“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to flee us.”
My Top 4 Long Term Travel Lessons
I have been blessed with the rare opportunity to travel around the world for eight years of my life.
I learned a lot more about myself from these experiences than anything outside of my family and friends.
After talking to many fellow Fifty Plus Nomads, I know many can benefit from these long-term travel lessons.
The only thing it takes to travel worldwide long-term is a few minor tweaks to our mindset. Then, we can fully experience one of the greatest gifts: the joy of long-term, round-the-world travel over 50.
The Gift of Long-Term, Round-the-World Travel Over 50
Human beings are programmed to fit into boxes, and we spend our lives fitting in and trying to meet others’ expectations. I cannot think of any group of people more able to get outside our boxes than long-term, round-the-world travelers.
Once I stopped trying to fit myself into boxes, I got the most out of my long-term, round-the-world travel. After five years spent mainly on the road, I loved traveling because I experienced a fantastic diversity of places, people, and activities.
Long-term, round-the-world travelers have the freedom to do what they want without deadlines or pre-determined cultural or economic expectations. If we do not like what we are doing, we can go to another place or do something different with few negative consequences.
No type of travel or destination is superior to another. By pacing myself and trying many different experiences, I have spent (and will continue to enjoy) many years as a long-term round-the-world traveler. Others can do likewise.
Lessons From Traveling Round-the-World
- Mix Different Types of Travel Together. Interchanging various activities helped me enjoy and get the most out of my round-the-world travel. I traveled independently, took group tours, and participated in learning and volunteer vacations. I even went to special events, cruises, and resorts. I also do not worry if my experiences are all ¨authentic¨. Sometimes packaged tourist experiences (like resorts and cruises) can be a welcome change of pace. I get bored, lonely, or frustrated when I do too much of one thing. However, by moving back and forth between different experiences, I have enjoyed being a Fifty-Plus Nomad for years.
- Travel to Many Different Parts of the World. I visited 69 countries between 2011 and 2016 on every continent except Antarctica. (I got close to Antarctica, however, when I visited Ushuaia, Argentina, the Southernmost city in the world). I spent an equal amount of time in Third World and Developed Countries and learned how to take advantage of the best parts of traveling to these two parts of the world.
- Avoid Travel Burnout. Before I traveled around the world, I traveled pretty extensively over my lifetime. I have dealt with every type of travel burnout: travel fatigue, paying more than locals, culture shock, loneliness, and sightseeing overload syndrome. I knew that it was possible that I would have burnout before I left on my round-the-world travels, and I developed strategies for dealing with these issues. On the road, I discovered a new potential cause for burnout: justifying my nomadic lifestyle and learned to work around it.
- It is Good to Have a Home Base. A Home Base is the best remedy for burnout, I found.
Following these suggestions has made a significant difference in my life.
That said, I have met happy long-term travelers who chose to visit just one area of the world or travel exclusively in groups or independently.
However, they are not taking full advantage of the long-term travel experience. We are sufficiently adaptable, open, and intellectually curious to benefit from experiences outside our boxes. Even more important, we have the time to try new things.
Want Some Other Perspectives on Long-Term, Round-the-World Travel?
Check out this list of the best long-term, round-the-world travel blogs from Boots-n-All.