Why do people travel long-term?

There are many reasons people choose to travel long-term living a nomad lifestyle but for most, it means having a feeling of total freedom and adventure.

I spent over 12 years without living in a house. Ten of those years were spent constantly traveling. The longest I would spend in one location was about a month. Often, I would only stay one night.

My reason for travel, at the time, was that I had a mobile retail business. It provided income for my adventures and a house was inconvenient.

Some people travel long-term by choice and others by necessity. Owning a home may be some people’s ideal dream but for others, it is a financial commitment.

Some people wish to travel north for the winter and south for the summer to take advantage of the weather for health issues. A nomadic lifestyle presents an opportunity to combine good health with visiting new locations.

Accidental Nomads

There is also a group of people I term accidental nomads. These people are forced to become mobile because of changed circumstances. They may be victims of a relationship, personal or financial breakdown, or even a victim of crime.

These people often live the life of the long-term traveler without the funds to travel any great distance and sadly some don’t have the ability to embrace their new circumstances.

Then there are those of us who just have the travel bug and do it because we can. No house and financial commitments, just freedom and adventure. This was me for over 10 years.

Nomads looking to simplify their lifestyle

Being a full-time nomad allowed me to downsize, simplify my lifestyle, and at the same time earn and save money for the future. Doing this early enough in my life has meant I have a great future ahead of me.

Some people enjoy the excitement of changing their place of abode regularly, without having to change houses or arrange for their possessions to follow them.

What is long-term travel?

Long-term to some people can be a few weeks each year every year, and for others a spell of one or two years. At the other end of the scale are people like me who travel for 10 years or more at a time. I have met people who have been traveling for over 20 years and plan to continue indefinitely.

There is also the option to move on to another location daily or even weekly. For some a few months in one spot before moving on lowers travel costs and ensures total relaxation.

Can you travel long-term and still keep your house?

This is a personal choice as some people find security in owning a home and having somewhere to return to if things go pear-shaped. I chose to sell up and downsize knowing that I could always pull up permanently if I found a great location, which I did. As a result, I purchased a small house in the country. I will continue to travel as I have chosen a location less prone to vandalism.

In my post, Nomads in Australia, I look at some options to consider if you are thinking of selling or downsizing.

Where can you travel to?

travel stop by a dam

Many people at some time in their life want to see the world and experience new cultures. I enjoy this but in short bursts of time.

Australia is a vast country and our backyard is so enjoyable. There is much to see and do and I find it continually changing. Even when I revisit places I seem to find new things to see and do.

Many places have events at a particular time of the year that cannot be experienced all year around. For this reason, it is possible to crisscross the country to revisit a town, and still have a unique experience.

One lap around Australia.

Some people choose to do one lap around Australia. This is great and will give you an idea of which areas you like the most. However, I feel that unless it is done over a few years many people miss many seasonal experiences. A landscape can be hot and dry in summer, rustic in autumn, wet and green in winter, and full of wildflowers in the spring.

My post, How Long to Travel Around Australia discusses the one-lap idea in a little more detail.

When do people consider the opportunity to travel long-term?

This can happen many times during your lifetime. I began my journey as a teenager. I traveled for about a year before staying in one place longer than a few weeks.

As a young adult, building a business and having a family only allowed me to travel for short periods. However, selling my business a few years short of 50 allowed me to travel again.

I consider myself a long-term traveler even though I elected to stop traveling for a few years during the pandemic before continuing my journey.


What can you do and see when traveling full-time?


Everyone has a different budget. If you are fortunate enough to have a decent income you can visit places with high entry fees and stay in more expensive accommodation.

Many people travel on a tight budget and need to pick and choose where they stay and which tourist attractions they can visit. This may mean giving those high-cost resorts a miss, but there are other options.

When you have plenty of time, and with careful budgeting, you should be able to visit most places even when income is limited. Having the opportunity to take your time often provides the opportunity to save extra money by staying in free or cheap accommodation allowing the savings to fund tourist attractions. This is particularly relevant when you have a fixed income such as a pension, superannuation, income from an internet business, or other passive income.

There are many options in all locations that are free or low-cost. If you can walk or cycle, there are parks, river systems, beaches, hilltop views, old buildings, museums, private gardens, historical markers, and even graveyards if that takes your fancy. To make life more interesting, I try to capture these camera views.

Tourist information centers will often be able to advise of local walks, bike trails, and other points of interest.

Hobbies can also add value to your travel. Some hobbies keep you busy whilst you wait to move on such as reading, crafts, painting, photography, fishing, prospecting or even swimming.

Travel also allows you to meet new people from all walks of life. Many will be long-term travelers who are often happy to share their favorite hideouts.

Long-term travel essentials

An essential for long-term travel, for most people, is a traveling partner. This may be a friend or significant other. Young people may choose to travel alone but for most of us being part of a couple (partner or just friend) is a better option. Firstly there is someone to talk to and share your fears and excitement. Secondly, as we are social by nature being on your own is nice once in a while, but can be a lonely experience for extended periods.

Another essential is shelter. This can come in all forms, but having somewhere of your own to sleep, relax, provide food, and protect yourself and your possessions from the elements makes your travel an adventure.

In my post, What to Take on the Road, I discuss tips to get you started living in mobile accommodation.

Finally, there is the subject of finance.

How long should you travel for?

You can travel for as long as you choose depending upon your income and personal preferences. There are many places you can live rent-free or for a very low fee as long as you have portable accommodation.

I have met many people from all walks of life, even a lady who traveled by pushbike towing a small trailer containing her tent, cooking supplies, and possessions. That’s what I call keen.

I have met accidental nomads who live in a car, old van, or tent and have embraced this lifestyle living alongside river systems and within walking distance of town. For them, they are living life and enjoying the company of other travelers.

You too can travel long term if you wish. It is a matter of finding an income source, choosing an accommodation that you like, and getting started on your wonderful adventure.

How can you fund long-term travel?

Too little is certainly a problem, but you don’t need a lot. it is about having sufficient

Money can often be a determining factor in the onset of a travel experience.

You either have the money to do so through superannuation, a pension, some type of passive income, the sale of a business or property, receiving a windfall of some type, or you need to work to fund your travel opportunity.

If you have a trade or career that allows you to change employment locations, (nursing or hairdressing) then you may be able to work for paid employment as you travel.

Many people travel as a business and sell their products or services as they go. Others are called digital nomads and make their living by selling their products or services online.

There is also the opportunity to travel and do seasonal work such as fruit picking.

The internet is full of people who fund their lifestyle with earnings from a YouTube channel, Social Media, or a Website. Some will earn money directly from their projects. Others will earn money from sponsorship, promoting other people’s products, or creating their own. There are so many choices.

My favorite is blogging. I love sharing my adventures and lifestyle with others and discussing the options both in person and in online communities. I also collect gems and stones and create products to sell in markets. This allows me to create a little income from my hobbies.

Can you find a way to fund long-term travel?

Do you have a topic you love that could help you change your life and begin your travel adventure? Have you considered a website or YouTube channel as a way to create a different future?

There are many ways to start a side hustle while still working that can change your life.

I have attempted many different paths over the past few years, with varying levels of success. Mostly, the failures were of my own making and I aim to change this moving forward. My blogging journey alone has been a roller coaster ride.

How can this help my future?

My long-term goal is to build this blog, social media accounts, and a membership community designed to help. I would like to give people ideas to start their path of discovery. For some it may be as a traveling nomad, and others a way to slow down and simplify life.

Life is so short. I know what it is like to be heavily in debt and working to pay the bills. Sleepless nights and constant worry are my past. My future is worry-free and while I will still travel, I will be able to do so with a house to return to when I choose.

If you want ideas to find your path, please consider following me on social media and bookmarking this website.

Leave a comment

Skip to content