Many people look at us and say “you are so lucky you are able to travel so much”, “I would do the same if I could” and then start asking us questions like “how can you afford all that?” and “how do manage to stay sane spending 24 hours together?”.
What we learned through 3 years of full-time travel is that it is not that difficult, scary or even costly as you might think. Planning is everything and saves you, not only money but stress and hurdles too. Tips and tricks about all will that in another article and are part of a bigger (new) project.
Being on the road all the time for 3 years straight does a few things to your mindset. Putting yourself out there, confronting yourself with difficult situations, learning about other cultures, meeting new people from around the globe are all elements that, in our minds, make you a different person (maybe even a better one). It changed our perspective of things we used to take for granted or were simply told that was that way. Being stationary without traveling, in a sense, makes us ignorant and unable to understand the lifestyles of people outside our own comfort zone or culture. Not only helped travel us open up to others more, but it also helped us connect on a whole different level in business and in our relationship.
Not all is what it seems
You can read books, newspapers, blogs (like this one) and even talk to people. But you will never know what it is really like to be in a place on the other side of this planet. I remember, 2 years ago, we were hopping through different countries in the Middle East, one week at a time. We received numerous messages from friends and family from the West telling us to be careful as all these countries were dangerous. We are talking about countries like Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, UAE.
From the moment we arrived, we felt the exact opposite of what was being told to us by our environment. It was eye-opening to see cultures, unknown to us at that time, up-close. We spend several nights at the home of a Syrian teacher in Oman, traveled into the mountains to visit villages without electricity or water, spend nights in exclusive luxury hotels and in suites the size of small palaces. A bigger contrast would not be possible. We like to challenge ourselves and our comfort zone. You may find a lot of luxury on this website but there is always more than what meets the eyes. Online and offline!
All the countries we visited during our Middle-East trip felt safer than most European places and the level of hospitality and respect coming from our host was unheard of. We had talks with locals, immigrants and ministers, giving us a better perspective of what it is like living there. What we learned was how different the perspective of outsiders is to reality. Isn’t this typical human behavior? We fear what is most different from us?
We challenge you that after reading this article you book yourself an experience that is outside of your comfort zone. An experience that will for sure open your mind & maybe even change your mindset or opinions about something/someone. It could be a simple as going to a restaurant you’ve never tried before or talking to a stranger when you are waiting in line.
An open mind
We switch between high pace travel and a stable location every few months. We have lived 9 months in Indonesia, 5 months in Malaysia, 3 months in Romania and we are now 2 months in Portugal. All this in the span of only 3 years. All the rest has been on the road. We do this to combine the thrill of travel with calming down periods where we build a community and long-term friendships. It also gives us time to focus on our businesses and truly enjoy the times we are exploring a new city/country. For us, it helped us understand a lot more about the people around us and constantly challenge ourselves to keep an open mind. It made us better listeners, listening to multiple people and angels first before creating an opinion. Traveling helped us being open-minded and to reflect on everything we heard/learned up until that point.
In the times we live in today where information and opinions are thrown at us hundreds of times a day it is important to keep your mind open, try to understand and listen. Don’t believe everything you hear and try to experience more. Be part of conversations and discussions. It doesn’t always have to be as an active participant. Listening is maybe even more important!
P.S. share this article if travel & an open mindset are important to you