From a Perpetual Traveler’s Perspective, Should Everyone Travel?

basketball familyWhen a friend told me she thought everyone should be a mom the way I think everyone should travel, I had to stop and think.

The question of whether everyone should be a parent is something for another day. For now,

Do I, expatriate for nearly 5 years now and no-holds-barred travel lover, really feel that everyone SHOULD travel?

And maybe even more importantly, am I giving that impression to people I meet?

I’ve thought about this for several months now, and I think I’m ready to talk about the answers.

First, should everyone travel?

I’ve talked about the reasons why I travel here and what the lifestyle lacks here.

Travel can really bring a lot to your life. It adds depth, excitement, and perspective. It opens your mind, it helps you conquer your fears, it makes you feel like you’re living your life to the fullest. I might even go so far as to say it’s essential to living a fully deliberate (rather than circumstantial) life. It’s an addiction.

So I guess I would say that, yes, if given the chance, I think everyone should leave their home country and visit another, preferably very different`from their home. To get the full benefits, it would need to be more than a short visit too. I would say a minimum of three months.

If I had one country I think everyone should visit in their lives, it would be India. It’s the most unique, diverse, spiritual, and life-changing place we’ve been so far after 30 countries and almost 5 years of traveling. That’s not even getting started on the food, architecture, clothing, or historical sites there…

india saris

Exploring New Delhi

Perpetual travel is another story. It takes a special kind of person to condemn themselves to wandering permanently, like Cain of old. Special doesn’t necessarily mean a nice kind of special, either. Just…weird. Someone who apparently doesn’t have strong enough ties to their family, friends, or home to not leave…Someone who doesn’t mind bucking social norms, and who is okay using technology as a predominant way of connecting with others. Quirky, curious, and adventurous. We’re a weird group for sure, nontraditional in every sense, and I wouldn’t say that everyone should perpetually travel.

Besides, if everyone perpetually travelled, there’d be no one for us permanent tourists to visit, would there?

Does travel make you a better person?

I’m not convinced that travelers are any better or worse than any group of people, despite all the life lessons they’re supposedly learning all of the time. I used to think travelers were the most enlightened of them all. But now I think they’re just like any other group of people, full of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Their interpretations on what they experience will vary wildly from person to person. In general, they may value experiences more than possessions, yes, which is a great lesson to learn. But I also wonder if they don’t value seeing must-see sights more than developing real-life relationships and connections. It’s a balancing act.

Second, do I try to pressure others to travel?

I do think I was a bit forceful about our lifestyle when we first started to be successful with it a few years ago.

I was so enamored with the different countries we were visiting, and the time freedom we enjoyed through internet business, that I really wanted my friends and family to be able to experience the same thing.

At the same time I was sometimes bewildered at the general lack of enthusiasm or interest in all the things which we were experiencing that were so life-changing for us.

I felt a real sense of pride at all we were accomplishing, and if I look back on it, maybe even a sense of superiority.

Since I’m using the past tense, you can probably guess my perspective has changed. I don’t know exactly when it did.

I guess I just started realizing that our lifestyle is just that, one way to live among many. There are wonderful things about it to be sure, enough to continue it, but also some uniquely challenging and difficult things too.

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Jacob’s seminar on mobile business. Hey, why does that guy have a baby bottle for a drink? Suspicious…

I’m still thrilled about internet business because of the choices it provides, but it’s not for everyone–

Just like every way of life is not for everyone. Hopefully travel has at least taught me that.

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 366 awesome articles for us.

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