“I wish I could just be normal and be happy with a life in my own home in the one town.”
As a long-term traveller or nomad are you often plagued with feelings and thoughts like this?
I do constantly and it brings me a lot of angst.
Travel will change your life and your way of thinking and being, which is a good thing, but it can also make your life very difficult when you return home.
Sometimes long-term travel is not the best thing for you, but like an addiction, you feel your existence is nothing without it and you’ll do anything to have more of it.
- 21 ways travel can make your life difficult when you return home1. You sacrifice a job career to travel. You return home to start work again and can be viewed as flaky and unreliable, with little experience. You may even have to start again at the bottom of the ladder.
- You won’t own anything.
- Getting a loan will be hard as you won’t have any credit history.
- You’ll constantly wander around in circles lost.
- You’ll find it difficult to connect with people who don’t understand or like travel. Sometimes this will be people who are close to you.
- You’ll need things in your life to make it easier, except you won’t buy them because you could be gone in a month’s time.
- It’s hard to make plans. Society is a scheduled place and you’re used to just going with the flow and adapting as life moves along.
- If you’re not on an exploratory adventure than life is boring.
- Sometimes you won’t like your own culture and all you’ll think about is how much you love others more.
- You have to learn how to overcome reverse culture shock.
- Sometimes you forget how to speak and you mix up languages or speak in that silly stunted talking to non-English-speaking-english form.
- You become silent and socially awkward, not because you are, but because no one wants to hear your travel stories and you don’t know what else to say. Travel is all you know and is who you are.
- You’re never satisfied and just want to keep trying new things.
- You spend too much money eating out because you just want to feel like you are travelling again.
- You’ll often feel daggy and unstylish as you are a functional and practical dresser, but sometimes you just want to feel like you belong on the streets of Milan.
- You’ll just want to live life by your own rules all the time as you’re used to it. That means finding a way to create that lifestyle – like travel blogging - which brings a whole new world of hard work, sacrifices and challenges.
- You’ll make stupid financial decisions because you just want to travel and so you’ll do anything to get it.
- You’ll feel resentment at all the social functions and events that require your presence – you’re just not used to being in such demand!
- You’ll feel frustrated at having to cook and clean as you know what a complete waste of time this is and no matter how hard you try you can never recreate that amazing Panang curry you ate in that Koh Lanta beach restaurant.
- You’ll constantly question your decisions once children come along and the debate will constantly rage in your head as to whether you should settle with the white picket fence or live that amazing travel lifestyle together as a family.
- No matter how old you get or how many kids you have you’ll still want to be first to arrive and last to leave a party and most of the time you are!
All of these things have me often thinking of putting the suitcase away and storing the camera in the cupboard for good.
I think of all the things I could possibly have if I didn’t travel and how life probably wouldn’t always feel so strained for me now as I struggle to adapt to a hybrid settled-travel lifestyle.
But then I stop to think of my why.
Why do I travel? Why are my travel sacrifices worth it?
And I remember how it makes me feel- vibrating with life, totally free, and deliriously happy.
I can’t deny who I am and what I was born to do.
It’s not comfort and ease that I really want, it’s purpose and meaning and stretching myself to be more and experience more.
Travel has made my life difficult, but it has enriched it in too many other ways to ever give it up.