Over the past 15 years we have developed a love for travel. We enjoy visiting new places, meeting new people, seeing incredible sights and experiencing different cultures. Our “round the world traveling adventure” surfaced as an idea a couple of years ago and continued to gain steam as we started to talk about the places we could go and the things we could see. Now that we’re on the road, there are several things we’re learning about traveling for vacation and traveling as a lifestyle.
Making the Most of a Vacation
A typical vacation for us comes with a lot of pre-planning to outline an itinerary: sites to see, activities to do, places to stay and transportation logistics. We typically go to a location with at least an outline of the top things we want to see and do. Then we execute on the plan, soak in the experiences, enjoy the scenery and experience the culture. When the day is done, we go to sleep and repeat every day until the last one when we have to go home and return to reality…hopefully feeling fulfilled and a little more relaxed.
We tend to believe that when you travel, you should try to make the most of any destination and see as much as possible. We also believe that there are some vacations where your sole purpose should be to relax, do nothing and recover. It’s a different way of making the most out of your destination but a valid way to spend the time if that’s what you need.
A Lack of Planning
Unfortunately, for many reasons, we hadn’t done much planning prior to our departure and did not have any concrete plans other than a plane ticket to Reykjavik and then a flight to Bergen seven days later. Our plans would be created as we went which is not how we typically travel.
True to our vacation habits, the first 2-3 weeks we were constantly on the move, seeing the sights, visiting new locations, and trying to enjoy all that Iceland and Norway had to offer. We spent any spare moment trying to plan for what to do tomorrow or two days from now. Kevin was trying to keep up on work. We were already exhausted when we landed in Reykjavik and the pace we were keeping was stressful and draining us even more. We were enjoying the sights, sounds and scenery, but I am not sure we were fully appreciating the experience and the sites.
Long Term Travel Is Different
We came to a realization that our pace was not sustainable for the long duration of an around the world trip. We would need to build in some work time, planning time, and some all around downtime in order sustain this new lifestyle and maintain our own sanity. We decided to try and designate specific days and times of the week as “work days”. For now, we’ve established one full day and portions of other days where we are not tourists. Instead, the time is used as “work” time. Kevin can try to keep up on his freelance design work. I can research future destinations and book lodging for the upcoming days (which can be a full time job in itself). We can also work on other personal things such as paying bills, updating the blog and keeping up on all the little things that need to be done…like laundry!
Although we would love to fully experience every destination, we have agreed that we may not be able to see and do everything. We can always come back. We are also trying to extend our stays in locations to allow us to still experience the cities and destinations, but at a slower pace. We haven’t fully struck a balance yet, but as we get further into this adventure, we are making strides towards learning what the right balance is for us. It’s a marathon, not a sprint…and we just started training.