Full-Time Travel – Can’t We Handle It Anymore?

It has been 4 years since I asked Nathan to join me on a round-the-world trip, and so much has changed since we left with our massive backpacks and butterflies in our stomachs.

Although we really weren’t ready, we loved every bit of our first trip and didn’t want it to end, so already 2 months in we were planning to start a business that would allow us to travel while making money.

We  had an idea of starting a juice business from a van and drive around Europe, but didn’t have enough money to even begin.

While the juice van business never happened, we had planted a seed to find a way of being able to travel full-time.

And you know what happens when you really want something? Your dreams come true.

Sofia back in 2008 …

The Illusion of a Dream

Fast forward 2 years, and we had a blog that allowed us to make that dream a reality.

When we started traveling funded only by our blog back in 2010, I wanted to pull the middle finger to everyone who had ridiculed me, laughed at my face and told me it couldn’t be done.

Anything can be done, if you want it bad enough.

However, dreams aren’t always what they seem …

Running a business is possible when you travel full-time, but you never get that extra space to expand your business.

We found ourselves always “catching up” on things and only had time for the most necessary, which will never take you any further than where you are, and certainly not get us any closer to becoming millionaires.

Traveling the world has been the most amazing thing we have ever done and we are so grateful for all our experiences, but we’re exhausted from the way we have been doing it – we just can’t handle it anymore.

It is time for us to take a deep breath and slow down …

Nobody Does It

When attending TBU in Porto earlier this year, we were surprised to find just how few bloggers actually do travel full-time.

Everyone kept asking us where our ‘base’ was, and I found myself starting to ask people the same thing.

We had always thought that travel bloggers always traveled, but out of all of those we met, 95% of them had a base they went home to and lived between their trips, either with their parents or in a home of their own … making us feel like we were the odd ones out!

A New Way Of Life In Norway

We just signed a 6 month contract for an apartment in Norway, the longest commitment in years, which feels very uncertain.

It’s funny how when you have been traveling for a while, everything you used to think was uncertain – like traveling, is the most natural thing in the world for us.

Meanwhile, things like having a place to live, or staying somewhere for longer than a month, feels so uncertain.

There is a luxury of being able to live every day as it comes, to go wherever you want  - to live a life without commitment.

That freedom is addictive, and makes you fear anything too strict – just like we weren’t ready for our 1st round the world trip, we’re not sure if we’re ready to settle down and only travel every few months instead.

But then again, are you ever ready for anything new in life?

46 Responses to Full-Time Travel – Can’t We Handle It Anymore?

  1. Kiersten November 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Totally on the same wavelength. I am not nomadic. I learned that about myself in the past year. Even after ten days in Jordan I am JUST getting to sit down for the first time and relax. (And by relax I mean spend the night in the hotel working) Sometimes you just need to stay in one place for a length of time to balance out the “crazy.” Really happy you two have found a place to hopefully call home. All my love!

    • Sofia November 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Kiersten, yeah travel brings a lot of extremes and not much balance. Sometimes you really need some time to just do nothing :)

  2. Michael Hodson November 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Enjoy some “down time” for a change. As one of the few others out there that is permanently traveling, I do understand how you feel about all this. It can wear you down over time and a little “break” of staying in one spot can be appealing. Plus… you guys love the snow! Have fun.

    • Sofia November 16, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Yeah it will be nice with a break, and we couldn’t have imagined a winter without a bit of skiing :)

  3. Ali November 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    As much as I live to travel & I want more of it in my life, I’m not sure I could handle the permanent nomad life. Lots of travel with a home base sounds like a good plan. That way hopefully you won’t get sick of travel or being home. Good luck with your next step!

    • Sofia November 16, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      We realized this too during this year.
      Sometimes a permanent nomad life takes away the fun and excitement of travel. We knew that something was “wrong” when we didn’t feel the same excitement about travel, and decided to take a break.

  4. Nora - The Professional Hobo November 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Wow – Great minds think a like! I think there’s a trend here….the other full-time travelers I know are all starting to crave a base for a while…myself included – I lasted 6 years before I established a home base (which I’m still doing). Mine is in the Caribbean. Stay warm in Norway – it looks beautiful.

    Here’s a little bit about my own recent changes:
    http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/10/time-for-a-change-the-professional-hobo-switches-gears/

    • Sofia November 16, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      That is interesting, maybe it is a trend but mostly I believe it’s a natural progression for people.
      I hope you enjoy the Caribbean, it seems like an awesome place!

  5. Nadine November 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    I completely understand this feeling. After traveling no-stop this whole year (currently writing this from my hostel in Salvador, Brazil) I always have the feeling of being consistently behind on my work and not able to search out other options for my blog. I think it is very important to have some R&R in one place for a period of time. To recharge your mind and body :)

    • Sofia November 16, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      I agree, while traveling truly makes you inspired, it is hard to follow up on all your new ideas without any time or space to do it.
      Enjoy Brazil!

  6. Gareth Leonard November 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Wonderfully written post! I travel a lot slower than the typical travel blogger, but the feeling of “playing catch up” because I’m constantly exploring new places is always present. Best of luck in Norway and let me know when you figure out the millionaire thing. : )

    • Sofia November 16, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Yeah traveling very slow is another good option, we tried it earlier this year but somehow we found ourselves going faster and faster anyway, haha.

      Will let you know when we have figured out the money-situation ;).

  7. Lindsay November 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    “That freedom is addictive, and makes you fear anything too strict – just like we weren’t ready for our 1st round the world trip, we’re not sure if we’re ready to settle down and only travel every few months instead.”

    This is the most true to myself thing I’ve read in a long time. I’m in the process now of trying to figure out to make it happen- currently planning my first 5 month European excursion.

    • Sofia November 16, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      Hey Lindsay, thanks for your comment.

      Great to hear you’re planning a five month trip around Europe, it is an amazing continent to travel in.

  8. Jon November 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Awesome post! :) It’s been an amazing journey so far eh! More to come :)

    • Sofia November 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      Thanks Jon! Yeah it’s been a crazy journey, can’t wait to see what’s next.

  9. Christy November 14, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Norway seems like a great place to call home for a while. I LOVE my home base and look forward to it after a whirlwind of travel. I feel like I’m often playing catch up just traveling about a week out of every month, so I can’t imagine doing it full time! Good luck with your new adventures! I hope to finally meet you two at TBEX in Ireland next year!

    • Sofia November 16, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      Hey Christy,

      Where is you home base? We’re still trying to figure out where we will feel the happiest living, so I’m curious to see where others love to live. :)

  10. Pretraveller November 14, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Good luck with the new phase of your lives.

    I am the opposite of you, where I have always worked full time and then had to fit my travelling into my leave periods. I recently started a travel blog and have been working (part time) to build and grow it, which is happening but not at the speed that I would have liked. Trying to balance building the blog along with full time work and my family is challenging, and some weeks I have more energy to do more than other weeks.

    I am sure once you adjust to the new routine you will find yourself refreshed and can decide where to from here for your lives. Good luck!!

    • Sofia November 16, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      It is a full time job to build up a blog, so I understand how you feel about juggling a lot of things at the same time.

      I think the most important thing is not to be too hard on yourself, or you will start resenting blogging and give up.

      It will be nice for us to slow down, and we already feel refreshed, so we’ll see where it all goes from here.

  11. Eva November 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Actually now you travel and make money, that’s great !!!
    I wish you more luck :)))

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks Eva, yes we’re very grateful for being able to live this lifestyle :)

  12. Lucie November 15, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    At the same time, it’s good to slow down and live a bit as an expatriate and discover the life of the country. I have been expatriate in three countries and I must say it’s the best way to get to know a culture!

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      Staying in a place for a longer time definitely makes you experience the small things that you usually miss when just visiting for a week.

      The Norwegians are such wonderful people, it’s hard to imagine them ever being angry, haha!

  13. Red Hunt November 15, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    Enjoy the break….and whatever mini-adventures you take. Travelling near can be just as fun as travelling far. It seems to be a common theme I am seeming recently, or at least hearing, that travel bloggers need to catch up….get work done…slow down their travelling. I guess to most people that sounds crazy, but ya….I still have stories and photos from 4 years ago – doing occasional travel – that I haven’t gotten to, so I can only imagine how much you guys must need to catch up on!

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:00 am #

      We have a few similar comments here about others noticing this pattern as well, which is quite interesting. It has been so great to finally get some space to catch up on all the boring business stuff that we tend to postpone.

  14. Mike November 15, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    Hi Sophia & Nathan,

    I love your blog. It’s great seeing people take the plunge and follow what truly makes them happy. You have some amazing articles and photos. If you are ever interested in submitting any articles or photos to us at BarrelHopping, we have ongoing contests where you can win cash to help fund your continued travels. For every article or photo you do submit we will also provide a link back to your site for more exposure. Our end goal is to help fellow travelers like you do more of what they love. Here are the details http://barrelhopping.com/get-paid-to-travel/

  15. Jeremy Branham November 15, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Someone pointed out that you wrote about struggling with travel. So did I!!! I just posted this yesterday and I am sure you can relate. A couple of weeks ago, I was on the verge of quitting the travel and blogging thing completely. I was burned out and overwhelmed. I learned a few lessons from that experience that I think people can relate to regardless of whether they travel or not. Getting burned out and overwhelmed is something we all experience in life.

    I say this as someone who works full time in something not related to travel but still travels and writes. My experiences are a little different than full time travelers but I think many people can relate to our feelings if our experiences are all a little different.

    Honestly reading other comments from travelers and a post like this makes me feel better. I know I am not alone.

    7 things I learned from the day I almost quit traveling –

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      Thanks for sharing your post, it’s interesting to see how others feel the same way and in a way confirm that it’s ok to feel that way.

      Travel is overwhelming by itself, and to be working at the same time can be even more overwhelming.

      Hope you’re feeling better and refreshed already, and you’re so right about the ideal life and job never being perfect.

  16. Tom @ Waegook Tom November 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    The whole “base” thing is something I’ve noticed too, and I initially thought the same thing as you guys – that the majority of travel bloggers travelled 365 days a year, but a lot seem to have home bases, whether that be Berlin, Austin, Bangkok or Paris, to name but a few off the top of my head. I’ll be using my hometown of Harrogate as something of a home base next year in between trips to catch up on work and spend quality time with friends and family.

    Congratulations on the new apartment in Norway, by the way! I wonder how long it’ll take before you get itchy feet…

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      Thanks Tom,

      That sounds like a nice place to use as a base between trips, it’s always nice to have family and friends to come back to.

      The feeling of needing to travel comes and goes, but we could probably never stay away too long ;)

  17. Lane November 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I believe it takes a rare person to actually travel 24/7. We too had dreams of hoisting a backpack and heading out. Then, reality set in. First, we have dogs, and couldn’t possibly leave them behind. Next, it’s nice to have friends, a gym, local coffeehouse and things that you don’t get from moving around a lot. That said, we take 4-6 trips a year, blending the best of both worlds.

    To each his/her own. You’ll discover what is right for you.

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:14 am #

      Taking small trips throughout the year is a great alternative, I think. You do get the best of both worlds, and still get to keep you dogs!

      One day I would love to have a dog myself, but yes, they certainly restrict the travel options a bit :)

  18. Claudia November 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Wow, that’s great and I totally know what you guys mean. We recently stopped travelling and are living in Oslo. Where in Norway are you guys staying?

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      Hey Claudia,

      We live in Trysil at the moment, a ski resort in eastern Norway.
      How is life in Oslo?

  19. EJ Juen Jr November 19, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Hi Sofia, thanks for this very interesting post. As a newbie travel blogger who has a wife and a 4 year old kid, this kind of constant lifestyle is definitely not an option for us.

    It’s nice to see your blog making enough money to finance your travel. Only very few people achieve this level of success.

    I agree with Lane about blending the best of both worlds.

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:18 am #

      I can understand that having a family with children would change things in many ways, and that traveling would be very different for you guys.

      But I too agree with Lane about blending the best of both worlds. We’re still trying to figure out where our own “paradise” is, but who doesn’t want to have a place to call home?

  20. Vicky from acoupletravelers November 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    We just started traveling a little over 2 months ago and it really is crazy how time consuming it just running the travel blog can be (and we also are running a food blog too)! I too am surprised to learn that most bloggers aren’t traveling full time – I just assumed they all were! Hope you’re enjoying the apt in Norway! Good way to settle down for a bit!

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Hey Vicky, yes it’s been nice to settle down and rest for a bit, and the apt is lovely.
      Running blogs often take more time than you think once you start out, but it’s worth the effort :) Good luck with your blogs!

  21. Adam November 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    I really enjoy having a home base here in Berlin. It’s nice to have somewhere to come back to after over a year of a nomadic lifestyle. Though at the rate I change apartments here, I might as well be nomadic!

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      Berlin sounds like a great place to have a base, and there seem to be apartments that are cheap enough for people to travel and still keep them without feeling bad for it :)

  22. Priscilla November 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    I am addicted to traveling, however, after an extended trip or many short ones in a row, I LOVE climbing into my own bed with my special neck pillow and have the ability to throw my clothes in the washer whenever! Having a stocked refrigerator and cooking with all the tools I need is also a comfort. Ahh, I will be on the road again soon so enjoying this Thanksgiving cooking, cleaning and sleeping in one spot!
    Enjoy your time “settled down” and happy travels.
    Cheers,
    Priscilla

    • Sofia November 21, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      The cooking is definitely a deal breaker for me. I love to bake, and I would love to learn more about cooking, but haven’t had that opportunity for so long.

      Being able to bake and cook is one of the main things I miss when I’m on the road.

  23. Ruth December 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    “There is a luxury of being able to live every day as it comes, to go wherever you want – to live a life without commitment.” You’ve captured the essence of what I ultimately seek to achieve as a musician. I’d love to be able to wake up each day and do what I love without worrying about keeping a day job. Unfortunately, I have not been able to make my dream a reality yet. But, I’m still young and, as your post reminds me, I still have time to make things happen for myself. Thanks for the extra inspiration and motivation to follow my heart (as cliche as that sounds).

  24. Rose and Paul December 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Dear Sofia & Nathan,
    Love your blog and have been following you guys for more than a year now.
    We have been travelling nearly 2 years full-time in a camper around Europe. We are having a blast & don’t feel tired or numb yet. If we do, we just stay put a bit longer & have learnt the art of travelling at a slower pace.
    I think we might pop back to OZ next xmas to see family & friends (will be 3 yrs by then) and work out if we want to keep travelling….all depends on how we feel at the time.
    We do know however that we are not ready to go back yet as we often discuss we would be disappointed if we went back and didn’t see “this” or “didn’t do that” etc.
    We both use to travel internationally for work a lot and it definitely is tiresome when travelling on a plane and lugging around your laptop and roller bag. For us our base is the camper, which does help as it always feels like we are home when in it.
    Seeing Europe in a camper is a very different experience than what you guys are doing and is different to any type of travel experience we have had before.
    We are avid skiers like you guys and are spending winter this year skiing in Austria.
    We made contact last winter when we spent the season skiing in France. We ended up staying 3 months in that apartment which was a welcomed break from the camper, especially considering it got to -20c.
    These little breaks in winter, along with adopting a slower pace for our travel around Europe has made a big difference for us. I’m sure you guys will feel rejuvenated, once you’ve had a break, spent the winter in one place and worked out if you want to be professional travellers or travel professionals. Either way we look forward to reading your blog.
    Cheers,
    Rose and Paul

    • Sofia January 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

      Hi Rose and Paul,

      Thank you so much for the comment.

      Traveling with a campervan seems really cool, I can imagine that you feel slightly more at home as you’re literally bringing your home with you everywhere, and won’t have to pack up all the time.

      It must be such a great way of seeing Europe and give a lot of freedom when you have a car – although I can see why it could get a bit chilly in -20..!

      I think it’s something we will look into in the future as well, since we want to spend more time in places where you need a car like Austrian ski resorts.

      Sounds awesome to be spending the season in Austria, we’re also skiers and are looking into spending a month there this season if all goes well.

      Have fun skiing and happy travels!