RTW Diaries: A Confession, A Change of Plans

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Have you ever dreamed about doing something for a really long time, only to finally try it and find out that you don't love it nearly as much as you expected to?

We've all been there, I think. Maybe it was that cooking class you finally signed up for, a dream job you landed that turned out to be a letdown, or maybe even that time you convinced yourself that you could run a marathon.

For me, it's turned out to be long-term travel.

Cliffs of Moher

When I set out on my round-the-world trip in July, I was excited. I was planning to be gone for about 6 months, and assumed that by the end I would only want to keep going. I was ready to fall in love with long-term travel like many of my traveling friends.

But it just never happened.

Right from the beginning, there were challenges. It took me a few weeks to settle in to my travel groove — a few weeks to adjust to traveling on my own once again. In the months leading up to my big trip, I had only traveled in short stints. And only with other people: in small groups, with a friend or two, with the guy I was dating. This was really the first time in a year that I would be traveling completely on my own.

It wasn't all smiles, though.

I had forgotten how lonely solo travel can be. How stressful it can get to only have yourself to rely on. How much it can suck to be seeing new places and experiencing new things without someone to share it with.

I eventually did settle back into traveling on my own, thankfully, and even ended up making some friends while zipping around Europe with Busabout.

But by the end of Month Two, something still just felt… off.

Green Park, London

Re-evaluating my plans

As I began my third month of constant travel — and I mean constant: frequent movement and more beds than I care to count — the idea of home was becoming more and more appealing. I was missing familiar places and faces; I was missing sleeping in my own bed and driving my own car; I was even craving lazy evenings at home catching up on my favorite TV shows. I was exhausted and ready for a break.

I won't say I wasn't enjoying traveling anymore, because I was. I just wasn't enjoying ALL of it anymore.

I was no longer enjoying the stress of finding a place to stay each night or figuring out transportation. I was no longer enjoying unpacking and re-packing my bulging bag every few days. I was no longer enjoying the lonely evenings and dinners-for-one. And let's not even mention the money situation…

Don't let the smile fool you – I was nearly flat broke at this point, waiting on freelancing payments.

Someone once told me that it's around the 10-12 week mark that homesickness really starts to set in for long-term travelers. I thought that perhaps I was hitting that wall, too. After all, traveling — and traveling solo especially — isn't always rainbows and unicorns. I hoped I would snap out of it.

But, by the end of September, I was running low. On money, on energy, on enthusiasm. It was time to re-evaluate my plans.

I saw two options:

I could either continue on with my RTW plans and head to Asia as soon as TBEX Dublin was over, find a cheap apartment somewhere for a few months, and just buckle down and get some work done in order to afford to explore Asia (and eventually fly home).

OR, I could shift my plans a bit and go home for a few months instead, postponing Asia until after the New Year.

In the end, I decided to change my plans.


I'm now writing to you from my cozy living room in Ohio, where I intend to mostly stay until mid-January. Now that the decision is made, I know it was the right one for me.

Am I giving up?

Some might call changing my plans and coming home early “giving up.” I prefer to call it simply listening. Listening to my gut and doing what I knew was right for me and my travel style.

After 2 months of travel last year, I thought I would never be ready to stop. But after 3 months of travel this year, I've come to the conclusion that long-term travel isn't for me after all.

I finally figured it out!

I've built my blog around the idea that you can live a “normal” life — you know, one where you have a job and friends and a permanent address — and still fit travel into your lifestyle. Traveling nonstop for months on end kind of goes completely against that, however. And perhaps that's one of the reasons that it just didn't work out for me.

The truly nomadic lifestyle will probably never be for me. And you know what? That's okay.

I feel like a lot of travelers and bloggers and “digital nomads” out there make this lifestyle of perpetual travel sound like the coolest, most awesome thing ever. But the reality, of course, is that it isn't always. And it isn't meant for everyone. In the end, I had to listen to my gut and allow myself to take a break.

It was the best decision I could have made for myself.

And now that I know that the nomadic lifestyle isn't for me, I can focus on travel styles that ARE for me.


My plans from here

My travel sweet spot seems to be about 6-8 weeks. Enough time to explore, yet not so long that it gets exhausting. I'm still going to Asia — but probably for 2 months, tops. I fly back to London on January 15, and will head to Thailand or Vietnam from there.

Now that the decision is made, I feel good about it. This way, I will get to spend the holidays at home with people I love. I will have a chance to recover from Europe (both mentally and financially). And then I can go to Southeast Asia refreshed and ready for a new adventure.

Santorini Sunset

This also gives me time to plan a bit for Southeast Asia; to make sure I make the most of the time I'll spend there. I will go back to my more “normal” style of travel — where I have to plan in order to fit in the things I really want to. You know, like most people out there who are planning trips and looking for inspiration (i.e. the readers of this blog!).

I don't look at this as a failure, even though I'm sure others might. Instead, I look at it as one more step toward figuring myself out. Life, after all, is nothing more than a giant learning experience. And the lesson I learned from the past 3 months is that, while I definitely love traveling, long-term travel and I just don't fit together like I once thought we might.

But that's the beauty about traveling — there's no right or wrong way to do it. Only the way that works for YOU.

Amphitheater on Ios


So what do you think? Is long-term travel for you? What would YOU have done in my situation?



"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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213 Comments on “RTW Diaries: A Confession, A Change of Plans

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  1. there is definitely nothing wrong with not being someone who enjoys long term travel. i sure as hell dont! i love having a home, my dog, my group of friends, and a steady income. long term travel just isnt for everyone. i tend to travel for around 3-4 months of the year, but only for a month at a time. i then head back, work, and take small trips (or none at all) awaiting my next destination.

    it’s great that you recognize it is not for you and make changes accordingly rather than waste away time in a destination being sour. ive been there and done that and left regretting it immensely.

    looking forward to your asia travels! enjoy ohio…such a great time of year there 🙂

      Yes, I definitely did not want to have any regrets on this trip – and that included regretting going someplace new when all I really wanted was to go back to someplace familiar. Now that I’m back home, I’m really happy!

      I have been living nomadic since May 2014 and I know exactly what you mean about longing for those cosy, lazy nights in front of the TV. Until May I hadn’t travelled much in my life at all and I am very much an all or nothing kind of person so I got rid of all my belongings and headed to explore the world with a friend. Currently we are still having the time of our lives on the road (currently travelling through Guatemala) but I think the most important thing I am learning from my travels is how to really pay attention to the signals my body gives me when I need to make a change in my life. Through my experiences writing and making films about my travels I am really starting to feel how cathartic making art can be when times are tough. I wrote this article when I was struggling with life on the road throughout my 5 month road trip across the USA. I wrote the article to explain to people who don’t do long term travel, just how hard it can be. Have a look when you have time. Happy Travels and enjoy your time with friends and family at home as well.

        Thanks for sharing, April! You’re definitely correct about how important it is to pay attention to what your body is telling you – especially when you’re on the road and constantly moving!

    I love your honesty! I haven’t tried long-term travel, but I already know it isn’t for me. I have two obviously conflicting goals of extensive travel and creating a cozy home for my husband and I. I honestly believe I can have both, and even simultaneously, but that means traveling in shorter stints and not months or a year at a time. Is it a pipe dream? Maybe, but it’s one I’m happily working toward.

      Good for you, Becky! And I don’t think it’s a pipe dream at all – I believe you can totally have both!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love travel, but I love coming home to my own place. I love meeting new people, but I hate goodbyes. People talk highly about RTW travel, but I know it’s not for me – I much prefer my base and saving up for bigger trips. Knowing yourself and your style is important, so good for you!! Ohio is for lovers, or at least what I hear!

      Ohio IS for lovers! 😉

      And thank YOU. I agree with everything you said, too!

    I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately for some reason. So many of the travel blogs I read are written by long term travelers and they are always so inspiring. And, like you said, the idea of it sounds wonderful! Then the reality of it… maybe not so much. I wrote about my feelings here. I really like that your blog is geared more for people who have a full-time job but still love traveling. Anyway, welcome back home! I’m looking forward to reading more about your time in Europe.

      It’s true – many of the most inspiring travel blogs are the ones written by people who have quit their jobs and sold everything to chase their dreams of traveling the world. And while I still love reading those blogs, the reality is that it’s not something everybody can do – including me!

    I don’t look at it as failure. I look at it as honest! I believe there a whole bunch more people who travel full-time who feel the same way but aren’t willing to admit it. I think I’m more like you, but an even more short-term traveler. Two weeks gets wearing on me.

      And I think traveling alone with be lonely, scary and depressing.

      Thanks, Tonya! And I think you’re right – most long-term travelers probably feel this way at some point, but not many of them write about! Which is fine, of course. I just felt like I had to share my experience.

    I’m with you. I don’t think I can do long term travel. Even a couple weeks on the road is more than enough for me and I need some sort of normalcy to reset. I’ve found having a home base and then being able to jump around is really what works for me. You get to know one area really well while exploring others. A win-win in my books.

      Definitely my ideal situation, too, Adelina. I, too, need time to “reset”!

    brava! and good choice. when we listen to our SELF, we end up much happier. Long term travel isn’t for me, either.

      Totally agree – listening to yourself is sometimes the hardest sort of listening, but I think it’s the most important kind!

    I think its better to do what you feel is right. Can’t enjoy anything obviously when something is running through your head saying how would it be if I had been somewhere else. When you feel you have to spend some time with people you love, there is no better place like your family. Have a good laugh, have a great time and when you feel you are ready for your little adventure again don’t stop. Keep having fun, apart from the travel you do I love the way you write with such passion its amazing. If possible try to even visit india. Cheers.

      Thanks for the support, Rohit! I’m very happy with my decision to come home for a bit. And taking a break is getting me excited about my next adventure!

    I don’t think long term travel is for me either. I lived abroad for 6 months and missed many things from home! Becoming a digital nomad seems to be the travel blogger holy grail, but I don’t think it’s for everyone! I’m sure it was very difficult and stressful for you to be on your own and have to worry about logistics and money and safety. Anyway, I’m glad you made the best decision for you and I hope you continue to build the perfect life for YOU, balancing travel and a “normal” home base if that’s what works.

      Yes, that “digital nomad” phrase is one used a lot in the travel blogging world. But I agree that it’s definitely not a good fit for everyone – me included!!

    Ahhh what I feel most like saying after reading this post is this – don’t be so hard on yourself, saying that this would be seen as a failure and feeling a need to justify your decision. After all it is your trip and you can decide freely how you want to do it and if you want to change it then it’s nobody’s business but your own!
    Also, I am probably making some assumptions here, but I think you went after the “long-term-traveling-thing” different than other travel bloggers (at least those I read). Most of those people don’t travel around for months changing cities every other day because everyone says very very fast that that is too exhausting, there’s to much to take in and that it’s too tiring to pack and move all the time.
    For my own long-ish travels that I plan for next year I intend to alternate between longer stays of maybe two weeks (or even longer depending on the situation) in the same place and actual travelling around. I also hope to do some homestays or volunteering.
    Maybe you could look into that if you want to try long term travel again at some point? Just sort of slow down and give yourself more time with the journey..

    Anyway I hope that I am making some sense here and that you enjoy your time back in the US as much as possible 🙂

      I personally didn’t see it as a failure, but I felt like maybe others would. I clearly was wrong! Haha.

      And you’re right – most long-term travelers do things a bit differently than I did over the past few months. Though, I DID stay in quite a few places for 5-7 days at a time, so it wasn’t like I was in a new city every night. Still got way too tiring for me, though, as I’m the type of person who wants to see EVERYTHING whenever I’m in a new place.

    Thank you for this post and the level of honesty it contained. I’m heading off on my first long term, solo trip later this month – a year in SE Asia and Oz and I’m terrified of ‘failing’…of having all my friends and family build it up and getting so excited for me, just for me to disappoint them only a few months in. But then I remind myself that to not try something at all is when you really fail yourself…to be honest with oneself is one of the bravest things anybody can ever do.

      Thank YOU, Catherine! I wouldn’t worry too much about failing… as my experience should prove, it’s impossible to fail if you just do what feels right for you!

    I am totally the same way. I either have to be an expat or just take frequent trips for shorter stints. I LIKE to work and have somewhere to store my books (perhaps the one belonging I refuse to downsize). Some people love being nomads, but there is nothing wrong with NOT loving that style.

      So true! I think the expat thing could be ideal for me someday, too.

    This is an awesome post, and I definitely think you made the right decision. Traveling for months on end with no real ‘home’ must be exhausting. I’ve never done it because I know I just need that space to rewind and re-set between trips. Nothing wrong with that! It’s just a different style for different personalities.

      Thanks, Jessica! And yes, it IS exhausting! At least, it was for me. I was also traveling super fast, though, which didn’t help matters.

    Thanks for your honesty, I guess not everyone would admit that.

    I left my home in 2008. Since then I’m living and traveling abroad. I know what you mean by exhausting, I really hate to pack my things and move to another place, therefore I became a really slow traveler. I try to stay at least 1 week at each place. Sometimes I stayed one or two months in an island. I like getting to know the places and meeting locals.

    Now I’m in Istanbul for a year (with some side trips between) because it turned out as a very cheap place to live, but soon I’ll pack my few things again and head to the Philippines. I don’t really have a homebase anymore. But I have a lot of new homes in the future.

    I travel and live abroad, because it’s cheaper than being at home. It’s exhausting sometimes and surely not for everyone, but I love my life and I can not imagine to go back to my country and pay ridiculously high prices for an average lifestyle.

      Well you’ve clearly found the style that works best for you, and that’s great!

      On this trip, there were times when I WAS spending a week or so in a place. But it was still clearly a little too fast for me!

    Well, I’ll be honest, as one of those long term nomadic people, I’d rather do it your way too. Unfortunately, practically and financially it’s just not possible, it’s nomadic or maybe one 3 week trip a year, which isn’t nearly enough. That’s one of the problems of living in Oz, it’s really hard to get anywhere. Nomadic travel is hard, it’s the amount of time I spend online that kills it for me, trying to organise and book things two countries in advance. But it’s way better than being at home and bored to death, so I’m sticking with it!

      If it works for you, that’s all that matters! It definitely doesn’t seem like an easy lifestyle, though.

      As a Kiwi I totally hear you on that. I fall on the other side of the coin, though – faced with those choices, I will choose the 4 weeks a year. That said, I also want a house and kids, so that factors in.

    Amanda, you are so right in your thinking! There are no failures…only learning experiences.

    I think you totally did the right thing! Travel doesn’t have to be long-term to be rewarding. For me, the sweet spot seems to be similar to yours–6-8 weeks. I don’t move as quickly or as often as I used to (every few nights); sometimes I stay in one place for several days or even a few weeks.

    Anyway, good for you for doing what felt right vs what people say you should do!

      Yup, 6-8 weeks (or even less, really) is probably my ideal! I think I will probably stick to that from now on – at least as long as I’m traveling by myself!

    Any time I travel alone, no matter how long the trip, I always feel melancholy that there’s no one to share it with. I think travel is much more enriching when it’s shared!

      Definitely. Not having someone to share all those amazing moments with is wearing on me.

    Welcome back to Ohio, we’re glad to have you back! =P

    I think it sounds like you definitely made the right choice for you! The longest I have traveled is a month, not alone, and I was definitely feeling the readiness to be back by the end. I think if I were anticipating being away longer, I would be prepared and be more okay with it, but 6 months is a long time. Especially when you’re always on the move. I think the longest I would probably want to go is 3 months, and spend at least a week in most places.

      Yes, I definitely made the best choice for myself. And I’m glad I did! 6 months IS a long time; clearly just too long for me!

    How refreshing to read something like this! I’m 100% with you on this too, Amanda. I don’t see short-term travel as a failure whatsoever (like others might make it out to be); it’s simply a personal preference. Truthfully, I think shorter-term travel can even be a richer experience than long-term travel. The extreme budgeting that is required for an RTW can force people to skimp out on nearly everything—restaurant meals, more interesting accommodations, tours/activities etc. All of these are part of the travel experience that shouldn’t be discarded just because they cost a little bit more. After seeing a young American on an RTW in Indonesia eating his one piece of bread for the morning proclaim “Oh man, I’m soooo hungry!” because he already shot over his travel budget for the day, I decided I’d rather be the guy enjoying new foods, cooking classes and comfortable beach huts than the one sleeping on floors and starving myself over spending an extra $10.

      That is such a fantastic point, Ryan. And the budget issue DID stress me out much more than I would have liked it to on this trip. I’m usually the type who will splash out on unique experiences abroad, but it was harder to do this time around. Since I was funding my trip mostly through freelance writing, there were a few times when I had barely any money and was really stressing over it, to the point where I didn’t even want to go out to eat with friends/tourmates. It was terrible!

    congrats on making a tough decision.

      Thanks, Annie. In the end, though, it really wasn’t that tough – I knew it was what I needed.

    At least you gave it a go. Some people might dream of long-term travel, but could let fear and doubt hold them back from ever giving it a try. You did it, and even though you’ve decided long-term travel isn’t for you at least you won’t have that feeling of regret wondering “what if I had…?”

      Exactly! I knew I had to give it a go, no matter what the outcome. At least now I know!

    Great post. I have been toying with the idea of doing a long term travel trip, but I am afraid of doing it solo. I usually travel with my boyfriend, and he is not ready for a long term trip yet. With that being said, I do agree travel is learning about yourself and what works for you. Everyone handles it differently.

    Have you thought of finding travel partners for some of your long term travel? It might make it more enjoyable. However, I understand the risk of getting along with someone and spending all your time with a stranger who might have a completely different travel style.

      Well, you’ll never know until you try, Angela! Solo travel can be great! But I do understand your trepidation.

      I think I WOULD be willing to try long-term travel again – but only with a partner in crime. Unfortunately, those are difficult to come by, especially in the U.S. when most people have jobs and debt and such that they can’t leave behind for long periods of time!

    For a lot of people, this is the reality. As a full-time college student, I can only travel in short bursts – a week here, a weekend there, and then during the winter and summer breaks. Do I make it work? Of course, and I don’t feel like I am missing out on all this much. Perhaps one day I’ll try the long term travel thing (actually, right now I am living abroad, but not sure if that counts) but until I graduate I’m going to need to stick to the home base. And that’s perfectly fine 🙂

      It IS perfectly fine, Kay! And that’s how I traveled, too, until I finished grad school earlier this year and decided to try a longer trip. Now that I have though, I think I much prefer my old style of travel!

    I get it. I think you made the right decision :-). I’m excited you’re still going to Southeast Asia too!

    You know, I had the exact same feelings four months into my trip while I was still doing the solo travel thing. I was lonely and depressed and homesick. In fact, I was actually looking at flights back home when I met Dave. And then, well, I didn’t feel so lonely anymore. I’m certain that if I hadn’t met Dave I wouldn’t still be travelling full-time. Having somebody to share all of those amazing experiences with really made a huge difference.

    Now, our travels are getting slower and slower… our eventual goal is to spend three months of the year having a Melbourne summer (to see Dave’s family), three months of the year having a London… “summer” (to see mine), and then spend the remaining six months of the year either somewhere in Southeast Asia or slowly travelling. We both miss our families heaps and are getting pretty tired with the constant moving and packing up our things. This should hopefully give us the perfect balance 🙂

    Finally, I adore all of the photos in this post!

      Definitely still going to SEA! And now that I’ve had some time off, I’m starting to get really excited about it, too!

      I think if I’d had a travel buddy for all of my trip things would have been a lot different. When I was traveling with Busabout and made a few friends that I would catch up with in multiple cities, for example, I enjoyed it a lot more than when I was just entirely on my own.

    Good for you for making the decision that was right for you! I can honestly say that long term travel is not my bag. Even though I did it for a year and I don’t regret a minute of it (okay, so maybe I do regret that hostel dorm room in Laos… but other than that…). I am just the type of person that thrives on routine…. and having a couch. Sure, it’s not as sexy as backpacking through Asia, but it’s what works best for me. (P.S. backpacking through Asia only SOUNDS sexy. It’s actually very exhausting and full of very large grasshoppers.)

      Haha, I will be sure to watch out for the large grasshoppers!

      I know what you mean about routine, though. I like those, too! I also like being able to be lazy and not feeling bad about it, or like I’m missing out on something. I didn’t get to be lazy very often in the past 3 months!

    Does it really matter what others think? Do what’s best for you. We love all kinds of travel but we seem to end up in one place for 4 or 5 years at a time, I think they call that extremely slow travel 🙂
    Whatever works and makes you happy is what’s right for you.

      Ha, nope, doesn’t matter at all what others think!

    I really appreciate this post and the honesty it holds. This for me is something I know I will struggle with. I often do things solo just because I move around a lot or tend to lead a more crooked path then my friends, so I know that I will struggle traveling solo, I struggled in Prague years ago and that was only for a few days. My love of travel has been with me since I was 12 and it was only this year at 26 that I decided to make a real go at it. To document and see and live. But I also know I have a desire to plant roots. When started my blog I didn’t know in which direction to take it, as much as travel will be in the forefront, I have more to say than just what I’m seeing. That one day I would love walls to hang memories on. So as I prepare to hopefully spend the next year teaching in Korea as a way to pave myself some financial freedom and have somewhat of a plan for after, you just never know where you will end up. I often feel overwhelmed by how large and yet small the travel blogging community. I often feel so far behind. But like you said there is no right or wrong way to do this and better late than never. I think it takes a lot of courage to go with your instincts. I hope you enjoy your time at home and I look forward to reading about your Asia adventures.

      I’ll give you the same advice that I gave myself, Jessica – just do whatever feels right for you, and forget about what everybody else is doing! In the end, you have to make yourself happy first.

    I totally get this. About 9 months in of not seeing anybody at home (and in fact not talking to them because I’m not much of a caller) I felt myself going crazy. Most of the time I wouldn’t leave my room and I would just watch British TV shows on my laptop because the idea of travelling just wasn’t appealing tome. And so I flew home. Unfortunately, I’m a week back and I now want to be anywhere but home and I’m very confused. Well, I hope this decision works better for you than for me! 🙂

      Haha, it’s definitely one of those “the grass is always greener on the other side” dilemmas, isn’t it? I hope you figure it out!

    I totally understand!! Last December I packed up everything in storage and was lucky enough for my mother to babysit my pets and left for Australia. As much as Oz was lots of fun I was still missing the Canadian snow and my dog!! In the end it was pretty much the nuclear heat that did me in though… I have so many great memories of my time abroad, explored the whole country, met some awesome people and don’t regret anything but next time I’m keeping it at 4 weeks or under. Luckily I live in a city were it’s easy to catch a flight to anywhere, anytime.

    Home sweet home!!

    On a sidenote, happy to say it’s been 5 months since I’ve been back home and the dog has finally recently forgiven me, not that she wasn’t well cared for during 6 months, she gained lots of weight and picked up some very bad manners…

      I don’t regret any of the things I did this summer, either – it was a great trip and I took away some amazing memories. But, like you, I think my next trip will definitely be a shorter one!

    I am with you. I like to think that I could do long term travel but I know it would be exhausting. It is nice to be able to have a place to come home to after a trip.

      Definitely. Having a home is not something I’m willing to give up in order to travel!

    “We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

    Long term travel is definitely not for everyone – I know for sure that Pete and I (and the other nomadic types) are the weirdos in this world. 🙂 Good on you for just doing what is right for you. That is what travel is all about!

      Haha, yes, you weirdo, you! 😛

      Nah, I don’t think you’re weird. Long-term travel just works for you guys in a way that it doesn’t for me! Nothing wrong (or weird) with that.

    I think being listening to your heart is BOLD and full of courage! There is no one thing that is good for everyone – obviously! And traveling solo is hard. Just trying to figure out how to go to the bathroom – I mean, what do you do with your bags?!

    Right on — excited to hear about your upcoming adventures!

    It’s been said above but I’ll say it again, that the honesty in this post is refreshing. I think a LOT of people feel the same way, but they haven’t come out and said it.

    I know at least for me, I haven’t given long term travel a go yet, sticking more with expat life and side trips. I’ll have a little taste of it this upcoming year, though, so we’ll see where it takes me.

    So glad you followed your gut, that’s really what it’s all about. Learning from, listening to, and understanding yourself make the rest of your life a whole lot easier.

      So glad you liked the post, Sally. I never expected it to do this well, but I suppose you can never go wrong with honesty!

      Good luck with your own long-term adventure!

    Love love love this post! You definitely did the right thing. I often think I should’ve thrown in the towel on my RTW trip early too but I was too stubborn to. Good for you for listening to your heart!

      Thanks, Katie! I remember actually thinking of you when I was making my decision to take a break. I remember what a tough first few months you had, but how you powered through. I guess, in the end, I just couldn’t bring myself to be that stubborn! 😉

    I’ve been doing long term travel since January, but this time it has been very different from my other travel experiences, first it is long term, second I’ve been doing volunteer service for most of the time: 3 months India, 2 months Israel and 1 month Perú. Truth is, as a volunteer you do have responsibilities the same way as having a job sans a salary, so, it’s not for everyone and in addition you still have to pay for most if not all of your expenses. The good thing is that you get immersed in the country where you are providing the service, you learn about the country and its people, meet people from around the world which, by the way, will be your brothers and sisters for the time being and of course you are doing something relevant to help this World that we love to explore. I did save for many years to afford this and to recover from every volunteer experience, I traveled to a neighbor country then back home for a month. So far, this has been a life changing experience and more than I was expecting. Im glad that you are discovering what you really want so, go for it!

      Volunteering and traveling – or voluntourism, as it’s being called these days – is definitely an option worth considering. I’m sure it’s very rewarding!

    Welcome home! Enjoy your time there, where you can look back and absorb your most recent travels and plan your next trip. There IS a lot of pressure to “follow your dream and travel long-term,” but that isn’t for everyone. It isn’t for me! I like to do a month (two might be nice), but then I need to go home and process. It’s too hard to make sense of everything when you are bombarded by new experience. And, as I’ve gotten older, I like to travel slower and with a little more luxury (I have a thing for hot water showers). As you grow older your travel preferences may change and maybe someday you’ll be at a point where a 6 months or a year on the road is exactly what you need. For now though, your decision to rethink your plans show that you are wise and self-aware. Good for you.

    Looking forward to your travel stories whenever and wherever they occur. . .

      Thanks for the great comment, Cindy! I’m with you – I need that downtime after a trip to process everything that I’ve seen/done. And it’s almost impossible to do when you’re going someplace new every few days (or even every few weeks!). It’s the reason my blog suffered a bit on this trip – I simply didn’t have time to reflect and write!

      Like you said, though, one day down the line maybe my opinion will change and I’ll want to give a longer trip a go again. We shall see!

    I have always been interested in long term travel but the more I read about it the more nervous I feel about it. I travel in small bursts throughout the year – nothing over 10 days and have never really had that feeling of wanting to get home until this year. I thought it was due to the weather as it had rained pretty much every day while I was traveling but it also crossed my mind that it could be that I had reached my maximum of days I wanted to be away from home. Which was disappointing because 10 days really isn’t that long!

      Well hey, if 10 days is your limit, there’s nothing wrong with that! Don’t push yourself to do something that truly makes you uncomfortable. Yes, it’s good to challenge yourself sometimes. But don’t push yourself so far that you don’t enjoy it anymore just because you feel like you’re supposed to!

    WOW! This is so not a failure, Amanda! This is a truly amazing post. I admire your honesty & strength, and I can totally relate with your feelings. You wrote what many of us think deep down inside, so a huge hat tip to you for listening to your gut and being able to admit that in the end, this is simply not the way you like to travel. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I know I’ll be coming back to this post often; you’ve written a beautiful personal piece her. Thanks for always being an inspiration!

      Thanks so much for the kind comment, Catherine! I’m glad you connected with this post, too.

    I’ve done both and while I don’t enjoy zipping around to a new place every few days, I do enjoy long term travel with a home base. It’s like having the comforts of home on the road.
    I currently have a “real” job and have to fight like hell to travel the way I like…that being said I am looking forward to traveling in COLOMBIa during December .

      Traveling with a home base is definitely my ideal, too! Enjoy Colombia!!

    Only you can make the right choice for yourself. I see no failure here. In fact you’ve learned much from this experience. Having never tried constant travel I don’t know if I’d like it or not. Going on my longest trip for three months in South Africa starting mid-January. Enjoy your time, at home, or wherever your heart leads.

      Thanks, Gaelyn. I definitely did learn a lot, and had a great few months, too.

    This is a great post! I have tried living abroad and settling into another culture a few times now and I’ve decided that if the next time is just as hard, I am going to admit it isn’t for me. It’s not a failure! It’s success to listen to your own heart and happiness. Good for you! Best wishes in all your future travels.

      Thanks! And good luck figuring out your travel style, too.

    I think it’s good that you at least gave it a try and now know how you feel about it. It’s better than just dreaming about it and regretting that you never gave it a go.

    I know that my family could never make the jump to becoming RTW nomads. Instead, we moved from Texas to Malaysia where we live a “normal” life for the most part. Hubby has a steady desk job with limited vacation days, and the kids are enrolled in a regular school. But simply living in a place so vastly different from home makes me feel like I’m a traveler even when I’m not going on a trip. Plus, Malaysia is a good base for travel, so we head off for a long weekend every 6 weeks and then do 3 long trips a year. I feel like I’m getting in my world adventure while maintaining a sense of normalcy and routine

      That sounds like a really good compromise! I would like to try expat living one of these days – it would give me a home base, but would still be very different and offer up new travel opportunities!

    No one can ever judge you for listening to your gut. They are you plans and your travels and you know what is best for you!

    “After all, traveling — and traveling solo especially — isn’t always rainbows and unicorns.”- Haha so true. It can be hard, and a headache.

      Yup, it’s definitely not always nice or easy! Especially for those of us who can’t just make a horde of new friends with a panda hat. 😉

    I think we had that conversation when we met and you still were trying to figure out what to do. Even if a lot of people enjoy long term travel and especially there’s this trend in the travel blogging community that it’s the only right way to travel I believe that everyone has to find their own way to discover the world. People are different, not only in the terms of travels, so if something works for one person it doesn’t have to work for you and the sooner you understand it the better for you! I’m with you in that decision as I figure out a while ago that I love taking few trips than just one big as I love my life back at home, it’s good, it’s steady. Besides I love the excitement of looking forward to going for another adventure. Anyway, you did a really good thing as there was no point of pushing yourself towards somethings you didn’t fully enjoy!

      Yes, we did chat about this before I made up my mind!

      I like your approach to traveling – lots of smaller, shorter trips. It definitely gives you more to look forward to, and less to stress out over all at once!

    definitely Not a failure. this is success! you saw what was right for you. and how would you know what is right without trying what is out there? I myself lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle in my early 20’s (not intentionally ), and that made me realise it is not for me. I am all for the sustainable kind of travel- having a job/base and then travelling a LOT. work smart, travel harder. i start yearning for my home routine after the 6 week mark. I need to recharge (energy and money) from travelling by settling, and then recharge from daily life by travelling. all the best with your travel plans and i look forward to seeing your next adventures!

      “I need to recharge (energy and money) from travelling by settling, and then recharge from daily life by travelling.” – YES! Totally agree with this, as I’m the same way.

    Thanks for your honesty. I can’t say I’m a long term traveller as I’ve ended up working in places for at least 6 months which gives you a chance to put down roots but it has been 3 years since I’ve lived in Ireland. And I do miss it, more so at the moment.

    A lot of people see going home as a failure, guilty of it myself, but I think your gut instinct is something that shouldn’t be ignored. It’s also SO much harder to be away from home at the holidays.

    Enjoy your break before your next adventure!

      Your gut instinct is usually never wrong, no matter what the decision is you’re trying to make!

    I just recently got back from a month-long trip home after being away for 1.5 years and it really did me good! I love traveling but there is also a wonderful feeling to go home. I’m not sure how long I would last traveling constantly. My solution to that has been to move to a location and take trips from there in the area. I lived in Berlin, Germany and from there traveled all around Europe, coming home after each trip. Now I live in Chiang Mai, Thailand and take trips to destinations in Southeast Asia. I like the idea of have a surrogate home while I’m away from my real home. I’d love to meet you when you come through northern Thailand. Over here your money will last a lot longer as well – a nice side benefit of traveling to SEA.

      Eventually that’s how I would like to travel – find a home base somewhere abroad, and take short trips from there. That sounds so much less overwhelming!!

    It’s never a failure because you tried and succeeded to find what you really want. We can’t expect to have the same path like the others, otherwise we wont really find ourselves. We follow other paths for a guide but then its always up to us to know what’s best for ourselves. Kudos, for finding it your way! Be safe always! 🙂

      Thanks for the support, Lyndsay, and thanks for reading!

    I can totally relate to this in so many ways. My RTW was such a struggle, and it was only 5 months, of which my last month was back in the US visiting friends and family. Solo travel is great, and I will continue to encourage people to try it because it can be such a confidence boost. But it can also be really tough. I love traveling with Andy now, and being away from him while I was on my RTW was so hard that I flew back to Germany for 2 weeks in the middle to see him. I think a lot of it has to do with speed too. Most long term travelers don’t travel quickly because it’s just not sustainable. You went really fast through Europe, and that’s bound to wear down anyone. Andy and I just did 7 weeks through Europe in May and June with no more than a week or so (sometimes less) in anyone place, and it was exhausting. I think you’d have a different perspective if you were going slower, but that still doesn’t mean you’d change your mind. Andy and I are purposely setting up our lives to be home in Freiburg part of the year and traveling or temporarily living elsewhere part of the year. I like having a home, I like knowing my comfortable bed is waiting for me back there. But I also like seeing the world for long chunks of time. Especially if we can escape part of the harsh German winters! Good for you for listening to your heart and taking the time to go home for awhile before going to SE Asia. It will refresh you and give you the energy to travel for a little longer over there, but certainly there are a million ways to set up your life to fit what makes you happy.

      I envy travelers like you who have a significant other who can travel the same way as you! I would love to do that, too – have a home base, but then travel part of the year. But, right now, it’s just not feasible for me. Hopefully someday, though!

    You’ve just spent months wizzing around Europe, spending the holidays with the people you know best and then heading out to Asia. That doesn’t sound like a failure to me 🙂

      Haha when you put it that way, no it doesn’t! 🙂

    Good on you for deciding to go home. Long term travel is definitely not for everyone. I did it in chunks – lived for around 2 years at a time in a few different places – and found that more doable, except that every time I left a place and left all my new friends it was devastating! Now I’m based back home in Australia and have a son and wouldn’t want to be constantly travelling with him – lots of travel, yes, but still that “normal” life in between. I totally get it!

      Yes, keeping that “normal” life – or at least some semblance of it – is important to me!

    I think there’s something about Europe that discourages you from traveling long-term. I was in Europe for three months before I headed down to South Africa. If I could do it all over again, I would have skipped the Italian leg of my European journey which drained the most of my $$$. But I definitely don’t regret living in Spain for two months and learning Spanish. It was cheaper than the rest of Western Europe, but at the end of the day, the currency is still stronger than ours and it eventually caught up to me. Long-term travel is not for everyone and I wouldn’t even dare recommend it to just anybody. Some people have it in them, others don’t and that’s totally fine. Besides, where else can make perfect smores, put up the beautiful christmas tree, or creamy hot chocolate full of marshmallows while wearing cozy socks – all in the comforts of home!

      Europe IS a tough place to travel long-term, mostly because it’s not cheap! Also, I always end up struggling with wanting to see too much at once. Even though Europe isn’t huge, there’s SO MUCH to see there.

    In no way was this a failure… If anything, you would have been failing yourself if you carried on when you didn’t want to. There’s so much pressure these days to ‘live the perfect life’ as posed by bloggers and influential thinkers that we sometimes forget to do what actually makes us happy.

    In the end, the decision is only going to affect you and I’m glad you made the right one 🙂 I lose count of how many times I say that different people travel in different ways. There is no right or wrong way – only what makes you happy!

      Exactly, Lizzie! You have to make yourself happy first – then worry about everyone else!

    In no way at all are you a failure!

    Life is way too short to do things that do not make you happy. There is no reason for anyone to trek around the world if it does not make them happy. Yes, you planned it for a very long time. Yes, you gave it a shot. YES there are so many people who envy that you got out there.

    But if it doesn’t make YOU happy, there is no reason to continue just because other people dream about what you chose to gave up.

    Life is yours, live it for you.

      Thanks for the great comment! You are so right. Life is too short to do things that make you unhappy!

    I really appreciate this post, Amanda! I had a job as a tour-guide a couple of years and it was through that that I realized I really do not like packing up and leaving a place every few days! It was so exhausting and I had a moment quite like this that you shared on the blog… I just wish I would have been as “forgiving” about the situation as you are (I put that in quotes because there’s really nothing wrong to forgive or anything). We figure out who we are by trying things — you went and tried it and now you know yourself better! All I know is that your blog has inspired me ever since that time and has given me something to shoot for — a life with the comforts I love and want and a sense of home, but also one filled with semi-long-term travel. I’m excited to see what this will mean for you in the future and your trips! Thanks for sharing all of this with us! 🙂

      And I really appreciate the comment, Erika! Hopefully I can continue to inspire you! Still plenty of stories left to tell. 🙂

    I think it is perfectly fine and at least you gave it a try, and came to realise that long term travelling is not for you and have the courage to admit so.
    Not every one style suits everybody.
    Ultimately, it is about being happy and comfortable with who you really are. 🙂

      Exactly! There are so many different travel styles because there are so many different types of people! And what works for one most certainly won’t work for all.

    I can’t relate to not enjoying long-term travel, but I can totally understand your decision to travel how YOU want. Is there really any other way?
    So many Aussies move to London for a two-year working visa and quite a few I’ve met have wanted to come back early but stuck it out because they thought they had to, which is such a ridiculous idea. Instead of enjoying it, they’ve been homesick and miserable.
    At the end of the day, the only person you have to answer to is YOU!

      I’ve never understood that – sticking with something that makes you miserable just because you feel like you have to. It’s so silly! Whether it’s traveling, a job, a relationship, etc., if it makes you unhappy, do something to change it!

    Great article. I love to travel, but I also love gardening, so I have chosen to garden during the summer months, and then travel during the winter months.

    I applaud your honesty. While the dream is long term travel the reality is somewhat different. To enjoy travel you have to do what makes you happy.

      So so true! Things don’t always work out the way you expect them to.

    Amazing. I’m so glad you figured out what works for you instead of just powering through and doing it anyway. I’m glad you listened and knew that it was time for a break. I don’t know if long-term travel is for me as I’ve never done it before but I’m eager to find out.

      You’ll definitely have to try it out for yourself!

    This is absolutely not a failure – this is a success! Well done for listening to what you were feeling and not being afraid to adjust around that, rather than just powering through and not enjoying yourself anymore. I think it takes more to admit that what you’re doing isn’t right for you and change accordingly, than to simply keep going. In a way, I wish I had done what you did on my current South America trip with my partner, but it worked out well in the end. Anyway, enjoy the comfort of being at home and look forward to Asia!

      You’re right – it IS much more difficult to admit something just isn’t working and to change it than to just keep going, complaining about it.

    That wavy fluffy stuff shot came out very nicely 🙂 reminds me I must edit mine. Great post too of course 😉

      Haha, thanks! I’ve been waiting to use that wavy fluffy photo… I love it!

    This is such an important post – and clearly a lot of other people think so too! Travelling long term *isn’t* for everyone, and quite frankly most people actually prefer to just take shorter trips. Good on you for listening to yourself, and I’m sure your readers will feel they’re benefitting too!

      I’m amazed at how many people have responded so positively to this! Thanks for reading.

    Great post – and good on you for being true to yourself and the travel style that suits you. Long-term travel is so often held up as the ideal but there are so many different ways to travel. I’m similar in that mixing travel and time away makes me appreciate both so much more.

      I that’s exactly it, Lucy – traveling and then taking time off from it makes me appreciate both my travels AND my time at home a lot more. When you’re constantly just doing one of those things – either always traveling, or always staying at home, that’s when it can become stale, or when you start to take it for granted.

    Definitely don’t look at it as a failure!!! You followed your heart! I couldn’t do longterm travel either.

      Don’t worry, I don’t feel like I failed at all! I’m really happy with my decision to take a break!

    I too often use the phrase rainbows and unicorns to describe long term travel – it isn’t always the case. I too am out on the road for 8 weeks, and am realizing 4 to 5 is now my max. We just changed our flight back to Bali to be home about 10 days early because I am just tired and don’t want to plan, don’t want to find some place to stay, or how to get around. I must be the worst travel blogger ever. I am wondering whether I “quit” too early on this trip, but you are right about listening. I am listening to my body and my heart, which both want to be back in Bali, our home base. We will start to think about travel in 2014, but for now that flight to Bali will be fabulous – mostly because we have nothing else scheduled after that…

      You most certainly are not a bad travel blogger!! Listening to your gut and sticking to the travel style that works for you is so important. Otherwise, I feel like your readers can totally tell that your heart just isn’t in it.

      Plus… getting to “go home” to Bali??? Yes, please!

    Just like you, I want to make people see that you can combine travel with a normal life. I love my dance classes, our apartment and being able to see my parents whenever I feel like it. I know I’d like to do some longer travel in the future and definitely some more slow travel, but I don’t aim to become a digital nomad.
    I get the feeling that I should want to become one,though, as I read the blogs of so many perpetual travelers out there. But as you day, we should all find out which way of traveling is right for us. There’s no wrong way. There are only different ways.

      I think bloggers like us are just as important as those digital nomads – people travel differently, and find inspiration in different places.

    You’re totally right, the only way to travel is by what works for you personally. I think most people don’t truly want to be a full-time nomad. The idea sounds great when you’re in a position that stops you from traveling but after traveling for a long period of time you begin to crave some home comforts. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s all about finding the right personal balance and it’s great that you seem to have found this. Personally, I’m craving long-term travel right now, but once that’s out of my system I’m sure I’ll adjust my travel approach to shorter trips throughout the year.

      Yes, as with everything in life, it’s really all about balance. I have trouble finding it sometimes, but it’s so so important.

    Love it and I can relate 100% as you already know haha. I was always impressed that you kept publishing even on the road this summer, it took me so long to get up something when I was on the road. Absolutely exhausting. It’s great that you’ve realized this about yourself and you are making changes to feel better and happier. So glad we got to hang out and talk more in September 🙂

      We really are twinsies, Liz! It was super hard to keep writing while on the road – especially writing posts that I felt good about publishing. Which is why I was only posting once or twice a week as opposed to 3-5 times like I do when I’m at home.

      Hope we get to hang out again sometime!

    This is not failure. This is living the dream – the new dream with less nightmare tinges.

    I think human beings need time to reflect/process to extract all the good juice from our experiences.

    Enjoy the journey & the rest breaks 🙂

      Well, it’s living MY dream. Which is the most important part. 🙂

    Amanda — I love what you are doing and love that you care enough about yourself to be honest and do what you know is right, rather than conform to pressures put on you. I understand exactly how you feel. Traveling non-stop wasn’t for me, either. I did it for almost 7 months, and it was incredibly emotionally taxing. By the end of it, I would have done better for myself to have gone home and then headed back out later, when I was refreshed. I am excited for your travels, your lifestyle and look forward to seeing you in Thailand when you make it over here. <3

      Thanks for the great comment, Diana, and for the support! It’s really tough to give up on something when you really want to love it. But, in this case, I just knew I had to. I’m still going to travel tons! Just not for as long at one time.

      Can’t wait to catch up with you in Thailand!

    I personally think that the value of long-term travel is that you get to step back from distractions and things that cloud your focus and instead connect with yourself more clearly. Finding out what is or isn’t for you is the whole point of long-term travel, in my opinion. I’ve had the same experience so I know exactly how you feel…I’m just so glad we didn’t sell our house in order to do our RTW. 🙂

      Such a good point, Krista. But yeah, probably good you didn’t sell your house first!!

    Congrats on your discovery! We all have to see what’s under each rock in life. You gave it a shot. Many fantasize about long-term travel, but never do. Cheers to your success!

      Thanks, Mig! No regrets here. I’m glad I tried it, even if it didn’t turn out how I’d hoped.

    You’ll be visiting Asia during the best possible time! Do think about stopping by HK as Chinese New Year will be going on the first week of Feb– it’s def a celebration not to be missed!

      Ooo I didn’t even think about Chinese New Year! HK could definitely be a possibility as a short stop-over…

    Not everyone can enjoy the nomadic lifestyle. You find something that works for you and go with it. So good for you for changing plans. I haven’t done the long-term travel thing yet; debating it but not sure it’s for me either. And there is nothing wrong with that! I can’t wait to read about your Asian travels!

      I know it was definitely the right decision for me. After being back home for a few weeks now, I’m feeling refreshed, inspired, and really excited about planning the next part of my trip.

    I love the honesty of this post. It is so refreshing to read a true account of the challenges of long-term travel and not just another story about how everything is peachy and glorious as a solo traveler. It is challenging and sometimes very lonely.
    Best always to follow your own gut and do what feel right to you. Glad you followed your instincts.

      Thanks, Laura. I don’t write negative things very often – but mostly just because I’m a fairly positive person. But I’m definitely not opposed to telling it like it is when I DO have something to say.

    Thanks so much about for this blog! I am currently on month 2 of a 5 month round the world trip and am realizing as much as i like to travel it is way too long alone. I have learned so much about my travel style but my heart isnt in it anymore. I want to go home but am afraid I will miss it.

      Well there’s always the old “grass is always greener” syndrome to worry about. You may indeed go home and miss traveling. But if you’re not enjoying traveling after 2 months, do you really think you want to just “put up with it” for another 3? There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break! I’m so glad I did.

    I know what you mean. I’ve been going for four months now. I’ve been in indecision hell for 3 days deciding to continue in SE Asia or fly back in 3 days to NY. I started getting burnout 6 weeks in. I traveled fast, same style as yourself. I want to go back to America, but feel I should keep going, but I really have zero desire to continue. It’s bittersweet, but, I think I’ll book my ticket now back to the states. Makes me happy and depressed at the same time.

      It sounds like you could definitely use a break. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all!! If you have “zero desire to continue,” well, then that pretty much sums it up right there! Go home for a bit, rest, recharge, and then hit the road again if that’s what you want to do!

    Ok. Ticket back to America has been booked. I feel a huge sense of relief and loss at the same time.

      In the end, I don’t think you’ll regret it. It sounds like you have ceased enjoying your trip. You don’t want to have bad travel memories just because you were too stubborn to allow yourself to take a break!

        Exactly. If I had continued, it would have been just out stubborness. I’m thinking I have options now, if after a couple months, back in America, I can still hit the road again. Thanks for your article…it helped!

    Love this article. I feel like everyone thinks that if you really want to travel, you have to take these long stints and completely halt your life. I always knew long-term travel was never in the cards for me because as important as travel was for me, so is my family and watching my niece and nephew grow up during these crucial years. SO, it was adjusting to having the best of both worlds – it’s still possible to travel and have a a full-time job, and live your life as you normally do while doing extraordinary things. And overall, I think we are more grateful for home when we get short stints of travel, making our time back at home more meaningful and not filled with distractions and meaningless stuff. I love reading about people following their dreams in the way that it works for them! Bravo.

      I totally agree, Liz! You really CAN have the best of both worlds if you work at it!

    Thanks for sharing such a personal challenge! In my plans for next year, I fear too that I won’t “like” long-term solo travel. I’m definitely going to be listening to my gut to make sure I’m doing what’s best for me. If it’s time to go home – it’s time to go.

      That’s all you can do, Emily. Give it a go, and listen to your gut. If it works out, great. If not, there’s no shame in trying something else!

    Loved this blog post! I am an author of the blog, Ready, Set, Roam and re-blogged this post! The other authors and I are college students and therefore, focus a lot of Ready, Set, Roam’s posts on studying abroad. This post was great for our viewers who may be interested in traveling, but not interested in studying abroad or other long-term travel! Check out my re-blog and the rest of our website at: http://www.readysetroam.com/world-blog/

      Thanks! I’m really glad you found some inspiration in this post!

    I just stumbled upon your blog and this post caught mi attention. Just like you I also read a lot of blogs by long term travelers, and I really considered doing the same thing. But first, I moved from Belgium to Mexico and this experience made me realize that I really want to have one fixed place to call home. I love traveling and being on the road, but in between trips I want to have my own spot with my own stuff and my long time friends around.
    I’m very happy I found your blog and I enjoy reading about this kind of travel. Keep up the good work!

      Thanks, Fanny! It’s definitely possible to travel but still have a home base for in between trips. In fact, I can’t imagine doing it any other way!

    Lots of people have talked about going slower, but it’s still exhausting. We have been doing 2-3 months in each place and still it’s hard. We don’t think of ourselves as travellers though – we see ourselves as just ‘living’ somewhere different. These places become out new home for a while – we take time to find apartments that are the right fit etc. I find just sorting out where to get basic things can be tiring, especially art supplies!!! It takes us about 3 weeks to really settle in each new city. Really like your blog.

      Yes, I can imagine that even moving every couple of months could get tiring after a while. Just as soon as you settle in and get used to living “like a local,” it’s time to move on again.

    What an excellent post and well done you! I like your honesty, your style, and your blog, and so apparently, do other readers LOL! You came. You saw. And you Made It in you own unique way!

    I’ve done a combination of everything. I lived as an expat in the Czech Republic and Slovakia for 2 years, then I did a 6 months trip around Asia which I enjoyed very much. After that, I moved to Berlin, again as an expat and never went back “home.” Over the years I utilized my time by taking 1 month to Vietnam here, 1 month to India there, and made it work as I’m now married and have a child. Thankfully, my young son is as mad as me and as long as there is WIFI and lots of food (he’s 12), he’s good to go.
    My husband has been very supportive so I sometimes do solo travel too with the knowledge that I have a loving family to come back to. 🙂

      Sounds like you’ve discovered the travel style that works for you, too, Victoria! And it’s great that your family is supportive and up for adventure!

    I think my sweet spot is about 2-3 months, personally. I didn’t really have too many issues myself on our 6 month trip, I knew it wasn’t forever and was keen to make the most of it, but it was tough for my partner. About halfway it got really bad and I was seriously wondering if I might have to carry on without him. I would happily do extended travel again but for a shorter time and go lsower.

      Yeah I just find myself not enjoying it as much the longer I’m gone. But hey, everybody’s different!

    Hello! I stumbled upon your blog and I am so glad I did! I have been struggling with the want to travel long term, but I fear that I will end up not enjoying it as much as I think. I love being able to come home after a long trip and just relax with family and friends (and in my bed). I also have an intense travel bug and the need to go experience more! This made me think about how I can still do this while living the “normal” life! But if you don’t mind me asking.. How are you able to travel for 2 months at a time when you have a regular job? Thanks again and keep up the great work!!! 🙂

      Long-term travel definitely isn’t for everyone, but you’ll never know unless you try it out!

      As for how I’m able to travel for months at a time… I was in graduate school from 2011-2013, so I had my summers free to travel! And now I’m actually working from home. I still work full-time, but all of my work is location-independent, meaning I can still travel as long as I plan ahead and am able to work on the road.

    I can really relate to what you’re saying here friend!

    In my young 20’s i tried to live up to the ideal of nomad. I found myself always burning out after 3-6 months. Eventually i changed and transitioned into a halfway-comprimise. work and have a real life, a wife and a “life”, but travel at every given opportunity.

    i’d never go back to full time vagabonding, but i’d never give up and just be a 9-5 drone either. Balance is key 🙂

      Balance IS key. The most important one! It’s great that you’ve found that balance in your life.

    I loved this. I think there’s something wild and romantic about the image of full-time travel but the reality is far more stressful. But after you’ve talked and talked about doing this and that for HOW LONG?! it can be hard to stop, take stock and say “OK, on second thoughts.” I love long, slow travel where I live, work and/or study in the country I’m in. I’m glad you’ve found your “travel sweet spot.” (And I love that phrase!)

      YES, you get it. When you’ve planned something for so long and dreamed about it for ages, and then it turns out to be completely different than you expected… it can be really hard to admit that you were wrong!

    I love this post. I love to travel but don’t think long term travel is realistic with the other things I love in life… Also I get so tired of reading posts where people talk about not planning and just showing up places… thats find but if you’re only going to be somewhere for a week or two its sort of nice to have some ideas of what you would like to do there

      I totally agree! I am NOT one of those people who feels comfortable just showing up in a place with absolutely no plans!

    I agree with you – it’s not for me either even though I’ve been nomadic for nearly 30 years slow travel is the way. I recommend living in a country so you can make friends, enjoy it, see the real stuff instead of just the tourist attractions. I see this was written a while ago and bet you’ve found the right balance for you now 🙂

      I think a lot of long-term travelers eventually turn to the whole “slow travel” thing.

    No regrets for you, that is fantastic. Isn’t life about uncovering who we are? I know long term travel is not for me. I love my trips. I usually travel with my husband or daughter, or sometimes solo on business. Eventually though, I want to go home, to the rest of the people I love, to a familiar environment and schedule. And PRIVACY. Weird right? I can understand your stress of relying on yourself and having no back up. The flip side….the stress of traveling with a partner – almost no privacy, compromising, getting on each others nerves occasionally. In the end it’s all good as long as we travel, right?

      In the end it’s all good, so long as we listen to ourselves and do what feels right!

    I’m a little late to the party, but I just stumbled across this post and it really resonated with me. I much prefer to balance work and travel, and a lot of travel blogs kind of made me feel like I wasn’t travelling the “right” way, if that makes sense? I totally agree that you should trust your instincts; part of me would love to travel long-term, but not in the traditional backpacker way of never really knowing where you’re going to be sleeping that night. I’m currently planning a three-month trip to New Zealand, incorporating all the Great Walks, but I’ll be doing it my way, not the way I used to feel that I “should” travel! Your honesty is very much appreciated.

      You’ll enjoy yourself much more if you just do it the way you really want to! (And yay New Zealand! My favorite country!)

    So nice to know that each person is different when it comes to travel. I use to think that if I wasn’t backpacking around the world for years on end then I wasn’t a ‘real traveller’. But I know too that isn’t me. I like have a steady job and home to come back to but I like getting out into the world and seeing it. Some people might call me a tourist, but I like to think that I’m a traveller on my own terms and that is ok with me!

      There’s no “right” way to travel, no matter what anybody tells you! I like having a fixed address to come home to – I’m definitely not made to constantly be on the road! And yup, sometimes I’m absolutely a “tourist.” But I’m okay with that. 🙂

    I think your blog is beautiful. I absolutely appreciate your candid approach to travel. It can be downright depressing being alone at times. I am a canadian gal living in Tokyo currently and I do a lot of travel, but I find I need breaks! We are human, lets celebrate that!

    I am considering starting my own travel blog since I have so many stories and pictures to share from all my travels, yet I am nervous and find it a bit vulnerable to share my thoughts with the world. Any words of advice for a gun shy aspiring travel blogger?

    Regardless I commented to tell you I appreciated this post and your candid approach to it all! Ill be following!

      Hey Shawna! My best tip for you would be: don’t write or blog for anyone else when you’re first starting out – write for yourself! Write the stories you want to write in a way that you would want to read them. The confidence will definitely come with practice!

      If you want a great course on travel blogging, check out Travel Blog Success too: https://travelblogsuccess.com/?ref=658

    I’m so happy I found this post. I know I am reading so long after you wrote this but this post has really made me feel better. I have been feeling so sad after a friend of mine has recently set off travelling, with the mindset that she won’t really ever return. Probably because I am envious that she’s getting to experience things I want to, rather than the fact I will miss her terribly. I have to stay put where I am due to medical reasons and have always felt like long term travel was something I am really going to miss out on. Reading your post has made me realise that I can have the best of both worlds. I can have my career, my partner, my pets, my home and still travel. I think I felt like if it wasn’t long term it wasn’t really “travelling” and that I was missing out on something. I hope a month at a time will suffice and I hope I can feel as positive about short term travel as I do about my dreams of long term travel.

      You can absolutely travel short-term and still have incredible experiences! In fact, I think traveling in shorter stints in many cases can help you appreciate it more. You won’t get burnt out or tired of seeing certain things over and over again – it will almost always be new and exciting!

    the problem is that it’s an all or nothing deal here in the US. If I have a job then I cannot take more than 2 weeks a year of the very generous “accrued” vacation that employers give you… if you ditch the job and decide to travel then it’s pointless to do it for 3 months and come back to find another job as the overhead of it is too much.

    My sweet spot of travel is around 2-3 months but I would be happy if I could take 6 weeks off a year – and 4 weeks at one time and 2 weeks at another and live a normal life it would be a dream. This is very possible for people in Europe but here in the US forget it.

    I still want to make a lot of headway in my traveling. I’ve traveled more than most, been to 60 countries, took a year off to travel between 2010-11 and there are still 100s of items on my bucket list. How on earth am I going to make any progress if I don’t take some extended time off. It’s a must for anyone who wants to see anything significant in the world. I know some people who “do” Netherlands+Germany+France+Italy in a week – 2 days per country, I could never travel that way.

      I think it’s getting better in the US, though. There are more jobs that offer more vacation time now (and remember that you can always try to negotiate more time off when getting a new job, too!), and there are so many more options for remote work now than there every used to be. I don’t think we Americans will ever get 6 weeks of holiday time like many Americans do, but that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t travel at all.

    Thank you for writing this. For being honest about your experience. I’ve been traveling solo for about 8 months now, the last 6-weeks of which I’ve just been kinda bored and unhappy. I thought maybe slowing down would help, so I spend a few weeks staying near the beach in Thailand, trying to get my enthusiasm back. It didn’t help. Even after slowing down and staying at each new place for longer, I’m still burned out. I find that I’m not excited about much anymore. And the blog I started feels more like this huge burden weighing me down… But I also feel like it I go home now, before I hit my intended 10 months. I’ll be failing somehow, particularly in regards to myself. I already have a return flight booked, it’s about 65 days away, so now I’m just trying to decide to sticking out the remaining two months is worth it. Regardless, it’s really nice to hear someone else’s story, someone else who finds that maybe long-term travel isn’t for them. You are inspiring. Thank you.

      Not everyone is suited to long-term travel, and there is NOTHING wrong with that. If you’re no longer enjoying it, there’s no “failure” in going home early!

    Amanda, I owe you a big, BIG apology. When I read this post 5 years ago I judged you silently for doing what I considered “quitting”. Now I’m eating my wor… well, thoughts.

    In January I quit my job to travel for 6 months; I’m now 3 months in and know for sure that long-term solo travel isn’t for me. I’m gonna “soldier on” because I really want to visit these places and waited a long time to do this, but I must admit it’s effing exhausting!

    I’m hardly ever alone (in fact, I find myself craving some solitude occasionally), yet the lack of a single constant in my daily life is pretty rough. When we travel alone, like you did and I’m doing right now, absolutely everything around us is constantly changing, and didn’t realize just how emotionally draining it could get.

    So we’re in the same boat. I’m sorry for having been an arrogant douche before (even if I at least had the decency of not posting my thoughts back then)!

      I would never say “I’m glad you understand now,” because I know that feeling of total exhaustion really sucks when you’re traveling! But it’s one of those things that’s impossible to know until you try it. It works for some people; it just didn’t work for me, and it sounds like it doesn’t work for you! But it certainly doesn’t mean you’re quitting. 😉

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