When people see you traveling as a life-style they automatically assume you’re rich and living fancy-or just lucky. That assumption is completely false but that’s for another post. As a traveler, we experience the crazy, beautiful, unforgettable things-but we also experience trials, tests, and fear. I’ve made lists of the pros and cons of being a traveler. If you are one yourself, you will understand these things all too well, if not, then you will gain some insight of what the travel life is really like.
The freedom of being on the road is unlike anything else. Having no commitments, and totally letting go. There’s no worries about work or any other every-day stressor. You live completely in the moment, so you experience things in a greater capacity.
Along with this freedom comes adventure. Since you’re not worried about anything, you embrace spontaneity, possibility, and fluidity. Basically anything could happen, and it’s exciting.
• THE PEOPLE
The most inspiring part of travel to me is the people you meet. There is only adventure and possibility because of the people around you. Because everyone around you is new and different, your mind is constantly expanding. There is no sense of normal, you become more open and humble. Every person you meet will teach you something. Whether they question your own thoughts or simply speak into your life. The first month of my trip was learning from people that I was wrong about basically everything. I loved that because that meant that there was so much more to learn!
• INVALUABLE EXPERIENCES
These outrageous experiences you’ll have while traveling are nothing money can buy. No college degree can teach you how to be a backpacker. It comes with the days of living it. Not even these trending “voluntourism” trips would be the same. Those trips are commercialized and unauthentic. Backpacking teaches you things and expands your mind in ways that will stay with you for the rest of your life, unlike a textbook equation.
• UNDERSTANDING LIFE AND THE WORLD
All of these people you meet and experiences show you what the world really is. You peel back the layers of this earth with every country you visit. This gives you a global and personal perspective towards life and the world. Now you can choose a life that you truly love instead of choosing the only one that’s in front of you.
• NO FAMILY
Let’s be real. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a friend, you will get lonely. Not always being able to hug a loved one or even hear their voice is difficult and frustrating. Not seeing your family on your birthday or holidays can be depressing now matter how many new friends you’ve made.
• SHORT-TERM FRIENDSHIPS
As a backpacker, you’re constantly on the move. Even if you form a strong bond with someone you meet on the road there will always be a goodbye. Friendships last a maximum of a month or maybe two depending on the situation. Although it’s great to meet new people, sometimes you just want to talk to someone who knows and understands you.
• NO REAL HOME
No matter how much you splurge on a nice hotel room, you will never feel at home. You don’t have a base to return to or start from. Sure you have your home back in your country but it’s not realistic to go home and visit every few weeks.
• NO CULTURAL COMFORTS
Homesickness not only includes your family but also culture. You’ll get insatiable cravings, want to watch certain movies, or hear a song. We have the internet so some of these things are reachable, but it’s just not the same as enjoying these things with people who love them too. I spent Christmas in Thailand and it was one of the most depressing days of my trip.
We can plan our trips, but nothing ever really goes according to plan. That’s just life. And when you’re on the road everything is so unknown you probably can’t answer what country you’re going to next. This can be exciting-but also scary sometimes. You never know if you’ll be able to find a job or a cheap enough flight. You just have to trust that things will work out.
Overall travel is a magnificent thrill. It will turn you upside down and inside out. But that’s the beauty of it. I hope this post gave you some insight or a feeling of connection. If you have any questions comment below.