Tuesday 31 July 2018

It's not all roses...

Q: Would you recommend long-term travelling, like what you guys are doing? 

A: Yes to travel but long term? My answer would be "It depends". 

We know we're in a blessed position to be travelling while working full-time but it has its challenges.

We can't be full-time tourists on a full-time holiday. Work, study, teaching, cleaning, cooking, budgeting and our health is more priority than the sightseeing. We can't do any of this if we drop any of those things. They all need to run as smooth as possible and it's a constant struggle trying to keep them all afloat.

With all of that comes the external challenges, new countries, new accommodation, new languages, new quirks in the new accommodation, new roads, new rules, new food, new supermarket systems, new rubbish systems, new navigation systems, new people, new culture. Adjusting is not easy and in every stop we've had, we have struggled with different things in each but to keep all those essentials running smoothly, we've had to suck it up and adjust fast.

It's hard, yo. I think I have struggled the most to adjust to new homes and surroundings. Some of the accommodation quirks have really, REALLY made me miss my own home comforts. Some of the areas have not given me the best first impressions and have really opened my eyes to realities I didn't know existed and made me realise things are not as picturesque as the postcards. Long-term travel is not all insta-worthy pics or the small snippets of photos we show.

For us to survive these challenges, we need the motto we gave ourselves before we left... To be positive, try new things and be open-minded. I feel like we need positivity like we need air! It's essential in travel as well as being open-minded. It makes the difference between looking up or looking down in our journey. It can really affect the overall travel experience.

This is a quote we found on a bench in Croatia and if you can't read it from my awesome photography, it says...

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" - Mark Twain.

In combination with our motto, this covers how we are living through this journey. Along with our boatload of positive attitude that we need, we also need to keep our prejudices in check!

Did we ever feel like throwing in the towel? Yes. Once. When a health issue came up and I was sick in Tuscany. We wondered if waiting to see if the health problem would pass was worth it or if we should just head home and be taken care of properly there. In the end I recovered... mostly. That along with Hadrian's run in with the moped was probably our lowest so far. We wondered if Hadrian and I would be ok, physically and mentally and if it was worth continuing. But, we made it through that particular challenge and moved onto the next stage of our journey.

We have had some amazing highs so far though and our "looking up" during our journey has given us some lifelong memories and brought us closer together as a family ❤️

And when we do finally see past the initial challenges of a new stage and adjust to our new surroundings, we start to feel like part of the community and feel like we could live there forever only for it to be time for us to move onto the next stage of our journey 😢 Have we gone somewhere we couldn't imagine us living forever? No... not yet.

But if we didn't stay a month at a time in each new place and rushed through instead, I feel like all the struggles would be magnified and we would never fully adjust or give any new place enough of a chance and perhaps we could come away with some prejudices.

So would I recommend long-term travelling like what we're doing? 

It depends on...

If you (and your travel group) can find the positives in every travel challenge that is thrown at you;

If you can be open-minded and try new things (even if all you want is a good NZ pie!!!);

If you can adjust to your surroundings no matter the quirks that are so foreign to what you're used to;

If you're willing to give a new place a real chance even if first impressions may scare you and more importantly...

If you are willing to keep your prejudices in check and not judge a country, city, culture and people by a few not-so-great people or experiences.

Also if you can, I recommend giving each new place a good damn chance instead of rushing through.

I also recommend a good travel group that have different strengths to offer! And a group that are patient with each other and know that some days are gonna be rough for some and not for others and that different strengths are needed at different times.

And you need a travel group that will find joy in the journey EVEN WHILST BEING IN EACH OTHER'S FACES 24/7! << That one is vital 👍

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