Live, Travel and Learn: Thoughts from the Road
Spending time on the road, I realized important things related to the side effects of long-term travel. I understood the importance of preserving some privacy if you're traveling in a couple. When you have a limited budget, hostels in expensive countries, like Japan, are the cheapest option and they are great—you meet people from all over the world, and you can have inspiring conversations and exchange tips. What you have to consider, though, is that after a couple of days sleeping in a bunk bed you might lose intimacy with your partner—it's important to remember that a couple needs some privacy. After three or four days in a hostel, I highly recommend an Airbnb for your next destination. The choice between hotels and Airbnb takes us to next consideration.
When I stay in a place just for a couple of days, I tend to choose a hotel or a hostel because the check-in process is faster and easier. When, instead, I stay in a place for more than four days I usually choose Airbnb. I like the idea of finding a home away from home, but the check-in process depends on the host. Once you receive your booking confirmation, you still have to write the owner of the place and figure out a way to meet to get the keys. Sometimes the process can be fast and easy, some other times it can be time-consuming. The best way to enjoy long-term travel is to alternate the two mentioned options.
When you travel, you can be easily taken by the fear of missing out, and you want to see as much as you can. My husband and I love walking, but most of the times our excitement makes us forget that our body needs some rest. It's essential to remember that relaxing is a must. After a couple of full days running to explore, book one more night at your next destination and dedicate that day to laundry and personal space.
My husband and I planned this trip keeping in mind the freedom to change our plans along the way. We prepared a document with the must-see and do in all the countries, and we decided to book each destination step by step. I think this is the best way to travel long-term because you never know what can happen on the road—it's better to keep your options open until the last minute. We decided to chase the sun during this trip and choose the next destination based on the weekly forecast. We changed our itinerary in Japan based on this criteria, and we waited to book the flight for the next destination. Unfortunately, when we checked the prices to go to Taipei (our next destination), they had gone up, and we changed our plans once more to get the cheapest option. It's never a good idea to leave between Friday and Sunday. We learned that freedom of choice while traveling is precious, but you also have to consider that flights need to be booked at least fifteen days before departure.
Live, travel and learn!