Guest blog post by Hellen McAdams

So you like to travel?

Going to new places, meeting new faces and experiencing different cultures sounds like a dream come true to most people who like travelling.

But, it takes much more than occasional 10-day long road trips to consider yourself a true globetrotter. Don’t worry, for your journey might as well start here!

Plan Ahead

If you intend to spend your year constantly on the move in your motorhome for the first time, changing your base of operations, you need to be really good at planning. And by saying that, we mean really good!

"Road trip plan for West Texas" BY Sheila Scarborough via flickr.com/photos/sheilascarborugh/7276082432 under a Creative Commons attribution CC BY 2.0. Full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.

Ability to schedule everything might prove challenging. Comparing flight prices and buying tickets when you’re on a budget or booking your stay months ahead can be harder than you thought in the first place.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Look up first-hand experiences of travelers that already paid a visit to the destination you would like to go. Numerous forums may be a good start for doing this. Make sure to absorb as much information as you can from people who are active on community boards.
  • When planning to visit some of the third-world countries which are getting more and more popular lately, you might need to check on some special documentation requirements that they may have. For example, passport photo requirements may be different from country to country. Or you may need a special document or two to be able to traverse those countries if you are traveling by car.

And, while we’re at it, check for some cheap car rentals online and consider arranging a car to wait for you at the airport. Renting online is usually much cheaper than doing it in-office.

  • You might want to pay a visit to travel insurance company. Take no chances!

Image BY Mike Mozart via flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/14078759616 under a Creative Commons attribution CC BY 2.0. Full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

  • Plan your stay carefully at whichever destination you choose. Familiarise yourself with country’s culture, cuisine and their landmarks. Make a list of things you should visit while you are there. You might not get a second chance!

Planning trips in advance is often similar to planning road trips. In the end, you will come back to where you started.

Plan every landmark you’ll visit along the way. So, for example, if you are planning to visit Australia, possible road trips may include:

  • Following the Great Ocean Road along Australia’s south coast.
  • Sydney to Brisbane drive if you are more into metropolitan scenery and city life.
  • Visiting Mount Kosciuszko, highest peak of the continent.

Image BY Christian Schmitt via flickr.com/photos/usiruk/24181946626 under a Creative Commons attribution CC BY 2.0. Full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

  •  While you are at it, you might as well book one of the Thredbo alpine apartments and enjoy skiing Snowy Mountains in June, July or August.
  • Road trip in Australia’s Northern Territory and visit iconic places including Kakadu National Park, Darwin, Katherine and Litchfield.

The possibilities are endless!

So, if you want to make it this far you definitely need to do your homework and plan your entire trip.

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Leap Forward

It requires a great deal of courage to give up your every day routine, leave the comfort of your home and the cozy cafes you’re accustomed to and embark into the unknown.

Don’t be afraid!

You are not the first and you won’t be the last one doing it.

Image BY Neville Wootton via flickr.com/photos/nevillewootton/33008463640 under a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 2.0. Full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

Be prepared to meet lots of new people along the way. Most of them will be on the same mission as you are. Cherish every moment of your trip and collect souvenirs to make the memory last forever.

It’s no doubt that leaving your comfort zone can be very tricky from a psychological standpoint.

Here’s what you can consider doing:

  • Start a travel journal! Write it as if you’re addressing your best friend waiting for you back home. This will help you maintain emotional link with the people you left behind.
  • Bring something that will remind you of your home. Something that has sentimental value and that will help you out when you are feeling homesick.
  • Travel in pairs! Travelling solo is good but if you have someone with whom you can share your passion for travelling – you basically have all you need!

In situations like this I always advise people to read or watch some material on the subject. This may also help overcome any doubts on whether it is the right time or not to embark on this adventure.

Make It Last Forever

Choosing the nomadic life and touching bases everywhere in the world is more or less something that we can do while we are still young, or while our spirits are young and adventurous.

Perhaps, someday will come the day when we will feel that it’s time to finally settle.

When that time comes, you will be more than happy and proud to remember all the nice things that you experienced on your trips.

Good advice for all the future travellers is to take as souvenirs and pictures as they can. These will make them remember the people they met, the locations they visited and the moments they shared. Create an album, hang pictures on the wall, place these objects that have value to you all around the house..

I always recall ending of one of my favourite movies, Danny Boyle’s “The Beach”. The ending quote pretty much sums it all up for us nomadic souls:

And me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for, ’cause it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something, and if you find that moment… it lasts forever…