Why is long-term travel so different from camping or even a “trip of a lifetime” to the Cape?
The biggest difference is that you are NOT on holidays! You may be retired or have a nest-egg, or have rental income, or be running your business while you travel to fund your lifestyle, but you are not on holidays.
This puts a totally different perspective on your trip, and I should add at this stage, that long-term travel is neither better nor worse than camping, just different!
I have done and enjoyed both during my life, each has its pros and cons.
Long-term travel can be slow and meandering, plans can change at a moment’s notice, or you can have no plans at all – just head whatever direction takes your whim. Often travel plans are dictated by your business – you may be a self-employed tradie, nurse, heavy equipment operator or driver working contract wherever there is work. You work for a while and explore that area then move on until you get short of money.
You usually need to budget long-term, however, your budget can be flexible; eg house-sit to see an area comprehensively, save money, catch up on business.
Your vehicle is your home, so it needs to be set up differently. You may need an office inside your vehicle, or need to carry the tools of your trade.
You need to think much more about a paperless existence, and, of course, with that comes the need to organise and secure your virtual paper life.
You will have pared down your belongings to fit in a bus, caravan, 4wd … be living the so-called minimalist lifestyle.
But you will also need clothes and gear for all sorts of weather unless you just follow the warm weather – north in winter and south in summer.
You need a means of communicating with your loved ones, as they will often be far away.
Often you will tend to free-camp more than use caravan parks or hotels and tend to cook your own meals rather than eat out most of the time.
But most of all it is a state of mind – holidays are usually (hopefully) exciting and exhilarating, often tiring, but more intense.
Long-term travel is much more relaxed and leisurely although can have their exciting and exhilarating, often tiring, but more intense moments.