Traveling long-term for the last three years has changed me in many ways. When I take a minute and reflect on who I was before I started traveling, I can only see faint glimmers of that person. As I have wandered the world, experienced other cultures, and tested my limits I have become an independent, free, and well-rounded person.
Travel has opened my heart and expanded my mind. I feel infinitely grateful that it has played such a huge role in my life. Here are ten small taste of what life on the road has to offer and ten reasons I would never go back to regular life.
Because I choose freedom.
This is a massive part of why I do what I do. I’ll never forget that sense of freedom I felt on my first trip, and how that feeling has not diminished one bit over the years.
Being able to choose where you go and what you do is indescribable.
I could never go back to working a 9-5 in suffocating office walls or being tied down to one spot. I am aware of how lucky I am to have this much choice in my life and it is not something I take for granted. The freedom and possibilities of the road are endless and something I could never give up.
Because I cherish my time.
Time moves slowly while traveling and you cherish every moment of it. While I have been living on the road for a few years, I have a lifetime worth of memories.
When you remove the distraction of tv’s and break away from the things that consume our time throughout our everyday lives.
You realize how much free time you have and what you can accomplish with it. You simply have more time when you are traveling, and learn how to cherish the small moments.
Because I choose happiness.
As I have traveled to third world countries, tiny villages, and ventured to forgotten places I have learned an important lessons traveling the world.
Travel has taught me that material things do not buy happiness. Some of the happiest people I had the honor of meeting have been the poorest. People who would offer me what little they had with a smile on their face.
Before I traveled, all I wanted was to collect things.
I was wrong, lost, and I honestly believed that material objects would make me happy.
Now everything I own fits on my back.
I find happiness in the warmth of the people I meet, and in the adventures life throws my way. I could never go back to a regular life of chasing objects to find my happiness in them.
Because I am an adventure junkie.
I am an adventures junkie. I find pushing myself to face my fears is one of the best ways to grow as a traveler. The road offers daily adventure. Before I started traveling adventures were few and far between.
Now I don’t just crave the thrills found on the road, but I need them.
My regular life was just not exciting enough, and it didn’t make me feel alive.
Because the road lets me start fresh.
The road is forgiving. Each day it is a new and fresh start. At each new place you get to start over.
If you make mistakes, you get to start over at the next place.
In my regular life, there were many times I wished I could start a certain situation over. Traveling gives you this chance almost daily.
Because the road is my home.
Each time I left for a trip it was easier to go and harder to come back.
Soon I realized the city in which I was born was no longer my home.
As I started transitioning into a full-time traveler the place I once called home became a layover between my trips. Soon I felt more at home in foreign lands, and different cultures.
I could never return to regular life because it is not my home anymore. When I am sitting around with locals, exploring temple ruins, or wandering through a new city with my backpack is when I am truly at home.
Because the road teaches me new lessons everyday.
They say travel is one of the best educators, and I couldn’t agree more. It seems I learn new life lessons every day. More importantly they are through first-hand experiences.
I learn more about the world, myself, and other people in a week on the road than I would in a year of living at home.
I am addicted to these life lessons and thrive of these teachings. I look forward to everything travel has to teach about the world around me as well as myself.
Because I want to experience life outside of my comfort zone
In my regular life, I was in my comfortable. My life was predictable, safe, and certain. When I started traveling, there were a lot of times I was forced out of what was convenient and comfortable.
At first I hated this, but soon I discovered that this is a wonderful part of traveling.
Even now, after years of being on the road, I am still pushed out of my comfort zone.
It is funny to say, but I love having to adapt to my surroundings. When you are out of your comfort zone is when you make random and wonderful memories, and rare opportunities present themselves.
Because I crave experiences.
I am now hard wired for the road. Everything I do revolves around traveling or helping inspire others to travel.
I couldn’t go back to a regular life because I couldn’t accept the grind. For me spending money on rent, or car insurance is not important.
I want experiences over comfort and memories over money.
Because moving is living.
The biggest reason I could not go back to a normal life is because travel is who I am. I am a person that constantly needs new and exciting adventures to feel alive.
For me moving is living, and while I have nothing against people that choose a settled life I am just built that way. Moving is living and if I stop moving then I am slowly fading away.
Many people need the comforts and security that a regular life provides and nothing is wrong living that way.
However, for some of us it is different. We have fallen in love with life on the road. Even though sometimes this life is hard, and full of uncertainty I love every moment of it.
The more time I spend living on the road, the more I never want to stop traveling. I could never give traveling full-time and return to a regular life. For me the road is life, and life is good.
Stephen Schreck runs A Backpackers Tale Travel Blog and is a passionate wanderer. You can also follow his adventures on Instagram.
Photo Credit: Martin M303