¨We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us¨.
My Round the World Travel Experiences
For five years, from 2011 to 2015 (nine months a year), I was blessed with the greatest gift I have ever had, around the world travel. I learned a lot about myself and how I like to travel. After talking to many fellow Fifty-Plus Nomads, I believe many can also benefit from the lessons I’ve learned.
The only thing it takes in my experience to travel around the world for a Fifty Plus Nomad is a few small tweaks to our mindset. Then, voila, we can fully experience one of the greatest gifts we will ever receive: the joy of round the world travel for an extended period.
The Gift of Round the World Travel for Extended Periods
Human beings are programmed to fit into boxes. We spend our lives fitting in and trying to meet others’ expectations. I can’t think of any group of people more suited to getting outside our boxes than Fifty Plus Nomads.
Fifty-Plus Nomads 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.
Once I stopped trying to fit myself into boxes, I got the most out of my Fifty-Plus Nomad lifestyle.
After five years spent mostly on the road, I loved traveling because I experienced a fantastic diversity of places, people, and activities.
I believe 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 happy Fifty-Plus Nomad. I am wholeheartedly convinced that other Fifty-Plus Nomads can do likewise.
Lessons From Traveling Round the World for Five Years
- Mix Different Types of Travel Together. I think doing a variety of activities helped me to really enjoy and get the most out of my round the world travel. I traveled independently, went on group tours and cruises, and participated in learning and volunteer vacations. I even went to special events and resorts. I also don’t worry if my experiences are all ¨authentic¨. Sometimes packaged, tourist experiences (like resorts and cruises) can be a welcome change of pace. When I do too much of one thing, I get bored, lonely, or frustrated. However, by moving back and forth between difference experiences, I have enjoyed being a Fifty-Plus Nomad for years at a time.
- Travel to Many Different Parts of the World. I visited 69 countries on every continent except Antarctica. (I got close to Antartica, however, when I visited Ushuaia, Argentina the Southernmost city in the world). I spent a fairly equal amount of time in third world (emerging) countries and the developed world 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 round the world, I traveled quite extensively over my lifetime. I have dealt with almost every type of travel burnout: backpackers’s syndrome, paying more than locals, culture shock, loneliness, and church overload syndrome. I knew that it was possible that I would have burnout before I left on my round the world travels and 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 too.
- It is Good to Have a Home Base. A Home Base is the best remedy for burnout I found.
The following posts should stimulate Fifty-Plus Nomads to think outside their boxes. Following these suggestions has made a big difference in my life.
That said, I have met happy Fifty-Plus Nomads who chose to visit just one area of the world or travel exclusively in groups or independently.
However, they, in my opinion, are not taking full advantage of the Fifty-Plus Nomad experience. We, Fifty-Plus Nomads, 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 Round the World Travel?
Check out this list of the best round-the-world travel blogs from Boots-n-All.
Posts on Lessons I Learned While Traveling Around the World for Five Years
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive Traveling and Living Abroad Seminars: Let Me Help You Put Your Dreams Into Flight (Coming Soon)Take one of my two Fifty-Plus Nomad seminars in my home in Merida, Mexico. Benefit from my sixteen years of experience traveling and living around the world. Learn how to travel around the world long-term and live in different countries.
- My Temporary Home Base in Montreal: 10 Reasons I Loved Coming Home During My Five Year Trip Around the WorldDuring my round the world travels,, I was glad to spend tree months every year at a home base in Montreal. Not only did I grow very fond of Quebec and Eastern Canada but it was fun to just do day-to-day activities with friends.
- How To Avoid Loneliness During Your TravelsWhen I was traveling around the world as a young man, I frequently got lonely. When I was able to travel around the world again long term, I deliberately participated in group tours, cruises, volunteering, and learning vacations to avoid loneliness. It worked wonders for me.
- How Too Much Togetherness May Ruin Your Long-Term TravelsWhile too much togetherness hasn’t been a serious problem during my travels. I have met couples who had problems with too much togetherness during their long-term, round the world travels.
- Justifying Your Fifty-Plus Nomad Lifestyle: An Unexpected ChallengeI was surprised how often I had to justify my existence when I traveled around the world. Here are some tips in case you find yourself in the same situation.
- Paying More than Locals As a Foreigner: How to Deal with and Avoid ProblemsWhen I was younger being charged more for things than locals used to piss me off. Now I simply acknowledge it as part of traveling in third-world countries. I find the less it bothers me the less I attract aggressive vendors, too.
- Culture Shock: The Greatest Challenge for Long-Term Travelers and Expats?By far the biggest issue I had while traveling around the world as a younger man was culture shock. It even resulted in me making some major decisions, most of which I regret in retrospect. In my experience, many people suffer from culture shock while traveling around the world or living abroad but most don’t even know they are suffering from culture shock.
- Backpacker Syndrome: Why Travel Burnout is Usually Part of a Nomadic LifestyleI think every long-term traveler regardless of the budget will occasionally suffer from backpacker’s syndrome. I deal with it by slowing down, staying in my hotel for a day or two, or scheduling some new activities.
- Church Overload Syndrome: When You Just Can’t Stand Seeing Another ChurchDuring my five years traveling around the world. I occasionally suffered from mild travel burnout. Only once did I succumb to church overload syndrome because over time I have learned how to appreciate churches. However, church overland syndrome used to bother me frequently and it seems commonplace among other long-term travelers.
- Consider Resorts, Cruises, Festivals, and Amusement Parks in Your Long-Term Travel PlansWhile many travelers pooh-pooh resorts, cruises, festivals, and amusement parks, I enjoy them in small doses. It is fun to see the creativity of the developers and event planners. It is also a nice break from more serious and intellectual activities.
- Learning Vacations and Volunteering: The Most Overlooked Travel OptionsMy favorite type of group travel is volunteering and learning vacations. No aspect of group travel has so influenced who I am as a person and how I view the world.
- Independent Travel: Advantages and DisadvantagesDuring my five years traveling around the world, I spent about half my time traveling independently and the other half on group tours, cruises, volunteering, and learning vacations. I love the freedom to explore things in depth that comes with independent travel. However, I find exclusively traveling independently to get exhausting and lonely if done for months at a time. I also love the diversity of experiences.when I mix group and independent travel.
- Don’t Avoid Group Tours and Cruises During Your Round-the-World TravelOne of my biggest surprises in traveling around the world for five years was how much I enjoyed group tours and cruises. It is nice to have other people deal with arrangements. Many of the tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. My fellow travelers were usually kind and interested in learning.
- Traveling in Developed Countries: Why it is a Myth that Traveling to Western Europe and Other Developed Countries is Boring and ExpensiveOne of my biggest surprises when I traveled around the world for five years was how much I loved traveling in the developed world (USA/Canada, Australia/New Zealand, Western Europe, Singapore, Japan, the UAE, etc). Until I began to travel around the world for a long term, I always thought the developed world was less interesting than in the third world. Now I find both equally interesting and enjoyable.
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Third World TravelI believe that everyone who has the opportunity to travel round the world should visit countries in both the developing, third world and the developed world (Western Europe, USA/Canada, Australia/New Zealand, etc.). This post outlines the advantages and disadvantages of third-world, emerging country travels.
- Round the World Travel: My Top 4 LessonsI learned four lessons from my five-year journey around the world: 1) Mix group and independent travel; 2) Travel to varied parts of the world; 3) Avoid travel burnout, and 4) Have a home base.