Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Thu April 30 2015

Opinion Home | Notes from the Goats

  • Nick and Dariece | April 30, 2015 1:00 AM ET

    The Downsides of Long-Term Travel

    The Downsides of Long-Term Travel

    Everyone talks about how amazing it is to strap on a backpack and hit the never-ending trail. And while traveling the world is incredible and something everyone should experience in their lifetime, it does come with its downsides.

    Being Away From Friends and Family

    This can be a tough one. Sure, if you're traveling on a week-long trip, this doesn't apply to you, but for people on long journeys around the world, it can be hard to be away from home. Thanks to modern technology, it's easier to keep in touch with loved ones by email, but oftentimes the Wi-Fi connection is slow and Skype calls are frequently dropped. Not to mention the fact that if you're an off-the-beaten-path traveler, you will find yourself in areas that don't even have an internet connection! Sometimes you'll go weeks, even months before connecting with the world back home.

    Drifting Apart

    While we're on the topic of connecting with friends and family, there is a good chance you'll drift away from the life you once knew back home. People will be interested in your travels at first and will probably comment on Facebook frequently, but before long, those comments and messages will become less and less frequent. When you arrive home after your long, epic journey, you may find that you've changed a lot, but your friends haven't ... which will inevitably (and unfortunately) lead to you slowly drift apart.

    Being Sick

    Getting sick on the road is all part of travel. No matter how prepared you are, you'll still end up getting some sort of stomach bug, food poisoning, or worse, a tropical mosquito disease like chikungunya or malaria! Laying in bed feeling like you're dying is awful, but if you're traveling in tropical or third world countries, this will most likely happen to you at least once. Lucky for you, in many parts of the world the doctors will have been trained in western countries, and the hospitals and clinics will be clean and hygienic. Get your travel insurance, and pack a medical kit for the road. Be prepared, but not paranoid.

    Living Out of a Backpack

    At first, it's a lot of fun to carry your life on your back. Realizing that possessions don't matter to you all that much is a very liberating feeling, but after six months to a year on the road, you'll want to unpack, hang up your clothes, and stay put for a while.

    Sleeping in Hostels

    We love hostels, but we always get a private room (and as of late, a private bathroom too). However, most backpackers and travelers end up sleeping in dorm rooms, which can get old, very fast. Sleeping with a bunch of smelly, snoring strangers night after night is not ideal. Bring your earplugs and try to splurge on a private room from time to time.

    A Small Sacrifice to Pay

    Being sick, drifting from friends, and living out of a backpack is a small price to pay to be able to travel the world. The life-changing opportunities that await you are endless. Try your best to avoid these downsides of long-term travel, but know that you're not alone.


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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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