Before I left to travel through Costa Rica and Nicaragua for three months, I thought I had my life all figured out. I worked so hard to become a digital nomad and believed I would travel for a few months in the fall and winter, then spend summers in Toronto, Canada. But after a month of backpacking through Central America I was already sick of hostels, making new friends and sweating as I lugged my backpack onto local (chicken) buses.
Travelling feels different this time. I can’t sleep all day, tour around and party all night anymore. I don’t want to party every day and I can’t unless I want all my work to go to waste. I have to keep up with my websites and emails.
I’m still having a great time, I make the best of everything, but something is missing. I don’t know if I’m sick of dorms, language barriers, travelling solo or if I just need more comfort and luxury, but I feel worn down and it’s only been a short while since I’ve been back on the road.
I’ve shared my feelings about this with a few other travellers who have tried to convince me that I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m pretty sure my feelings aren’t ‘wrong’. They actually became quite defensive and didn’t listen to what I was trying to tell them. They argued with me, stating how much cheaper underdeveloped places are and that travelling to more developed cities is not ‘real travelling’. It’s frustrating to hear this from people who claim to be so open minded. But I guess ignorance is bliss, right?
The whole mood changes when I try and explain to people that this may be my last long trip and that I want to see places like Paris and New Orleans. They look at me as if I’m racist or took their mother out for a nice seafood dinner and never called her again.
I’ve never been to NYC and I want to see times square, who are they to judge me on what I want? If anything, I believe a new way of travelling and an array of different destinations will make me a more rounded traveller.
Also, I’m not the only one who’s tired…
Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic announced in a blog post a few months ago that she was tired of life on the road and would be heading back to Toronto.
Lastly, the infamous Nomadic Matt has also declared the end of his journey.
And like Matt, what I want in life has changed.
This is not the end of my travels, but for now, it is the end of my long term travels. I will begin to take shorter trips throughout the year and hopefully find some good friends to come with me!
I’m in my short trips mode. I moved back to the US from Argentina 2 months ago and I have several trips planned for this year. I like be based in one place but not trapped. I freelance and give myself freedom while still having some roots. No judging coming from me!
That sounds like exactly what I want to do. Going to give living in Toronto a second chance this summer. We’ll see how it goes.
I agree with you and I know EXACTLY how you feel. I love traveling, but I don’t want to TRAVEL long term. I want to visit places, live there and be location independent. Yes, I want to be in a place where it is easy to bop out for little journeys, but I got tired of backpacking after 7 months. There’s no way I would do it like that again.
I hear that! I thought I wanted to strap that backpack on again and do it, but I was wrong lol
I hear Boston is nice, you should give it a try! Lots and lots of history. I hear they have a rock in Plymouth. 😉
Oh there is def a Boston trip in the near future since I missed it on the way out of Canada. Stupid flu.
I’m in Boston now. Just sayin’…
Screw what other people think. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you the way you want to travel is “wrong.” That’s a bunch of bullshit! But I know there are plenty of people out there who just don’t “get” that the backpacking lifestyle isn’t for everyone.
Basically just figure out what it is you want, and then go after it. And to hell with everyone else! 🙂
I like the cut of your jib!
I moved around a lot over the last few years, and the older you get, the harder it is to keep leaving home. You’ll make friends in new places, but every time you move on, you leave those people behind. It gets hard leaving everything and everyone behind. Maybe settling back down in Toronto is what life has in the cards for you, and you may find much more happiness being there with your friends and family. By the way, you should add Chicago to your list of places to visit 😉 We have the best food in North America and it’s really cheap to take a train here 🙂
I hear that brotha!
Train from where?
You can take trains from Toronto to Chicago 😉 Its like 9 hours. Or you can take a train to Detroit then take the high speed rail from Detroit to Chicago to cut some time off. The round trip is only like 200 bucks.
I hate it when people get uppity about awesome things like travel because it makes them less awesome. To me, travel is about exposing yourself to new destinations to change the way you look at both the world and yourself; this is not limited to any destination in any way. Travel has also made me one to really trust my gut so I say go and do what feels right for you and you’ll be happier for it. (and I’m looking forward to posts on NY, Paris and New Orleans!)
Uppity is the PERFECT word for it.. Maybe I’ll even head to Texas!
For us travel is now living for longer durations in new destinations to dig in and learn more and culturally immerse ourselves rather than the usual things you would find out in 2-3 days in a location.
Life is a journey for you to determine your path, I don’t understand these people that think your feelings are wrong… Whatever you choose for yourself is the right decision 😉
Right on Pete!… Everyone does it their own way.
Aw Hogga Bish
I didn’t realize you had a heart under that skirt (me jokies yea)
Of course what felt right before won’t necessarily feel right- right now. Things change.,Roll with it and realize it….you’re getting old. You can’t hang like you used to.
Do what you want and fuck the rest! (that’s what my dad used to say to me all time 🙂
HAHAHAHA… yeah it’s a black little heart, but it’s still there.
Wait a minute… did you just call me old?
I know what you mean by being made to feel what you’re doing or thinking is “wrong”. My first experience traveling on my own really wasn’t all that great, and although “you’re never really alone/always meeting people” I felt like I definitely was alone and didn’t meet people I want to spend my time with. Staying in one place is just a different type of journey. I’m just sorry I discovered your blog so soon to the end of your trip!
I know exactly what you mean about not people you want to spend your time with. I have met some amazing people, but a lot of lame ones too.
It’s sort of bittersweet, right? I loved my blissful life in a small town in Costa Rica, but I missed, well, dating! I’ve been back a year and a half, which flew by. I don’t think I’ll ever not feel the tug of war of wanting to go back, but I know that my kind of work is only in big cities, where I eventually want to meet someone and get married. In the meantime, I travel whenever I can!
Yeah, def miss dating… and feeling clean haha.
Shag ’em Hogga. They’re posers. The whole lot.
And on the plus side, settling somewhere will give you even greater opportunity to exhaust that particular city’s dating pool. 🙂
Damn diggity! I made out with my waiter last night. He was a horrible kisser.
I have had to mix longer stays into my now year+ travel sabbatical. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to live in hostels and sweat your ass off while closely guarding your luggage on a crammed chicken bus for weeks or months at a time.
UGHHHHHH the chicken buses. It won’t have been my last one on this trip either!
Everyone’s wants and needs are different so people shouldn’t judge you for what you want to do or where you want to go. I’m glad you’re still enjoying your long trips but if you feel that it’s time for a change then you should go for it.
Thanks for the support! I concur!
If I could travel for a few weeks at a time, return home for a month or two… and repeat lol. Actually, if I could only do two trips a year for the rest of my life I would be happy.
Personally, I think you’ve got it exactly right if you have come to that realization that what you want has changed. Nothing wrong with that! The reason those people got defensive is because they see your actions as a challenge to their life choices and feel threatened. You’ve done it for a while… you want to try something else. If anything, I think that makes you more adventurous!
I think that might be the nicest thing you have ever said to me lol…
You’re probably right…
Does this mean an apartment with us lot is defo happening in?
It’s an option! Just depends on whereeee….
ive been thinking about this lately but every time i imagine myself staying put in one place i feel the urge to find another place to go to… its driving me nuts LOL… but definitely ill find a homebase soon 🙂
It’s so hard to make a decision! I have def been back and forth about it all too.
Brendan’s tweet was actually an April Fool’s joke but I hear ya on people being defensive. I love the travel community but once you decide to stray from what others do they feel like they need to convince you to stay on track.
There is a lot of different kinds of travel, do the one you want.
A massive part of the appeal of travel is the variety, the holy-shit-what-do-I-do-ness of it. And as Ayngelina says, lots of ways to travel, so if you’re feeling burnt out and jaded, it could be you need a different one to get that thrill back again. And it sounds like you’re getting one already – the one where you keep on top of your business as you travel instead of burning the candle at both ends.
1) Travel the world wearing no pants. Whole new perspective on breaking the ice with strangers.
2) Make up your own language, and use it to communicate with people. Make a special effort to target linguistics students (watch ’em sweat).
3) Get people to decide where you go next, a la Indiana June: http://www.indianajune.com/ You’ll be too effing terrified to feel disillusioned.
I’m sure there’s more. 😉
HAHAHHAHAHA… I would def do #1
It’s your life. Who is anyone to tell you how and where to travel ??
Hey, maybe you’ll like working on cruise ships for the same reason I’m getting burnt out – 9:1 men to women!
wow… I do like those odds haha…
There are lots of different ways to travel – I’ve done longterm backpacking, expat living and short trips. I’ll probably do all of those again at different times in my life. It’s your attitude and passion for experiencing the world that counts, not whether you’re living the travelling bum lifestyle.
Attitude and passion would def be more important.
I’ll totally come with you — not to Paris though; been there.
DO IT! we can go somewhere else lol
Makes perfect sense to me, Lindsay. Dario and I both have a never-ending urge to flip the bird to corporations and “the man”, but we also love our creature comforts. At this point, we think the ideal would be a home base (or two!) that allowed lots of easy access springboarding to parts of the world we have yet to explore. We totally want our comfy bed, hot showers, tea in the morning, quiet days, pets, and comfy ol’ office chairs, though. Short-term nomads is how we work best. Nuffin’ wrong wiff dat!
Yeah it’s just a matter of finding out where my home should be!
I loved this. It’s so incredibly important for people to be honest with themselves. Fuck all the noise. Find out your true reason why you travel, and HOW you want to travel each year. Some of my friends travel by going to different music festivals around the world, others take a girls trip every year.
I take a birthday trip every May to a different destination in the world. It’s the thing I save and look forward to every year so I can achieve my bucket list items (even if only one year at a time). Being on the road isn’t for everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a home base. Toronto always welcomes me back with open arms, and I hope this happens for you this summer too 🙂
Keep it real.
Fuck ya! Where you going this may?
I think long-term travel erodes that excited anticipation to see somewhere new because you feel guilty for not appreciating that you’re still somewhere new. Also working on the road eats away at the carefree feeling.
Screw what “real travel” is and travel how you like to where you like.
Yeah there is def a inner battle with that care free vs, fuck I have so much work to do
It’s just not for everyone, nor should it be. I have trouble sleeping in strange places, so dorms make it even harder. I’m a cranky bitch when I haven’t had enough sleep. I don’t really like long bus trips, I’d rather fly from point A to point B. If you’re able to set up your life to work from wherever you want, that means wherever YOU want. So you figure it out in a way that fits you. I love traveling and I’d love to be able to do more of it. My husband and I are working towards having the flexibility to work from wherever and travel more, but our version of that dream still means keeping our apartment in Germany as home base and renting an apartment somewhere for a month or 3. The point of breaking out of the corporate world and making a new life for yourself is to make your life the way you want it to be, not the way some other hard-core minimalist “I spend $12 a day” backpacker wants to live his/her life.
Oh man! It’s the weirdest thing to wake up and think I’m at home sometimes, then realize I’m in a dorm room.. EEEK!
Good luck to you and your husband!
Scott and I have been feeling this way a lot lately as well. Scott never really liked the idea of a nomadic lifestyle, but I used to. He was tired of traveling full-time after 2 months. I was surprisingly happy to be home, but still felt I could do the long-term thing. Now, I’m starting to enjoy luxury travel (something that I never thought would happen!) instead of staying in hostel dorm rooms. Granted, I’ll still stay in a hostel private room, but the thought of sharing a bathroom doesn’t even sound too appealing anymore. We are going to Europe next week and I’m so thankful we are not going the dorm route this time. Are we just getting older? 🙂
It could be getting older and wanting to experience things differently. I know I used to enjoy huge parties. I still do, but a lot of the time I would rather chill out with a few people and a magnum of wine haha
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this at all. The longest I have been gone is a month at a time. However, I’ve been to a lot of places. To be honest, I like having a home base. I used to think I had to travel all over the world and go far away from home to have great travel experiences. However, some of my best experiences were those close to where I live. I believe travel is an attitude and a state of mind.
So if you don’t want the nomadic lifestyle or feel like it’s time to go home and you just don’t to do this the same way any more, that is OK too.
Thanks buddy! Just need to find a place to live, it’s been a rough time looking at apartments!
I think that’s it’s cool you’ve figured out what you want and are going after it! Travel is personal and you should do what makes you the most happy. Some people take life too seriously especially those that may have chosen to judge you for your decision.
WORD! And it will always be changing
aww, little schmo is growing up! Chris and I are going to New Orleans in September, you are welcome to join!
That sounds sexy! But I’m not sure how I feel about a vacation with a couple haha
Late to the party, but we still have two cents to throw in!
You know, traveling is supposed to be a fun and rewarding experience. If it’s a choice, do what makes you happy and don’t listen to those jerks who tell you how you should feel. Shame on them.
Oh, and New York City is going to lurrrrve you.
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