What is long-term travel? It’s not having a set plan for your trips or when you come home. It’s buying a one-way ticket to somewhere and not knowing when you’ll be back. It also includes going somewhere, falling in love with it, and deciding to stay longer.
Another way to think about it: long-term travel is about more than just visiting a place; it’s about immersing yourself and genuinely experiencing it.
Who Can Do Long-Term Travel?
Long-term travel requires a bit of flexibility. If you can work remotely, i.e., be a digital nomad, then going abroad is easy. Alternatively, anyone with enough travel funds and time off can plan on long-term travel.
6 Important Benefits of Long Term Travel
Traveling for an extended period requires commitment, planning, and even some sacrifice to be away from what’s familiar. On the other side of that, though, are some important life benefits that long term travel can bring.
1 – Travel Boosts Budgeting Skills
Every trip requires a travel budget, some planning, and some preparation. These skills are easily translatable to the real world.
A part of learning how to budget is understanding what you’re willing to spend money on, what you value most, and where you’re willing to cut corners. Even if traveling locally at your destination, understanding travel costs can help with learning how to manage it all.
This skill transfers well into real life by helping you understand how to allocate your paychecks, when to look for sales and deals and where you can allow yourself to splurge. Plus, you’ll become adept at keeping track of your funds, anticipating and preparing for future issues, and saving appropriately.
2 – Improved Time Management
Anyone who travels regularly understands that you have to follow a schedule. Flights, trains, events, etc., will all occur when they are scheduled to occur. In order to make it to your destinations and experience events, you have to get there on time!
This means managing your day, scheduling yourself appropriately, and understanding yourself enough to know what you need to do to make it work.
We must all understand that the world does not revolve around us. Thus, we must adapt to situations, step up when required, and sometimes sacrifice things we may want for things we have to do.
3 – Gratitude Becomes Second Nature
A significant benefit of travel is that it gives you perspective. Seeing how the rest of the world lives and operates can increase your appreciation for your own life.
A key to happiness is wanting what you already have and being grateful for it. Traveling allows gratitude to become second nature. It enables you to understand that we are all just a tiny part of a bigger world, that we have so much more than we need, and that life is too short to worry about trivial things.
4 – Elevated Health Habits
The diets and lifestyles of citizens around the world are often better than ours here stateside. The food is more organic and fresh, there is less eating out and more cooking, and above all, there is more movement and exercise.
Exposure and experience within these other cultures can significantly impact how you live your life. You may start walking or cooking more or change the size of your food portions. Trying different cuisines can help expand your palate so that you include new items in your diet.
Health is wealth, and the better able we are to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the better able we are to live the lives we want. Traveling can help improve your mindset and habits around food.
5 – Become Fluent In A New Language
The longer you stay somewhere, the more likely you are to pick up the local language and dialect. In fact, it’s imperative that you do so. Learning the local language can help you meet new people, make new friends, and get around much more easily. All of which contribute to the experience of being there.
If you’re looking to improve your foreign language skills, then long-term travel is an excellent option to immerse yourself and become fluent!
6 – Reduced Material Possessions
Whether you decide to stay in one place for a while or continue moving to new cities, towns, or countries, you’ll likely be living out of your suitcase or backpack.
Carrying too much or having a large suitcase is impractical and inefficient. Instead, traveling lightly with a carry-on and backpack or a large backpack can help you stay mobile more easily. In other words, less is more.
Carrying less also allows you to have more money to extend your stay and travel efficiently. For instance, you avoid dragging heavy items, checked luggage, and potential trunk fees with cabs. This practice requires a reduction in the number of material possessions and acceptance of minimalism.
Minimalism teaches us that we don’t need much to be happy. Long-term travel is one way to put this ideal into practice.
Are You Ready For Long-Term Travel?
You may want to travel for a long time, but taking the leap is scary. You’ll be away from home, friends, and family for an extended period. If you’re unable to work remotely, you won’t be earning any income, which is especially nerve-wracking if you have regular expenses to cover.
In addition, more often than not, long-term travel falls upon those who travel solo. You’re likely to be alone in your immersive experiences, which can be daunting to consider.
It’s doubtful that anyone is truly ready to do something like this. Rather, long-term travel requires a leap of faith, a little bit of courage, and a lot of commitment to the idea.
Experiencing life through travel is a privilege. Not everyone has the time or the money to do so. Taking advantage of this ability is important. Travel can teach you many things about yourself and the world.
The life lessons and skills you bring home with you after traveling long term will help you elevate your life for the better. There are no downsides to the experience. The next time an opportunity opens up to live somewhere new, take it! See what the world has to offer you and how you can make it your own.
Featured image credit: Unsplash