This is the question I ask myself for a while now and I’m sure most people I know would immediately say yes, of course!
Whenever I say I’ve been traveling the world for some time now, people react in all possible ways, I mean good and bad ways. Most of them imagine or say “Wow you must be the happiest person I know” or “Your life must be super easy, I wish I had a life like that”.
I remember the first time I tried to argue that it wasn’t as easy as it may seem but to no avail, a few times later I just gave up making my point, forced a shy smile and shook my head with a positive response. Let’s be fair, in a single conversation it is pretty hard to change one’s opinion on something they’ve been picturing as happiness for years.
The real problem begins with people’s fantasy about traveling. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling and I think it has many advantages but if you ask someone what traveling is on their minds, it should come up something like “Get on an airplane, staying on a good hotel where you gonna have people serving you, a swimming pool, good meals, visiting beautiful places every day and most important, relaxing and forgetting about your everyday life”
That sounds very good, huh? Who doesn’t want that?
That is indeed a very good 2 week trip plan but traveling for a long time requires several changes to this idea of traveling. The first and most important is money, you can’t just travel for months and years spending on good meals, good hotels guided tours, etc. I mean, if you’re millionaire and have time to do that then it will be perfect but for most people I know your budget is the most important aspect of traveling.
So for a long-term travel you’ll, as I did, sleep in hostels, use public transportation, carry your own heavy luggage, cook your own meals, go places by yourself, read wikipedia to understand what you are seeing, etc. In other words, you’re just living and that is what traveling is about, it is about living and learning and after some months it becomes exhausting as you feel in your everyday job.
There are some days you just want to sleep all day long, there are some days you just want your own bed, others you just wanted to eat the food you’re used to. Not having a routine can be somewhat tricky and believe me, your problems will be with you wherever you are.
Life is better with purpose
I’ll be fair, so far I only focused about the negative parts of traveling for a long time but just because people have a hard time understanding that. So let me clarify something, it was the best experience of my life so far. It was an experience that made me grow as a human being, learn to be more independent and enjoy life as it is.
But would I recommend traveling the world to everyone? No.
I always had my life goals very clear on my mind, and one of them was to travel the world to see it with my own eyes, so I could create an opinion on it with real life situations and not only with what I was seeing on the internet and TV. I always wanted to expose myself to the unknown, to a difficult life where I would have to be responsible for every single decision I took. I wanted to meet new and different people, I wanted life to provide me new adventures and experiences, and I got all that.
I understand that this is not everyone’s life goal because it is not easy, I came to realize the world is very different of what I imagined and people have very different backgrounds, experiences and dreams, so people should do whatever they believe it’s gonna make them happier.
Understanding that happiness and success is a very personal achievement and not an exact concept, I can assure you I am happier than I was before, so I encourage everyone who wants new experiences and also have this set as a goal to do the same, but hopefully now, understanding that it won’t be an easy path.