It takes a lot of planning, work, and effort to be able to become full-time travelers. So it makes sense that when most of us start our journeys to full-time travel, we have equal parts excitement and fear. We think if it doesn’t work out, if we don’t like it, if you decide adjusting your dream lifestyle is best, that somehow we failed.
But the truth of the matter is, different seasons in your life will bring out different needs that will require change. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Go ahead and read that last paragraph again.
Modes of Travel
One example we’ve come across is people who start out living one travel lifestyle and find themselves not loving it as much as they thought they would.
Our friends at Trailing Away, for example, started out RVing and found out it just wasn’t for them. Now they’re house sitting full-time across the globe and are loving it.
Our very own Adam and Lindsey Nubern, from Nuventure Travels, started out roadtripping North America. They soon transitioned to traveling in a campervan around New Zealand, then went backpacking to Europe. Adam and Lindsey allowed themselves to follow their curiosities! They gave themselves permission to be open to new modes of travel.
Full-time vs Part-time
Maybe you’re traveling full-time and a family medical issue arises. You may feel like it just doesn’t feel right to be away from them at their time in need. Slowing down your travel for a while so you can stick close to home may become appealing.
Starting a family is another example of a time where full-time travel might not make sense for your family. Or maybe it does! There are plenty of people who have babies on the road. It’s feasible. However, having a permanent location for doctor visits and to bring baby home can sometimes be a little less stressful for parents-to-be.
Or maybe you’re missing being a part of a physical community, having friends nearby, or being in a place that’s familiar. This could make you feel ready to take your travels part-time and make a home base.
Want to know more about making a home base? Check out this awesome article from Adam Nubern.
Working for yourself or for someone else
There is absolutely an appeal to working for yourself and owning your own business. Mostly for the freedom of working on what you want, with who you want, when and wherever you want to. And that’s all true!
However, it’s a ton of work and sometimes it doesn’t always work out. Maybe it doesn’t work out financially. Or maybe it does, but you’re like my husband Dan, who went from working remotely for a company to working remotely for himself, only to discover that he really isn’t happy working behind a computer 40+ hours per week.
In the Thick of Things
So when you find yourself not digging your current situation and thinking “What am I missing?” or “What should we do?” or “This isn’t what I thought it would be,” it’s time to take a step back, without being hard on yourself.
Ask yourself (and your significant other):
-What would make this a more pleasant experience?
-Have we gotten what we wanted out of this experience?
-What are we lacking right now?
-Is there something else we’re being drawn to? (Travel, home base, work, etc)
Think on this a while. Don’t make any quick decisions. Also know you might not even have the answers right away, and you might have to be patient for them to come to you.
Our personal experience
For example, in January 2018, after a full year of full-time house sitting across the country, Dan and I knew that we wanted to switch things up in the near future. We loved house sitting but we could feel that within the next year, we wanted to do something different. International house sitting was something we wanted to do, we always thought about trying RVing full-time, and we also were talking about starting a family.
Dan and I knew we didn’t want to wait too much longer to start a family, but we didn’t really feel comfortable trying to learn how to be parents while trying to adjust to life in an RV at the same time. We also didn’t want to be traveling internationally, getting pregnant, then having to figure out what we’d do.
At the same time, we were longing to be a part of a community where we could have friends right down the street. Would that mean going back to IL or making a new home somewhere else?
We went back on forth with our options for EIGHT MONTHS, y’all!
We would talk about it and think. Leave it alone. Revisit. Talk about it some more and think. It was actually pretty frustrating! Nothing felt quite right.
Until one day it did and we realized our most pressing priorities. We wanted to start a family and we wanted to get into a local community. So we decided we’d make a home in Durango, Colorado, and started putting the pieces into action to make it happen. Which took another 5 months, by the way!
Are we done traveling and house sitting? Absolutely not. Do we still want to try RVing? Maybe. Will Dan transition out of working from behind the computer? He’s working on it.
But for right now, this transition is what we needed and what we wanted.
Coping with Transition
It can be easy to get our identities wrapped up in what kind of travel we’re doing or what kind of work we’re doing. But if you decide that you no longer want to house sit, RV, work for yourself, fill in the blank, that does not mean your worst fears have come true and that you have failed.
Allow yourself the freedom and give yourself permission to explore other things. Think of it as your next adventure. Get excited about it!
Society often judges us if we don’t stick with what we said we were going to, even if we’ve been doing it for a while. We’ve even seen this within the travel community!
Our good friends, Julia and Neil from Destination Nomad, spent a couple years traveling full-time in their RV. Recently, they decided they wanted to set up a home base. When they announced this change on their social media, one of their followers actually told them they needed to change their Instagram handle now because they’re no longer nomads.
We firmly believe, though, that “location independence is more like a state of being and not about being “houseless,” just like financial independence is not about being retired. You can still be location independent and live in a house, you can still be financially independent and work.” – Dan Kellermeyer
Let’s support each other through transitions and cheer each other on when we make big leaps into new territory! Adjusting your dream and transitioning to a new lifestyle takes a lot of work and courage.
If you’re looking for a community that will do just that, we’ve got your back! Read more about how we’re supporting one another.