The Benefits of Long-term Travel
There is a lot to love about traveling long-term. It is literally a life changing experience.
Avoiding emotional fatigue. Being constantly on the move can confuse you and make you lose emotional balance. That’s the reason that travel burnout is so common. The combination of lack of sleep and comfort, always being on move, persistent uncertainties, and the add-on pressure of working on the road can break down your defenses. At some point you will have to stop and regroup. This can be avoided, simply by staying longer in each place.
Feeling of belonging and a sense of home. When you move around slower, you can rent your own place, or at least have a regular place to go back to daily. You can essentially feel at home, which is something that nomads need, surprisingly enough. We all need that sense of stability and security. Other than your home, you can also have your “regular places”: a coffee shop, a daily walking route, a swimming pool. All of those make you feel like this is your place, and give you some emotional anchors to prepare you for your next transition.
Established routines. Creating and maintaining habits is important in the lives of digital nomads. Without them, it’s easy to get disoriented and inefficient. That’s why slow travel is vital, as it gives you time to create a few routines that will give you peace of mind and create anchors in your life. Those routines can be a daily exercise, a walk around town or your place of work. The more you stay in one place, the more you can improve those routines and optimize them.
Getting to know the place. You may see many more places when you move fast, but really getting to know a place (including all those hidden locations and different districts of a city) takes time. Staying a period of time allows you to immerse and live as a local in your locations, other than just pass through.
Understanding people. Slow travel gives you more time to develop relationships, but also to observe and notice things about people and their psychic. Personally, deeper understanding of cultures and countries is one of the biggest gifts of the nomadic lifestyle.
Establishing meaningful relationship. High quality relationships require trust and spending time together. Trust takes some time to build, so the less you stay, the less likely your relationships evolve into lasting friendship.
Experience activities that take more time. With slow travel you can participate in activities which may stretch over time. You can learn a language with a tutor, take up yoga, or sign up to any kind of course. Slow travel allows you to develop skills and enjoy activities which require longer commitment of time.
Having more stuff. I’ve always advocated for a minimalist lifestyle, especially when you move between places. I feel that the less you have, the happier you get. However, being ultra-nomadic will have you reduce from a minimalist to a “Scarcitist”, a new word to describe people who get rid of things they need since fast travel with anything other than a small bag will have a massive toll. Slow travel allows you to travel light, but still carry whatever you need without regret.