Seems like a ridiculous question doesn’t it but we have been asked exactly that on several occasions. The answer seems obvious. Of course travelling has changed our lives. There is nothing more to say really, or is there? When we started thinking a little deeper we began to realise just how many aspects of our lives had been affected.
Is it a silly question?
‘Has travelling changed our lives‘ probably is a bit daft, perhaps it needs to be re-phrased as ‘How has travelling changed our lives‘. That question seriously makes you think doesn’t it? There are a lot of very obvious ways in which travelling has affected us of course.
- We don’t have a home
- We don’t own a car
- We don’t go to work
These are actual facts about what we do or rather don’t do and although they are all pretty major points they aren’t exactly what people are referring to when they ask about our lives. What they really mean is ‘Has travelling changed you as a person‘. The answer to that is an emphatic YES.
Has travelling changed us as people?
We haven’t seen the light or had some sort of life-changing epiphany but have both changed over the past three years of our nomadic vagabonding life. More than anything we have completely jettisoned all stress and tension from our lives and although some of our friends would not have thought it possible, we are very relaxed and chilled about life in general now. In fact we’re so laid back we’re almost horizontal.
Why so stress-free now?
I think it’s the lack of responsibility that has made all of the difference. Full-time employment brings a lot of pressure and stress to everyone and you never fully appreciate the build-up of that stress until you step away. Neither of us have ever been particularly stressful people but my health was seriously affected by it during my last couple of years at work. Less responsibility too when our boys grew up into fine young men and flew the nest. Also, having no bills to pay or house to run relieves so much pressure.
We actually felt ourselves chilling more with every step away from our old lives. Cancelling that Sky Wifi contract, stopping the house insurance, no more TV licence, every single thing felt like a weight being lifted from our shoulders.
We still have bills to pay of course, I’m not sure anyone can completely drop off the grid. There are mobile phone charges, travel insurance, and travelling costs to look after but they are so easy to organise being such a small number of things.
Are we more organised?
Definitely. We have always been forward-planners and looked after our earnings sensibly but we now record every penny we spend and budget for every eventuality. Our thinking is that the better we control our money the longer we will be able to sustain this lifestyle so it’s completely worth it. Planning where we go and how we get there is now an important part of our lives so we have to be organised about it and we are constantly researching housesitting, holidays, transport, helpx, and accommodation. It helps that we enjoy that research but we do need to keep our eyes on the ball.
Isn’t planning travel stressful?
From our point of view it’s a different feeling and we love the excitement we get around planning and booking new trips. Every new housesit we apply for is a thrilling challenge and every train journey that we research and book is part of a new exhilarating adventure. So although there is so much to do we feel that they are all positive tasks. It does help that we love planning and researching though.
How has travelling affected your relationship?
The question we get asked more than any other is ‘how do you spend SO much time together’. Some couples just can’t get their heads around the fact that we are together virtually 24 hours a day. It wouldn’t work for everyone of course but we seem to have become even closer throughout this experience, it’s like we’re back to our teenage dating years somehow when it was just the two of us.
So travelling has changed our relationship bigtime in that we have become so much closer after many years of being Mum and Dad. A lot of people unfortunately seem to grow apart but we’ve grown together more than ever thanks goodness.
Have your family and friends relationships changed?
Now that’s a tough one because I would love to say that they haven’t changed but in truth they really have. We work extremely hard to keep in touch with family and friends back home via Email, WhatsApp, Skype, texting, phone calls, etc but it hasn’t always worked. We don’t really know why several of our old friends and some family don’t keep in touch anymore but it’s very disappointing. Perhaps they feel as if we have nothing in common anymore, have just become bored with our vagabonding life, or even struggle as we don’t have a home base to visit. Whatever the reasons it has been the biggest surprise of our change of life and the saddest consequence.
Any new friends?
Are you kidding? Probably the major shock and surprise was the number of people we have met and become good friends with. We never envisaged this at all and it continues to be an absolute delight. So many housesitting and Helpx hosts and even more surprisingly so many Airbnb hosts. We are delighted to be able to call so many of them our friends now.
Talking of friends however, we have been mindblown by the number of people we’ve hooked up with online due to our blog. Something we never ever expected but are constantly humbled and surprised by. Brilliant.
So has travelling changed our lives?
It certainly has and for the better. The experiences we have had over the past three years and continue to enjoy have made our lives far richer and the new friends we’ve made along the way is the icing on the cake. We wouldn’t say that we have changed as people but perhaps we’ve grown a little and begun to appreciate the world around us even more.
What do you think? Has it changed us? Be nice ……