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Things that suck about long-term travel

A great post by Nomadic Matt over on Travel Blogs highlights 5 things that suck about long term travel.

Although the longest continuous travelling for me has been about 4 months (coming to Australia kind of morphed into emigrating, so I won't count that), I think he has some good points.

For me, I think the hardest thing is missing family and friends. Particularly if you hear of anything going wrong back home, this can become a really painful side of being away. This is somewhat offset by the fact that I usually end up meeting other friends or family that I haven't seen in ages while travelling, so it kind of works itself out.

Another thing is the sense that you always need to be doing something. Even on a 4 month journey, there's a part of you that feels like every day needs to count and be filled with excitement. Luckily most days are filled with excitement, merely due to the fact that you are in a different place. Some days you really just need to sit around and not do much at all. For me at least, that often feels like I'm missing out on seeing something. That does of course depend where I'm travelling at the time. Some beach destinations in particular are visited mainly to relax, so that's not much of a problem ;)

Any long-term travellers care to add their thoughts?

Posted by Peter 16:50 Tagged round_the_world

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You do need to sit around and do nothing while travelling. I consider it one of the most essential things to do on any trip longer than a couple of weeks.
I think the "missing out" feeling just is mindset; if you know ahead of time that you'll have such days, and add time for them in your itinerary, they should matter a whole lot less.
Strangely enough, when looking back on the two long trips I've taken (25 and 3.5 months), it's often the quiet moments of reflection that I remember best and most fondly. Sitting in a lounge with a cup of tea and a book. Being 'trapped' inside during two days of endless rain on Magnetic Island, watching it all stream by.
Downtime like that gives my mind the time to catch up to endless strings of experiences and make sense of it all, integrating them into my being. It's often during those times that I realize that I really prefer to do something over something else and can adjust the course of my travels or my life. And somewhere, having those experiences and making those decisions is a much more important reason for travelling for me than "seeing" anything.

by Sander

Yeah, you're right there Sander - it's about mindset. I think it's important to allow that kind of extra time in a destination. Not trying to cram too many destinations into a short time helps a lot. Another great way to get some downtime is by including nice long train trips - plenty of boring reading, looking-out-the-window time on those ;)

by Peter

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