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Why Long Term Travel is NOT a Holiday!

Clelia Mattana BLOG, INSPIRATION 70 Comments

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IS TRAVEL LONG TERM A VERY LONG – NEVER ENDING HOLIDAY?


What are the main misconceptions on this particular type of travel? I’d like to address this article  to two groups of people:


  • The ones who genuinely don’t know the difference between a Long-Term trip and a Vacation / Holiday
  • The ones who are really convinced that a Long-Term trip is like being on a permanent vacation.

 


Why_long_term_travel_trip_is_not_a_holiday_traveler_versus_tourist_debate

This is me relaxing at the Seychelles. Do you think my trips are all like this? I wish (or maybe not?!)

 


I have to admit it: I’ve been a bit angry and frustrated lately. I know I shouldn’t care much about what people say about my trip, but sometimes it really gets on my nerves when yet another friend or relative hints that all I’m doing these months is laying on a beach, sipping one cocktail after another and doing absolutely nothing.

It  really bothers me because I can totally feel their aura of superiority as they were actually saying  ” Good for you,  just relaxing and enjoying life while we are here, working on REAL jobs, and earning our honest living in a responsible way”.


Does this sound familiar? If you are a digital nomad or simply a long-term traveler I bet it does! There is always an “Aunt Sally” out there for each one of us, trying to put you down and let you feel a lot like a useless bum. I obviously know that I’m not like that, but these people irritate me none the less.


So what is the reality of facts? Let’s see, point by point, what people think about a long-term trip and what it actually is (based on my experience).


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LONG TERM TRIP: WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?



1 | LONG TERM TRAVELERS ARE RICH:


long term travel is not a vacation: night train sleepers from bangkok to surat thani Thailand

This is one of the most luxurious ways I can afford to travel for 14 hours straight…


One year on the road? Heck, you must be a millionaire! This is one of the main misconceptions about traveling.  Where in hell people get this  – totally wrong-  idea?


Well, if you think about  the average cost of a 2 weeks holiday in high season, in any “vacation place”, you know that it’s NOT going to be cheap.This is probably the main difference between a holiday and a trip: Holidays are relatively MUCH more expensive than a long-term trip.


To be able to stay on the road for a long time, travelers sometimes compromise a lot in terms of comforts and are always trying to find original ways to save money on food, accommodation and transportation. On more than one occasion I had to lower my head and say yes to quite unpleasant beds, get used to weird  insects crawling on my legs at night (hello scorpions, cockroaches and huge spiders) and eat street food every single day  to avoid running back to mommy within the fist month of my “epic” trip.


When I took the bus from Phnom Phen to Siem Reap, I had to sit for more than 8 hours of bumpy roads with no air-con and just one stop to the public toilets (a smelly hole in the ground with no flushing water). Now, this is not exactly what you would call a “relaxing holiday”, is it?


Don’t get me wrong, the experience itself  is totally worth it and enriching on so many levels, but is definitely NOT a vacation.


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2 | TRAVELERS ARE RELAXING ON THE BEACH THE WHOLE TIME:


Leaving Bangkok by train, passing through some local Thai houses and people working close to the railway Thailand

This is the scene taken from the window of a third-class 12 hrs train ride in Thailand. Culturally enriching but hardly comfortable.


This is a typical scenario for a holiday, not a long-term trip. After all, during your holidays, all you want is take some time off from your stressful life, your job and responsibilities.


You want to relax and enjoy every single second of your time off. Your biggest effort is choosing what to have for lunch and you may even be brave enough to include some seriously “daring” activities such as kayaking or snorkeling, but you seldom move outside of your comfort zone.


You don’t want to stress out on vacation do you? Totally understandable. I get it.


On the other hand, long-term travelers are not escaping from anything. Travel is their  lifestyle, their “routine”, every single day. Some of us work as digital nomads from the road and stay put for months to earn money online and be able to hit the road again.


You usually won’t see a real traveler in a resort or any other fancy accommodation. We usually prefer to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we try (and sometimes succeed) to live like locals, or at least to see not only beautiful places but also the tough ones. It’s not that we are “better” than a normal tourist. This is not the point I’m trying to make in here. It’s just a choice like any other and there is no right or wrong in my eyes.


Sometimes these hazardous choices can be scary, unpleasant or difficult, but this is what traveling is all about. We didn’t leave our houses to just rest on a beach. It might happen of course, and we will cherish those times more than you can imagine, but it is not the main purpose of a trip.


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3 | TRAVELERS DON’T NEED A HOLIDAY, THEY ARE ALREADY ON HOLIDAY!

Relax on the beach travel is not a holiday

 


Many people assume that since I’m traveling, I don’t need any holiday. Not entirely true. Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world but sometimes it is very hard if you do it for months in a row (ask any seasoned traveler out there and you will seldom find one who is not tired after a few months).

I know, it  might sound ridiculous for those who never tried. Before starting my adventure, it sounded crazy to me too. A few days prior to my departure, I stumbled upon an interesting article called Travel burnout.


“Travel is all fun and new and great at the beginning, but after a while, those buses become uncomfortable instead of a cool new mode of transport. That tuk-tuk driver’s constant talk of great tours at “special price for you” becomes annoying instead of funny. After being on the road for a while, things tend to start getting on your nerves.”

 


I was puzzled. How is was even possible? If you love traveling you’ll never get tired of it! How naive of me…


This is actually spot on, tested by me the hard way, after years on the road and I couldn’t phrase it in a better way. Furthermore, for those who work whilst traveling, is even more important to “take a break” from all the mayhem. Travel can be daunting and we need to stop and “take a vacation” from our trips from time to time.


A few weeks in a fancy hotel or resort, or even renting a flat, eating western food and doing something familiar is necessary for our sanity.



The last point is pivotal for the “Travel Vs Holiday” debate. I am living in a remote village in Thailand since May, so it’s now been three months living and working with the locals, and I also have three more months on the road already on my back.


Honestly? for how amazing this experience might have been so far, I am looking forward to taking a “break”.


That’s why I booked a ticket back to Italy and London, where I will stay for at least one month. Ironically, my own idea of “vacation” is going back home, to a routine I wanted to escape when I decided to leave.


Because traveling also taught me to appreciate the small things I’ve taken for granted: A nice hot shower, a western toilet, a huge delicious Pizza, or even a simple piece of bread.


Traveling is amazing and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, but a holiday from it is necessary to appreciate the experience even more!



Did you meet people who think you were on a permanent holiday? I’m curious to know if I’m the only one getting frustrated when these people make inappropriate remarks on my lifestyle!

I put all my effort to write this for you, like it and make me happy!
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Comments 70

  1. Beautiful post!
    Agreed with everything there. I especially get frustrated when people say to me “yeah you must be rich / yeah your parents are paying everything”…It’s a matter or prioritization. I don’t buy useless stuff, I don’t like shopping and I am a good cook, so I don’t need to eat out everyday 🙂

    Enrico

    1. Thanks Enrico! Glad you could relate and lucky you that you are a good cook as that really helps in saving precious money!

  2. What a great post ! And it is still true. I guess we all have had these bad experiences. We left “home” 5 years ago and never went back to a “real” job, but we do work incredible hours to get our agency going. But nobody of our friends or family even understands what it means to work on the internet and to get a business going.
    But we don’t complain, we have a great life, full of adventures and challenges – and some relaxing holidays when we need them 🙂

    1. I think people still find it hard to understand what being a digital nomad means. We should post more pictures of us when working on the road so maybe a few more people will get it! I’m not complaining either, but sometimes it’s really unnerving when people assume I’m rich or laying on a beach the whole time!

  3. Just stop wasting your time /energy thinking about what people have to say about your work and focus on what you are doing .. You are doing an amazing job and honestly i have started my own local blog just after i got inspired from you so keep rocking 🙂

    1. Kj thank you for your nice message! I’m so glad to hear that I was able to inspire you, and don’t worry, this post is quite old so now I know how ti deal with the sneaky comments! Best of luck with your own blogging adventure 🙂

  4. ‘Love the post!

    Last year, I travelled to 11 countries and that’s with having a corporate job, being married, AND having a tween while being an expat in Germany! Unsurprisingly, people can’t believe that I actually have a “real” job, but I do!

    People also think I spend most of my time drinking cocktails and champagne. I mean, I do that a lot yes, but I also spend hours on European trains rushing from here to there!

    And I wouldn’t change a single thing!

    p.s. I can’t even remember the last time that I actually went to a beach lol!

    1. Victoria, kudos to you for combining a “real job” with a nomadic life while having a family! I don’t know if I would be able to cope with that! Great job 🙂

  5. My mum and dad think we’ve been ” on holiday” for the last 3 years. I’ve just given up. For starters, it’s never a holiday with 2 kids to educate and a living to make as a professional blogger.

    1. Alyson… two kids? WOW, kudos to you! I’m annoyed just when traveling by myself (not annoyed at traveling itself, that’s my choice, of course. I’m only bothered by the sneaky remarks) but it must be super hard for you with your kids! My family after 3 years finally got it, but most of my friends and acquaintances still don’t. Time to revive this old post as a reminder! 🙂

  6. This is true! I travel once a year and I mostly work from home now. My friends and my family think that I do nothing at home or when I’m traveling again I can afford because I’m rich. And they often wonder how on earth can I afford to travel again when I am not a full time employee but working for my own in my home office? They don’t understand that we’ve created an online work lifestyle so we can have our freedom and be able to travel whenever we want. I’ve had to explained myself to them several times.

    Some people will try their best to put you down due to jealousy. Unfortunately, that happens everywhere. Quite often they ask “what exactly do you do online” “how much money are you making” “is that income equivalent to a real full time job” “is that income high enough or higher than your real job”? Arrghhh the never ending personal questions.

    I also can’t stand the fact that people always stick to their job because of the amount of money they earn. Despite feeling miserable yet they still pretend that they’re so happy and lucky to be able to have the perfect job. And calling online entrepreneurs or bloggers as having a “lucky lifestyle” “lazy” “lucky she/he’s rich” “he/she can afford to have a long holiday” “have no future” “have no real job” “no career” ooohhh and the list goes on and on.

    Seriously, I don’t really care what others think. I have a Bachelors Degree in Health Science and I often get asked why I’m not pursuing my career in the health industry. Well, I did it for 2 years, I left because I didn’t enjoy it and was feeling miserable at my old job. I left my old job for 6 years in Admin prior to going back to university to study for 4 years and thereafter pursuing a career in health for (what I thought back then was going to be long term career in health) but after having a taste of it, I quickly realised it wasn’t for me. So I turned into Onlineprenuer, SEO addict, blogger, fashion travel blogger, affiliate marketer and whatever I can say to people related to online stuff (hoping that one day they would get it). But no one still understands me!

    P.s. this post was a nice read, as it’s relatable! Very similar to what I’ve experienced lately. Never give up your dreams 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment Fashion Girl!

      Funny enough, Fashion was the field I worked in before quitting my well-paid job and I HATED IT. You definitely made your point in here, not much I can add as i can totally relate! We just need to leave them alone as sometimes is ignorance mixed with jealousy that brings these sneaky comments, well said!

  7. Exactly! I had written a very similar post when people I know started making snarky little comments.
    Travelling requires a lot of the same things we do at home: doing laundry, buying food at markets and cooking, taking care of all the day-to-day stuff of everyday life. The difference is that you have to do it in a different environment where it can be challenging.
    So once in a while we’ll stop our slow travels for a vacation; where we can sit around a pool, eat at the hotel’s restaurant, have them do our laundry…

    So totally agree that long term travel is not a holiday 🙂
    Frank (bbqboy)

  8. I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been feeling the same lately as I am visiting my “home” town and seeing how big everyone’s misconception of my life is.

    Yes it is fun and exciting. I also realize how lucky i am to live this way, but only people that live this way understand the sheer amount of work and sacrifice it takes.

    1. Exactly Stephen… they just see our Facebook smiling pictures and they think it’s always like that! But we don’t wanna post crappy pictures of our crappy days on the road, do we?! Just let them talk. I got used to it.

  9. Hi! Klelia. Chill out dear. Go on with things that make you happy. I don’t see any mistakes on traveling. As long as you do not humiliate anyone, you’re in the right side. After all, you share information that can help travelers like me. I like your post. Keep posting!

    1. Thanks Marah, I was just venting a bit, now it’s getting better actually as some of my friends were able to actually join me for a few weeks and when they saw how I travel, they FINALLY got it!

  10. Pingback: Interview: Celia from Keep Calm and Travel | GoEuro Blog

  11. Totally agree – after 3 years on the road it’s become my life, not just a holiday…although I disagree with the beach thing – I very rarely travel to cities anymore!hahaha!

    1. Chris, I dont like visiting cities but this doesnt mean that when I live in front of the beach for months all I do is swimming, tanning and drinking mango shakes 🙂

      Actually, when I arrived in Italy a few weeks ago, the first thing everyone told me was ” WHY AREN’T U TANNED?!” …I think I proved my point!

  12. I totally agree. A 7 month backpacking trip was the longest I could endure before having to come home to take a break and feel grounded again. I feel like for those who are living expat lives but using that for travel is a completely different thing too. Somehow, the steady job and aptmt living take away the struggles of being on the road some. But they have their own challenges as well.

    1. “the steady job and apartment living take away the struggles of being on the road some.” – I disagree entirely! But glad you mentioned that expats have their own challenges too- and being told that I’m constantly on holiday is definitely one of them!

      I’m living and working in Maldives so of course my parents/friends assume I’m sat in a resort with a cocktail…. but actually I’m in a very local island that’s quite strict e.g. If a Maldivian is found out to be a non-Muslim they can be deported, imprisoned or killed even. It’s been really hard to adjust to life here but at the same time incredibly rewarding. Sometimes, I feel, the “traveller” misses out on these incredibly deep experiences as they tend to stay in a place for a short amount of time with a desire to “do” a whole list of places/countries (is it even possible to “do” a country?! I don’t know!)

      Anyhow I’ve just found your website and I’m really enjoying it!! Love your chatty tone and the headlines you use.

      1. Thanks for your comment Sarah!

        I know how you feel about your lifestyle. But hey…you’re living in the Maldives!( If i weren’t a traveler myself I would have thought exactly the same as the others: wow, lucky you!…the Maldives!).

        That’s why I’ve written this post. It is really annoying when people don’t get it.

        Recently one of these skeptical friends joined me for 3 weeks in the Philippines.I’m so glad she did.
        First week: She wanted to leave
        Second week: she wanted to kill me
        Third week: she’s now one of my first supporters. She got it.

        Life on the road is not easy. Being an expat is not easy. Even traveling fast is not easy.

        I hope people at home will finally get this..
        In the meantime I go back to my mango shake on the beach!

        Just kidding 😉

  13. Awesome post. I admire the long term travelers (I am not one of them, as I’ve always had a home base. Currently I’m an American living in London but have traveled regularly – to 15+ countries over the last year and a half or so).
    It’s work to be traveling full-time and takes a lot of sacrifice and I really respect that!

    1. Thanks Tanya. Yes it’s pretty hard sometimes but i don’t complain at all.
      I’ve been an expat in London myself and, as you, that was my base for my wandering around. Fantastic city London!

  14. Awesome post. I admire the long term travelers (I am not one of them, as I’ve always had a home base. Currently I’m an American living in London but have traveled to 15+ countries over the last year and a half or so).
    It’s work and takes a lot of sacrifice and I really respect that!

    1. Thanks for understanding Tanya, even if you are not a Long term traveler you can definitely relate! And yes… it’s amazing but a lot of work!

  15. A friend once asked me (trying her hardest to hide the challenge in her voice) “What do you do all day?” It was easy to answer. I’d spent 6 hours that day getting lost in Ho Chi Ming City looking for contact lens solution. It helped her realise life isn’t always smooth when you travel long term. I’ve been on the road since 2010 but haven’t had a holiday/vacation since 2009. I can only dream of lying on a beach all day with no accommodation, food and transport worries! Nice post.

    1. ” I can only dream of lying on a beach all day with no accommodation, food and transport worries!”

      Well make your dream happen JO! 😀

      1. Where did I write that again? You missed the point here. I love both sides of the fence. And I stated on my last few sentences. Traveling is rewarding because it’s hard sometimes.

        And Yes, I lay on a beach for days in a row doing absolutely NOTHING because I’m exhausted and I want some peace of mind and there is nothing wrong with that. I ‘ve chosen this lifestyle. I was just frustrated that people don’t get it.

        A friend of mine (one of those convinced that I was constantly on holiday) came to visit me for 3 weeks in the Philippines. At the end of the trip she got it. I traveled with her as i would usually do on my own. That’s my life after all. And she was exhausted. She came to visit me imagining just beautiful beaches and cocktails on the beach, whilst the reality is that yes we went to the beach and all, but I also had to work, rest, take some crappy buses, get lost and so on.

        I’m not saying that this enlighten me. Im just saying (not to you, to people who judge without knowing) LEAVE ME ALONE!

        I don’t judge them, or at least i try not to. It’s none of my business what other people want to do with their lives, but for those living a more conventional life (again NO JUDGING, whatever makes them happy, im fine) just shut your mouth, try and be in my shoes for a while (and viceversa) and then we can talk reasonably. That’s all.

  16. Quite right Klelia it’s amazing how many people seem to think that “their way” of life is the only possible one! People do say the most amazing things to me sometimes.But I think that once you have chosen your way and it is maybe the more unusual or different it is hard to care what others say any more.

    1. True Ruthi..even worst when they think that their way of life is the only possible and also the right one! I receive so many stupid comments,but as you said, when you choose your path, you shouldn’t care much about what others think.

        1. Where did I said that again? I’ve never said that my life is better. I chose what was right for me at age 35, after trying to live a more conventional life and I wasn’t happy.

          I never said that my way is the only way. Actually, if you have time to look at my home page, i clearly state that this is not just a travel website. I’d love to tell people to do what they really love.

          I’m not selling any dream here. I’m saying that following your path (whatever it might be, traveling, building your house, raise a family) it’s not going to be easy at all. DUH. But it’s possible.

          I thought it was impossible for YEARS. Then I said screw everything I’m doing it my way.

          Is my way better than others? NO. IT’S BETTER FOR ME.

          As for the way of travel, I don’t think there is a way that’s absolutely the best. There is only the way that makes you feel satisfied of your experience.

          Remember that a personal blog is a …personal blog. If I had written an article saying ” 10 WAYS MY TRAVEL STYLE IS BETTER THAN YOURS” then yes, your comment would be 100% spot on, but in here I’m reporting my experiences, my feelings, my perception of happiness.

          I’m well aware that not all people empathize with my lifestyle, and that’s OK. This is not a bloody competition. I’m better than you, you are better than me.

          The only question I ask myself is “are you happy with what you’re doing”? if the answer is yes, then I’ll go on, no matter what the others are doing. If the answer to the question “am I happy” is yes for them too and they are traveling in a different way or not traveling at all, well…I’m glad for them. It’s none of my business.

  17. Wonderful post and it is all true.But there are also other aspects to it that when I come back to my permanent country of residence I feel kind of detached and at the same time overburdened with stupid mundane tasks that need doing (renewing passports,dealing with taxes,upkeep of house etc) we also pay 3 lots of health insurance and pay random stuff on our house even though we are not in it for most of the year. The money thing is definitely true.Some of my friends pay a ton of money on house renovation etc which they could easily use for travel it’s just not on their priority list.I would much rather buy a plane ticket than flooring for my house.It’s just my way of life.

    1. Yes Ruthi, as you rightly said “That’s our way of life”. As we don’t argue about what others do with their money, people should try to refrain to make simplistic comments about our life-style. I try to avoid judging people because their first priority is something different from mine, and i expect the same courtesy in return.

      1. “refrain to make simplistic comments about our life-style”

        yes, people should refrain from making simplistic comments about ANYONE’s lifestyle

        1. I also added: “I try to avoid judging people because their first priority is something different from mine, and i expect the same courtesy in return.” Are we not saying the same exact thing in here?

          Did I make any remark about other people’s lives? I don’t recall that. I say it again: Whatever makes people happy, I’m happy for them.

          Unfortunately I’ve found many people judging me or even insulting me for my lifestyle. A former friend of mine ( I thought he was and I’m actually still in shock as I don’t understand what I did to be treated like I was), went as far as saying that If I was pregnant i was finally doing something useful with my life.

          Did I ever judged his lifestyle? NOT EVEN ONCE. Enough said.

  18. Kle, let me tell you that this post is one of the best I have ever read and you have ever written. I agree with all you say here. The holiday is relatively MUCH more expensive than a long-term trip – so true!! My friends go on all-inclusive holidays every year spending a week more money than I ever did for two months in China for example. Moreover, you can’t really experience the real local life when you stay at expensive hotel and all you can see is the swimming pool and all you can talk to is the hostel staff. C’mon!!!! People should put their backpacks on and open their hearts to the real adventure!!

    1. Thank you Agness!I know how much travelers and travel bloggers in particular resent all the nasty comments and suppositions about our fantastic life. The worst thing is, the don’t even want to listen to our explanations on how things are in reality. You are absolutely right: people should put their backpacks on and try! i bet they would be much more understanding!

  19. Great Post! Luckily I haven’t traveled enough to have this type of attitude towards me but I can sort of relate to many of the points you made.

    Traveling is tiring. There’s just no way to get around it. There are some trips that aren’t so bad, but eventually it’ll catch up to you. I’ve traveled more in the last six months than about the last three years and it was really tiring. All I wanted to do was go home and go about my normal routine, however pedestrian that may seem compared to visiting so many countries.

    I can see that when you traveling for a living, as in that is your job, its not all that much fun.

    Right now I’m starting a blog (yes everyone else is too) but it is a lot of work to write and also keep up with social media. I can see how fortune 500 companies have whole teams managing just social media.

    1. Skwok, glad that you could relate with my points. Many people probably don’t travel long enough to understand what it really means. Don’t get me wrong, traveling as a life style is highly rewarding and fun, but not that kind of fun people imagine. For us, just trying new unconventional things, experiencing the adventure, even if it is tiring, is something we highly reward. It’s the life we choose and i’m personally not complaining, i’m only jaded by all the wrong assumption people make all the time.

      Oh don’t mention the management of a blog whilst traveling.. i do what i can, but i always feel i have so much to catch up! good luck with your blog!

  20. Hi,

    Cracking read here. There is an element of protention in the way address you when you say I’m spending the year backpacking. It is as if they think you are going to sit in a field smoking hemp and discussing films. They don’t understand there can be moments of real frustration as well. Destinations are glamourous but travelling definitely isn’t.

    That being said in between travelling when I am trying to save I do look back on my trips as if they were a holiday. Anywhere exotic is going to feel that way when you’re sat at a desk.

  21. Well said! i’m sick and tired of people thinking that my lifestyle is a never ending holiday. People need to understand what this is all about instead of pointing envious fingers at us.

  22. Pingback: Best in Travel: Ukraine, Digital Nomad Lifestyle and Long Term Travel | WildJunket MagazineWildJunket Magazine

  23. Interesting article. I can relate. When we took our kids on a four year sailing/backpacking adventure through the Caribbean and South America, we encountered the same things, sometimes from immigration officers. As we checked into immigration in the BVI, the immigration officer asked me if we were there for vacation or work. I said neither, we were long term travelers. They didn’t have a spot for that on the form and she wanted me to put vacation. I told her homeschooling, cooking and cleaning were not a vacation for me. She told me vacation, or nothing. I wrote down vacation. Sometimes it’s not worth the fight. 🙂

  24. Yep… everyone thinks it’s beaches and pina coladas for us perpetual travelers. I really like the people that think they can compare their 1 week vacation to our lifestyles too! Just like we can’t understand them they can’t really understand us either. The longer we are away from a “normal” life I am not sure if it gets harder to reconnect/identify with it, or it’s just indifference on my part. I simply don’t care about anyone’s thoughts or ideas about our lifestyle design… I’m on an information diet and if you aren’t adding to my experience then my brain has already moved onto other things!

    1. I think this is the right approach. The “information diet” works great! but sometimes people just sneak into my life to criticize. And it happens when least expected. We are having a nice relaxed conversation and there it goes, the Jellyfish mode on. I hate it.

    2. I think this is the right approach. The “information diet” works great! but sometimes people just sneak into my life to criticize. And it happens when least expected. We are having a nice relaxed conversation and there it goes, the Jellyfish mod on. I hate it.

    3. “ I really like the people that think they can compare their 1 week vacation to our lifestyles too! Just like we can’t understand them they can’t really understand us either.”

      “I can only dream of lying on a beach all day with no accommodation, food and transport worries!”

      “Many people probably don’t travel long enough to understand what it really means”

      “Sometimes I think that living a “normal” life is much easier than constantly being on the road…but is far less exciting “

      ——————————————————————-

      These are the type of things that I see all too often with travel *bloggers*, and sometimes travelers in general. Please don’t let the amazing experiences of travel allow you get so full of yourself! you say you want to extend the same courtesy to everyone, yet show your colors by saying their life is not as “exciting”. How do you know they aren’t a passionate scientist working a steady job they love and accomplishing all sorts of *exciting* stuff in their own eyes, or a passionate stay at home mom whose dream IS to raise a family and provide a stable home environment, or a passionate teacher who loves travelling but also loves educating the next generation, etc etc etc.

      The whole POINT is if you are happy doing what you are passionate about – great. But don’t immediately think that every “normal” job worker is the type that is completely miserable and envious of you. Yes there are those people and I feel sad for them by not making steps toward what they really want. But just as you ask for the courtesy of not assuming we know exactly what your motives are for your lifestyle, don’t generalize everyone else! Leave the door open that someone working their tails off at a job, a home, etc is exactly their passion! that’s the travel (blogger) curse… at first its a great life experience, then every blog I read they turn to – “well yeah you travel, but its not this long, or this style, or you still have a house back home, blah blah” stop it. that’s the exact thing the career folks are doing to you. “yeah you make money but how much? is it as good as a 9-5? do you have a 401k? yeah but your insurance is high..” the way you live life is up to you, give others the freedom to travel OR work the way they want to without all the hints at elitism.

      yeah I agree a lot of people don’t understand travel and what it does for the human experience, but to try to quantify the time a person has to travel before you accept them into the *click* of people who “get it”, is quite ridiculous. Do YOU really understand what travel means? If your travel encourages just ONE person to say, hey I’ve never travelled but I might try it for a week/2 weeks/3weeks… are you going to tell them that wasn’t good enough?? or doesn’t count? or that they didn’t learn as much about their life perspective as you? c’mon man

      and one last thing… all the people talking about how they wish they could just sit ona beach for a while with no worries… whats the big deal? so what if that’s exactly what I want to do for six months. work on the fishin boat 2 days a week and sit on the beach for the rest. so what? I left my six figure career to live my life the way I wanted, so now I should feel guilty and act like I don’t enjoy that? please. I know I sit on the beach a lot, and drink the occasional drink, because I chose to travel and explore and simplify my life. yes long term travel has challenges just like ANY lifestyle.

      I’ve traveled long and short and in between. I left my stable six figure job to travel, visit family and friends, learn new perspectives, and yes, sit and chill in the country I happen to be in now. And I do a lot of chilling with my new local friends. I’m just so tired of the travel bloggers and other long term travelers I meet constructing these qualifications of travel (probably the biggest reason I am not a blogger – seen too much of the similar “travel elitist” attitude among the ones I’ve encountered on the road). if someone is inspired to travel for 2 days, but they’ve never had the guts to leave 20 mi radius of their hometown, then is that not a success??! I encourage my friends and family that ask me these loaded questions, to try ANY form of it. tell someone what to try, not HOW to do it, and you’ll be surprised with what they come up with for themselves. (now of course this is not condoning the “all inclusive resort traveler” who then displays arrogance to another about their superior travel knowledge.)

      I’m just saying it is such a tight rope to make sure we’re not projecting our assumptions onto the career 9-5’ers just as much as we are asking them not to project their assumptions on us. And also “internal” advice to all us travelers, not to “judge” others’ travel methods, preferences, duration, home base/houseless, savings account, or anything! Otherwise we simply are doing the same shit, different pile. Sorry for the rant.

      Bubba in costa rica

      1. You missed the point again.

        We are not feeling superior. We are fed up with people judging us! Is that so difficult to understand?

        I say, and also the other person who commented said that WE CHOSE THIS LIFESTYLE because it’s more exciting for US. Not for the whole world. FOR US.

        When you say: I’m just saying it is such a tight rope to make sure we’re not projecting our assumptions onto the career 9-5’ers just as much as we are asking them not to project their assumptions on us. And also “internal” advice to all us travelers, not to “judge” others’ travel methods, preferences, duration, home base/houseless, savings account, or anything! Otherwise we simply are doing the same shit, different pile.

        I actually agree, totally. No judging is the best way to go. but I resent that you’ve implied travel bloggers feel superior. First of all, travel bloggers are not an entity, they are individuals. I might connect with one and despise another. Same goes for travelers. Or Tourists, or whatever. I connect with PEOPLE not categories.

        I don’t feel superior at all. I just mind my own business as much as I can and I think I’m entitled to write what are my thoughts about my lifestyle on my own blog.

        To end this comment, I must admit that I wish there were more people like you around, posting comments that raise valid points to be discussed.

        You made your point, and I respect that.

        Cheers
        Clelia

  25. AMEN! Thank you thank you thank you!! I really think almost everyone from back ”home” really believes we are just laying on a beach all day long! When we were in Mexico for a month I posted that we needed a vacation and we got a lot of snarky remarks. We were working upwards of 100 hours a week (gearing up to be internet-less for the whole month of July), barely leaving the apartment and we legitimately needed a change of scenery to get away from the computers.
    Though we may not be living conventional lives, we are still working our asses off…not laying on a beach drinking a pina colada! Not.even.close!
    Am I grateful for my life? Hell yes! Am I aware of how cool it is to be able to visit amazing places and new countries all year long? Hell yes. But is it a vacation? Absolutely NOT. It is just my life that involves travel 🙂
    Done with my rant now 😉

  26. Ugh, naysayers! Dealing with naysayers was one of the hardest things I had to do in the lead up to my trip. People refuse to consider that building a career this way is hard!

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