How to Travel Long Term
The most common question I get asked by people when travelling is, "how do you manage to travel long term?" For my first post for SiXNOMADS, I thought this would be an appropriate place to start.
There are many ways to travel for a long period of time, but the question you should be asking yourself before tackling this is, "why do I want to travel for so long?" It may be that you've already been travelling and now you are working out how to travel for longer. If this is you, we'll cover that a little later on.
If you're new to travelling and you're asking this question, you should first try it out and see if the flame starts dying out. Travelling is not for everyone. Many people have tried it and didn't like it. It's certainly not as easy as it appears. Depending on where you go, you will have to deal with a range of problems, namely, a lack of privacy and—I'm actually struggling, maybe there aren't that many.
Here are my 5 tips to help you travel longer.
1. Save up enough money before you go, to allow yourself the chance to blow off some steam. The last thing you want when you go out travelling is to begin working after 2 weeks. Afford yourself a month—at least—before you commence work.
If you don't do this then you'll lose sight of why it is you began travelling in the first place. I have witnessed many people with high hopes of travelling the whole world who fall short simply because they didn't adapt and continued to live the same life they were living at home. Having enough money in the bank to go out and explore for a month will guarantee to mark that memory in your life for a very long time.
#Extra Fact - I began travelling with around £6000, which was more than enough. This afforded me 2 months of partying and sightseeing on the east coast of Australia, which is significantly more expensive than the UK (especially now).
2. Travel for a long time in cheaper countries, and travel less in expensive countries. If you want to travel long term, you cannot expect to spend all of your years in Switzerland, Norway, Australia and NZ. Unless you work in these places your money will run out faster than it will if you spend it in cheaper countries.
3. Work in countries with higher pay. If you're visiting countries with a high average wage, then why not take the opportunity to see if you can land yourself a job. Don't worry if you've arrived on a tourist visa and planned to be there for a short time, you can always apply for a work and travel visa once you're in. Some countries allow this and others deem it necessary for you to be in foreign lands. If this is the case, you can simply take the cheapest flight or bus to the neighbouring country and apply there.
#Extra Tip - For information on visa requirements I recommend you visit the foreign commonwealth office. Once on that page, find the country you plan to visit and locate the visa requirements.
#Bonus Fact - To check whether the country is deemed safe to travel to, visit the Canadian government website. It offers a map to easily find what's safe and what's not. Make up your own mind, though.
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4. Work for accommodation offers travellers a way to profoundly experience the way that other people live, and often it can cut your costs down significantly. Some of my best and most memorable experiences have been from working for accommodation. Hosted by a friendly family I was fortunate enough to experience the south of France and meet the friendliest people, all for a few hours of work per day. I even picked up a bit of French too!
Backpacking can often be a way of living in itself, and often it's very different from the type of experience you may be thinking you'll have. The film The Beach, directed by Danny Boyle and staring Leonardo DiCaprio, points this out too in a scene where Richard (played by DiCaprio) notices everybody wants the creature comforts of home when abroad. If you wish to push yourself to see something new, then living with a local will certainly force you to.
#Extra Tip - For opportunities to work for accommodation visit helpx. They offer a range of job opportunities from building, to working in a hostel or bar. Woofing offer work for accommodation too, but it is focused on farm work.
5. If you want to travel long term you will have to compromise. Whether it's a drink you have to lose, a sight you can't see, a place you can't visit, you will have to compromise on something. To some it may appear 'the thing to do' to go to every party and see every sight, but the chances are they don't want to travel long term. If you have a vision of you living this as a lifestyle then accept that you can't do everything they're doing. Pick up a book and find your next travel destination that you value more than what is currently on offer.
#Extra Tip - Try to keep your hobbies or even find new ones. Just because you're on the road it doesn't mean you have to become a different person.
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What did I miss? Do you have any tips of your own? Tell me about your experiences.
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At SiXNOMADS we pride ourselves on living and continuing to live the life of a backpacker. This means that we are able to provide you with relevant information that you can enjoy and, more importantly, apply to your travels. If we don't think a post will help you or add to your experience, then we don't post it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Wyatt has been travelling for over 6 years. He's visited over 50 countries and lived in 9 for more than 3 months.