Talking about time to travel, what kind of time do you “need” to really be able to let go of whatever you want to let go off, get into a travel mood and experience the world and your life in a new way?
When we went on our first long term trip as a family many years ago, we had been living a very stressful life for a long period. So stressful that we came to a point where we realized we couldn’t continue in that way – we wanted another kind of life. We bought an old campervan, sold our house, put all our stuff (a lot) in a big sea container and took off. We didn’t have a time plan. The only thing we knew was that we wanted to go as far south as possible in Europe, Southern Spain.
Our first challenge came already the first day when something happened to the car and we had to stay at some friends place to do some repairing. Then someone got ill. Then all of us got ill. Then we got lost and the campervan got stuck in the mud in the middle of the night and Magnus, who at this point had pneumonia, had to put on the snow chains to get us out of there. It continued in this spirit for a long time, one challenge after the other.
In hindsight we realized that we actually brought with us all the stress and frustration that we had had at home before we left. Of course it was great to be away, to be on the road and to have left our old life at home, but this didn’t mean we were totally changed (yet).
We also took a lot of time to visit with friends along the way. Wherever we realized we knew someone, we stopped to say hello (some stops could be really long).
Finally one day, two months after we’d set off, we arrived at our destination, Marbella in Southern Spain! From that point, everything changed. It was just fantastic, like a total dream life! We could relax, the kids just played, we started to get perspective on our lives and to see what really was important to us. We were just happy! Our whole 6 month trip then continued in this spirit. But it took us 2 months to get there, both physically and mentally.
We have often talked about this– the time to travel. How much can a “ordinary” 1-2-or even 3 week vacation really make us able to let go off all our everyday stuff and allow a new mindset? Not much…
Of course, it’s always great to take some time off, experience something new and recharge your batteries: But to get that life transforming effect, you usually need a lot more time. Other long term travelers that we speak to usually agree that something starts to happen with you somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks after you’ve left home. This amount of time is probably, depending on what kind of life you’ve had before you left, how much stress and so on, what you need to start with.
Then your journey really can begin!
If you want to read more about the concept of time and some reflections on that click here.