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How long is long when travelling

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11. Posted by Austrian (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Personally, seven months sounds wonderful. I would be concerned about the variety of places to see however. Southeast Asia, South America and India are quite varied. It might make more sense to do four months in South America and perhaps four or five months in India and Southeast Asia.
My guess is that if you are having second thoughts then seven months is too long. What I have done instead of backpacking is find a place to leave my baggage and then make two, three or four week trips from there with my rucksack. It is a way to get the best of backpacking yet bring more comforts from home. The only problem here is the scope and range of travel can be limited but you get to see a more detailed picture of the location you've chosen.
No matter what you decide it sounds like it will be great! Cheers!

12. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 9y

Throughout my first backpacking trip I kept expecting to be mostly fed up with it after a couple of months more. I planned on a whopping two years of travelling, but was fully prepared to turn tail and run home if the going got too tough. Yet that never happened, and so I lasted two years and two months before returning home (at which point I really felt as if I could continue on for months yet).
That's not to say that there were no bad moments, but as long as you allow time and space in your itinerary to just sit down in a hostel's lounge with a book and a cup of tea for a couple of days and not do anything, it's surprisingly easy to recharge during your travels. Especially when beyond those moments you keep seeing and experiencing so many incredible things that it just makes your mind soar, time after time; filling you with the realization that you're really there, doing the things you want to be doing.

13. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 9y

No, you are all wrong. The correct answer is 67 days. ;)

Just kidding, of course, the answer is it depends. My advice on a long trip is to plan down time, a few days here and there where you don't do anything other than sit around and chill out. When you first start, you'll probably feel a lot of pressure to always be doing something. Most people I know feel that if they are taking this big "trip of a lifetime," they better fill it up with experiences. But after a while, doing something everyday can REALLY burn you out. Make time to relax and do nothing. Hell, it is a vacation, right?

Quoting pathduck

Ok, are you guys up for one more question? How much can we except to spend per person if we use double rooms at dorms and low budget hotels, and don't overspend during daytime . As i mentioned earlier we will be staying in south america (argentina, chile, bolivia, peru), mexico, south east asia (vietnam, cambodia and laos) and india and nepal

For South America, in the countries you stated, I would expect that you could spend between $US 5 - $US 20 / day on either dorm or double accomodations, a minimum of $US 20 a day on food for the two of you, and then depending on how much you move around, costs for transportation. I know people who have done it pretty cheaply, but I would budget $US 60 a day for the two of you.

I always budget high, and then if I have extra, it allows me to slurge at the end. But my issue has always been that I have more money and less time. Those with less money and more time might approach the budgetting process differently.

Chile is the most expensive of the countries you listed. Argentina and Peru are cheaper than Chile, and Bolivia is really inexpensive.

Of course, you should probably post questions on budget in the individual regional forums, you'll get more response that way.

Enjoy the trip.

[ Edit: Edited on Aug 29, 2007, at 8:40 AM by GregW ]

14. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 9y

My situation was pretty similar to Sanders. I left home having planned 2 years on the road with a massive itinerary. I half expected to be turning around and coming home after just a couple of months or something but that never happened. I just wanted to keep on going. Like Greg said, in the inital days and even weeks I felt like I had to cram as much in as possible, but as I got used to the time and freedom I had I jsut started to relax into it and let things take their course.

Even when the time came for me to return home I had almost no desire to do so. It happened primarily for a family-related reason in the end. I even felt somewhat defeated when I got back, having not completed the trip I had originally envisaged.

I suppose it just differs for everyone. There are those who will burn out after a short time or just miss home too much. I dont think you will know that yourself until you actually get on the road and see how it suits you. That's what I found anyway. Extended backpacking seemed to suit me very well and stopping off and working along the way didn't so much.

My own guess is that you will easily travel for 7 months, and most likely find that too short even, particularly for those places that you intend travelling to. The weeks and months just speed past because of the wealth of experiences you are having. 7 months in front of a computer at home feels like a hell of a long time. 7 months out there on the road whizzes past in a beautiful blur.

15. Posted by anglosurma (Respected Member 106 posts) 9y

a room in south east asia can vary and are mostly double rooms thailand id budget about $10 us for bad accomadation

in vietnam cambodia about them same for tip top rooms

16. Posted by sushi_ (Budding Member 49 posts) 9y

Great thread

I am leaving on Sat for a round the world trip that will take 2 years which I think for most people would be too long, but you would be surprised by how quickly time flies, I travelled a bit before so I think that I should be okay, but I might be crying down the phone to my mum after a few weeks because I miss a good cup of tea and her Sunday roast!!

17. Posted by VagabondPT (Budding Member 11 posts) 9y

Hello!

If you haven't backpacked before, go for a test run. One month will do. It made wonders for my self-confidence. I now feel that I can take increasingly bigger challenges. :)

For those who have travelled two years, or those about to do so... I wonder the following: How did employers look at those two years? I'm planning to do things that I enjoy and that will make me grow as an individual, which is something the employers like. But... Will they find two years too much?

On another note, I would like to know if one year and a half/ two years is realistic to go from Lisboa to Auckland by land an sea. I'm planning to cross southern Europe to Turkey. From there to Iran and Central Asia. India and southeast Asia being the next hop. Oceania being the last stop.

Help?

18. Posted by vxmike (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

You won't know until you try it! Why not err on the side of preparing a longer trip versus a short one? Unless you buy non-refundable/non-changable airfare you can always go home early if you get tired of travelling.

Personally there is no "too long" for me. I find "home" to be the most boring thing on earth. Same thing (or close to it) every day. When I'm home I just work all the time and that's about it. If I could travel indefinitely I would, just vagabonding and leaving my car/possessions with family/friends.

19. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 9y

Quoting VagabondPT

For those who have travelled two years, or those about to do so... I wonder the following: How did employers look at those two years? I'm planning to do things that I enjoy and that will make me grow as an individual, which is something the employers like. But... Will they find two years too much?

Because of my two years abroad, I decided I'd rather be self-employed - and I also worked in my chosen profession (web developer) while abroad - so my experience probably isn't really applicable to a lot of other people. Still, such reactions as I've had on those few projects where I've been working on location and thus went through an 'interview' were generally very positive about me doing that. Taking a year off is already almost 'common', so two years shows you go just a bit further than most. And beyond that all the usual positive connotations apply - you'll be seen as independent, capable of dealing with the unknown/unexpected and having a much broader base of experiences than those who stayed at home working.

20. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

I think that it depends on if you are staying put in one place, or if you are travelling around the world with stopping a maximum of a week in a place. If it is staying put in one place, then I'd say 2 months is a long time, but if it is travelling about I haven't come to that stage yet of where I'd consider it a long time and so far I've been on two RTW trips one being for 4 months and another being for 7 months. I guess it depends on how much you enjoy being a tourist lugging a backpack around or if you dislike being in a different place of accommodation every few nights. If you did dislike those things then 1 month would be long, but if you like all of that then long should never be an issue because you are enjoying your time too much to think about how long it has been that you've been away.

On my first RTW trip which was 4 months I rushed around all over the place especially in Europe and even though rarely I got more than 7 hours sleep and regularly stayed in airports overnight, I could have lived like that forever (and still could for that matter). On my 2nd RTW trip which was 7 months (going to same regions as you and more), I took it at a little bit easier pace but still seeing a lot of places in a short amount of time and found that I probably liked the 2nd one slightly more than the first despite the fact I had terrible bad luck on numerous occasions. I think this was because I got to see more out of the way places, places that aren't so hot on the tourist trail and also experience the cultures in a deeper way. I say you should be tight with your money making it last for as long as possible and stay travelling until you only have enough to return home. Travelling is the best thing you can do for yourself and is also something that needs to be done while you are young (at least the longer trips do). When you are in your 30's or older you are most likely wanting to have settled down, probably got children meaning you can't afford to travel overseas, have also got a career you want to stick with, own a house and wont have the luxury of taking a large amount of time off to travel. If you only take a short trip you'll regret it later on.

As soon as I stepped off the plane landing back home, I already wanted to turn back and leave to keep travelling and that only got worse until I finally saved up enough to get out and travel again for 7 months. I'm now in the same position again and can't wait to get the hell out of here and see more of the world. If only I could win lotto and backpack around the world to every non wartorn/terrorist run country in the world until the day I die!

[ Edit: Edited on Sep 4, 2007, at 5:52 AM by aharrold45 ]