One of My Best Decisions During My Fifty-Plus Nomad Adventures was Establishing a Summertime Home Base in Montreal.
¨The prospect of going home is very appealing¨.
Benefits of a Temporary Home Base During Travel: My Experiences in Montreal
While traveling nine months a year, I also spent three months a year with a girlfriend in Montreal. I think having a home base with her was an essential part of my success as a Fifty-Plus Nomad for these ten reasons:
- It was nice to have someone to talk to you regularly while I was on the road. I usually called her around twice a week to talk about what I had seen and done. These calls helped me feel grounded.
- I enjoyed being part of my girlfriend’s life. It was great to attend events with her family and friends;
- After three to four months at a time on the road, I looked forward to going back to Montreal. It was nice just doing everyday things like going grocery shopping, etc. It was also lovely to talk to my girlfriend daily.
- Conversely, after three or so months a year in Montreal, I looked forward to traveling full-time. I missed the freedom of continually seeing and discovering new places, people, and experiences.
- I enjoyed getting to know one place, Montreal, in-depth. It is a remarkable city filled with many things to see and do. I loved: (1) going on the food tours with Round Table Tours (particularly loved the chocolate, coffee, and tea tours); (2) attending special exhibitions at Musee des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Arts) covering everything from Napoleon the Emperor to a Retrospective on Jean Paul Gaultier; (3) going to concerts by big pop stars like Shakira and Shania Twain at the Bell Centre, and (4) trying restaurants recommended by Anthony Bourdain. Montreal is also convenient to many great places in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States.
- For the first time in my life, I consistently indulged my passion for cultural events especially at the Place des Arts. Over the nine summers I spent in Montreal, I attended over 100 cultural performances (operas, concerts, plays, ballets, etc.) at many venues throughout the City.
- It was good to be in one place long enough so that you can do a lot of everyday things easily. I often would wait until I got to Montreal to do a lot of necessary items that would be difficult to do on the road. (i.e., sending and receiving mail, addressing bureaucratic concerns, etc.)
- Since I didn’t have a permanent home, I loved having a place to store items for future trips. When I was traveling all the time, I was grateful that I had a place in Montreal to put clothes and paperwork that I did not need regularly.
- Being in Montreal, helped me to learn French which proved more useful than I would have expected. A couple of times I was able to take tours of places that were only offered in French. In fact, to my surprise, I went on an excellent tour of Pondicherry, India that was only offered in French. (Note: Pondicherry is a former French colony. It is also, along with Kochin, the most beautiful coastal city in Southern India).
- It was good to have a center for my travels. I got to know the airport, airlines, air routes, and customs and immigration procedures well. I was able to optimize my frequent flyer miles by traveling on Air Canada and United frequently (because of Air Canada’s alliance with United).
Want to Learn More About the Benefits of a Temporary Home Base During Travel?
After Five Years of Traveling the World, Here are Posts About the Lessons I Learned on the Road
- Learning Vacations: The Best Kept Travel SecretMy favorite type of group travel is learning vacations. No aspect of group travel has so influenced who I am as a person and how I view the world.
- 15 Tips for Finding the Best Guided Multi-Day Tours Worldwide for Long-Term TravelersOne of my biggest surprises in traveling around the world for five years was how much I enjoyed guided multi-day tours. 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.
- Couples Traveling Long-Term Together: Does it Hurt or Strengthen Your Relationship? (Under Construction)Under Construction
- My Temporary Home Base During Travel 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 Travel LonelinessWhen 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.
- 3 Tips for Justifying Long-Term Travel: 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 and living 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 LifestyleEvery 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.
- Travel 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.
- 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.
- 8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Third World TravelEveryone who can travel worldwide should visit countries in 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 travel.
- 7 Hidden Pros and Cons of Traveling in the First WorldOne of my biggest surprises when I traveled around the world for five years was how much I loved traveling in the First 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.
- 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.