When we decided to become full-time travelers we were excited for the adventures we’d be having. But at the same time, we started worrying about all of the things that could go wrong. In this article we’ll answer the question “What were your biggest travel fears?” We’ll tell you which fears we now realize were ridiculous, but also tell you which fears we still have today.
(Click the link below if you would rather watch a video with all of the same information that is in this article: Biggest Travel Fears).
One thing we worried about was our safety. You hear stories about travelers being robbed. And you hear stories about how dangerous it is in other countries. But we can tell you that after traveling for over 2-years we actually feel safer as travelers than we did just living a normal life in our home city of Charlotte in the U.S. We still know that we could be a victim of crime anywhere in the world, but in hind sight we think we may have been overly worried about our safety. We have a separate article just on our stories about safety that you can check out by clicking here.
Another of our travel fears was that we might not be able to find certain supplies that we might need or want while traveling. For example, if we needed a new backpack while in a foreign country, would we be able to find the right one? You can buy backpacks anywhere in the world, but we had become so dependent on amazon.com and online shopping where you have access to thousands and thousands of choices. One thing we have learned that we can find the supplies that we need anywhere. And we’ve discovered that we don’t need 50,000 varieties of whatever item we’re looking for.
We knew that at some point during our travels we would need to access health care. We are generally healthy, but at the same time we are getting older, and health issues do come up from time to time. Emily had some dental work done in Peru right when we started as full-time travelers. Ryan injured his ankle in Argentina and had to go to the hospital there. We’ve both had some routine medical and dental check-ups in both Thailand and Malaysia. All of our experiences with health care have been excellent in both quality and price. Every now and then we might have a hard time finding certain types of over the counter medicine that we are used to back home. But overall the fears we had about staying healthy turned out to be nothing to worry about.
One of our biggest travel fears was whether we would eventually have trouble with our ATM cards working overseas. We had read stories online about American banks deactivating cards for not maintaining a physical address in the U.S. But so far in over 2 years of foreign travel we have not had any problems. We do have ATM cards from two separate banks so if there is every a problem with one of them, then we have a backup.
Before we became full-time travelers we tried to come up with a rough estimate with how much this was going to cost. We researched Airbnb prices for the places we were going to go. We researched food prices. We researched transportation costs. We looked at blogs for other full-time travelers to try to find out how much money they were spending. But we didn’t know how much we would spend. Everyone lives a different lifestyle and we can’t exactly replicate the life of other travel bloggers. Some travelers were spending what seemed like huge amounts and were living much more luxurious than what we required to be comfortable. But others will living on a bare bones budget.
It all worked out for us. We have easily been able to stay on our target budget without sacrificing comfort. And you can check out our cost of living article if you want to know how much money we have spent as full time travelers by clicking here.
Another one of our biggest travel fears was boredom. In order to stay on our budget we were going to need to travel slowly. By “slowly” we mean planning to stay for one month in each place. We knew that we would have a lot of down time and might get bored. And something related to boredom that we didn’t worry too much about was loneliness. We tend to be more introverted so we didn’t really give much thought to any need for socialization. But we had to learn how to deal with this, and this really surprised us. We realized that we had to take the initiative to get out there and interact with the local people and with expats. We have an article on this topic too that you can check out by clicking here.
Quitting My Job
Probably my biggest fear in becoming a full-time traveler was quitting my job. This wasn’t an issue for my wife, but for me, this was really hard. I loved my job, had the same job for 22 years, and I knew that once I left I would probably not be able to get the exact same job back again. And this is a fear that remains a little bit unresolved for me. I know do know that everything will work out okay. But at the same time, it’s still something that is on my mind sometimes.