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Photo by myself on dannyforest.com

Traveling Long-Term Changes Your Life Forever — For Better Or Worse

Three years ago, my wife and I “left” our jobs to travel the world for a year.

The Not-So-Glorious Return Home

It was painful.

Poverty And NGO Work

We were somewhat miserable coming back.

The Turning Point

Then on November 11th 2016, we were sitting at the Foggy Dew Irish pub. We were talking about how we were not satisfied with our current situation in Toronto. At one point I told Audrey:

The Better

You will be more interesting

With all the places you’ll have seen, all the food you’ll have eaten, all the activities you’ll have done and all the different friends you’ll have made, you will have a repertoire of interesting stories to tell for years to come.

You will make new friends

The connections you make while traveling tend to be really strong. You share wonderful experiences that most people don’t get to live. When back home, you’ll occasionally meet like-minded people and the bonding will be that much easier.

You will have a deeper appreciation

A deeper appreciation for everything. When you see that people in other countries don’t have the things you take for granted, well, you don’t take them for granted anymore.

You will be more positive

When you are in new environments frequently, it’s stressful. You panic. You yell. You cry. Then you’re back and things feel so “easy”. You start thinking positive about every situation.

You will be more open-minded

You’ll have met people with all sorts of backgrounds. You’ll have eaten food you never even thought existed. Your prejudices will go away and you will start to appreciate everyone and everything for what they are.

The Worse

You will be less tolerant of meaningless problems

The so-called first-world problems become so hilarious at times. You’ll hear people complain about the most meaningless of things when you’re back home. Sometimes you’ll find it funny, but sometimes it will irritate you.

You will become really cheap

A lot of countries can be cheaper than home, depending on which country you’re from. When you’re used to paying little for meals, it’s hard to come back and pay 5–10x the price for less authentic meals. It’s the same for accommodation and other things.

You will lose connections

I mentioned that above. Your friends will have a different lifestyle. You won’t connect on the same level anymore. Striking a meaningful conversation becomes harder when you don’t have anything in common anymore.

You will annoy people

You will be interesting to some, but you’ll be annoying to others. You will be perceived as pretentious. You will be so excited about your wonderful journey that when you talk about it, people will think you speak in a superior tone.

You will not be understood

People will not have lived the things you have. A lot of your close family will not agree with your new lifestyle or ideas. This can be difficult.

Conclusion

Traveling long-term is an amazing way of life, but is not without its downsides.

Written by

dannyforest.com <- my new home. I don’t write on Medium anymore.

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