When I travel, I usually just maintain my personal care as best I can until I get home. However, long-term travel is hard on a middle-aged body, so if I didn’t want to look like Tom Hanks in Castaway, I’d knew I’d need some extra TLC.
Travel lets you see the world, experience new cultures, and taste delicacies you never knew existed. It can also be a lonely time if you’re traveling solo or you’re with your people but need a break from them. This is especially true for long-term travel, when your best buddies are a million miles away.
I have always tried to treat everybody I met with respect. Turns out, my outward actions were not the problem. Sometimes I treated people nicely in public, but perpetuated racist ideas in private. Or in my own head.
Since we started planning our round-the-world trip and move to Paris, people have asked me a lot of questions about our motivation and purpose. They wanted to know why I like to travel so much, why I want to move to another country. Some think it’s an great idea. Some think we’re crazy. Some think it’s a waste of time. I think it’s a grand adventure, but I agree that it’s rather unorthodox. But really, why do I like to travel? And why do it in such a big way?
“But Yvonne,” you say, “why would I, a mature responsible homeowner in a stable relationship, ever need to crash with anybody? Not only do I have an extremely predictable lifestyle, Corporate America has me covered during all transitions!”
Well, good for you. However, you never know what might happen. You might be between jobs and Corporate America lets you down, between relationships, sick, between houses, or between awesome opportunities which require you to let go of your house. Just in case, read on.
Our family has, by design, stayed in every kind of accommodation during our travels: hostels, hotels, motels, time shares, relatives’ couches, glamping, Airbnb, and our youngest kid was an actual Boy Scout who camped. (My husband and I camped before children, then gave up when the babies started coming.) We stayed in a variety of places because we want our children to be ready for anything, no matter what their circumstances or income. We want them to be able to live out of a suitcase, haul their own stuff, sleep wherever, eat what’s put before them, and treat everyone they meet with respect.