The truth is that we usually base our beliefs in life on stereotypes that are really spread in society, but no one actually knows why. So why is it so commonly believed that traveling long-term means you are lost? That you don’t have “any goal” or “plan” for you? When traveling is one of the most satisfying experiences you can get to do…
I guess that many people think this way because they haven’t wandered the world for several months or years, an enriching experience that would fulfill their hearts until they are able to accept that not everything is black or white. You can find so many wonderful greys in your trips, that the general belief is going to mean nothing to you!
Am I lost if I live traveling?
Absolutely not! And there is no reason for you to think this way. Why? Well… People like to simplify things, to not look further and just take into account the “surface” of things. Stereotypes, as I said before, are so powerful in everyone’s minds, in society in general, that it’s so easy for your friends and family to judge, to put a label on everything and to say that “if you travel as a way of life, you are not serious, you are not taking advantage of your opportunities, you have no life goals or even a purpose to wake up every morning”.
Let me tell you that this is not true. And if you are a travel addict, you will agree with me. One of the things I love the most about humans is how different we are, how many different things trigger our curiosity and how much we actually learn from these differences. The fact that society thinks that you HAVE to study, work, get married, have kids and work for thirty years more, doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do for everybody.
Each one of us has different goals, a different background and education. And if these aspects of your life have set your mind to love traveling and to be the happiest person when you are about to live as a backpacker for one year, why not doing it then? It’s totally okay, you just need your approval. No one else’s. My best tip in this matter is to keep doing what makes your heart beat faster!
Plans, life goals and what you learn from traveling
Great, I really love to travel, but why do I sometimes feel like I have an uncertain future when wandering the world?
If you’ve been there, I totally get you, you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel insecurities, to doubt and be hesitant about important decisions. How boring your life would be if you already knew how everything’s going to turn out. Just give it a thought. The fact that you have to cope with uncertainty at some point of your traveling time will just make you wonder if you are doing the right thing, and that’s 100% fine.
This happens because your brain is naturally “alarmed” when your environment changes, when you don’t feel home-safe anymore and your plans do not match with what other people expect from you. All these things can cause an awkward feeling that makes your skin itches and leaves you kind of disoriented. But again, you are not lost.
If your plan for the next two months or years is hopping from one country to another, that’s it, you already have a plan. See? That was easy. And even if you are spending your summer doing some slow traveling in lost Thai village, and not having a clue of what your future looks like, you will also be learning things!
This will be the best opportunity to find out what you want to do next, to think and reflect, even to meet people whose experiences can guide you, who knows? Sometimes, the best way to find yourself, who you really are and want, is to get lost. Everything else can wait for now.
Then… Does long-term travel mean you are lost? What do you actually learn being a full time traveler?
If this question won’t leave you head, there are quite some things you are going to bring forever with you that will even be useful for your daily life once you’re back home:
- You learn how to be a real saver: when traveling, money is not something that abounds; many magic tricks are needed to hop from one place to another, even if you keep a tight backpacker budget.
- Tolerance. Such an important word when it comes to coping with everyday issues and people. Doesn’t it make you happier to live like this rather than being upset for every little trifle?
- You make life-time freindships: Yes, this is a recurrent topic when traveling, but living surrounded by adventure just brings you new wonderful friends from whom you can learn so much! Experiences from other people are always a great source of wisdom.
- You learn how to live with the basics. It’s really easy to say it, but to do it. Living only with your backpack makes you realize you don’t need much to be happy. Actually, just having your next destination on mind is more than enough.
- You have a purpose in life. When you decide it’s time, great things can be done while traveling - apart from having the best time ever, of course. You can dedicate your days to work and get all the experience you want abroad, you can spend you days farming and staying in touch with our beautiful nature in projects like Wwoofing, among other many things.
- You learn several languages: Which is always a plus for businesses to hire people. Being immersed in a totally new culture not only will make you more educated, but more creative and tolerant.
This is just a small list of advantages, the ones that make a big difference in the lives of people who travel for a long period of time. Enriching your soul with this kind of experiences can only be good. Trust me. Don’t mind what the rest of the world thinks. If you are happy and find what you’re looking for while traveling, that’s more than enough to keep doing it.