Why I Don’t Travel the World Full-Time

Categories:Inspiration, Travel
Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson at Leo Palace, Guam

I’ll be honest. I get envious of full-time travelers. You know the nomads with the NatGeo-worthy Instagrams and the seemingly inexhaustible supply of cash? The ones who seem to have no problem taking the perfect selfie on top of misty mountains? The twentysomethings who never run out of European coasts to haunt or South American trails to backpack? (Okay, I think I just described Instagram Barbie, but you get the idea.)

That being said, I have good reason for not traveling the world full-time. And if this is your first visit to Global Girl Travels, yes you are in the right place, this is indeed a travel blog.

Guam Is a Pretty Rad Place to Live

Shark's Cove Guam


I moved 6,000 miles to a tropical island that gets more than a million visitors a year.

When I get antsy to travel and I can’t, I simply take a daycation on Guam. It’s a great place to relax, but if I need a little excitement, I hike to a new site or try a new water sport. Six years in and I haven’t discovered all of Guam’s beauty spots.

Roots

Jess-Leo-Palace-Hills-V3

I put down roots in Guam and that means responsibilities.

I run a business here (and online), but I also try to support the community and my friends. I couldn’t do that if I had a nomadic life. That doesn’t mean I don’t dream of it, but ultimately, having a homebase so close to Asia and tons of remote islands in Micronesia to visit works just fine for me right now.

Money

Marriott Hong Kong bed and room

A friend who travels the world full-time told me he sometimes spends $6,000 a month on accommodations alone.

I’ve traveled enough to know how expensive it can be, especially if you aren’t a backpacker, couch surfer, or hitchhiker. I’m a budget traveler, but even so, I’ve done the math — having a homebase is nearly always cheaper than traveling full-time. Even if you book hostels or budget accommodations through Airbnb, it is rarely less than the cost of renting a cheap apartment long-term. Add to that fluctuating currency values, the rise in transportation costs, health emergencies, etc. and some full-time travelers find themselves running out of money sooner rather than later. I’m certainly not knocking those who can afford it or who just make it work, but I just think they are few and far between.

>> READ NEXT:  Guam: Off the Beaten Path (VIDEO)

Health

Girl in satin blue robe on bed, Jessica Peterson

I have pretty good health, but jetlag is a beast and I get it bad.

It’s easy to get sick when you’re exposed to foreign germs, eating unusual food, and not getting enough sleep. Don’t get me started on frigid airplanes! One of the things I like about coming home from vacation is sleeping in my own bed… for as long as I like — no check-out time, no red-eye airport dash, no fixed itinerary to adhere to. I find that sometimes there’s actually more freedom in being home than in traveling.

All of this is not to discourage travel or to say a nomadic life is impossible. I always want to travel more and I find myself endlessly inspired to visit remote places, however, I often take stock of my life and try to frame my negative feelings in a positive light. Though I will always feel a bit wistful when I see a gorgeous travel photo, I’m pretty happy having a home.

Do you travel full-time or aspire to?


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Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • I agree with you. As much as I love traveling, I love the comfort of my home too. Plus, I always get homesick after only a few months on the road. Traveling is also very tiring and from time to time I have a feeling I need to refill my batteries. And even though I always have really amazing time traveling, I’m always happy when I get home after a long trip.

  • This describes me to a tee! I’m forever planning my next trip, but funds usually keep me at home base longer than I’d like… Exploring nearby home is what keeps me sane. This is my first time on your site and I love it already x
    http://www.rostereddayoff.com

  • I like that this post offers a different viewpoint from the typical full-time traveler narrative. I don’t travel as much as I would like, but I also don’t want to be a full-time traveler. I have my own apartment, which I’ve decorated and made into my own space, and I love being able to come back from a trip and decompress in my own place. There’s certainly something to be said for having a home base.

    • Thanks for your comment Tausha. I think it’s important to be realistic about nomadism and travel blogging.

  • I don’t aspire to travel full-time. I like to have a home base and then spend a few months each year traveling. I’m very much fueled by my deep, meaningful relationships with people that I can see in person often. 🙂

  • RunawayBrit

    I read so many nomadic blogs that it is really hard not to want what they (seemingly) have; a life of unending beaches, cafes, infinity pools, and yoga poses against the sunset. But, I also know that the majority of their time is spent looking for WiFi, worrying so much about tweeting, snapping, and instagramming every moment of their existence that I doubt they ever actually look up at the reality, and writing articles that they have been paid to write. I wonder how much they have to worry about their bank accounts.

    I am an International School teacher, so I can work in cool places (Japan, Vietnam, Sweden and India so far), but I get 14 weeks of holiday to travel. Right now I am spending a week in Nepal. I get to travel, but also have a salary coming in. It’s probably the perfect combination, even if I will be sad on the day that I have to leave here. Flexibility is the thing I most envy about the life of a Digi Nomad.