Since 2012 I have lived a work and travel lifestyle together with my boyfriend Lennart. We love the freedom and independence that comes with it and the opportunity to experience so many different things. Through the years my whole perspective on life keeps developing and I fully identify with the following words of Christopher McCandless…
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
How did it all start?
From where we come, it is quite normal to take a gap year between high school and college to do whatever you want, before “life gets serious”. When we graduated high school we decided that we wanted to travel, so we needed jobs to make this happen. We sent applications to Norway and got seasonal jobs, where we worked as waiters for a few months.
With the money we had saved, we bought a VW bus and camped around Europe for three months. Being young and not very wise we splurged a lot, but didn’t really feel happy and content as we had thought we would. In hindsight I know, that this was mainly because our expectations what it meant to travel, evolved around the idea that everything should be fun, relaxing and totally awesome at all times.
Somehow when we tried achieving to travel with this kind of mindset, we felt very disappointed when things didn’t go as planned and our expectations where rarely met. It was then we started to realize, that what we had desired was a fantasy world created by many travel bloggers and instagrammers. One that was beautiful, but very very shallow.
Travelling offers much more than what meets the eye. It makes you encounter an exciting diversity of unpredictable events. When you choose to be open and spontaneous you’ll much rather live in the moment as your succumb yourself to the unknown. Now you can truly experience, cherish and accept everything that happendes.
Not all events are enjoyable, but they are part of why traveling is worth it. You’ll learn more about yourself and get the opportunity to keep growing and reinventing yourself each and every day.
How we Travel
There are a lot of different ways to travel and the main thing that needs consideration is how to get around and where to sleep.
When we had bought our VW camper we got quite accustomed to having the luxury of an own kitchen, bedroom and livingroom on wheels. As we drove through Europe spotting backpackers with heavy loads, we always said that we never would travel like this. But after our Europetrip we felt drawn to countries very far away, where backpacking was the best and cheapest way to travel. So we swallowed the bitter pill and bought some for our first Asia trip.
Thankfully it turns out that we also like this way of traveling, as we only bring what we really need and we meet a lot more people because of couchsurfing, hostels and hitchhiking.
Since then we never say never and like to try new ways of travelling. The following shows which kinds of transport and accommodation we have been using so far.
driving with our VW bus
using trains, busses, airplanes and ferries
camping in our bus
camping in a tent
guesthouses and other cheap private rooms
Traveling like this allows us to keep our budget low and still cherish each minute of it. A tight budget doesn’t mean that you get to experience less. Sure you can do luxury travels and you feel relaxed, safe and wonderful at almost all times. But if you want to make travel a real adventure you just need to get out of your comfort zone, be spontaneous, trust strangers, be open minded, respect and learn about the cultures and people surrounding you, dare to go on paths nobody else would choose, and stop believing the illusion that money and safety equals happiness.
I’m thankful that I have followed the path that I felt was right and doing this with my most favorite person, Lennart. It has been an amazing journey and we have met a lot of great people along the way…