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Full-Time Travel FAQ: Why Did We Decide To Become Full-Time Travelers?

Most of the people we know travel for vacation for a week or two each year. But this is something we do 52-weeks per year. We are full-time travelers. It is a lifestyle that many people aren’t familiar with. And we get asked a lot of questions about what our what our life is like as permanent nomads. So, it’s time to create a series of articles that answer many of these frequently asked questions (check back for more FAQ articles in the future). And what better way to start this series than to answer the question “Why did you decide to become full-time travelers?”

(If you prefer two watch a video instead of reading this article, you can watch the video here: “Why did you decide to become full-time travelers?”).

Here are a few reasons why we became full-time travelers.

We Are Passionate About International Travel

We have always loved traveling. In fact, that is one of the things that attracted us to each other when we first met. Before we married, Ryan already traveled to 60-something countries, and Emily didn’t even know how many she already visited.


We traveled to 15 additional countries after we married and before we became full-time travelers. (Some of our favorites were Greece, Nepal, Norway, and Cuba; you can see photos here). But these trips were always rushed. It was normal for us to try to cram in as many sights and cities as we could during our short vacation time. We craved the idea of being able to slow down while traveling and really get to know a place.

We Enjoy Volunteering

Volunteering is something we both think is important. We both have participated in volunteer and service trips, including trips to Mexico, Africa, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. A trip we took to an orphanage in Haiti just after Haiti’s big earthquake was life changing. When we set off to become full-time travelers, we want to make volunteering a significant part of our world travel adventure.

Working at an orphanage in Haiti.

Traveling Is Cheaper Than Living In The U.S.

This may come as a surprise. After all, a one-week vacation can cost thousands of dollars. But there’s a big difference between taking a vacation and living as full-time travelers. Vacations are expensive because you’re usually staying in a hotel, while we typically rent an apartment at a monthly rate. And vacations usually include eating at restaurants, whereas we cook most of our own meals in our apartment.

Living in the U.S. requires many extra expenses that aren’t needed as full-time travelers, such as car payments, car insurance, gas for the car, home-owners insurance, property tax, etc. And the expenses for things like housing, food, transportation, and especially health insurance are much lower than in the U.S.

Ryan Had A Health Scare

A few years before we decided to become full-time travelers, Ryan suffered a knee injury. This led to a blood clot, a much more serious condition. Once recovered, we reflected on the fact that life is short. We said “What are we waiting for?” We always said that we would travel once we are old and retired. But this health injury helped us push our dream of traveling the world sooner. This would allow us to enjoy the adventure before it was too late.

Emily Had A Very Demanding Work Schedule

Emily was a nurse practitioner that required her to work 12 or 13 hour shifts. Days off were spent resting and recovering before having to repeat the grind. This work schedule also required working on weekends, which made it difficult for us to have much time together. We realized that it was time for a break from the America’s workaholic way of life.


Those are a few reasons that answer the question “Why did you decide to become full-time travelers?” We are almost two years into this adventure, and don’t see it ending anytime soon.

What are some of your questions about full-time travel? Leave a comment and we will try to answer an questions you may have.

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