Wrong To Travel This Way
Wrong To Travel This Way – Traveling has fast as we have over the last 3 weeks (1 new country every 2-3 days) during the Europe Train Challenge, really forces you think a lot about the whole concept of traveling – there are so many ways to travel, and we all like different things.
The day I left to Dublin to start our Europe Train Challenge, my dad left for a weekend holiday to Prague and my grandparents for a month on one of their annual villa holidays to Spain.
We all traveled differently, and we would all turn out having completely different experiences because of that.
Arriving in Barcelona, few weeks later I couldn’t help but to envy my grandparents.
Staying in 1 country for a month gives you an opportunity to explore the country in such depth.
The idea of relaxing at my own place, do what I want without the pressure to have seen something or done something new every day.
I’m starting to warm to the idea to do like so many other tourists who go and get villas in Majorca for a few months and just take my time.
But that will have to wait for another time, we are in the middle of one of the most amazing trips of my life:
The Europe Train Challenge.
It’s such a crazy experience that I will never forget, and never regret that I did.
But I have to admit that it is easy to lose focus when traveling to so many new places, when you see other people doing things completely opposite from you.
It’s a bad habit, and if you don’t stop yourself, you may find yourself sitting on your flight home realizing that you didn’t take the time to enjoy the trip you were actually on, and now it is too late.
With this 90 days train challenge, we wanted to see how fast you can travel and still feel like you can explore the best of each countries culture – which I feel we have really achieved so far.
By doing the Europe Train Challenge, we knew we would experience the complete opposite style of travel from what we’re used to – but that was our choice, and I am so happy we made it!
We have been pushed to our personal limits in so many ways – stretched our realities and, more importantly it has brought out the worst in us and forced us to work on ourselves.
Isn’t that what travel is really about? Pushing, provoking and forcing yourself to learn and grow as a human being?
That is a big part of why I LOVE travel, and continue to find new and fun ways to see the world.
I personally think it would be boring to travel the same way every single month, spend the same amount of time in each place, and just do things how I always do them.
That for me is boring – I want to live life, I want to feel stressed, feel excited etc.
I want to know that when I wake up tomorrow, I explored and enjoyed my current location in the best way I could – that for me is what travel is all about.
So why not spice things up a bit … go left instead of right … travel to 30 European countries in less than 90 days :p
Open up your mind and push those limits – then you will finally realize that a life of travel can be limit-less.
Couple Travel – Who Decides Where You Go?
Most couples claim that a destination choice is a joint decision, but is that really true?
Can two people really agree on wanting to go to a place equally as much, or does one person have the final say when it comes to Couple Travel?
We all want everything to be equal, especially in a relationship, but is that really possible?
We know that people want different things and that you can’t always want to do the same things and go to the same places, so who decides where you go?
I came across an interesting study where SkyScanner showed a list of where women and men would most like to travel.
One destination that was very high up on the scale for men was Spain, while it wasn’t even in the top 10 countries for women.
Yet, Spain is the most visited country by couple travelers.
To me, it seems like the men have more influence on the vacation than they think they do.
I’m curious to know why that is the case, why do couples travel to the place which doesn’t interest the women at all, but is in the top list for men?
Is it because men usually earn more, and therefore can decide where to spend the money?
Or is it for some other reason?
Are they more persuasive than women, or don’t we mind as much where we go?
When me and Nathan decide where we go – the decision is made based on three factors:
We don’t always have a lot of cash, so our next few destinations will likely be somewhere cheap, and close to our current location – Thailand, Laos, Cambodia etc.
We try to spend a few months in the same region, before flying off to another part of the world.
When I really want to go somewhere, we go there.
When Nathan really wants to go somewhere, we go there too.
The person who has the most passion and drive tends to really influence the other person to want to go there as well.
It really is true what they say:
What makes the other person happy makes you happy too.
We have never found ourselves in a situation where what we wanted was so different.
That we couldn’t agree on where to go, perhaps since we both want to go everywhere anyway, so it doesn’t really matter where we start. :p
Every Second Time
If we have just traveled to a place where that I really wanted to go, I naturally let Nathan decide the next destination, and so on.
The Power Of Saying Yes While Traveling
There is one word which is more powerful than any other word, a word that makes you go either right or left.
I’m talking about the “YES” word. ‘Yes’ is by far the most powerful word in the world.
Saying yes to something can completely transform your life.
It’s crazy to think that such a small word, one of only three letters, can have such an effect and impact.
Think about everything in your life that you’ve said yes to before knowing the consequences, and then imagine what would have happened if you hadn’t said yes – maybe a no?
Things would have been pretty different, wouldn’t they..? Saying No so often leads to a dead end – it is safe, and it is certain.
At least when you say yes things will change, you trust and you give life a chance.
Saying no to things is the safest thing you can do.
It is driven by certainty, by fear and often people say no to things they actually would have liked to do, but they’re too scared of the consequences.
While studying acting and film making a few years ago, I learned that what makes a story is the action of “yes”.
If people said no to everything, the story would become boring pretty fast, since nothing would happen.
We Are On The Move Again?!
So, remember a few articles ago when we said we had moved to Norway to settle down for 6 months?
Well, that turned out to be a bit of a mistake …
We shouldn’t really blame Norway itself because there was nothing wrong with the country, except it really wasn’t the best place for us at the moment.
Realising It Was A Bad Idea
Everything about Trysil was great – our apartment was lovely, the people we met were friendly, the skiing was fun and the landscape incredible.
It all seemed great, yet we couldn’t shake the feeling of having made the wrong decision …
Can you really tell the difference between a gut feeling and something your mind makes up?
Even if you can, are gut feelings really trustworthy?
Were we just being silly and scared of settling down for a longer time?
Did we make ourselves feel like this wasn’t the right place, or were these feelings actually justified?
These were questions we asked ourselves at first, until we finally realized that it had to be more than that.
It wasn’t normal for us to be doubting ourselves that much, and when we started breaking things down we realized that while Trysil was great, it wasn’t the right place for us.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
We always jump head first into things without really thinking much about it, and deal with the consequences later – hoping to learn a lesson.
This time we learned a very important lesson: don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Signing a contract for an apartment for six months in a place you’ve never been to before is not a good idea.
Had we been to Trysil before we would have known what it was like and if it was a good place for us.
From now on, we will never make long term commitments until we have been there for at least 1 month to see what it’s like.
So, now we’re in Berlin, and are finally taking things as they come, month by month.
We will be staying here for another month, and then see what happens after that.
We still don’t know where the right place for us would be, only that Norway wasn’t i t…
If you have any good tips of places in Europe you think we should check out for a month, feel free to tell us in the comments below!
Searching For Home – Where Is It?
Simply put, we feel that it’s time for a change.
Our lives, As We Travel.com, and our way of traveling – will be taking a new turn during the next 6 months.
We’ve been traveling pretty much full-time for the last 2 years, to over 45 countries, and are starting to long for a place to ”call home”.
Not having anywhere to go back to, a base or a home is not what we ultimately want for ourselves, living like a nomad is fun for a while, but it also has limited us in so many ways.
The things we enjoy doing like skiing, surfing and mountain biking can’t really be done the same way when you’re always traveling – believe us, we tried.
So our plan is to base ourselves somewhere and rent an apartment for at least 6 months, and go on shorter (2 week) trips every second month.
The question is… where should we be based?
Where would we be willing to make a commitment to live for a longer period of time?
We have long been dreaming about the ”perfect place to live” – a place where we could settle down but still travel when ever we wanted.
Everywhere we travel we always ask ourselves:
“could we imagine settling down in this city?” – sadly most of the time, the answer has been no.
There are so many amazing cities out there around the world, which offer so much, but it is one thing to love visiting a country and travel there, another to make a commitment to actually live there…
We’ve been looking around websites for places to live on a long term basis, and have found many great options, but still haven’t decided yet which place is the best.
We only really have two criteria for a long term place:
- Options for either skiing, surfing or mountain biking (or all three!)
- Fairly close to an airport (i.e within 1-2 hours reach)
Here are 3 places that are at the top of our list at the moment:
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- Zell Am See, Austria
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oh it is hard to decide! :p
What do you think? Where would be your ultimate place to live be?
A few weeks ago we talked about settling down somewhere for a while, but we couldn’t quite decide where.
Well, it is now official: We will be moving to the winter wonderland of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany – tomorrow!
As much as we love Asia, sun and warm weather – this just feels so right, and we figured that following our gut would be the best thing to do.
We initially settled for Zell Am See in Austria but missed our chance on the apartment we wanted, so Garmisch-Partenkirchen it is.
While Asia would have been cheaper if you stayed in the same place, we knew that we wouldn’t have been able to stay away from traveling all the time while we were there.
Which sort of takes away the point from what we wanted – staying in one place, focusing on our new business projects and taking them to the next level, while at the same time having fun skiing.
We made a few rough calculations on predicted costs to live in Europe vs South East Asia and found some interesting data.
After comparing flights, food costs, accommodation and extras, it would cost about the same traveling around and living in South East Asia on a budget as it would staying in a ski resort in Europe including all ski gear and ski passes for 3 months.
This would make some people think ”Wow, you can travel to all of these places in Asia for the same price?”, but for some reason we didn’t feel all that excited about that.
And in the end, the calculations and positive vs negative-lists are really just guidelines, it all comes down to what you want to do.
So after a month traveling around different parts of Germany, we are now ready to move in and spend some time in this little Bavarian resort right on the border of Austria…
Have you been to Bavaria? What did you think?
It has been 4 years since we started our Round-the-world trip adventure, and so much has changed since we left with our massive backpacks and butterflies in our stomachs.
So we began with our ever evolving gear list and set out.
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. A
nd you know what happens when you really want something? Your dreams come true.
Full-Time Travel – Can We Handle It Anymore?
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?
Is there a right time to stop traveling?
Glossy travel photos and inspirational videos make it seem that a life on the road is always fun and exciting, but the truth of it is that sometimes traveling can be exhausting.
If you travel long enough, you are bound to get ill, run into hassles with paperwork, have something stolen, or just burn out.
Sometimes the best antidote is to stop traveling for a period of time so you can regain your footing and find travel thrilling again.
Follow the Signs to Stop Traveling
So what can you do when you start feeling this way?
One idea is to try to stay longer in a place that you enjoy.
You can also take a vacation from your vacation with a trip to a beach or the countryside.
A home stay or volunteer experience can provide meaningful social interaction, and sometimes this is all that is needed to regain the traveling spirit.
However, if you find yourself tired of learning languages, scheduling reservations, making money transfers, and sleeping on airplanes, it may be time to stop traveling for a bit.
There are plenty of life circumstances that result in less time for traveling.
One common example is taking time to focus more on a job (and with luck, one that will compensate you enough to travel even more when you have time!)
Of course, another good reason to take time off from seeing the world is starting a family.
Some people are able to travel with children, but others opt to settle down.
Keeping the Traveling Spirit
When you are settled in a place with friends and family, it gives you time to reminisce about past trips and to write about your experiences.
Sharing advice with those just starting out is a great way to keep the spirit of traveling alive while at home, such as: how to use international payments, how to pack, how to survive a stay in a dodgy hotel room, etc.
There are plenty of aspiring travelers who could use your hard-earned advice.
You can also advise tourists in your own town and help them to have a great experience.
A Break isn’t the End
Remember that putting down roots doesn’t mean you’ll never travel again.
Retirement, for instance, is a great time to start traveling again on a large scale!
Even if you only travel locally, you’ll experience it with the eyes of a seasoned traveler and appreciate it more.
The most important thing to realize is that traveling is a state of mind.
The insight and wisdom you acquire from your travels will never leave you.
How to Deal with Permanent Move Abroad
Moving house is an experience that can be exciting and full of promise, whether this is happening due to a change of job location, a desire to move closer to family members or just because you want a change of scene.
Many people say it can also be daunting, but you won’t be surprised to learn that this is entirely in your hands and that by making good decisions early, your home relocation can be smoothly and swiftly accomplished.
This is true even when you have decided to move to another country.
Check out what you should take care of in advance of your move and when.
You will want to bring your favorite items, of course.
However, consider how secondhand thrift shopping while abroad can be a much more effective way to furnish and decorate your new home.
Do the research
Arm yourself with as much information about your destination as possible.
Moving to another country means encountering cultural differences, and this applies to Canada just as much as elsewhere in the world.
- An authoritative travel guide that provides in-depth information is necessary. As soon as you have decided to move, learn all you can about your planned new hometown and neighborhood.
- If you will be using another language, do your best to achieve a decent level of fluency in good time.
- Ensure all your necessary papers and documentation are in place as soon as possible – passport, visa and work permit if applicable.
As early as you can, seek out a company you are sure you can trust to take good care of your belongings.
Not every logistics company is the same, so look for one that has a track record of success and good customer reviews, such as Worldwide Express.
As it operates within the global marketplace, no matter where in the world you are going it is an ideal choice.
Founded by entrepreneur David Kiger, Worldwide Express also offers a small packaging service, providing customers with a smart way to send smaller shipments.
You can find out more about David Kiger on his personal website.
Remember that if you’re moving countries you may not want to take every single large item of furniture with you immediately, as that increases the costs.
Selling unwanted items or putting them in storage will lighten the load.
Moving day minus six weeks
- Confirm your travel arrangements.
- Get a health checkup and any necessary vaccinations.
- Take care of any insurance that may be required (including for the move).
- Remember to regularize your tax position with the IRS; if you are going overseas to work you may be entitled to claim some of your removal expenses.
Moving day minus four weeks
- Arrange for mail to be redirected.
- Cancel subscriptions and club memberships.
- Close accounts that you will no longer need.
- Pay any outstanding bills.
- Review your bank account and open a new one at your destination if necessary.
- Create an inventory of your belongings that are to be shipped.
- Begin packing little-used items.
- Start to dispose of or recycle anything you’re not taking with you.
Moving day minus two weeks
- Make arrangements to deal with large items of furniture and kitchen appliances.
- Put a timetable in place for utilities’ readings and disconnection.
- Continue packing.
Moving day minus one week
- Arrange for foreign currency to be available when you arrive.
- Label furniture according to rooms in your new home.
- Finish packing items not in daily use.
So, finally, moving day has arrived and you can pack your last few personal belongings, essential documentation and things you will need on arrival, ready to make your journey.
After one more double-check of your old home, you are ready at last to move to your new one.