad on a ten day-break from a 9-5 job, when you would be out and about all day long. If it started a bit that way for us, we quickly realised we would be back home 2 months later if we had kept that rhythm. To be honest, if you spent one week in Tokyo on your holidays, you would probably see more than we did. Trying to fit as much as possible in one day only to cross things off a list is just not worth it if you’re too tired to enjoy anything or just not in the mood that one day. We’ve accepted the fact that we can’t see everything. We’re still discovering new places everyday and that thought helps putting things into perspective.
In addition to planning and researching which takes a lot of time, we also both have something to actually work on. We know full-time travel won’t last for years because we have other projects too. So while I’m working on this blog, Simon is improving his programming skills to find a good job when we decide to settle down.
I must admit that some moments do feel like holidays…
It takes a lot of energy
It asks a lot from your body and mind to be on the road regularly, to change country or region, to get used to a new climate and a new culture. We actually got tired pretty quickly. At first I was feeling guilty about it. But I realised that living a different life doesn’t mean I had to be on top form all of the time. So, yes, I’m tired and I think it even has unconsciously become a habit for me to have a good cry every time we arrive in a new country, just because I feel overwhelmed. That’s why we decided to take some sort of break and stay for a month in Ho Chi Minh City and there isn’t one minute when we regretted our choice. It’s been great to be able to unpack in one place without moving a few days later.
Full time travel truly is awesome
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean I’m not loving it. Travelling full-time is amazing. We do see places that look like a postcard and we love the relaxing afternoons by the pool in Mui Ne, Vietnam, just as much as hiking beautiful Hawaiian trails or exploring the quaint streets of Kyoto. We are creating great memories and we feel happy and grateful we were able to make the choice of becoming full-time travellers.
It’s the best therapy
We all have our own issues, things we like and hate about ourselves, things we know or think we know about ourselves. Travelling has quickly proven to be a better therapy for me than the therapists I talked to in the past. In just four months, I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve realised how much I have identified with the way other people describe me, especially the negative aspects (you know how it goes…) and how I’m not as pessimistic and weak as the image I had of myself. It is sometimes difficult to find a way to work on ourselves and I’ve found out that travel does help me with that. I can say that travelling has been making me feel happier and more relaxed overall.
It’s reinforcing our relationship
After living for about a year in a shoe box (understand a 13 m2 flat) in Paris together, Simon and I knew we were a good team. Travelling together is only reinforcing the feeling. You read everywhere that you need to make sure you don’t spend all your time together when travelling as a couple. Despite the small tensions now and then and the fact that we do have our own things to do separately when we’re “home”, one never really goes anywhere without the other (except maybe to get coffee). We’re basically together 24/7 and not getting tired of each other.
A travel lifestyle is so different from the life I used to have in France, working from home as a freelance translator, that I needed some time to adjust. But all in all, I feel like it’s just what I needed at this point of my life.
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