Most people keep the bad bits out of blogs, or when talking about travel experiences, obviously nobody wants to be a kill joy but bad things do happen when traveling long term especially when you get further from the beaten path. I’ve listed a few things that people never tell you about traveling below, this is only to help you prepare yourself for what to expect.
Even with the handful of negatives I’ve written about, nothing can take away from how absolutely amazing long term traveling is, it will change your life completely in all the best ways imaginable and we both recommend it for EVERYONE.
1. You will get home sick. I think about family at home every single day, and even though FaceTime and WhatsApp make talking to people back home really easy, it’s still not the same as a face to face conversation. I dream about meeting my parents at Newcastle airport all the time.
2. Your going to get ill at least once. There’s no avoiding getting ill when traveling, we’re so lucky in Europe but we are a little spoiled and our stomachs just aren’t used to anything other than perfect hygiene standards. A fully stocked first aid kit should always be the first thing on your packing list.
3. Things rarely go to plan. The upside of this one is that locals are used to this and it’s super easy to change your plans along the way. Just make sure that anything you book has free cancellation, especially if your booking a while in advance.
4. You will see poverty. When you get out of the main tourist areas I can guarantee that you will see poverty, it’s heartbreaking and unfortunately you can’t help everyone. There are posts online and even in a lonely planet guide that I read about how giving to beggars can actually make their situation worse. The truth is that there is no right or wrong thing to do and every situation is different, all you can do is to do what you think is best.
5. It rains a lot. We see so many photos in magazines and online of perfect white beaches with turquoise water and a clear blue sky, and think it’s like that all the time. I used to complain about the rain in England all the time, but we don’t even get it that bad in comparison to Malaysia or the Maldives for example.
6. The language barrier can be an issue. We tried to learn basic words while traveling, hello, thank you, how much?, where is?, etc, but unless you speak the language fluently then you will come across problems from time to time, it can be frustrating but problems always have a way of resolving themselves. Even if you have to ask a random person in a shop to help you translate.
So yes, there are times when I find traveling stressful or exhausting, and I sometimes hate feeling like a homeless nomad, but I wouldn’t trade in this 1 year adventure for anything, I feel like the luckiest person on the planet to have seen and experienced so much of the world.