Our guest writer Danny is a travel enthusiast who’s determined to make the most of his life. Here he shares advice on how to make the most of 6 months travelling.
- Top tips for getting the most out of travelling
- Pack light – you won’t regret it
- Say yes to new experiences
- Be daring and push yourself
- Explore your identity by taking yourself out of your comfort zone.
- Look after yourself when travelling
- Take a rest to recharge
- Get Off the Tourist Trail
- Contact home
- Time to Have the Best 6 Months Travelling Possible
- Top tools for long term travelling
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Top tips for getting the most out of travelling
The very thought of travel gets me all excited.
I just love everything about the experience: the freedom, the sense of adventure, the new cultures, the friendly new faces, the natural beauty…
The list goes on and on and on.
To go travelling is to understand what people mean by the travel bug. You really do catch it. And, once it digs its claws into you, there’s no going back. You’re doomed to a life of itchy feet!
Any length of travel time promises an incredible experience. However, it’s when you start spending months and months on the road that the magic really happens.
6 months travelling is a particular period for which many people to choose go away. It’s a long time. One that definitely falls into the ‘extended trip’ category.
But you’d be surprised how quickly it goes. Especially if you’re planning to squeeze multiple countries in. It’s funny, before you leave home, 6 months of travel sounds like forever…Rest assured, though, that it flies by faster than you could ever imagine.
There’s a danger you can take everything for granted, failing to make the most of both your time and the experience itself.
Do you have a 6 month trip coming up?
Well, read on for 8 tips that should help you squeeze the very last dregs out of your time on the road.
Pack light – you won’t regret it
Here’s a quick one to start:
Don’t pack too much stuff in your backpack/suitcase.
Over-packing is a recipe for trouble and discomfort on the road. There’s nothing like lugging an enormous bag around to make travelling a struggle.
You’d be surprised how little you really need – especially if you’re going to a hot country.
Here’s what I’d pack for 6 months on the road:
Some flip-flops/sandals, a pair of walking shoes, 2 pairs of socks, swim stuff, sunglasses, camera, 5 t-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of jeans, 5 pairs of underwear, and (maybe) one warmer top.
Sure, I might chop and change a bit, and throw a few other items in here and there. But, hopefully that reveals the level of stuff you can get away with. Heck, you’ll meet some people who take even less!
An added benefit of packing so little is that you can usually get away with flying on hand luggage alone. Without having to put a giant bag in the hold, you’ll save masses of money on airfare.
Say yes to new experiences
Say “yes” a lot when you’re on the road.
Doing so will help you enter into the experience with an open-mind and a willingness to put yourself into new situations.
You’re presented with a huge number of opportunities to try new things when you travel. Some of them might feel uncomfortable, and unlike anything you’d do at home.
But this is where the travel magic happens!
Entering into the experience with a ‘can-do’ attitude means you’ll come away from your 6 months away with a host of amazing new memories and stories to tell. Saying yes as much as possible is sure to turn your time into an adventure.
You’ll discover things about yourself and become more rounded as an individual in the process.
Be daring and push yourself
This point leads on from the last.
It’s your job to be daring when you’re on the road. Test yourself, push yourself, and be brave. Enter into encounters and experiences you’d never even consider at home.
One of the joys of travel is that nobody knows you. And, when that’s the case, you have the freedom to be anyone you want to be.
Of course, be safe and sensible with this too. Being daring doesn’t have to entail taking unnecessary risks. Instead, it’s more about having the will to take yourself out of personal comfort zones.
Challenge the stories you’ve told yourself about yourself. Who says you can’t bungee jump? Who says you can’t stay out until 4 in the morning? Who says you can’t swim naked in the ocean? Who says you have to eat a certain diet? And so on and so forth.
Explore your identity by taking yourself out of your comfort zone.
The people you meet will be the foundation of your experience of travel.
It’s hard to enjoy travelling as much when you’re by yourself the entire time. I’m a massive advocate of solo travel. I think it’s one of the best self-development tools at our disposal.
But it’s lonely too! I recently spent 3 weeks travelling the east coast of Australia in my van by myself. It was cool, but I couldn’t escape the fact I wanted somebody to experience it with. The fact that the van was both my transport and accommodation meant meeting people was far harder!
The idea of introducing yourself to other people on the road might be daunting.
However, doing so will ensure you stave off the loneliness that can lurk in the background. More than that, though, you’ll meet some incredible people. The briefest conversation can win you a new travel companion and, in a crazily short period of time, a close friend to boot.
Put yourself out there, say hello to strangers, and your 6 months on the road will be all the better for it.
Look after yourself when travelling
Travelling has a habit of destroying your healthy diet and exercise regime you’re used to at home.
I mean, there’s just a lot that gets in the way! You’re out of your usual routine, staying in random accommodation that might have no access to any exercise facility. The country might be excruciatingly hot, making exercise a challenge. The idea of going for a run, or doing a workout in a park, feel downright unpleasant.
You’re also tired and, frankly, on a budget!
Go to hostel kitchens around the world and you’ll see people cooking instant noodles and washing it down with cheap beer…
Diet? What diet?
It’s not the end of the world when you’re on the road for a few weeks, or even a month or so.
But you’ll be travelling for 6 whole months. That’s half a year! Do what you can to live the healthiest lifestyle possible within your budget and physical capabilities. You’ll feel better for it, which will help you enjoy the experience more as a result.
Take a rest to recharge
Remember, you’re travelling for 6 months. Not 6 weeks.
There’s less need to hustle and bustle and rush your way around each destination. Travel is insanely tiring. Everything about it is taxing at physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
There will be times when all you want to do is chill. Listen to your mind and body in those moments and let yourself do it. Don’t burnout and make yourself unwell.
Remember, you could travel one country for an entire year and never see everything that’s there. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to see and do everything that your guidebook says you should.
It’s neither feasible, sensible, or, to be honest, enjoyable. Take your time, take a rest.
Get Off the Tourist Trail
The tourist trail is overrated.
It’s usually busy, crowded, overpriced, and far removed from what the actual culture and experience of the country you’re in.
Having said that, places become popular with tourists for a reason. They’re almost always some combination of beautiful, interesting, historic, and culturally significant. It’s natural for people to flock to these kinds of locations.
With 6 months on the road, though, you’ve got the time to get away from the touristy places too. You have the flexibility to just wander slowly through the streets, embracing the new country you’re in. You can speak with the locals, go to the markets, and generally get off the beaten track.
In my experience of travel, these are often the most rewarding moments of a trip. It’s when you really witness a country for what it is, without the distraction of tourism.
You’ll be at home before you know it.
But you’re sure to miss it anyway. Some people experience homesickness worse than others when they travel, but everyone’s sure to experience it on the odd occasion.
It just goes with the territory. You’re spending 6 months away from your nearest and dearest. You might be on the other side of the world, separated by thousands of miles. It would be stranger if you didn’t get homesick!
It’s never fun, and sometimes you just have to ride out the storm. You’ll get over it soon enough.
In the meantime, contact your friends and family! There’s nothing like a Facetime or Skype to soothe the open wound of homesickness. Sure, it might aggravate it in the short term- you realise what you’re missing.
However, you come away with a greater sense of connection, which is a major source of comfort. Equally, your mum will almost certainly want to know how you’re faring. Sending the odd message and sharing the occasional call will help keep her concerns at bay!
Time to Have the Best 6 Months Travelling Possible
Travelling is my biggest passion in life.
I love everything about the experience and think everyone should try it at least once!
6 months travelling is an awesome length of time to be away for. With months to play with, you stand a much better chance of enjoying the immense benefits that travel can provide.
However, 6 months can sounds longer than it really is. You can feel like there’s masses of time to spare, which can prevent you making the most of the opportunities available. Unfortunately, the reality is that 6 months of travel passes with exceptional speed.
It’s crazy how quickly you find yourself back at home. Hopefully, though, the tips in this post will help you enter into the experience with gusto, maximise the time at your disposal, and walk away having seen exactly what travel has to offer.
You can read more about Danny, his inspiration and travels on his new blog at Wise Healthy and Wealthy.
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Top tools for long term travelling
Always ensure you are covered for the unexpected. 6 months travelling is a long time and although you plan to have a save time, sometimes the unexpected happens. So, always ensure you have adequate travel insurance. Our go to travel insurance company is World Nomads and they are one of the leading travel insurance companies trusted by many.
If you are visiting multiple countries during your 6 months of travel you will probably need a visa to enter different countries. Below is a handy tool to check if that country you’re visiting requires a visa.