When people talk about travelling, this usually conjures up the image of a young, carefree soul touring exotic locations for months on end with just their passport and a backpack to their name. However, I consider myself a traveller despite working full-time and having lived in the same village for seven years!
I’m in no way against full-time travel but, for now at least, it’s not for me. With my work and home commitments I’m not in a position to go away for extended periods of time very easily. But even if I could, I do wonder if I actually would.
Why part-time travel can be the better option
I think there are a lot of great reasons to choose part-time travel over a nomadic life, especially for someone like me that has to deal with health issues when travelling.
Here are some of the reasons why I personally think part-time travel is a better way to see the world.
Your own bed – and private space
Sorry, but you just can’t beat falling into your own bed after you return from a trip. One of the best parts of being a part-time traveller is get to have somewhere you call home and therefore a permanent, private space.
When travelling full-time your ‘home’ changes from day-to-day and all permanency disappears. Sure, you might be a people person and love sharing dorms with fellow travellers, but surely even the most extroverted person must at some point want to have a private space of their own to retreat to…
Never losing that feeling of excitement
The run up to a new trip can almost be as fun as the trip itself, don’t you think? Having lots of regular breaks, split up with the routine of home life gives you the opportunity to get excited over and over again.
Although I can’t imagine nomads get bored of seeing new things, I do think that as travelling becomes more normal they must lose the excitement that comes with travelling to, and arriving at, somewhere new.
I don’t ever want to lose that buzz – the fun of planning the next trip, the butterflies in your belly as you drive to the airport, the excitement when you bag that window seat and that feeling of soaking in every moment, as you know it’ll be gone all too soon.
Not getting left behind by friends and family
While you’re off for a year trekking through South America or volunteering in Asia life back home simply goes on, and when long-term travellers come back I imagine they can find a disconnect with friends and family.
Relatives and BFFs will still love you just as much for sure, however, it’s a sad but true fact that things will have changed, often dramatically, while you’re away and you’ll have to find your new place in their lives.
Part-time travellers get to do all the same great things, just over a longer period of time, and without separating themselves from their physical community. Sure, video calling makes the distance much smaller, but in my opinion, chatting online is never the same as face-to-face over a good cuppa.
Continuing your career
Depending on your choice of profession it is possible to have a successful career while living nomadically. As a professional writer and editor I am one of the lucky ones with this option available to me, but I still think I have a better chance to progress my career and have a secure income by having a permanent work base.
Reliable communication networks, no issues with working across different time zones and a better work/life balance are just some of the reasons I’d rather not work on the road.
Those instagrams of travellers working on the beach are often just for show – the risk of getting sand in your tech, the lack of WiFi and screen glare from the sun means the reality is they’re probably holed up in some dark, sweaty café hunched over their computer while they work!
I’d rather work from my bright and airy home office and then when it’s time to explore I simply shut the door, head to the airport and put a lot of distance between my work and ‘not-home’ life.
Also, by working a permanent, full-time role, you’re more likely to be better off financially, allowing you to travel a bit more stylishly.
As a fan of affordable luxury I’m not one for hostels, but instead prefer to find beautiful boutique hotels, which I can comfortably visit several times a year thanks to my income as a full-time writer and editor.
For me, my accommodation is as important a part of my trip as the sites I visit and the places I eat. All together these make my travels comfortable, special and memorable – for all the right reasons. Perhaps if I was willing to downgrade my accommodation a little I might have seen more of the world by now. But to be honest, I’d rather take a slower, more luxurious tour of planet Earth thank you very much!
What are your views on the part-time vs. full-time travel debate? Do you agree with the points I’ve raised or do you have something you’d like to add or argue?
I’d love to hear what you think, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!