So here I am with a brand-new travel blog, and I’m asking myself what seems like a pretty silly question: am I travelling too much?
The answer should be a resounding never! But let’s be real: I am not a highly-paid (or low-ly paid, for that matter), media-savvy digital nomad whose travels are being bankrolled by their hard work on the road. When I travel, it’s out of my own pocket.
Part of my question is, am I getting to the point where those pockets have limited depth? Even with some money saved, should I really be spending it all on travel?
All these questions are coming up because M. has already answered this question for himself. He took a 3-month sabbatical from work (though he is occasionally working remotely) to travel in Europe with his family. It’s been more than 8 years since he moved to Australia and he hasn’t been back home for more than a month at a time in all those years, so he needed it. And of course, he’s carefully saved for years to be able to afford this break.
I’m not quite as money-conscious, or at least I wasn’t until about a year ago, so I definitely couldn’t afford 3 months of unpaid time plus the cost of such a big trip. I’m happy for him to have his independent Italian time to recharge his batteries, but it does mean that I’m flying solo in the depths of the Melbourne winter for 12 weeks. Which, while it’s nowhere near the level of intense I’m used to in a Canadian winter, is generally dark, dreary, and full of rainy days (it’s raining as I type this, in fact).
So when I found out a few days after my return from Mongolia that a work project I usually have to slog away at in the first week of October was being contracted out, I started to dream about heading off on another holiday.
Which, I am fully aware, is a bit excessive, right? I get back from a big, pretty expensive, very adventurous two-week trip and want to head out on another one in only 10 weeks?
The reality is that I used to travel like that a few years ago. In 2014, I went to Canada, Myanmar, and Italy, all in the space of 6 months. Yes, it sounds amazing and jet-setting– but I’ll direct your attention back to the part about not being money-conscious above. That kind of constant travel, even though I was travelling on the cheap most of the time, was completely draining me financially.
While that was fine then, we’re starting to think and plan more seriously about taking 8 months to a year to travel South America in the very near future. Is it irresponsible of me to tap into those savings for a trip so soon after I just got back from one?
And don’t even get me started on all the other, responsible things I could be spending my money on (house deposit, retirement fund, investments, etc). I’m not ready to think about those grown-up things yet… am I? Let’s stay in denial on that one.
Now I guess I’m still at a crossroads: I technically can afford to take a fun trip to Fiji or Japan in a few months, but it would take a big dent from my South America fund. If I stay home, though, am I just going to wallow in my self-pity and end up spending half as much on brunch and drinks in Melbourne as I would on travel?
I don’t have the answers, but I’m pretty lucky to be asking the questions.