Ryan was an inspiration to me when I started on my own long term travel journey and I was thrilled when he offered to write a post for Seriously Travel. Here are his tips and suggestions on How to Embrace the Ups and Downs of Long Term Traveling…
After circling the globe for the past 6 years I have learned a few clear cut lessons about long term travel.
My wife Kelli and I are full time digital nomads. We own our laptops, phones, luggage, backpacks, some clothes and not much else.
We love long term traveling more than anything but understand that traveling indefinitely will introduce you to some rough spots too.
If you are considering doing the long term traveling bit my advice can help you get clearer on your decision. Or if you are a long term traveler maybe you can better weather both the highs and lows of hitting the road for 6 months or longer.
1: Celebrate Your Freedom
Don’t forget to celebrate your freedom. Circling the world for months at a time is an amazingly enlightening, blessed experience.
I love my life. I appreciate my life. But some long term travelers hustle around miserably, scowling as they stress about checking items off of their bucket list, feeling bound to a hyper tight travel schedule.
If this is you, you will hate long term travel because to do it from a more peaceful, calm and freeing space you need to be flexible, to go with the flow and to embrace the blessing of your journey.
Traveling long term helps you step into a culture, or to fully experience a city or country. Enjoy!
2: Share….the Rest of the Story
Life ain’t all Instagram images of you sitting by an infinity pool, ya know?
I may have created the Blogging From Paradise blog and brand, with my selfies in Fiji and action shots in Bali and 1080 HD videos in Costa Rica but I also share how I nearly died in India, how I was attacked by 2 lady boy prostitutes in Bangkok and by 2 wild men in Kathmandu and how I’ve faced down spitting cobras, bullet ants, poison dart frogs and Scolopendra centipedes.
Some long term travelers build up a persona that is impossible to sustain for an appreciable period of time. Go wild posting those beach shots in Jimbaran. I love the inspiration and do so myself. Just share your bout with Bali Belly too.
Being authentic, honest and genuine about your travels helps you sleep better at night, whether you run a well-read blog or simply are vacationing for the long haul. You won’t feel the incessant need to pump up some carefully constructed persona which forces you to live a lie.
Following this tip to share the good with the bad helped me get featured on world famous blogs like Virgin, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fox News, Life Hack, Positively Positive and I even spoke about blogging at NYU. All because I built a genuine, honest brand based on sharing the complete long term travel experience, with all its ups and downs, twists and turns.
3: Build a Support System
My wife Kelli is my traveling rock; when things go South she is there to comfort me, support me, listen to my rantings or to nurse me back to health.
I am also able to better enjoy my travel highs, from visiting exciting new hot spots to trying new food to learning a new culture by circling the globe with Kelli.
I meet offline buddies during my travels too. I spend more time checking in with my travel blogging buddies to tap into their expertise, making my life easier as I capitalize on decades’ worth of travel experience in some cases.
You will break down on the road. Happens to all of us long term travelers at least once. Have your support system in place to knife through your mental and/or physical breakdown with as little pain as possible.
4: Establish a Steady Income Stream Online or Offline
I am a pro blogger. As is my wife.
Receiving royalty deposits from my 126 eBooks, my audiobooks, paperbacks, courses, freelance writing and various consulting services makes it easier to stay on the road for the long term.
Neither of us feel like we are burning through savings. Nor do we need to return home just to save money for our next trip.
Whether you establish a steady income stream online or earn offline income through passive investments like real estate it helps you weather financial storms or enjoy premium online experiences – aka, spending $20 or $30 on dinner once in a while versus *needing* to subsist on $1 dinners in Thailand every night – when you are making more coin while circling the globe on a long term basis.
5: Memorize this Statement
“This too shall pass.” ~ Timeless Wisdom
3 weeks ago I house sat on New York City’s Upper West Side, perhaps the most exclusive neighborhood on earth.
2 months prior to that I was barfing on a bus in Burma after suffering through a wicked stomach situation.
Travel taught me that this too shall pass. Meaning the ups and downs are temporary. Meaning the feeling of overpowering elation I experienced when landing in Bali 6 years ago soon melted into fear and anxiety over finding long term accommodations, which then dissolved into joy when we decided to travel to Phuket and found an apartment there, which soon melted into worry….you get the picture.
If you travel for 6 months to a year or more you will learn to live more in the moment which helps you develop a sense of peace, calm and equanimity about life in general.
The ups and downs of long term travel grow into more of a movie about your life that you are watching from a more detached, chill space.
How do you embrace the ups and downs of long term travel?
Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com.