Without Travel I Die a Little More Each Day

It creeps up on me, a slow moving death.

I don’t even realise it’s there until I feel crushed, suffocated, and like I’m living in a black void where nothing makes sense.

My friend and spiritual mentor Belinda said recently, that if you don’t live your life on purpose it feels like you are slowly dying.

I like to say, it’s like drinking through a straw with holes in it.

Without travel I die a little each day1 (1200 x 627)

It hit me recently as we were driving across the sand dunes of Moreton Island.

Our host, Greg pulled over on the side of the sandy track so we could admire the ocean views while he shared how the black boys (a plant that stands up straight like a tree) germinate.

That feeling washed over me – awe, completeness, experiencing the fullness of life.

This is my purpose. This is all I was born to do.

Followed by, but how can it be that simple and that good?

I wrote in my journal,

“I can’t handle normal life. I feel disconnected, frustrated, overwhelmed, busy, bored, ungrateful. I only recognised this difference when we hit Moreton Bay – an instant relief and return to myself. Relaxed, carefree, excited, so grateful, and in awe – fascinated by the miracles of black boys germinating – a reminder that life is a complete miracle and I’m a part of it.

Intense curiosity, excitement, the thrill of being alive, living completely in the moment and completely expressing myself – joy, unencumbered beauty.

Connected to everyone and everything. Strangers become people with incredible stories to hear and learn from.

I’m with my children, watching them express themselves with joy. I’m not missing their moments. I’m not missing their growth. I’m not blinking and they’re teenagers and I’m left wondering how that happened.

Society still wants to put me in a box and make me fear the damage I’ll cause if I turn from its expectations and smash down the walls to build my own.

I’m not running. It’s just who I am – a spirit that longs to the be free and live in connection with life.”

Turning your back on your purpose

Travel is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’ve lost sight of that since we’ve stopped our road trip and let Busy take control with Frantic as its marching soldiers.

Putting my focus on the wrong things in denial of the right.

We take short getaways now and each time we do, I feel that sense of peace wash over me. Like drinking an ice cold Sprite in a glass bottle on the streets of Bangkok in April, “ahhh, that’s better.”

After 18 months on our Australia road trip, I was exhausted and tired of trying to manage the work with the travel and the kids. I thought stopping the travels would be the answer.

And just like when we stopped our travels in 2007, I slowly began to die.

My life back then fell apart to the point of losing everything. It’s not been as drastic, but it’s been a slow disconnecting death. So slow that I didn’t notice it creeping amongst the joy of living in beautiful Burleigh and having a bit of stability and structure.

So slow that it diverted my focus to things that don’t matter for the path I was born to walk. I’ve listened too much to outside voices telling me what I SHOULD do!


Because I haven’t believed that I could be worthy enough to have a life purpose that involves travelling and sharing it.

So I kept looking elsewhere for the answer.

That’s what we do when we lack confidence and fret about the future impact of our decisions. We don’t trust ourselves to know when all the answers lie within us.

We don’t give ourselves permission to live our true passions. This article by Mark Manson on passion and purpose articulates it in a way I can only dream of.

“His passion already found him. He’s just ignoring it. He just refuses to believe it’s viable. The problem is acceptance“

What’s really driving the boat?

It wasn’t so scary to live your passion and purpose as a child. We enjoyed doing it without questioning it.

Somehow in the process of growing up, we leave the fun and passion behind in our toybox. They become secondary to work and responsibility. Never are we told they can be the same.

We stop giving ourselves permission to play and see what comes because of it. We choose fear and striving instead.

My fear – of how can I continue to make a living sharing travel – began to drive the boat. Fears always mask something else.

It was hiding my inability to give myself permission to have this life. To just let it flow with ease instead of letting guilt cause endless worry.

Like survivors of airplane crashes who can’t understand why they were spared and others weren’t, I felt it was unfair and I was unworthy.

How can I have been chosen to live a life that involves travelling full-time?

Now that’s out into the light, it seems so silly. While to me nomadic travel combined with travel blogging is the ultimate dream, to many others, it’s an ultimate nightmare.

Most people want to travel for the short-term adventure, for the joy it brings before it becomes normal and so very draining. They’d rather have a home, a garden to tend to and family and friends to be around instead of constantly moving and waving goodbye to those you love.

Most people want to share only with their friends and family and keep it in the memory. They don’t felt the burning desire to make it their life’s work.

So, I need to get over that. I’m not chosen or special, I just have a particular path to walk and this is it.

Getting back to the true purpose

My purpose is to be the expression of joy and wonder. To share the stories of the planet and help others have a great travel experience – whatever that looks like for them.

It’s not to solve problems, but suggest solutions and possibilities.

To create awesome travel inspired content all the time.

When I tune into that picture of me doing that – my cells burst out of their skin and dance. There’s an expansion and a knowing that This. Is. It.

When I go the other way – to solve people’s problems, and so end up wearing them – I shrink. I feel small and insecure, filled with failure and disconnection and carrying the weight of the world. It’s caused me to slowly die.

Maybe the worthwhile work I put out in the world is by simply living the travel purpose and sharing all the tips and stories I can to help you.

My friend Belinda, released an amazing podcast this week, “Why your purpose isn’t to save the world.”

It speaks exactly to my experience these past six months, and funny enough what I came to understand a few weeks ago because of the work I do with Belinda in her School of the Modern Mystic.

It led me to the realisation that my purpose is simply to travel and express the joy and awe of it. When I reconnected to that I felt such a sense of relief. The pressure I was putting on myself to save the world was gone.

I’m so glad I’m now giving myself permission to accept and live my true purpose.

I know this because when I evaluate my life as to what flows easily and how we are being supported, the evidence shows we are most supported when we write about travel.

Don’t fear the shadows

It was one of my top 14 ways to improve your life in this recent post. When you’re consumed with fear, doubt, guilt and darkness, it’s life asking you to return to your true path. It’s asking you to pause and ask the right questions so you can figure it out.

The reason so many people suffer when the travel stops is because you’re going through a big change and life is asking you to go with it and recreate yourself.

Once you do the darkness lifts and you can shine your light even brighter.

Future plans and the death of guilt

We’re planning our road trip of the US for next year. We love our Burleigh home, but this gypsy heart has to move on.

I have no more guilty feelings. No more fear that it won’t work. No more doubt over as to whether this is the “right” thing to do. No more agonising worry over how it will affect my children.

As another friend said to me the other day,

“Your children chose you because of the path you can offer them. Trust that they know what they are doing.”

These past school holidays, Kalyra started surfing lessons. Not only does she look like a world champion surfer, she stood up on her first try and has taken to it extremely well. She’s hooked on the freedom of it.

girl holding a surfboard on the beach

I saw a glimpse of a future where she needs the constant travel and exploration to express her inner grom. Perhaps this calling to travel more and often is for her.

I saw a change in her through these lessons – an understanding of possibilities.

When we stopped our road trip she wasn’t interested in travel anymore. She wanted to be in school with her friends. She’s now telling us she’s bored of school and wants to travel again. (But, only if we have a motor home and she can sleep on the top bunk.)

Little Savannah hates being away from us – she always has. School doesn’t float her boat and she talks often about wanting to get back in the caravan again and go to a new house.

Both our girls have names that mean wild and free.

It’s in our blood. It’s our destiny.

For you

Return to your toy box and set your passion free again.

Accept our purpose does lie in the simplicity (and fun) of it. Give yourself the permission to live the expression of it every day, even if it’s in a small five-minute way, and watch how it grows into a more meaningful lifestyle.

Let’s make a pact to never close the lid on the joy again.

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46 thoughts on “Without Travel I Die a Little More Each Day”

  1. As you say… whatever floats your boat. It took me most my life to finally understand that what makes me happy, what I love, can actually be my profession. I am trying hard to make it work, to make a living off it, and I am still uncertain I will succeed but I will die trying and will never go back to my previous life.

    I am not sure I could ever live a permanently nomadic (if you allow me the contradiction here) life like you like. I need to go home, see my family, my friends, my cats, and live my routine to then want to travel more. But I do love traveling long term… And I need to do that more.

    Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

    1. Perfect! I love how you know exactly what it is you love and how you want your life to look. It’s so hard to understand what that is and then accept it!

  2. Hi Caz,

    I totally agree with everything that you have written in this post. I have not been on a big trip abroad for 5 years (Western Australia and the Northern Territory for 6 weeks in 2010) because I have been too focused with my studies and not so much on travelling. I have been to a number of countries on field trips during my degrees but they have not been enough.

    I went to New Zealand when I was 15 years old after being chosen to go on a month long expedition around the North and South Islands and I have had the travel bug ever since.

    I want to uptake a more nomadic lifestyle and work as a travel blogger/writer yet my family expect me to settle into a career, meet a girl and settle down. My mum keeps on insisting that I start earning some serious money so I can save up a deposit for a house to rent it out before moving in.

    I am more up for living in the moment and doing what I really want to do. I would love to travel around Central America for a few months, do some conservation volunteering work in Ecuador for a month, visit my friend in Brazil and also visit my sister in Myanmar.

    I think that I could make the nomadic lifestyle work but I am being put under considerable pressure to settle down into a normal lifestyle. My mum is not happy with the notion that I might live abroad or adopt a travel heavy lifestyle.

    It would be great to hear your thoughts on my situation as I need some advice.

    1. It’s a tough one Paul. I’m a firm believer that following your own dreams is the only way to live your life. It’s hard on your parents because they’ll miss you but because it’s also a parent’s job to worry about you. That means sometimes it seems like they are trying to put you into a box. They just want to know you’ll be safe and secure. It’s your job to ease their fears and get them to believe in your dreams too. That’s not easy and sometimes the only way to do that is to go out on your own and show them that you can do it.

      Here’s a post I wrote which might offer some more tips for you https://www.ytravelblog.com/reason-you-wont-travel-family-friends/

      Regret will always be the thing that hurts you most. Houses can come at any stage of your life. Good luck and keep following those passions

      1. Thank you so much Caz, I really appreciate the advice. I think that I have just got to go out into the world and pursue my dreams. I love what you are doing by the way, this blog and website are both amazing. Your posts have really helped me out in a time of need so thanks a million.

  3. Oh my, this so resonates with where I am right now. The only difference is I substitute ‘cooking’ and or ‘food’ with ‘traveling’. And the words “It’s not to solve problems, but suggest solutions and possibilities.” says it all for me. I am printing this out and keeping my toy box open. Thank you Caz.

  4. Anne Maree Peachey

    Exactly what I have been waiting for!
    I knew the travel existence is so ingrained in your spirit that you would be getting itchy feet soon.
    Never feel guilty for wanting to live your life the way you want too. It makes you both who you are.
    I am so looking forward to travelling with you through you posts and wish you all the best on your next adventure.

  5. I will remember this when the opportunity arises: “This is my purpose. This is all I was born to do”. Meanwhile, all I can do is dream.

    1. See if you can find pockets throughout your day where you can live what brings you most joy – even if it’s just exploring a new section of your neighbourhood or area.

  6. I believe your soul spoke to you when you decided to settle for a bit, as it is speaking to you now. Remember, everything is for a reason and what you’ve accomplished in the last few months is now propelling you forward back on your travel path. Hey..even top athletes recharge, re-evaluate and return with a new vigor. I’m looking forward to your 2016 posts of your travels on this side of the world.

    1. I think you are so right Sandra. We’re always been guided to the right places. Burleigh was exactly what I needed to rest and learn some valuable lessons to help me grow into the next level.

  7. Yes, yes, yes. Now I’ve read this properly, I commented on your FB page that I was happy to be stopped for a while in this amazing village ( Romania), where life is simple and filled with beauty. Then reading your words…yes! I’m still observing that beauty, like you with your black boys, it’s still fresh to me and I’m still sharing it in words and pictures with many thousands of people. I haven’t gone back to any sort of “normal” way of living, I’m heating and cooking on wood, helping with harvests, watching animals in the fields produce food for a village and skilled craftsmen create anything anyone here needs. It’s all still new and fresh. Right now I don’t want my backpack , I want to be here, but I’m still exploring and still sharing that joy with the kids and the world. The boys love it here too, that makes it all the more easy. But, soon, my favourite places, India and Nepal, plenty more adventures to come!
    Your kids wil be amazing, hope they get to hang out with mine one day, somewhere.

    1. I love the sound of your life! It’s incredible. I always think living in a new country is travelling. Every day is an awe experience, even the mundane things like going to the bank. It’s all so new and thrilling. Enjoy every minute of it, it sounds so amazing! I hope we can meet up somewhere too!

  8. Well done Caz! Great to see you following your dreams! We are heading to US and Canada for two months early next year so might hopefully cross paths! In the meantime, keep being you! Megsy x

    1. Oh you’ll have an amazing time!! We’re thinking we won’t get over until after April next year. It’s when our lease runs out and we’ll realistically need that long to get everything organised.

  9. Andrew and I were just talking about this topic a few days ago. We’ve spent almost a month in Thailand and will be moving on to visit Malaysia again. Normally, during our vacations in our past “normal” life, we would slowly die inside at the end of our holiday.

    We would fear how much stress would creep into our lives. We would miss the country we’ve just visited so much, because we felt inside that we may very well never see it again, because our vacation times were so short and so few.

    Now that we’ve listened to our hearts, and started our full-time travel life, we don’t miss the countries we’ve just visited, because we know how easily we can visit again. We instead look forward to the next destination and can’t wait to discover something new everyday.

    Thanks for this post. It really confirms our love for our new life.

    1. Yes. The more you travel the more you realise how easy it is to return AND how that longing to return can often diminish because your list of things you haven’t seen yet keeps getting longer!! I’m so happy you’re loving your journey! IT’s fun to follow

  10. This is a great post. I just recently discovered that my passion is travel. I don’t know how it escaped me so long. I always dreamed of living in these different locations, but it never occurred to me what I really wanted to do was see these places than just move on. I think as long as you’re doing what you love you’re doing things right. Keep chasing your dreams.

  11. Wow … thank you Caz, that`s exactly what I needed to hear – it`s like if you were speaking out what`s in my head/heart 😀
    I feel exactly what you wrote into your journal but I thought this can`t be it – why should I travel the world while my friends and family can`t understand this, while everybody else is having a job and starting a family, while refugees are coming into our country (Germany) without anything and so many people are suffering … so my purpose can just be travel and love it? I can`t justify that for myself somehow. AND I have no clue how to finance that :-/ So I guess all I can do for now is dream about it and travel with you here on your website. I wish you a great time!!!

    1. Thank you so much Ronya. It took me a long time to understand I was struggling with accepting it and then more time to accept it. But, I’ve come to understand that we each have a purpose to live an expression of joy. The more each of us do that, the better the world will be. If you look at it from that point of view then we have an obligation to do what we really love.

  12. Wonderful article!! Thank you for sharing. I’m definitely at the crossroads myself at the moment. I’m tired of traveling full stop, but I’m not ready to stop traveling. I don’t know what kind of work I want to do, or where I want to do it. I could get a job doing what I did before I started traveling, and it could be a good way to make some extra cash, but at the same time it feels like a step backwards, not a step forwards. I’m trying to relax and let the self evaluation of my life happen without forcing it (because when we try and force things into places they don’t belong, that’s when they break), but boy is it a challenge. For now I’ll continue to go with the flow, search for my passion, and trust the process.

    1. Yes. I’d take some time out to relax, do what you love, so you’re not constantly thinking about it and trying to find the answers. I also think journalling is an amazing tool to help you clear away the cobwebs and bring clarity back. Start by writing out your frustrations and concerns and questions and then just allow the answers to bubble up They might not come for some time, but you won’t hear them until you clear all the worry away.

  13. I just wanted to say how much I love your blog! Having just returned home to the UK after spending the past year travelling and working in New Zealand, my partner and I hoped that once we had returned we would feel settled. We have moved to a city that we love, Brighton and both got ‘good’ jobs and are near to our friends and family. But it has had the complete opposite effect. We feel that travelling has just opened our eyes to the endless possibilities and places still to be seen. We feel unable to relate to the lives of our friends around us who also are unable to the understand the life we want! After not being home too long, we very quickly decided that we need to get back on the road so plan to spend 2016 saving and planning all over again.

    Looking forward to hearing all about your US road trip plans and feeling more confident that you should always lead the life you love and not necessarily ‘settle down’.

    1. Oh you’ve been bitten by the bug! It’s so hard to return home after extended travel. Keep following the dream. There are so many endless possibilities to explore, why turn your back on them?

  14. I love this article! Thanks for sharing with us all 🙂

    A way that Nick and I have been able to combine full time travel, with blogging as a career, is to house sit sometimes on the road. When we were constantly moving around, we found it very hard to keep up with projects and writing…but didn’t want a permanent home base as it’s just not for us. House sitting lets us relax and get caught up, live abroad like a local and have a pet for a bit, before moving on to explore. We’re currently in the Caribbean and are loving it. Maybe that’s an idea for you guys?


  15. This is one of my favorite posts! You expressed it so well!

    I don’t want to ever give up traveling… love it too much and will fight like mad to keep this thing going – thankfully, our 2 boys have no desire to go back and live a “normal” life either… hopefully we all stay on the same page! We’re onto year 2 now, and I love the excitement and newness that comes with staying in a place just long enough to figure it out, then moving on and getting excited about the next place 🙂

  16. I agree with you Caz, you have to go after what makes you come alive. I love to travel, but I also like having a home, so I need travel in shorter bursts than you do. But I can still relate to how people/society/whatever wants you to fit into a specific box. People think it’s strange that I have no intention of ever moving back to the US. People think it’s strange that Andy and I don’t want kids. And on and on. But I can’t live their lives, just like they obviously wouldn’t want to live mine. I’m really looking forward to hearing about your US road trip and what kind of visa you get that will allow you to be there for as long as you need to do the trip. And I’m happy for you that you’re following your heart.

  17. Thanks for opening your heart (and your journal!!) to share with us, Caz. My husband and I have just spent a year back in Canada – we left here 20 years ago to live and work in different parts of the world. I love being close to my family and getting to help my parents downsize and watch my nieces grow up. But… there’s that nagging ache all over my body to get moving again. We just announced to everyone this week that we’ll be taking off to slow travel Europe in the spring (while Stephen teaches yoga workshops). It feels so right to be planning and I know it will feel great to be learning and absorbing new things every day again soon.

    Your post articulates exactly what I’ve been feeling – and validates it too!

    Thank you, J

  18. Oh wow… I’m so happy for you that you’re about to start this next big adventure, and that you’re letting yourself get back to fulfilling your dreams and living the life you’re here to live.

    More magic is waiting for you, and I can’t wait to follow along and see where it takes you. x

  19. Lovely post, written straight from the heart. When I got back from a relatively short trip I never really ever settled back, and to be honest although I tried to fit into the round hole of normal most of my life, I knew a I was a different shaped peg. Now the big house is sold, a very small one awaits, a camper is to be bought, and another house sit in Melbourne is booked. A few loose ends to tie up and then who knows where I will go. Crete calls, but possibly late summer 2016 (after Australia) and I will make that the European road trip. I do worry sometimes that I am making a huge mistake. And then I read this post and I know, with certainty, that I am not. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Absolutely beautiful post Caz! It literally brought a little tear of joy to my eye reading this. I’m currently balancing full time university in Australia with traveling the world and working to afford said traveling – and it can be really hard. Stories like yours inspire me and remind me not to feel guilty for running off to see the beauty in other corners of the world and that it is a perfectly legitimate lifestyle choice.

    Thankyou so much for sharing this,
    Elle Kirsten

  21. Hi,
    I don’t know what you think about this, for me I do not see like a problem because i’m focused in reduce my expenses so… I used to download via torrent in pdf files all the travel guides I need for free.
    Can you tell me about this…if you already download music or movies is it right…

    Best regards


  22. Hi Caz,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It is posts like this that make people realise that there is not one standard for all of us, we are different and need to respect each other’s differences. A few years ago we both moved from the Netherlands to Australia, this has improved both our lifestyles so much! We enjoy the outdoors heaps more and with moving to a new country all the obligations were left behind. And we are glad we did leave those behind, nothing needs to be done anymore, and we choose to do things or not. The only obligation we both have is our work, but even with our jobs we make clear that a happy personal life is far more important that our career and funny enough when you make this decision your career will follow automatically.
    We love to travel but we like to have a “home” to return to, therefore we have made the decision that the next few years we will go on 2 bigger trips a year and try to mix it up with as many as possible getaways as possible. Let’s see how long this will keep our travel bug under control, after all driving the Pan Am Highway keeps popping up. All the best and have fun with your travels!

  23. Caz, thank you so much for this article and your website. I don’t know how, but I stumbled across it this evening and I’ve been loving reading some posts, but this one struck a definite chord with me.
    I’m joining your pact to never close the lid on joy ever again. I had my first taste of a travel adventure back in 1997 and whilst I’ve been very lucky to have lived abroad in a couple of different countries, my heart still yearns for the type of travel that both scares the living daylights out of me, but which I also know will fully fill up my cup of life. For too long I’ve talked about taking 6 months off and travelling around Asia, but everytime I think about it, the fear sets in.
    I feel like I’ve been searching for my life purpose and it felt so amazingly freeing to hear you describe how your purpose is simply the enjoyment of the life that you have consciously created – there is something truly beautiful about that! 🙂
    I can’t wait to read more about your travels! xx

  24. Hi Caz. A touching and inspiring post as always. I think this is what I have been through now. I can not travel for the last one year due to my financial problems. It kills me to stuck in my home town even though I want to run away. I hope I will do better soon.

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