Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Why I don't want to travel full-time

As a travel writer and blogger, I see a lot of posts from people who are on the road full-time hoping to impart wisdom onto others, so they can do the same in a sustainable way. I have been very lucky to travel a lot throughout my life and despite a number of longer trips, I have always come home.

While a little part of me would like to be constantly travelling, I know that I am not really that person deep down. I love packing my backpack for a trip, having enough time to explore a place properly and at some point want to live abroad again, but I also love coming home.

The feeling that I get when I see the Angel of the North is incomparable to any other. With limited flights from Newcastle Airport available, many of my trips start and end with a train journey and catching a glimpse of this strong representation that I am nearly home always gives me excited butterflies.

If work requirements and money weren't obstacles I would undoubtedly travel more than I do now, but I don't think I would pack up and head off for good. I love where I live and am close to my family, as well as truly believing that the north-east of England is a fantastic place, so think I would always want to return here.

While it is easy to look upon the lives of those who travel full-time as the perfect situation, it is also important to realise that such a lifestyle is not for everyone. I am the type of traveller who needs the time between trips to process and fully appreciate all that I saw and experienced, as well as a few home comforts and cuddles from my nieces and nephew to keep everything in perspective.

When I was 22 I worked in a backpackers' hostel in Cordoba, Spain for a while and one of the best parts about it was meeting so many interesting people. What became noticeable, however, among those who were visiting Andalucia as part of a long-term travel plan or round-the-world trip was that a few of them were no longer able to take it all in.

It's safe to say that not everyone gets incredible experience overload, but it is easy to see how it could happen. When visiting fantastic places that are all very different and new one after another, it must be exhausting. There is no way to compare the beauty of a Mayan temple with a beach in Tarifa or a Klimt hung on the wall of a gallery, but your mind needs space to compute all of these things, or at least mine does anyway.

That is why I value the days when I look out over a grey Gateshead sky and see the new cygnets in the local park as much as my time travelling. I love going away, but also coming home and have the whole of my life to see the world, a small section at a time.


TagAlongDeb said...

Emma, I completely agree. I am a very frequent traveller and love longer stays abroad, but to really appreciate where I've been, I need home time in between. I've always thought that feeling was part of being more on the introverted side of the personality spectrum. Although travel is amazing, the logistics, inevitable mishaps, and new environment can all be stressful. Home is a place to recover, remember and plan the next adventure.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I'd agree with that - I recently took a year out to travel, and after a couple of months realised that actually *travelling* in one block like that was going to do nothing for my sanity; I also ended up feeling I was going to places purely because they were there, without any particular 'desire' to go, just to fill up the time.

Going for a couple of months, then coming back for a couple of months to recuperate and catch up on admin, then going away again, I think would be ideal.

ian :

Barefoot Em said...

Thank you so much for your comments Deb and Ian. There are so many articles on blogs telling people how they can travel full-time that I worry this is held up as the ideal and not enough people think about what this would actually be like in reality.

Wonderful to find some kindred spirits. Good luck with your blogs and happy adventuring.