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On a cold afternoon in Ottawa, I sit down with my good friend Rob to discuss the benefits of travel with a specific emphasis on long-term travel and/or indefinite travels.
We first discuss how travel has changed our lives by kicking the routines we had in the past and no longer grinding it out doing things we don’t really enjoy.
Rob talks about how he always wanted to travel but then got boggled down by a job, a house that he bought and a serious girlfriend. However, he’s glad he had that experience because he’s now able to fully understand that doing kind of thing is not for him. Rob mentions that travel offers him ultimate freedom. The kind of freedom which you can’t really describe.
Waking up and not knowing what time it is or what day it is with only your body as your natural alarm clock.
Moreover, long-term travel and going abroad lets you understand more about the world as you explore different cultures, different cuisines and meet different people who may have an entirely different value system from you. You realize that we’re basically all the same and that we all want to experience love, happiness and sense of fulfillment in our lives. You make friends with people of all different walks of life. After a while nothing is weird anymore – just different.
In the past we both valued money a lot more than we did today. Now we realize in order to get that money you have to make a lot of sacrifices in terms of time and sweat. We’re more careful of what we now do with our time and money. Material possessions are not our primary concern either because having a backpack full of just the bare essentials makes you realize you don’t need all that stuff you once thought was important. We’d rather live rich lives versus having a rich bank account.
There are many spots all over the world where you can live for a fraction of the cost of North America. You can decide to go to places in Europe, Africa, South America, Central America or Asia while maintaining a high standard of living, eating local cuisine and enjoying life.
So free yourself from the possessions, free up some time and enjoy life. If a couple of guys like us can do it so can you!
Alright, so today I’m coming live from Rob’s awesome basement pad here in Ottawa, Canada. Hello. And Rob is one of my good friends. He does what we do. He has an awesome website called Stop Having A Boring Life dot com and a YouTube channel by the same name without the dot com. Stop Having A Boring Life. An awesome YouTube channel and a really good friend. I think we first met last year in Leipzig. Yeah, we met in Germany. And we’ve known each other online for a long time. Two or three years. I have a lot of respect for what Rob is doing and today what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about a pretty cool topic. The benefits of long-term travel. We’ve both been doing a lot of travel in the last decade and we just want to talk about sort of how it has changed our lives and just what it does to you as a person to sort of get away from the grind. To kick the routine and to do something outside of the box. So, what got you into travel? What brought it all on for you?
I always wanted to travel and I wanted to leave and do some traveling right after University but then I realized that everyone I saw that left right away – and they went away for maybe 5 or 6 months – they came back broke, they got a job and they never went again. I wanted to go away for longer so the plan was to work for one year and then leave. But that never happened. I got a house, I had a serious girlfriend, my career started developing and I didn’t end up leaving for several years which turned out to be a really good thing. And the reason why is I really know what the other side of the coin is like and I know what it is like going to work 9 to 5. I know what it is like spending all of your time doing a job that doesn’t really fulfill you and then trying to fit in what you do want to do with your life with the little bit of spare time you have afterwards. So above all else, travel gives you freedom and it is not like. It is freedom that can’t be described. When you don’t know what day of the week it is. I love that. You just wake up with no idea. You’re like an animal or something. You’re not in this programmed. I just wake up when I’m ready to wake up and I go to bed when I’m ready to go to bed and then you basically do what you want. Granted don’t think that you’re not going to work a lot. Chances are you’re going to work infinitely more than you ever did in your previous job but if you are smart and you’re lucky it’s not work because it is something you like doing so you basically you’re a kid again and you can just spend all of your time doing what makes you happy and if you can make a living from that all the better.
I know. That’s the ultimate. Doing what you love and getting on the road. Getting back to what Rob said not knowing what day it is. You know the only time I know what day it is or what time it is for that matter is when I’ve got a flight to catch or something. That is the only time I set my alarm clock. Otherwise, I just wake up when I want to, my body naturally wakes up and to me that is just priceless.
Yeah, it really really is. And a good way that I sometimes remind myself is sometimes I’ll wake-up and I’ll be all ready to go and I’m excited to do stuff or I won’t be in the mood or whatever but then I think in my mind of like oh imagine if I had to go to work right now and then suddenly my day becomes so much more comfortable and I just want to stay in bed but there is more to life than that.
Something else that I think is really amazing about long-term travel is that it gives you a really good understanding of the world you live in. And for other people depending on where you are from I don’t know how multicultural it is but you might be hanging out with a lot of people from very similar backgrounds to yourself with similar values and similar interests, hobbies, etc. When you travel you get exposed to full gauntlet and above all else you realize that everyone is basically the same. We all want love, happiness and security and we all want to have a good time. And it is just really cool because if you do this a while you end up developing friends all around the world that are all of all different shapes, sizes, ethnicites, interests and it just really widens your view of the world.
It is like if you stay in one place it is almost you’ve got this box. You’ve boxed yourself in but the more you travel, the more you see the world, the more you experience different cultures, different foods, different people. People with different belief systems. All this stuff. It is like you just makes your world go from this to this. That is really what it is all about.
A good way of explaining this is a lot of people when they see something they don’t understand, they say that is weird, but never say that is weird. Just say that is different because you think it is weird because from what you’re used to doing it is different. It is not any weirder and then if you were to go over there they might look at what you’re doing and think that is weird but you wouldn’t appreciate saying what you do is weird. It is different. It is just different.
Let’s keep going with this topic because it is awesome. How has long-term travel sort of changed your value system? What are some of the things you really value now that maybe you didn’t before you started doing this.
I used to value money a lot more. I used to think that if you had a lot of money or if I managed to get a lot of money everything would change. But I don’t anymore.
You need a certain amount of money to be comfortable and actually you want to be more than comfortable. You want to be well off where you’re comfortable and you can afford to buy things you might want but I’ve found that more comfortable and well off you become the less things you actually do want. So if you were to say to go to some kid with nothing. A normal eight year old kid and say what do you want from this store. And since they’re not paying for it they have no concept of value of what a dollar is. They want everything. Whereas if you get older and you don’t have enough to buy anything you still want whatever you can get but the moment you actually start having enough to buy what you want you start looking at it and being do I even want that? Because at the end of the day all the money you have is basically stored energy. And you had to trade sweat and energy to get that money that you can then trade for other things. So just hold on to that energy.
Yeah, so you want to have a rich life versus a rich bank account. Yeah, exactly. I feel the same way too. I really value my time now more than money. I value having flexibility in my schedule and being in charge of my own schedule. Having the opportunity and the ability to basically be wherever I want doing whatever it is. And like you said, we work hard. We put in long hours but we do what we love and that makes it all worthwhile in the end.
And you can live a really really rich life without spending a tonne of money. I mean obviously everything costs money but. There are so many spots all over the world in Asia, in South America, Central America, Europe and Africa where you can live for a fraction of the cost. And keep your standard of living. You can live well. You can have a nice apartment, really good nightlife, have awesome access to restaurants, a really good expat community, really good opportunities to interact with locals and awesome opportunities to eat local cuisine and you don’t have to be staying where you are. You have so many options.
One thing I’ve noticed that kind of interesting is that a lot of people from North America especially – they have everything but they’ll always look and go I can’t afford to travel or I can’t afford to do this but they have everything.
Something cool about long-term travel is that you are moving a lot. See you can’t physically accumulate things. And if you look around your house mostly the things you have might have been really important to you at some point but now are they just sitting and collecting dust? Well, you traded the energy I was mentioning earlier for those things. So why not just skip the things altogether, be happy with what you have and see the world. Adventure.
And you know when you’ve been traveling for a long time and say you’ve left a box of stuff say at your own house or at your parents house or at a friends house. Often times when you come back and look in that box you don’t even remember what is in there. You’ve learned to live without it and it is just stuff. Stuff can be replaced.
When I was in University the day before I left my house burnt down and I had all of this stuff that I was going to bring back with me that I thought I needed to live with. Well, when it all left it was all completely gone and I realized that I really didn’t need any of it and that was a big awakening moment for me. So when I left this time, which was like, now it has been over five years I sold everything I had and anything I couldn’t get rid of I just gave away to people. You know what, if you were to now say, Robert list all of the stuff you had that you loved all I could think of was like my couches and stuff. I don’t even know what I had anymore and so there is this old expression. Which is when you go through life you want to be the guy calling the shots and if you just start collecting things you become like the donkey getting dragged through life whose back hurts from carrying all this stuff that you don’t need. That’s so true.
So have a dogs life. They’re so happy because they don’t have to worry about anything.
So free yourself from the possessions, free up some time, enjoy life and that what the message has been in this video and if a couple of guys like us can do it so can you.
And, you know, literally anyone can do it. I’ve met people from all walks of life. You just need to want it. And you need to really really want it. So many people want something and then when it doesn’t really work out for them they kind of change their mind and they get all hopeless on it and then they want it again. No, no no. You need to want it and work towards it and you’ll get it. So this is awesome man. Thanks for coming on, keep living the dream Rob. Boom!