The travel bug is an interesting thing. You get the itch, go travel, and it only makes you want to travel more. Very few people who are addicted to travel ever say that their wanderlust has been satiated after going out and exploring the world.
I know this from experience. In 2010 I went out on my first long-term trip and hit many destinations on my “must see list,” which at the time was very small. Although I visited 9 countries and traveled for five months, my list ended up longer than when I started thanks to all the amazing stories I heard from fellow travelers. So I planned a second trip, Angie jumped on board, and that one ended up including 38 countries on five continents over a period of fifteen months in 2013 and 2014.
Between those two long-term trips and several shorter ones I had visited 66 countries, hundreds upon hundreds of cities, and, like the first trip, ended up with a list much longer than when I started.
What do you do when you've done something so grand, twice, and you still want more?
Post Long-Term Travel Lifestyle Design
The urge for wanting more is something found in many long-term travelers after their trip has ended. There are very few people who end their itinerary and say “well, I'm content.” Instead, most want to feed their addiction more and go about many paths to do so.
If you find yourself in this category (and you probably will), you may end up asking yourself a few questions to see what fits:
- Do you get a job in another country?
- Do you start planning a second long-term trip?
- Do you volunteer, couch surf, or do anything you can to stretch out your remaining budget?
- Do you resign yourself to two-weeks of vacation per year?
- Or, do you build a business that lets you have the lifestyle you dream of?
No matter which one you select, you'll be happy to know that there is no wrong answer as long as it makes you happy.
We've asked ourselves these questions over the last year and had some pretty interesting thoughts. I've already been on two long-term trips, and Angie has been one, so another doesn't make sense. We've spent most of our money and are home now, so stretching it to travel longer won't happen (in fact, cutting our style to travel longer has never been a favored idea as anyone who has read our spending reports is sure to understand). I'm also not particularly interested in traveling for just two-weeks per year, so that leaves just two options:
- Do we move to another country and find work?
- Do we build a business to have the lifestyle we dream of?
I can say with confidence that finding a job overseas has been difficult at best, which leaves us with only one option.
Building a Life of Travel
For those who have been reading this blog for a while, you'll have heard us say time and time again that a third long-term trip was not in our future. That is because rather than spend of our time and money saving for another grand adventure, we're going to look at it another way. It is time to design our lifestyle – a self-sustaining lifestyle.
Taking off on long-term trips every 2-3 years is not self-sustaining.
As I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit, building a business to reach my goals has been something that interested me. Until recently I have never had any business ideas or purpose to encourage me to do so (other than this blog), but the drive for designing the perfect lifestyle is an incredible motivator. At some point during our long-term trip I knew I wanted to live life differently, and the ideas started coming like mad.
With many ideas in my head, and Angie's approval to give it a go while she pursues her career, my quest to design the perfect lifestyle began.
Join Me On This Quest
Until recently, my travel dreams have always been about taking long-term trips. This dream was so strong that for the past six years I've designed Living the Dream to be an incredible resource for long-term travelers. Now that I have a new dream, you may be wondering what that means for this site and where we are headed in the future.
We thoroughly believe that lifestyle design is one of the natural progressions many long-term travelers take after getting out and experiencing the world. Travel changes you as a person, and many long-term travelers simply want to live life on their terms after they return home. Unfortunately, most struggle to figure out how to do that.
To address this problem, and still cover the topics we founded this site on, Living the Dream will now be home to three core channels:
- Travel: Long-term travel topics and destination specific articles for those who want to get out and see the world.
- Lifestyle Design: Lifestyle design topics for those who have not had enough by the time they have returned home.
- Blog Your Trip: Blogging related topics where we share our tips and tricks for how we run our blog and businesses so other long-term travelers and lifestyle design seekers can do the same.
These three pillars will be the core focus of our site. I will be leading the charge for the Lifestyle Design and Blog Your Trip series and our staff writers (coming on board in 2015- application here) will be taking hold on long-term travel related topics as they cover their own RTW trips. Since we also travel quite a bit and have a lot of catching up to do from our own long-term trips, we'll be writing a lot on that topic, too.
The downside to our new Lifestyle Design series is that unlike other blogs, we have not reached our goal. Not even close. The benefit for you is that you get to come along on our journey as we share our triumphs, failures, and other business ventures as a means to build our dream lifestyle- from the very beginning.
Are you ready?
A new Living the Dream is coming in just a few short weeks.