Admit it…this is what we picture ourselves doing when we think of our lives as travellers!
Life is just a wonderful series of white sandy beaches and insanely blue water. While this life we have chosen definitely contains a serious amount of these moments it also comes hand in hand with some rubbish times as well. While these are the sorts of photos we like to show off on our instagram (@thecoastalcampaign – have a swizzle), its gotta be said that it aint all sunshine and rainbows when you live life on the road.
I wanted to take a look at some of the gritty truths that exist in a nomadic life. You should be fully prepared for both the ups and downs that await in your new life.
The One Ply Life
One ply toilet paper! Get used to it. In a life spent counting the pennies, staying in cheap accomodation will be the norm. Gone are the days of puppy soft four ply Andrex toilet tissue. This is one of the little luxuries you never even knew you had in your normal life. This everyday use of single ply paper will really allow you to get in touch with your inner self…just probably not in the way you had hoped!
Living In Dorms
The search for cheap accomodation will most likely lead you to living in a dorm room with 4 – 12 other people. That means snoring roommates, being woken up at 3 am by drunk people and then again at 5am as others go to work, living out of your backpack and never getting a minute of privacy. But hey, who cares when you get to stay in some truly amazing places. My favourite hostel below is located right on the beach, and next to a house valued at over $2 million. So ill take the odd crappy nights sleep to wake up to this every day.
Being Broke All The Time
Life on the move is pretty expensive. Flights, accommodation, food and nights out are a real killer to the bank balance. I have been on the road for 5 years and have felt poor pretty much the whole time which really sucks after a while. Its just something you are going to have to live with and get used to.
The upshot of it all though is that you’re poor for a reason. You get to spend all that money seeing some of the coolest places with wicked people that you will meet along the way. Cash poor but living a rich life…or some philosophical BS like that!
You Will Lose Money On A Car Or Van
Me and Josh and every other person that has ever travelled to Australia left with one great vision in mind. To buy our own van and road trip around the country. We bought our motorhome for $8000 and sold it 3 months later for $5000. Ouch! Like most backpacker vans it was old and beaten up and had never really been looked after. When it came time to sell it had loads of various issues that slashed the value. I cant tell you how many people I have met with the same story.
But sure as Gods got Sandals it was three of the best months of my entire life. Just me and three friends, cruising round in the old beast with no plans and endless possibilities. So yeah it cost us a few grand but it was money well spent if you ask me.
Food Poisoning is Inevitable
You’re walking down the street in Mexico and you pass a place selling the most delicious looking tacos for less than a dollar each. Well sign me up! This actually happened to me in Mexico recently and boy did I pay the price. I spent the night throwing my guts up and they definitely did not taste as good the second time.
Your adventures to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and all these other countries will allow you to try some of the best and cheapest food going. So yeah you may spend a night over the toilet but like hell if that’s going to stop me buying delicious street tacos again.
Saying Goodbye All The Time
Everywhere you go you will meet amazing people. Fun, wild and crazy adventurers like yourself that you will find an instant connection with. The first day I met my friend Justin in Australia we joked that we would get tattoos for each other. Fast forward 3 months and we are in a tattoo studio in Bali and I’m watching him get a leprechaun inked onto his thigh for me. I would like to say I got the beaver riding a moose like we talked about but I chickened out. Sorry buddy.
Justin is still one of my best buddies. He was one of the people that made the trip for our big reunion in Germany in 2017. We made an instant connection and became best friends. But after just a few months of knowing one another we parted ways as we both had different plans. This blows, and it never gets easier. Get used to saying hard goodbyes to some great people. But look forward to reuniting in some awesome little corner of the world.
The One Ply Life isn’t perfect but don’t let the few crap things that are guaranteed to come get in the way of the all round amazing life it gives you.