When traveling on a long-term basis, it’s easy to end up in one place for longer than expected. Plans change, too much money gets spent, jobs are found, new interests become stimulated. It’s happened to me more than a few times so I know how quickly plans can change.
As a traveler, even when we’re staying in one place, it’s important to feel like we’re still traveling. Waking up in a fairly new city and feeling complacent can get even the most industrious of travelers down on themselves. It’s important to keep yourself interested in what’s going on around you and it’s important to keep exploring. Every city or town, even the one you live in, is hiding things you haven’t discovered yet.
Keep a Budget
It’s easy to get a bit spend-happy and start dropping cash on every activity and doo-dad that tickles your brain. Work out how much cash you can afford to spend and prioritize what you want to see. I spent an insane amount of money traveling the east coast of Australia. I can’t say I regret it, but I sure wish I was able to say I had a little bit left over when I was done. Had I been a bit more frugal and sat down with a pen and paper to balance my finances and interests it might have been a bit more financially feasible.
If there’s a time frame, sort everything out first. Figure out what you want to see or do and make a schedule! Though you’re on vacation, you can’t afford to be 100% spontaneous. Plan what you want to do, apply a budget for each expedition and, most importantly, spread it out!
Don’t Overdo It
This can destroy you! Take your time. Slow down for a moment. There’s no need to get ahead of yourself! Give yourself something to look forward to! Don’t try to fit everything in immediately. Keep things interesting by always having something planned. Why do everything in the first few weeks when you could do just as much (and more!) in a few months? Though it can be exciting, doing everything all at once can be exhausting. I was in Queenstown for five months before I did the world-famous bungee jump (completely naked, I might add!).
Find a Hobby or Join a Club
Get yourself involved! Even though you’re only settling down temporarily, it’s important to get active within the community. Make some friends, get out there, do something you enjoy. Whether it’s a social club, poker tournaments or weekly salsa dancing, find some mates and keep busy with an old (or new!) hobby.
Remember, it’s Only Temporary
After all, it’s still a vacation! You won’t be here forever, so don’t sign a lease or job contract. Enjoy the impermanence but keep your head wrapped around the fact that, in some indeterminate amount of time, you’ll be leaving. Maybe you’ll be back but it’s likely that you won’t. But that’s why we travel: to see and do what we can while we still have time. It’s a big world and life is short so make the most of every second!
I sure am.