Long term travel is not for me and I am finally okay with that.

Sometimes I feel like I am the only travel blogger who has never been backpacking and to be honest, it used to make me feel inadequate.

How could I possibly know anything about travel if I have not spent 6 months backpacking South East Asia or spent longer than a two weeks in South Africa?

For a long term I dealt with the imposter syndrome when writing about far flung places, advising people to go places, even though I had only spent a few weeks there. How could I be a voice of authority when I had not truly “travelled”?

I started to feel bad about myself every time I went onto social media and saw backpackers who were day after day posting photos of themselves bright blue waters or posing on the edge of lush paddy fields. Photos I was looking while on my break at work while I was sitting there in my scrubs.

But over the past year I have accepted that being a backpacker is not who I am and it not someone I think I ever will ever be.

I know in my heart of hearts that if I had truly wanted to go backpacking I would have done it by now. I am wonderfully (or potentially idiotically) headstrong when I want something, I make it happen. If I truly wanted to go backpacking for a few months or even a year, I would have made it happen at some point over the past 10 years.

I do not know why it is not me. Part of me thinks it is do to with my anxious nature, I am not spontaneous by any means. Even in everyday life I like to know plans, I feel secure in knowing my next step. The thought of potentially not knowing where what place I will be sleeping in a week from now, or even what country I will be in does not sit well with me.

I have wonderful friends who are off travelling the world and living the digital nomad lifestyle. It is incredible what they have created and I am so proud of them for living their dream, but that is what it is – their dream, not mine, and it is okay for people to have different dreams.

I now know it is okay for my dream to be living in London and taking short trips to see the world. It doesn’t mean I am less passionate about travel or know less, I just know a different type.

I adore the life I have built at home.

As much as I moan about my career on daily basis, it is actually pretty amazing. Yes, clients can be hard work and the nights are long and tiring but I get to help animals – which is all I ever wanted from a young age.  I left my permanent role to become a locum for various reasons, one being so I could travel more. I have travelled more, I have travelled more in the past 4 years than I have over my entire life, they have been compact trips with curated itineraries but I like that and that is okay. Furthermore,  I actually enjoy the challenge of seeing how many travel days we can manage with my DJ’s annual leave.

Don’t get me wrong I would love to go back to Indonesia and Vietnam to spend longer than two weeks seeing different areas and one day I do plan on spending a month exploring Central America.

But backpacking, flash packing, long term travel, which ever name you want to call – it just is not for me.

I enjoy knowing I can afford to spend a bit more on a hotel or on some nice meals when away because I know I am not using that money to budget across a long term trip.

I still get excited counting down to my next trip away.

I like my home comforts.

And I love nothing more than coming home to my weird but adorable cat.

So how did I get over my imposter syndrome when travel writing? 

I realised I was not the only one.

I noticed my most popular posts were two week itineraries to far off places and short city guides in Europe. I suddenly realised there were thousands of people out there who like me want to see the world but also have other priorities and dreams as well.

I suppose you could say that once again this blog has helped me, as it has done in many ways over the past few years.

Therefore, this is my acceptance that I will never think I will use the term backpacker when talking about myself.

So here is to me, the person who has big plans to see so much of the world, but also revels in coming back home to a cup of tea and a cuddle with her cat. 

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6 Comments

  1. December 5, 2018 / 9:38 am

    I love this post!! And I think it’s fab way to travel. I think I’m learning there is no right or wrong way to travel. And the ONLY important thing is to enjoy it. Plus I think short term travel is much more relatable for a lot of people who do work!
    And I love your city real guides!

    https://wherecharliewanders.com

    • Sam
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 10:05 am

      Thank you so much Charlie!

  2. December 5, 2018 / 11:04 am

    I am SO with you on this one – I love the idea of travelling, but my anxious nature and love of being around my cats/home comforts makes me not really set out for the long-term backpacking life…

    Oh, btw, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the Rue pic at the end of the blog post. I love her so much 😛

    • Sam
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 1:22 pm

      haha I had to get her in somewhere! Despite the fact she is currently trying to destroy everything in her sight!

  3. December 5, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    Good on you! It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I’m not cut out to be a “digital nomad”. My blog makes no money- and that’s okay. I don’t want to join Upwork or learn to code or teach English over the computer. I saved for 3 years to take the trip I’m on right now (a full year trip) and I’ll do the same again in three more years. It feels good to just say “This is how I’m doing it and it works for me!”

  4. December 14, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    Love this! I totally agree there is no right way to travel – it’s all about creating the life you love and feel good about, whatever that is. For me, too, I want a balance between travelling and building a secure base at home. I actually enjoy building a career and putting money towards my mortgage, haha. That said, even when I travel short term I love the budget travel experience and still consider myself a backpacker (although, I long switched the backpack for a wheelie bag)! At the end of the day, I think it is all about your interests, values and priorities – and we’re (bloggers + readers) all different which is fabulous.

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