June 4 2017
I’ve been avoiding the words “permanent base” for a good two years now. Even though that’s exactly how we’ve been living, I’ve been avoiding the phrase like the plague.
And in a way, it might be because I was ashamed. Ashamed of trading in a life of full time travel when being a digital nomad is all the craze. Worried I wouldn’t be seen as a “real traveler” if we weren’t living the lifestyle every single day. Anxious that we would be judged by pretentious travelers, because we weren’t traveling in the right way.
But there is no right or wrong way to travel, and I reject the notion that we should compare the way we experience the world to other people and worry if it measures up. Travel is a personal journey and an individual experience, and it really doesn’t matter where your travel style falls in the whole tourist vs traveler debate.
As long as you’re happy with the way you’re experiencing the world, it doesn’t matter if you travel full time, or come home to a permanent base. And despite the over glamorized instagram feeds which push a romanticized version of non stop adventure, and hitting one destination after the next, there is definitely something to be said about having a permanent base.
I Quit My Life of Full Time Travel to Buy a House and My Previously Sold Stuff
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We’ve been renting for the past two years which has allowed us to hang onto the idea that, if we wanted to, we could pick up and leave at any time. Though now we’re committing to a permanent base. Yesterday we drained our savings account, and tomorrow we drive onto the Spirit of Tasmania; we’re moving to Tasmania and we bought a house!
Full time travel is an incredible journey, and if it’s something you want to do, I highly recommend joining the band of travelers selling everything they own to travel the world. But what if you actually enjoy your 9-5 job? What if you’re proud of the fact that you own a house? What if you love to travel but full time is not something you want to do?
Craving the Comforts of Home
For all the advantages of full time travel, after multiple years on the road there are certain comforts of home you begin to crave. Small things like sleeping on the same pillow long enough that there’s a permanent place for your head. Hanging clothes in a wardrobe knowing they’re not going into a suitcase the next day. Not forgetting to take your medication because the timezone has changed.
Ironically enough, you begin to crave the mundane things you were trying to escape. And there is definitely something to be said about allowing yourself time to take a break. Time to get excited about a trip, and time to reflect and appreciate the experience upon return.
Half the fun of travel is the build up and anticipation, but when you’re experiencing one destination after the next, there’s not a lot of time for that. Nor is there time to sit and reminisce or organize your photos when you’re already taking new shots of the next.
Wanderlust Fatigue – It’s a Thing
The period of our life dedicated nomadic travel was a remarkable one, and allowed us to see so much more of the world than we would have otherwise, though since returning to a permanent base, we’ve found we’re able to appreciate each destination in the way it deserves; for it’s own characteristics, strengths and individual appeal.
Because it’s the most well traveled who are most vulnerable to wanderlust fatigue; that moment you’ve landed in another incredible city but would ‘rather check Facebook than soak up the atmosphere of an 11th century fortress’. The moment you look around to find that everyone else is in awe, though you’re underwhelmed with your surroundings because you’ve already seen a million incredible cathedrals or waterfalls.
When you’re traveling in rapid succession, it can be difficult to not compare everything you’ve seen to something you saw the week before, and when you’re so exhausted from jetlag and transit it’s difficult to stay enthused.
For travelers who do spend their lives on the road, this means prioritizing rest days, and giving yourself enough time to recover and recoup. Slow travel is the best way to go, though not everyone can do this. Most people return to a home base.
We All Need a Break
We all need a break from travel at some point, though we shouldn’t be ashamed to say so. We feel fortunate to be in the position to travel, and perhaps with so many people telling us so, there’s a certain level of guilt in giving up a lifestyle which others aspire to.
But that brings me back to the motto I adopted when I sold everything I owned to travel the world; reality is negotiable, and life can be anything you want it to.
You want to go on a bus tour? That’s awesome. You want to jump between all inclusive resorts? More power to you. You want to cycle around the world and camp for 3 years? Respect. There’s no right or wrong way to travel, and what’s right for one person will always be completely different from the next.
So I quit my life of full time travel to buy a house and my previously sold stuff. I’m psyched about the fact that I own a couch. I’m excited to hang my clothes in a wardrobe. I’m thrilled that I will be energized for future trips, and fully plan on playing tourist in my own town inbetween international stints.
Full time travel was a blast, but everything in life is but a chapter. Follow our social media updates this week as we make our way to Tasmania and pick up the keys to our new house!
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