The Misconception That Extended Travel Is Always Easy

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I will be the first person to put my hand up and say long-term travel is not always easy. Added to this travelling with others can make these adventures ten times harder as well. It’s as if you have that little bit more responsibility that you don’t necessarily want to have in your life. You just want to look after yourself and not have to worry about what anyone else is doing around you! It’s your time to be doing what you want to do.

As of late I have posted photos and images of my adventures around the globe documenting where I have been to show people where they should get to around the world. Many responses include such phrases as ‘living the dream’ or ‘incredible journey’, which in some aspects is so true however you will never see the frustrations or mishaps of my day that lead me to this point.

Travel is a life choice we make. For many people, they dream of doing exactly the same thing, but sometimes would rather fantasize about the idea than actually do this. And that’s okay. For others, they attempt to travel for an extended period of time and realize either that they have run out of money’ or it isn’t for me them. Then for the small fraction of us who get out and continue to adventure the globe we always will put a brave face on and tell you everything is all okay. To be completely honest some of my darkest days have been whilst travelling around the world, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

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You will usually never hear about the stress from our day ever. At times I honestly wish I was sitting in an office back at home twiddling my thumbs instead of having to try and talk my way out of a bad situation or communicate with locals who don’t understand me or having to pay a bribe at the border to cross countries.

Travel can be frustrating, stressful, tense, overwhelming and so the list goes on. It’s not always happy days when you’re on the road because, unlike people at home going by there day to day jobs, we are out wandering each corner of the globe, discovering new places to share with the world or uncovering the lucrative scams being tested on seasoned travellers. We want you to experience what we are, but extended travel versus vacationing is very different.

We aren’t coming home to our family and friends; we are living out of a backpack unpacking into a dormitory or hotel room to then pack up our belongings in the coming days and move onto our next destination. I lose track of time, what day of the week it is and sometimes what I set out to do on that day altogether. That is part of the adventure.

If I were asked to define travel, this would be my answer. Travel is like an addictive drug allowing you to step out of the ‘real world’ for a moment, and into a place of discovery and new beginnings. Travelers will do anything to make this happen at times, making us feel desperate to make it a reality!

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The toughest times I have had to face on the road is losing valuable time with my friends and family back home. Missing Christmas, New Year celebrations, birthdays, weddings and funerals. Is it fair to say that I feel guilty and selfish for making the decision to stay away and achieve what I set out to achieve. It’s such a hard thing to understand at times, but travel can be my own demise sometimes. I can assure you those low moments end many travelers’ adventures, but for those who persevere, it’s a stepping-stone on your journey to recognize that you can overcome obstacles.

One of the bigger challenges I have faced while on the road is truly connecting with other travellers. We may all get along and share similar stories, but we all have differing perspectives of travel and adventure and what exactly we want to get out of this time abroad. I’m always open for opinions, but the final decision always rests with me.

A big motivator for me to keep doing what I am doing comes down to those individuals out there who add fuel to the fire and try to bring others like myself down to their level of immaturity through blatant jealousy and cyber bullying. It’s sad that we live in world of bullying and hiding behind screens. I mean most of these people are classified as adults and still feel it’s necessarily to have a laugh at the expense of others. To you I say, perhaps its time to grow up. I honestly think it comes down to their jealousy that we are out there travelling. These people could be doing this as well. We just have different priorities. Like I have said before, there are times I wish I could trade it in and come on home, but I don’t.

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When I travel compared to many others who travel, we all have a very different approach. Many people I know travel to get over to Europe and live out the summer, partying the night away, paying for over priced drinks and waking up thinking who is that laying next to me. Just to do it all over again. That’s exactly what they are searching for, and that’s completely okay . For me, I want a little bit more than a drunken memory. I travel to destinations to explore as much of it in the time I have before crossing borders and doing exactly the same thing elsewhere. Extended travel has many highs and lows which are just obstacles along the way.

If you look at the bigger picture, a vacation or short trip usually is mapped out and booked before leaving your hometown. Therefore it’s quite easy to follow your itinerary. When travelling for an extended period of time, you may arrive at a destination and immediately want to move on or stay longer. You are essentially planning day by day as to what you wish to do, and this is always going to come with issues.

There is nothing better than exploring every corner of the globe, and this is what I set out to do when I first left home on my own to adventure solo many years ago. Travel teaches you many valuable lessons and allows you to learn more about yourself if you have the time to really appreciate your journey. Although never forget there will always be a few curve balls along the way to keep you on your toes!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Moloy
    November 2, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Sam, thank you for writing such inspiring & simple articles. It’s a pleasure reading them & motivates me to travel.

    • Reply
      sirwanderlust
      November 2, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Moloy,
      I am glad you enjoy my posts and I can only hope this inspires you to jump over the pond and explore the world. There are so many possibilities and options near and far it just takes that first step. Thank you for the kind words 🙂

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