Whether you’re getting a sabbatical from work, you’re taking a break between finishing your education and getting a job, you’re retiring, or you’re simply throwing caution to the wind and hitting the road, traveling for three months, six months, or a year or more can be life changing. Even if you’re not the type to over-plan and you hope to leave much of your journey up to whim, a certain amount of preparation is necessary. It’s far too much preparation to cover in a short article, but the tips below may be things you haven’t considered.
Going Over Land
If your first thought has been about stringing together a series of plane journeys between major cities, slow down and take another look. Much of the world travels over land and doing so can give you an entirely different experience and put you in touch with locals in a way you wouldn’t be when you’re skipping from airport to airport. Trains and buses are also a great way to cover a lot of scenery in a relatively short time, and unlike flying, which is usually just about trying to get from one place to another, traveling by train or bus becomes part of the journey itself in a much more immersive way. If you’re feeling more intrepid, you might even want to consider making a portion of the journey by bicycle, motorcycle, boat, or on foot. Over land options can also be much cheaper than flying from place to place.
Your Life Insurance Policy
Making sure your affairs are in order is often one of the tasks people do when they’re embarking on long-term travel, but what about selling your life insurance policy? You might not be aware that a life insurance policy, including term life insurance, can have a substantial cash value, and this can be a great way to fund your trip. There may be limitations. A life settlement requires you to be at least 65 years old while a viatical settlement requires you to have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. If either of these applies to you, you can read more about selling your term life insurance policy to find out if this is a possibility for you.
You may be thinking of this as primarily an extended vacation, but a possibility that might allow you to extend your travels is working. You can’t just go to another country, walk into a place, and get a job like you can at home as you need a work visa, but one tried and true work opportunity for native English speakers in much of the world is teaching English. This is one type of work you can be granted a work visa to do in many countries. If you’re interested in this possibility, try to take a training course before you set off. Just speaking the language doesn’t make you an expert, and people are often paying money relative to their salary for these classes. If you’d like to spend more time in one place, get to know a particular culture better and shore up your travel budget, this is one way to do it.
Consider Your Goals
An interesting question to ask yourself as you’re planning your trip is what you hope to get out of it. You don’t need to be goal-oriented in the traditional sense of the word, meaning that you need to come away having accomplished a particular set of objectives. However, you might want to think about what you would like to take away with you. Do you want to become more adaptable, learn more about the world, or get better about leaving your comfort zone? Maybe you want to become more adept at talking to strangers or you hope to learn to slow down and be more thoughtful. Write down your goals at the start of your trip and take note of whether they change over the course of your travels.