Most people that we speak with assume that we are heading back to Portland, Oregon once we finish our “vacation” and that we will go back to life as normal. Whatever “normal” means. I think it’s nearly impossible to go back to life as it was before long-term travel. Being immersed in different cultures and getting out of your comfort zone rewires the brain and makes one more open to change. Long-term travel is the act of embracing change, so why should we go back to the same thing we left behind? Why not continue to seek change and create the future we really want, not the one that feels comfortable and safe?
Whenever long-term travelers meet, the discussion usually ends up with the question, “So, what are your plans after the trip? Have you decided on where you are resettling?” Long-term travelers know that the world offers countless possibilities for places to live and lifestyle options. The hardest part is trying to choose a single location and how to earn a living once you get there.
Even before leaving to travel long-term we discussed options on where to resettle and what kind of jobs or business options we could have there. Not limiting ourselves to just the United States, we scoured government websites looking at residency requirements in foreign countries and searched for jobs and business options around the world. The more we searched the more we realized that we seriously could live anywhere we wanted, but at a cost. In order to meet residency requirements in many foreign countries we may end up in a job we don’t like. But life in a new country could be worth the cost of not having the dream job, right? But would we end up back in the same situation we were in before? Same rat race, but different country? The pros and cons for each option can be overwhelming and I think most long-term travelers have a hard time finding the right answer.
In our travels we have met the eternal nomads; the ones who can’t choose a place to resettle and keep traveling. Eternally searching, and searching, and searching. The desire to have a permanent home and to be part of a community is strong, but so is the thrill of long-term travel and to explore new places. And then there are those that are location independent, that is, they work online or have found ways to earn a living while traveling full time. But even they can hit travel burnout and miss having a community and a permanent residence. In the end, I think everyone is just searching for a home and a lifestyle that will make them happy. Some just take longer to find what they are looking for than others.
After 20 months of traveling around the world and only 6 months more to go, have we decided on a place to resettle? The answer is yes! After running the full gamut on resettlement options, we have decided on a single location and even ways to earn a living once we get there. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, so we are keeping it a secret until the end of our around the world trip. And no, it’s not back in Portland, Oregon. But just because we are planning to resettle doesn’t mean we plan to stop traveling. In fact, we have been making a list of future adventures, and some of them are going to be pretty amazing.
If you could relocate anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Gina - Our Global Adventure says
It is hard to settle down after traveling. We did the suburban family thing for 11 years after our long term travel when we were young, but there was always an itch that we just couldn’t scratch. I think people do what’s expected of them, return home and go back to normal, but what is normal after you’ve seen first hand the opportunities of the world? This time around with the kids, there are no expectations. We are older and wiser, and care much less about what people expect us to do. We’re happy to travel until we find a place that feels ‘right’. I’m glad you’ve found yours, but are also looking into ways to keep the magic alive and not fall into old rat-race mindsets 🙂
The funny part is that we have never been to the place we have chosen to resettle, but I think that it is part of the excitement. I don’t think anyplace will ever be “perfect” for us that have done long-term travel. While most of us just need a “base” to store our stuff and to plan the next adventure, we are also looking for a community that we can be part of. It is so hard to be part of a community if you can’t sit still.
Because we were expats for several years I’ve had a chance to see what it’s like to live in different countries. Every place has it’s trade-offs.
For lifestyle, community, natural beauty and weather, I would pick Sydney, Australia. But, it is very expensive and so far away from the rest of the world.
For culture and travel opportunities, I would pick London. But then you have to deal with awful weather (lack of sunshine really gets to a person after a while).
So I haven’t found my perfect place yet. Guess that means I need to explore more!
Both Sydney and London are insanely expensive, but it would be fun to live there. Our former city of Portland, Oregon was seriously grey and depressing for 10 months of the year. One of our requirements is for more sunshine. Surprisingly, most places have more sunshine than Portland! 🙂
My favourite place in the world: Jamaica! Love the people, the culture, the food, the vibe, the cost of living…and the location is amazing but still so close to mainland USA. My choice probably surprises some people, and some might turn their nose up at it because it’s so close to mainland USA and such a common location for the average American ….but it just happened. It simply stands out as the best place I’ve been in the world!
We visited Jamaica in 2003 as part of a cruise. We really loved it and have wanted to return to explore the island some more. It would be an interesting place to live!
Way to leave us hanging!!
Maybe we will open a Bed and Breakfast in Southern Oregon…. Don’t you love suspense?