Top 5 lessons learned from traveling long term

Traveling long term has definitely helped us grow and develop as people.  Over the weekend we were sitting on the beach talking about everything we’ve learned about ourselves along the way and how we want to continue to apply those lessons even when we go back home.  Here are the top 5 lessons we have learned about long term travel.

1.Nostalgia will always try to creep in

I am an incredibly nostalgic person.  The kind of person that is already sad about the fact that a trip is going to end the second day after it just started.  Ben is much more of a look forward to what’s next and don’t dwell on what’s past kind of person.  I thought that because this trip was so long and there were so many incredible destinations to visit, that I would never feel nostalgic and down about leaving a place, since there would always be another destination to go to.  Well I was wrong.  Nostalgia always has a way to find you.  It is unavoidable that you will fall in love with places and wish you could stay twice as long and see twice as much, but it is so important to not let that discourage you from being grateful and happy about what you have been able to see.  It is human nature to sometimes focus on what we don’t have instead of focusing on what we do have.  Through this trip I have learned to emphasize on the positive and to look ahead more often than in the rear view mirror. 

2.Travel exhaustion is a real thing

Despite all the great stories and beautiful pictures, traveling long term can take a toll on you physically and mentally.  After almost 2 months of moving around every 2 or 3 days and being sleep deprived pretty often, it definitely caught up with us.  By the time we got to Croatia in September we were tired.  We visited 2 of the most beautiful islands in Europe and did not have the same motivation and energy to explore it to the fullest.  We mostly spent our days on the same beach that we loved, whereas before we would’ve found a way to beach hop to at least 2 different spots every day.  The same thing happened in Florence, Italy, where we would get up early to take pictures and explore attractions that get way too busy in the middle of the day, but then feel exhausted the rest of the day and wouldn’t do much until dinner time.  We have learned that it is okay to feel like that but it is also important to acknowledge that some rest is needed. 

3.Don’t plan too tightly

This relates very closely to the previous point.  One of the main tools we have learned to keep travel exhaustion at bay is to focus on quality of time spent in locations instead of the quantity of locations.  Moving from place to place every 2 days seems exciting at first, but it will catch up to you eventually.  You’ll either feel like you’re missing out from truly experiencing a destination or if you pack too many things in your 48-hour period, you will burn out within a few weeks.  Self-care is more important than ever when you are traveling because you want to be at your best to fully enjoy the adventure you have embarked on.  From our experience we have found that a minimum of 3 nights per location is ideal if you are traveling for a long time in order to still be able to have a healthy routine while exploring the destination. 

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Things rarely go exactly according to plan.  There will always be things that you had not planned for nor anticipated.  That is part of the fun of traveling to new destinations!  In order to embrace the unknown and keep a good positive attitude, we have learned to not sweat the small stuff and always focus on the bigger picture instead.  When your bus is an hour late, when your accommodation ends up looking nothing like the pictures you had seen when you booked, when the weather is not as great as you had hoped, there is still always a bigger picture to focus on.  You are still in a beautiful destination far away from home that you might not visit again for years to come, if ever, so do your best to appreciate it as much as you can. 

5. Nothing amazing ever happens in the comfort zone

Traveling will push you so far outside of your comfort zone sometimes that it will make you doubt why you are even doing it in the first place.  That is where the most personal growth will happen and where you will learn the most about yourself.  It is in those moments that you get the biggest opportunities to better who you are and to change your life for the best.  It teaches you to take control of your own happiness and to focus your energy in the right places.  It has already changed us so much and we can’t wait to see what’s next. 

Thanks for reading!

Lots of Love,

Ben and Bianca

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