Long term travel is a very rewarding experience and one you will never regret. Sure, you’ll come back home a bit poorer financially – but you’ll be far richer for having had the experiences you did. Your life will never be the same and your outlook will be forever changed.
As wonderful as long term travel is, however, it can be a daunting thought to deal with. How does the traveler manage all those months on the road? How can you adapt to changing conditions day in and day out? Here are some things for you to consider.
I think the main thing to keep in mind is that an extended tour is really a lifestyle and it differs from a vacation in many ways. On a two-week or two-month vacation, you can go full-tilt the whole time. You can push yourself on a daily basis until you collapse into bed each night exhausted. You can do that because you know you will be going home – and you will be able to rest and recuperate from vacation once you get home.
Things are different on an extended trip. You won’t be able to maintain that same frenetic pace day in and day out. You’ll have to find a pace that works for you. Some travelers find they can head out sightseeing every day for weeks on end, while others find a day or two is enough. You may find you’ll deal with life easier with one or two days off each week to simply lounge about in a hammock all day. The trick to figure out what pace works for you. I’ve found that I can travel three or four in a row and then need a day off to hang out and recuperate. We are all different and the pace we can maintain with be our own.
The other major suggestion I can offer is to be comfortable. Just as you’ve got your home set up for comfort, you’ll have to figure out a way to be comfortable on the road. We are different with varying needs, so our comfort items will be different from others. We’ve found pillows make all the difference, so we haul pillows for each of us with us. Others would consider that foolishness. I’ve seen bike tourists with lawn chairs strapped to their bikes, backpackers with surfboards, and other travelers with guitars. I carry a couple pounds of beads with me, which my husband thinks is crazy. Decide what comfort items you need and take them. That being said, it’ll be a tough decision to narrow it down to essentials as you simply won’t be able to carry everything!