Traveling is by far the best decision I have ever made in my life. I knew from a young age that I wanted to travel the world so pretty much as soon as I was old enough to hop on a plane alone I did so. Travel is fun, travel makes us wiser, travel takes us out of our comfort zone and makes us find out who we really are. It is something everyone should do in their lifetime. But behind the fun and the adventures and the beautiful photos is a side of travel that you don’t often hear about, yet a side that every single traveler can relate to. I’m talking about the sacrifices you have to make and about the moments you miss out on.
For those of you who are yet to experience long-term travel you are probably reading this and shaking your head in confusion. How could someone who lives a nomadic life, who gets to travel the world and have these incredible experiences daily miss out on moments? How could these people have a fear of missing out on anything?
It’s kind of ironic how we humans works, isn’t it? When we are home we so desperately want to leave, we spend our days dreaming of the next destination, of the adventures we will have, of the places we will see. Yet when we are away and having said adventures we miss our home, miss the creature comforts, miss the mundane parts of our previous life, miss the things we were once desperately trying to escape. The incredible activist, Malala Yousafzai once said ‘If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home.’ And it’s true. But I’m not talking about being homesick, that’s an entirely different subject, we don’t all experience homesickness but we all experience sacrifice, we all miss out on some of the big moments. And it hits us hard.
If you want to take part in the great adventure that is traveling the world for a long period of time than you need to be aware and accept this fact – you will miss out on so much! There are some moments in life that money can’t buy, moments in life that you can never get back. If you decide to travel the world you need to be aware that you will experience this. You will miss birthdays, weddings, births, deaths, birthdays, christmases and everything in between.
I have been traveling the world for almost seven years so I can tell you with honesty that I too have sacrificed a lot in my personal life to travel. Not only that, I have made my family and loved ones suffer and miss out on special moments with me due to the life I live. The decisions I have made have not only affected me, but everyone I love.
Out of the seven years of travel the last year in particular has been the hardest for me as I have missed out on so much in the last twelve months. I missed out on my Nanna’s 100th Birthday and her funeral a few months later. I missed out on my other Nan’s 80th Birthday Party. I missed out on my Uncles wedding and the birth of his first child. I missed out on my cousin’s wedding and his daughters first birthday. I missed out on helping celebrate my Mum’s big promotion. I missed my little brothers 21st birthday. I missed out on friends getting engaged, getting married and having babies. I was unable to be there to support my loved ones during times of sadness and loss and was unable to be there to help celebrate the times of joy and love. The big moments in life that I can never get back, the moments in life that no amount of money can buy.
To all my loved ones back home: I’m sorry that I am never there. I’m sorry that we can’t hang out and I’m sorry that communication is restricted to time zones and internet connection. But mostly I’m sorry that I can’t be there to support you and celebrate with you during the big moments in life.
It’s been two years since I was last in Australia and two years since I last saw my family and loved ones. I miss them terribly. I miss the small things like being able to hug them or share a meal with them but mostly I miss being able to share the big moments in life together.
Without a doubt, this is the hardest part of a life of travel… but would I change it? Absolutely not. I am so grateful for the adventures I have had and the places I have seen. I love my nomadic life but I’m not naive to the sacrifices that come along with it. I’ll never take my travels for granted. And I’ll never take for granted the moments, big or small, again.