People are naturally curious when we tell them we travel full time and make a living doing it. They immediately start asking questions . Most of them are pretty easy to answer.
For example: Q – “How much luggage do you travel with?” A – “We each have one checked bag (containing electronics and valuables) and one carry-on (with clothes and toiletries)”
Another common question is: “Aren’t you worried about safety or getting sick or injured away from home?” Answer – “We don’t go anywhere blindly. We always do research on the destination and make sure we have appropriate documents and insurance etc which gives us confidence in knowing we’re well prepared.”
However, some questions are much more difficult. For instance, we get asked: “What’s your favorite country?” For us, this is an impossible question to answer and actually prompts us to ask questions of our own.
We often respond with: “Well, it depends, do you mean favorite for food? Favorite for nature? Favorite for culture? Favorite for historic sites?” We could go on and on but they usually get our drift pretty quickly. If they have the patience to hear us out we’ll happily name our favorites for each category they can come up with. It’s become a pretty fun game to play.
Why do we travel?
Another complicated question to answer is: “Why do you travel all the time?” We could, and often do, respond with: “We travel because we love learning about different cultures, seeing historic sites and trying new food.” All of which is true, but it’s not the whole story. For us, me especially, the full answer is far more complex.
I have often wondered if wanderlust is something we’re born with or whether it grows from life experiences and influences from relationships. Personally, I think my desire to travel came from a combination of both. From as far back as I can remember I was intrigued with the idea of traveling and seeing the world, it’s as if I were born to travel. However, I know that my parents played a huge role in nurturing this passion.
Being born in England brought the opportunity to move through Europe quite easily and we did so as a family, almost from the day I was born. In fact, due to unexpected pregnancy complications my younger sister nearly arrived prematurely while we were traveling in Budapest, Hungary.
Luckily, all ended well and my parents were prepared with insurance and contacts for doctors both at home and in Hungary. It was something they’d often remind of later in life: Don’t be afraid to get out and see the world but always be prepared as best you can.
When I was eleven we moved to Vancouver, Canada which meant less traveling. But, the fire inside me burned brighter and brighter. As I got older I spent every extra penny I had on getting out and exploring the world around me.
Even if it was just discovering new places in my own home town or a weekend getaway somewhere new to me, I jumped at the opportunity. For me it was a way to grow and learn and evolve as a person. Luckily, Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest have some pretty epic things to see!
My father also continued to explore the world as much as he was able. Sadly, he passed away far too soon in his early 60’s. But, before he went he told me he had no regrets over the time and money he spent on experiences rather than “things.” He also said he was proud to see that I was doing the same.
This fanned the flames even higher and reminded me that life is short and there is much to see and do!
Not long after my dad died I met my partner, Nathan. I was at a crossroads in my life and so very early on in our relationship I told him that I was planning to find a way to travel more, full-time even, plus make a living doing so. To my surprise he was on board. Three years later we set off and we’re now in our sixth year of what we call “our travel life.”
We travel because…
The interesting people we’ve met, the incredible sights we’ve seen, the exotic food we’ve eaten, the life lessons we’ve learned, these are all things that are priceless and would never have happened if we hadn’t traveled. We’ve seen so much in these years and have grown as individuals and as a couple.
We are well aware that we’re blessed to have passports that allow us to travel all over the world and we take full advantage of that. Traveling opens the mind and the heart and teaches things that can’t be learned in any book or classroom.
Our belief is that if everyone were able to travel somewhere outside of their comfort zone, at least once, the world would be a much better place for it. Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who don’t have the means or opportunity to even leave the place they were born. So, in our minds, those of us who can travel bear some responsibility to reach out and connect with the world around us.
How to travel more:
Another thing we are often asked is: “What advice do you have for someone who wants to travel more?” Again this is not a quick and easy thing to answer as there are so many variables. However, there are some general tips that we always share:
- Start researching places you think you might want to go. Watch travel shows, read travel blogs and magazines, talk to people who have traveled. Then make a list (which will always be growing, trust us) of the destinations that interest you. Once you have a clear picture of where you want to go and why you want to travel there you’ll find things will start to fall into place.
- Set up a separate account for your travel fund and make a plan to put aside a minimum amount every month. If you’re determined and focused you can always find ways to save. For example: don’t buy that daily fancy coffee or that pair of trendy new shoes you’ll hardly ever wear. Sell something you no longer have use for or take on a part-time job. It may not be easy but we’re proof that it’s possible and soooo worth it!
- Dream big and get excited but also stay grounded and make sure you cover the important things like travel insurance, immunizations and safety concerns. Traveling is amazing but, as with life in general, stuff happens and it’s best to be prepared as much as possible. Don’t look at it as focusing on what can go wrong, instead see it as a way to have peace of mind, freeing you up to fully enjoy the experience ahead of you.
In the end, we all travel for different reasons but ultimately the result is the same: we grow, we learn, we experiment, and we have a damn good time doing it!
Why do you travel? We’d love to hear your answer!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and we have received financial compensation. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.
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Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.