What is it REALLY like to travel full-time? What you won't see on Instagram...
You see full-time travelers on social media and it looks like a never-ending vacation full of beautiful destinations, majestic mountains, gorgeous waterfalls, and relaxing beaches, right?
While all of those things are part of it (and they are amazing!) being full-time travelers also has its challenges. For us, these challenges definitely aren’t reason enough to not travel and miss out on the once-in-a-lifetime experiences we have on our adventures, but if you’re considering it for yourself and your family, these might help you determine if it is right for you!
Here are 5 challenges of full-time travel you won’t see on Instagram:
You have to travel a lot - I know what you’re thinking, “DUH! It’s full-time TRAVEL!” But when we see these beautiful photos on Instagram, we usually aren’t seeing what it took to get to that photo. Airports typically aren’t located in the most beautiful destinations and these spectacular sites aren’t usually located close to each other. This means travelers are spending a lot of time and energy on planes, trains, boats, driving in buses and cars, and hiking to see these beautiful sites. Most of the time it is completely worth it, but it is also tiring, sometimes very inconvenient, and time-consuming.
It can be lonely - Being on the road full-time with our family is amazing and our relationships and bonds with each other have grown so much, but it can be lonely not having extended family and friends around. Some evenings Daniel and I wish we could go on a double date with friends or Mila wants to just run outside and play with neighbors. We try to get out and make new friends in the communities we visit and that is wonderful! It isn’t quite the same as having close friends and neighbors to spend time with regularly though.
Not having stability - If you’ve ever moved or gone on a vacation and had your routine thrown off, you know what I’m talking about. We do our best to stick to a general routine during our stays, but when we are flying so frequently, this throws off the routine the day before as we are prepping and packing, then during the travel day itself, then it takes us a day or 2 to get settled and back into a routine. This can make it hard to be as productive and efficient as we’d like to be.
Staying healthy - Again, I’m sure anyone who’s gone on vacation understands this. Sticking to consistent workouts when we are always staying somewhere new and eating healthy when we have to eat out so often can be challenging. We make this a priority and have figured out ways to cope with this and keep the habits that help us feel our best, but it was definitely a big challenge in the beginning.
It requires a lot of hard work - Most young full-time travelers aren’t retired so it means we are doing some kind of work on the road. For us and many others who rely on social media for income, this means creating consistent quality content and there is a lot more that goes into this than most people realize. We absolutely love what we do so it is worth it, but it means sacrificing sleep for early morning shots, going out of our way with tired kids to get a photo or video, late nights editing, etc.
Our full-time travel experience has been such a blessing and we are SO grateful for it! If it is something you are considering, we think it is absolutely worth it, but we hope this list helps you to prepare and have realistic expectations.