. In other words, these are the reasons why I am making this major life change!
Freedom has always been an absolute priority in my life. It’s the reason why I have been self employed for the vast majority of my adult life. I like to be able to do what I want, when I want.
Living in a home on wheels means that I can add “…where I want” to that list. I am free to just go wherever I want whenever I want.
If I fancy some time on a beach I can drive to the coast for a while. If I want to exercise more and do lots of hiking I’ll drive up to the big national or regional parks which are literally everywhere. If I want to go a bit more urban, I can rock up at a city, though I probably won’t do that too often.
New Experiences Every Day
I have a very low boredom threshold. I have always leaned towards creative work where I am progressively building something, whether that’s a piece of software, a website or various other techie things that I do.
As soon as I feel as though I am just running the same routine every day I get bored. In my younger days I walked out on about half a dozen jobs. My shortest was 2 days 🙂 Eventually I figured out that I need to work for myself, and not for somebody else.
Life on the road will bring something new every day. I’ll be waking up in different places, doing different things, visiting different places. Even something mundane like food shopping will be more interesting because every store I go to will be different to the last.
I don’t imagine I could ever get bored as there’s always something new just down the road – the next town, the next beach, the next castle, the next park and so on.
Living Life to the Full
This is the biggest factor. I’ve said before that I have had this nagging feeling that time was running out for a long time. Every birthday or New Year that comes around tends to make me feel down because it feels like I have wasted another year of my life doing mundane things.
Life is short, we only get one of them, life is not a dress-rehearsal. All of these sayings are cliches but they are also true. I have not posted in a while because 3 days after my last post, one of my brothers died of liver cancer, very suddenly. By the time he was diagnosed with cancer it was way too late and he died 32 hours later.
These last few days have been incredibly hard. But this experience has made me more determined than ever to travel and to really fill my life with rich experiences.
People are talking about what my brother did with his life. How he traveled the world, engaged fully with many hobbies and had a lot of fun. My mother keeps saying how she is glad that he went on so many trips, and so I’m hoping that she might see my travels now in a better light.
But I am traveling for myself, not for anybody else. I want to live a life that I am happy with. When I am on my own death bed I want to look back and see a ton of memories and don’t want to be thinking, “no, this is too soon, I’ve still got so much I want to do.”
My brother was 59 when he died. Too young. I’m 46 and I feel like I’m barely starting. I don’t want to waste any more time. I’m living every single day as best as I possibly can and I want that to continue for every day of my life, however long that may be.
I aim to pack in as much as I can (without burning out!) I will travel slowly, fully exploring every area. I will do everything I want to do but I also won’t waste time doing popular tourist things that don’t interest me just because they are popular. For example, I don’t like military stuff, I find most museums incredibly boring, and I could zip through an art gallery in an hour. But I could spend 6 hours just lazing on a beach.
I’m a secret adrenaline junkie. I say secret because in my every day life I spend at least 12 hours a day just sitting behind a computer screen. There is nothing even remotely exciting about that. But I love things like abseiling, ziplining, snowboarding (until I dislocated my shoulder!), and there are so many cool things that I see posted on Facebook that make me go “hell yeah, I want to do that!”
But of course many adventures can only be had in certain locations. I’ve seen videos of people jetskiing through slot canyons, ziplining over massive forests, bungee jumping off huge cliff faces, and so on. To do those kinds of things you need to go to where the activities can be done.
By traveling as a lifestyle, I can work my way to all of these kinds of places. So rather than having to book a trip to a particular destination just to do a specific activity I can just incorporate it into my itinerary. This is a much cheaper way to experience all of those adventures and it also means that I can be having adventures on a regular basis!
Being More Social
I’m an introvert. When I was a child I was so severely introverted that it caused some issues at school and my mum took be to a hypnotherapist to try and ‘fix’ me. Didn’t work of course.
As an adult I still have many social issues. I have a mild form of social anxiety, I do not do well in crowded places, and I can actually start to panic in *very* crowded places, I have great difficulty talking to strangers and it takes me a very long time to form what I would consider a ‘real friendship’.
I am fine around people I know well. I have several friends who I have known for many years and I love spending time with them. But I only have a few of these kinds of close friends and none of them live near me.
I spend a lot of time alone, and since the split with my ex that amount of alone time reached unhealthy levels.
I am fed up of being like this. I want to change and I have actually been making an effort to do so for quite a few months now. It’s just little things to begin with, such as say hello to random strangers when I am out walking for instance, but it’s a start.
When I travel I will probably meet new people just about every day, especially if I stay in popular camping locations. I’d like to be able to just get chatting to people, I want to mingle with the locals and not be socially shy and awkward.
I am hoping that this experience will change me into somebody who is much more sociable and open! If I can make a few new friends along the way that would be an awesome bonus!
I live in a bubble. I do not like negative influences so I avidly avoid the news, I don’t watch soaps, reality TV or any of the negative dramas which have been flooding our TV screens of late. But a downside to being like this is that I know nothing of the world. I am ignorant of just about everything that is outside of my safe little bubble.
I’d like to venture out of that bubble a bit more. I’m never going to be interested in global conflicts, war, politics, and all the horrible things that happen in the world, but I am interested in the positive. I am interested in wildlife, in conservation of our planet, in people, and how they live, in the food they eat, the languages they speak.
I’ve already started to educate myself a bit. I use a website called Memrise to learn French and also to learn about countries of the world and much more. For language learning I also use Duolingo and Lingvist. These are all great, free resources.
As I travel to each country I want to immerse myself in it. I want to know enough of the language to be able to have a conversation with locals. In each region I want to learn about and taste the local food. I want to visit local places of interest.
Over time I’d like to transform from a computer geek who does nothing but stare at a screen all day to a woman of the world! Traveling will allow me to do that over time, though I’ll always be a computer geek 🙂
Becoming More Self Reliant
I’ve always been pretty independent but by traveling alone I will be forced to deal with everything by myself. I don’t mean that I will have to repair my own flat tyres, but if I break down in the middle of the French countryside, I’m going to have to find help and get myself out of that situation.
I won’t be able to just call up a friend or family member to help me. I will need to do everything myself, and I’m rather looking forward to that!
Life has been quite tough over the last couple of months, and there are more challenging times in the coming weeks and months as my family deals with the aftermath of my brother’s death.
But I’ve realised that I am stronger than I think I am. A friend asked me the other day if I was scared about traveling, and really the only thing that I could think of that frightens me is getting stuck on a perilous road in the mountains and driving off the edge of a cliff! Hopefully a good navigation app will help me avoid such situations!
Overall, life has a lot of ups and downs and we have to take the bad stuff with the good stuff but it shapes us into who we are. Traveling on my own in foreign countries long term is going to add so much experience to my life and I think I will change as a person in many positive ways.
I can’t wait 😀
Photo by Ivan Mlinaric