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Why long term travel?

Why long term travel?

Most people we know live very similar lives – not necessarily because they want to, but because they are led to believe by society that this is what life is all about. Once you hit the age where you are no longer dependent on your parents, life consists of finishing school/university, finding work, buying a house, getting married, having kids, settling down, saving for retirement and finally retiring. Obviously it’s not that simple but I’m sure that sounds familiar to quite a lot of you out there.

Personally I was heading down a similar path and 99% of people would think I’m heading in the right direction. In fact, most would look at me as being “successful” and far ahead of most people my age. The following quote resonated very strongly with me:

“You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to”.
- Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity

A few months ago something clicked – I decided that this average life just isn’t for me. Eventually, I’ll buy a house, get married, etc, but that’s what my 30′s, 40′s and beyond are for. At the moment I’m in my mid-twenties and need to do something before I get too bored with this mundane 9-5 working life and/or too firmly entrenched within my chosen career path.

So long term travel it is!

For Amy and I, four weeks per year of holiday leave just doesn’t quite cut it. Compared to those in the USA, this allocation is reasonably generous. But I guess it’s a true sign of a traveller that 4 weeks out of 52 on the road just isn’t enough for us.

We have been on three overseas holidays in the past three years – Bali in 2007 (10 nights), South East Asia in 2008 (21 nights) and West Coast USA in 2009 (16 nights) and while these trips have been extremely enjoyable and we’ve seen and done some amazing things, they’ve also been extremely rushed trying to fit everything into such a short timeframe.

Now is the perfect time for us to start seeing more of the world and doing it slowly enough so that we can sit back and really enjoy it. On past trips we’ve been overly worried about squeezing absolutely everything in which takes its toll very quickly. The decision to go for a full day tour at Universal Studios less than 24 hours after a long haul flight was one we have definitely learned from – suffering from terrible jetlag in the searing LA summer sun isn’t fun at all!

We’ll discuss our possible destinations in a future post, but the number 1 priority at the moment is to make it back to North America and see a lot more of the USA and Canada. A journey through Europe is also on the agenda, as is spending some time working in a foreign land.

In 2011 – North America, Europe and the rest of the world – be ready, we’re coming to see you!

We would love for you to follow our journey and hopefully we can inspire a few of you along the way. To keep up to date with Don’t Ever Look Back, please subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter. Oh, and we’d love to see a comment or two as well! :-D

Flickr Photo: Zoagli

21 Comments

  1. Posted October 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys – nice to find your site :) and so cool you are making plans to travel more than just a few weeks here and there – traveling full-time really is so much fun ;)

    hope to see you around more!

    Sofia.xox

    • Posted October 17, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Thanks Sofia, we agree – a few weeks travel each year just isn’t enough! We can’t wait to get out there and start our adventure!

  2. Posted October 17, 2010 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    I had the same exact feelings! I’m working on my BREAKAWAY. If everything goes as planned ill be leaving in 10months to backpack around the world for a year or more. I too started a blog to document my thoughts, questions & planning along the way. Hope everything works out for y’all!!! Ill be following along.

  3. Posted October 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Hey Guys!

    Exciting to hear about new travel plans! It’ll be interesting to see what you get up to, our plans have changed so much since we first started arranging this trip and what started as a year, changed to 18 months then 2 years and no we’re looking at ways to make it last even longer!

    You’ve made a great choice, I look forward to following your adventure!

    • Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for commenting!

      All we know is that we’ll be starting in North America and working our way from there. We don’t even know how long we’ll be gone for – it’ll be a minimum of six months but hopefully much, much longer!

      Good luck with extending your trip, hope you can make it to Australia one day!

  4. Posted October 17, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    If you hit Canada I have some recommendations and I highly recommend Mexico as I started my long term travel there.
    ayngelina recently posted..The ethics of being robbed

    • Posted October 18, 2010 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Thanks Ayngelina, look forward to hearing some recommendations as we get closer to our travels! We definitely hope to get to Mexico and some parts of Central America on our journey.

    • Shay OCarroll
      Posted January 2, 2011 at 12:29 am | Permalink

      I also have some recommendations if you go to the west coast of Canada! :)

  5. Posted October 19, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    We always say to live life out of the box! Don’t listen to society- listen to your dreams and your passions. Society tries to kill this too often. And you can still continue to do this when you are in your 30′s married and with kids! If you want it bad enough you can do it.
    Good on you guys for breaking free. Can’t wait to hear all about your journey. If you come up Sydney way let us know we can meet up for a drink.
    Caz Makepeace recently posted..5 Can’t Miss Places to Visit in Bolivia

    • Posted October 20, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Cheers Caz, we’re definitely in a small few that are doing something different to the norm. A lot of people we speak to (who haven’t really travelled, mind you!) always ask why we don’t put the money towards a house deposit! But it’s just not a priority at the moment, particularly with the overpriced market in Oz.

      Congrats on still doing this in your 30′s with kids – we definitely plan on taking our children abroad when that time arrives, but couldn’t envisiage being able to do it full time! Hopefully we’ll be up in Sydney some time in the new year, we definitely need some sort of mini-holiday before we head off around the world.

  6. Posted October 20, 2010 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    I love reading about people first planning their long term travel adventures. I remember so clearly the roller coaster of emotions I went through as I went from thinking about it to actually booking that first ticket, it will be one of the most amazing experiences of your lives!

    I agree with ayngelina, Mexico is where I started to and it really is an amazing place with so much variety, it’s one of the few places that you can go from dessert to rainforest in a day.

    • Posted October 20, 2010 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment Catia – it’s a very exciting time, yet still seems like a bit of a dream. I’m guessing once we start selling a few of our prized possessions and book that first ticket, it will all be real! Gives me butterflies just thinking about it!

      Thanks for the advice as well, we’ll definitely make room for Mexico in our itinerary!

  7. Posted November 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, just came across your blog and wanted to say “Hi”. We’re also a couple getting ready to start our RTW next year. And it’s awesome to find other couples starting out around the same time… hopefully our paths will cross.
    Jill recently posted..Making a List- Checking It Twice- and Crossing It…

  8. Posted December 29, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Great quote. I will remember that next time people try to tell me that I’m crazy because I’m doing a long term traveling.
    Dina recently posted..Merry Christmas from Canada!

  9. Posted January 5, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Love that quote. I followed the expected path for years and now having some mid-life clarity. Have done a 6 month and a 2 month trek and looking for the next one!
    Blaine recently posted..New Chattanooga area bike route book

  10. Seasal
    Posted January 16, 2011 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    Plans sound great!

    I found this site while doing preliminary research for a probable 3 month trip, in 2014! However, we’re sort of doing things the other way round – K was recently given early retirement, and I’ve worked only part time since being made redundant 15 years ago. I want to travel in the mid-west and west of America, to show K places I knew when I lived there as a youngster in the 1960s. So we think we need to plan in some detail, we aren’t as freewheeling as we perhaps once were.

    I look forward to reading some of your experiences.

    Good luck with the preparation, and have a great time!

    • Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Hi Seasal, so glad you found our site and thanks so much for leaving a comment. :)

      That’s great to hear you’re planning an extended trip in 2014 – do you have any “must-see” destinations in the mid-west that you recommend for us to go and visit? We believe that a rough plan will suffice – as in, we won’t have too much accommodation booked but will have a basic order of places we’ll visit. A mixture of planned and spontaneous will work well we believe.

      Hopefully some of our future writings will help in your preparation also. Thanks again for visiting.

  11. Posted January 31, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi – I’ve just launched my 2-year adventure and couldn’t be more thrilled! You’ll never regret your decision to embark on a worldwide trip! Erin (who is currently Down Under)

    • Posted January 31, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Wow, 2 years – that’s fantastic!

      Have you got your itinerary online anywhere? Just saw on Twitter that you climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, that’s one thing that’s high on our bucket list! How was it?!

  12. Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    We have been reading your blog, and loving it! We to are planning a RTW trip departing in under 8 months! I noticed you spent alot of time in Asia, and we plan to spend 5 months there! We feel in love with it on our honeymoon and cant wait to return. Would love any feedback about our route http://www.gettingstamped.com/our-trip/our-rout/ and any other advice you may have!

    Thanks

    Getting Stamped
    Hannah recently posted..I ♥ BKK

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