The magic of long term travel
What makes people choose to leave everything behind and start traveling, with no end in sight? The main reason that keeps coming up is the feeling of consciousness and awareness people receive when they decide to step outside the “normal” way of living and embark on a life of constant travel.
Some of the comments on this blog discuss this phenomenon. They explain the reasons that make people view the choice of living in one place as stagnant and stifled. If you’re looking for a way to get unstuck, a life of constant changes and moves might be one of the most interesting options.
An expiration date of three months
Claire: “I’ve been traveling for the past four years and come to realize that I love adjusting and setting up camp, but once I’m settled I want to discard the familiar and move on. I seem to have a maximum expiration date of three months and then I have to go or I’m unhappy, stifled and unimaginative! Travel breaths life into me; makes me feel free and alive and bursting with all kinds of creativity! It’s defiantly a nomadic life for me ?”
I can definitely relate to this comment. Just like Claire, I enjoy the settling down part, more than the actual move. The period where I’m moving from one place to the other always feels a bit messy and uncertain. I also agree that three month is the optimal time to stay in one place. In my case, it’s mostly because the tourist Visa is usually restricted to three months, but it always felt like I’ve had enough of the place. I never felt like I’m missing out by moving on. Sometimes I leave after just one or two months. In seems like anything between one-three months is my sweet spot. Anything below that is crazy fast, and above is too much.
Let’s take my trip to Minks as an example of getting used to a new place. The first day there, I felt like I arrived at a completely new and interesting place. It’s dictatorship, filled with Lenin statues and the majestic Soviet Union squares. I arrived at 10PM, and the sky was clear blue and beautiful. After 60 days, the Lenin statue became the norm, and the initial wow became a yawn. And having light at 10PM is really annoying when you’re trying to sleep. That’s when you know it’s time to move on.
Travel does breath life into you, wakes you up, and makes you conscious. It’s a drug that plays with your senses. When I proudly say to people I’ve never tried drugs, I know I’m lying. The nomadic life is my drug.
Getting rid of our stuff, and hitting the open road
Erick: “I find it interesting to hear a few of you specify a timeline of about ‘3 months’. When I look back at my life and think of all the times I was happiest, they do seem to be after a major environmental change has happened. The in-between parts seem to dilute the overall richness of my life. I’ve always done almost everything I was told to, like focus on my college education and career. At 31 years of age, I am now a successful Graphic Designer stuck in the same company doing the same exact routine every month.
“At this rate, I will never be able to dig myself out of the debt school has caused. My creativity is stifled here, and I realize that on this current path the in-between period for me will be for the next few decades. It feels like looking down a gun barrel with someone else’s finger on the trigger. My girlfriend feels the same. She has always moved around her whole life and loves adventure. Between the two of us, we make nearly 100K. I’ve been poor, seen hunger and know how hard it is to make money when you have none. I also know that in the long run, it doesn’t make you happy.
“So, we’re getting rid of our stuff and loading up our recently purchased used travel trailer to start out on the open road. I’m not sure what we will do for money, but I know better than to worry about it. There are many resources out there. We’re both smart, young and opportunistic. Life is very short and precious. I’m not going to wait until I’m almost dead to start traveling and enjoying my short stay on this planet. These past few months I have researched what it would take to become nomadic and I believe this is the perfect resolution for us to get what we want out of life. Quite frankly, I keep kicking myself for not coming to this realization sooner. I hope to see you guys on the road somewhere…”
The first thing I’d like to say is in regards to Erick kicking himself for not making the change sooner. And my advice is – live life with no regrets! The past helps you understand who you are and what you want out of life. Live and learn is a cliche for a reason.
I perfectly agree with the sentiment that life is too short to be stuck. If you’re stuck, you’re doing something wrong. You also can’t say that you’re f successful and stuck in the same sentence – successful people are never stuck.
The Positive Breaking Point
I’ve talked about periods of change before in this blog. In Tibetan culture, they’re called Bardos. According to that tradition, those big breaking points in life are the most substantial moments in our life. A life without those breaking points is not a good one. Those are usually the periods where you lose something while gaining something else. Lose a family member, get divorced, have a child and lose your freedom, lose a job and change everything, or finish university. Those are the most meaningful moments, that you’ll take to your grave. The “in-between”, as Erick said (which can be most of our life) is a waste of time, although they are fun and comfortable. That’s why I keep moving and break those patterns.
A word of encouragement for Erick – If you’re a graphic designer, you will be fine, don’t worry. You have a skill that you can use wherever you go (online as well), you rock. One part of freedom is financial freedom, and in order to get that, you need to load yourself with skills.
And finally, Erick, you rock even more than me, as I was never successful. I turned to the nomadic lifestyle after losing my job and relationship. I was basically pushed into it. What you’re doing is amazing, because you’re making a logic depiction to change your life for the better. You’re going there from a position of power.
Erick and Claire, if you ever start a blog, I’m closing mine. Keep on traveling, keep on living the nomad life with no regrets, and keep on commenting!