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10 Things No One Tells You About Long-Term Travel

10 Things No One Tells You About Long-Term Travel

Long-term solo travel is sometimes believed to be a lot of things that it is not. It’s true that travelers have a lot of crazy stories to tell when they’re back from that trip across Asia or around the world, but the not-so-glamorous side of travel is a reality that hardly gets spoken about and very few people understand. Here are 10 things on the other side of that perfect travel jump shot.

1. Travel does not let you escape responsibility.

It’s common belief that people who sell all of their possessions, quit their jobs or take a gap year to travel the world are free of responsibilities and can afford to be reckless and carefree. Of course, it looks like that considering that they don’t have a house, job or routine to follow anymore. But the truth is that they are still responsible for a lot of things on a daily basis, such as finding ways to fund their travels, keeping costs to a minimum, making decisions about where to stay, what to do, where to travel next, how to travel and how to make it all work. It’s just that these decisions are of a different kind, but they do have real consequences. Travel needs meticulous planning and this requires assumption of full responsibility. On the road you’re responsible for arranging and organizing everything and your own safety. Living out of a suitcase or backpack requires taking some tough decisions and a whole lot of creativity.

    2. It’s not one big party.

    When you’re staying in hostels and have a limited amount of money to last you the entire trip (and sometimes debt to repay), there’s no way you can afford to party with your new friends every night. Forget about the wild stories you hear about travelers drinking and dancing every night away. While this is true for a certain age group in some countries (like Thailand), the percentage of travelers who can afford to travel for a long time while continuing to do this is very small.


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      3. Travel moments are not always glamorous like the pictures.

      You look like a mess and you are one a lot of the time! Everything does not go perfectly as planned. You miss flights, buses and trains and rush to get to others in time. You get stuck in bad weather at some points. Unexpected things go wrong all the time when you’re travelling and if you can see the humor and enjoy it all, then you’ll get the most out of your experience. An inspiring adventurer once told me, “The disasters are all part of the adventure.”

        4. You don’t always have company.

        Loneliness can often be a real problem faced by long-term travelers, especially if they’re traveling across a country without spending too much time in one place or setting up a base. Unless you’re someone who’s comfortable with being on your own, dining by yourself and not always having someone to share the joy of new discoveries and experiences with, solo travel is not a good idea. Of course you do meet a lot of people from all over the world when you travel and forming meaningful friendships is common, but the possibility of this happening depends on where you’re traveling, if other people are around and how open and social you are as a person. It’s not always the case that you’ll have company, there may be extended periods of time when you’re by yourself.

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          5. Falling sick on the road can be a real pain (no pun intended).

          It’s comforting to have your loved ones and local doctor around when things go wrong with your health. In spite of globalization, the quality of healthcare, services, medicines and the availability of different medicines varies widely among countries. A lot of travelers don’t like to risk going to a doctor or getting any kind of treatment done until they’re back home. It’s not always that the quality of healthcare is bad in other countries; it’s just that some people may be uncomfortable with the unfamiliar methods used. When I developed a nasty blister from hiking in new boots in Vietnam, I decided I would rather wait for a few weeks to get it treated at home, rather than show it to a doctor in Sapa. Also, if you’re traveling solo, it can be difficult to deal with allergic reactions, severe fevers, insect bites, swollen feet, stomach infections, salmonella or food poisoning all by yourself. At times like these, you’d rather curl up and die.

            6. You don’t always love the food.

            The images of local food that you see in travel magazines and on countless travel blogs can make you believe that every meal is an experience in itself. The truth is that not every cuisine appeals to your taste buds and some places are very expensive to eat out in every day. Sometimes when you’re traveling in a region that is culturally very different, you don’t know what to eat and everything you try is either a bad idea or just does not taste good. Sometimes there’s not even the good old McDonald’s to rescue you. Allergies and reactions to local food are a reality that all travelers have to deal with from time to time.

              7. You look at home differently.

              If you travel for a few weeks or more, especially if it’s off the beaten path, you’ll probably come back and look at a lot of things differently. You’ll notice things and have realizations you’ve never had before. If you’ve spent some time trekking in wilderness and fallen in love with nature, you’re more likely to appreciate your local park that you simply walked past before. While you appreciate familiar comforts and luxuries, there are also some things that now annoy you, although you’ve seen them happen all your life. If you’ve spent a month in a village with limited power and access to water, and taken quick cold showers with buckets of water, then you’ve probably learned the importance of conservation of water. Obviously, coming home to siblings who take half-hour-long showers can become annoying.

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                8. You always need travel insurance.

                Even if you’re a traveler of the thrifty kind, one thing you should not be cheap about is travel insurance. Anything can happen when you’re traveling; your phone or camera could be stolen on a bus, you can get into an accident while zip lining in a forest, or you could lose your baggage at a busy airport. It’s reassuring to know that you’re covered for these things rather than have to deal with the disappointment of monetary loss.

                  9. Hardly anyone really wants to hear your stories when you’re back.

                  Sure, you’ve had the most life-changing trip and seen things that you could have never imagined you would see. Maybe they’re even things that none of your friends or family have experienced. But the truth is that very few people really want to hear your stories. Your stories are about unfamiliar things and they make most people uncomfortable after a certain point. If you’ve had an amazing journey, people don’t always want to hear about it because it makes them long for those things. They don’t like this because they believe that they have real responsibilities and just can’t take off carelessly like you did. Sometimes they’re just dismissing you as lost, confused or a hippie type when you’re talking excessively about that month you spent learning to meditate with monks in a remote village in Nepal. So just be content in knowing that you’ve experienced what very few people do in their lifetimes, you don’t have to brag about it to make it count.

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                    10. You can’t travel long term unless you really want to.

                    All the above challenges are a very real part of the adventure. If you only want the good parts; rich cultural experiences, good food, meeting interesting people and acquiring new skills, then you don’t understand what long-term travel is about. Unless you learn to enjoy the challenges, or want to experience them, you don’t really want to travel long term. If all this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then you’re better off getting a pre-arranged tour type holiday where you have almost complete control over what is going to happen.

                    Travel is full of surprises and challenges. It teaches you invaluable lessons that you can’t learn in school or at university. It forces you to get out of your comfort zone and go further than the boundaries you know. If you let it, it can change you forever but mostly in a good way. So even if there are things that nobody told you about, it’s because the positives far exceed the risks and challenges. In the end, you take away much more from the experience than you could have imagined.

                      Featured photo credit: Garry Knight via flickr.com

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                      10 Culturally Rich Cities That You Need To Visit 10 Tips To Get The Most Out of Your First Solo Travel Experience 10 Things No One Tells You About Long-Term Travel

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                      Last Updated on November 18, 2020

                      50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                      50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                      If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                      That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

                      Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

                      1. Believe It to See It

                      Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                      2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                      While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                      3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                      Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                      4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                      Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                      5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                      There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                      6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                      It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                      7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                      Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                      8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                      Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                      9. Maximize Your Strengths

                      Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                      10. Be in It to Win It

                      Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                      11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                      People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                      12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                      Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                      13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                      You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                      14. Be a One-Off Original

                      Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                      15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                      Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                      16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                      Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                      17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                      Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                      18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                      We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                      19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                      Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                      20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                      Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                      21. Make Your Own Luck

                      In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                      22. Ignite Your Initiative

                      While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                      23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                      Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                      24. Champion in Communication

                      Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                      25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                      Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                      26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                      To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                      27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                      While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                      28. Live by Core Values

                      Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                      29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                      Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                      30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                      Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                      31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                      Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                      32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                      Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                      33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                      Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                      34. Change Opens New Doors

                      People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                      35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                      It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                      36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                      Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                      37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                      When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                      38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                      How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                      39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                      If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                      40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                      Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                      41. Swim Against the Tide

                      Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                      42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                      More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                      43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                      Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                      44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                      While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                      45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                      Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                      46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                      Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                      47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                      While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                      48. Follow Through

                      Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                      49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                      We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                      50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                      To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                      So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

                      Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

                      More About Success

                      Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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