Another beautifully lost dreamer with an incurable case of wanderlust.

Long Term Travel Lows

Most of the time, travelling is amazing. But, as with anything in life, there are times where you just want the comforts of being at home. I sometimes want a hug from my Mum or to crawl under the duvet with a nice cup of tea and just escape it all.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am fully aware that my life is pretty good… So, why is it that sometimes I get low?

There are some days when long term travelling isn’t so fun…

You can feel really lonely. You’ve left all your friends and family at home and set off by yourself. Yes, you make friends on the way, but they normally leave at some point during your trip. You spend you’re entire time travelling saying goodbye to practically everyone! New friends don’t always understand you, either. People judge you all the time. If you want to get on with everyone you have to have that ‘front’ and sometimes you have to watch what you say or do. I’m no good at hiding my feelings, I’m pretty ‘raw’ and I find that new people don’t always know how to take me. Then all that happens is you end up having fake friends. Because you’re away, you also become distant from your friends at home. You’re living completely different lives and it’s pretty hard to keep regular contact. You miss out on everything back home and you don’t get to attend events that everyone else gets to go to and talk about.

Special occasions aren’t the same without all the people you love around you. Christmas sucks and birthdays aren’t nearly as fun. Then, what makes it worse is that you have to watch other families having a wonderful time, which makes you feel even more isolated and homesick.

It’s not often easy finding work, either. Being a ‘foreigner’ doesn’t rank you top of the list, not to mention any visa work restrictions. There are fewer opportunities than you once imagined. Volunteering often helps gain you respect for any future job positions, but then you have financial problems.

Money is such a bore. You need to fully support yourself, feed yourself, pay for accommodation and continue saving for future plans. Not that you don’t usually need to worry about these things, but when you’re on the other side of the world, with no back up or any idea what you are going to be doing in a couple of weeks, jobless and broke, times can get slightly stressful!

You can feel very vulnerable while travelling. Life starts outside of your comfort zone, but it can still be scary. You need to be extra careful about who you trust.

Being a long way from home can be worrying too. Whenever I get a message from a friend or family member saying, “can you talk” I automatically jump to the worst conclusion and get scared something bad has happened. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but it’s not like you can just hop back home in an hour or so and be there.

Travelling long term doesn’t mean that you are on an extended holiday. Yes, you live in a lovely place and have heaps of highs, but you can still have lows, just like everybody else in the world. I don’t want to be a moany pants, but I feel that people just assume that life is perfect all the time. But it’s not perfect; it’s real. You are still presented with real life situations and have the same feelings, because you’re the same person inside.

Saying all this, I still love to travel and am planning to continue travelling on a long term basis. I’ve discovered that I crave the unknown. I can’t deal with routine; it’s lethal to me. I can’t live everyday like it’s Groundhog Day. I don’t know what I want to do or where I want to be, because there are so many paths to take, but I’ve stopped worrying about the end result, whatever that may be, and I’m focusing on the now.

Que sera, sera.

5 comments

  1. Great post Sam, whilst I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a few low days whilst on the road, thumbs up for this post and bringing these feelings to peoples attention. I think this is a really important read for newbie travelers.

    • Thanks Neil 🙂 it’s only natural to have downs as well as ups, I think its important that people are aware of this before they set off and can be prepared. Cheers for the comment, hope you’re all good and enjoying your travels!

  2. reclaimingyourfuture /

    Preach it hun! Right there with you xx

  3. I can so relate to this post. Sometimes the smallest moments lead to weird mood changes. Nonetheless the happy moments definitely predominate. And as you said, I can neither deal with routine so well and am so happy to be on the road. Enjoy your travels!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: