The Hardest Part of Full-Time Travel…

CubaThe hardest part of full-time travel is leaving behind family, loved ones, and friends. When I travel, I don’t get to see new places and experience new things with my loved ones–I’m on my own. Traveling more and more and trying new things doesn’t erase the void in my heart–the absence of my family, boyfriend, and friends. Each time I leave home I embark on a new journey, destined to explore more of the world and learn more about myself, but a part of me doesn’t want to leave knowing that I am leaving the people I love behind. As I move forward exploring the world, they stay behind waiting for my return. As much as I love traveling full-time, the worst part is saying goodbye.

CubaI’ve been blessed throughout my 12 months of travel thus far to come back to Canada in between my trips to see my family, boyfriend, and friends. If I wasn’t able to return home in between my travels as often as I have I don’t know if I’d have the strength to continue on. Being away from them is the worst part. As supportive as they are, it still feels as if I’m moving on without them. It’s selfish of me to wish they could be with me throughout my travel journey knowing full well that they can’t; I still silently wish they were with me. It was me who left my job for a year to travel, not them. It was my choice. Yet, the hardest part of transitioning from a full-time teacher and full-time Master’s student to a full-time traveler is that I am constantly leaving my loved ones. No matter how rewarding traveling is, how many places I visit, the new things I try, or the amount of new friends I make, it will never replace the incredible relationships I have at home.  Catamaran Sailing

It’s the trust that my family, boyfriend, and friends will always be there for me no matter what I go through or where I go that carries me on. It’s the undeniable love they have for me that helps me through my homesick days. It’s the faith I have in them to know without a shadow of a doubt that I have the best family, boyfriend, and friends in the world. It’s the hope that my “at home cheerleaders” so to speak give me when I am off gallivanting the world while finding pieces of me which have been left behind on previous short-term trips. It’s to them that I’m able to do this and that this year is even possible. Without them I’d be lost and not able to go on. I’m forever grateful for their ongoing generosity, love, and support. Cuba

Typically, I’ve been able to make it back every couple months, but my longest and most difficult stint was 5 months away from home while I traveled northern Ontario, Miami & Key West, Australia, and New Zealand. I went five months straight away from my family, friends, and house. Four months away from my loving and supportive boyfriend. I couldn’t dream of a better support system. Who in their right mind would support someone to travel full-time for the majority of 14 months when it means you don’t get to see them throughout? My family, boyfriend, and friends have said YES to me as much as I have finally said YES to myself. I’m nearly brought to tears thinking about their selflessness in encouraging me to pursue my dreams when it means they loose me for months at a time. I couldn’t be more grateful. Cuba

CubaLast year, I started my year off with a trip to the Dominican Republic with my mom. I wish I could go on every trip with my loved ones, but I know that’s just not possible. Recently, after 4 months away, my boyfriend and I got to reunite and go on a vacation all of our own… to CUBA. Spending 8 days in Cayo Santa Maria was a dream come true because we got to explore a new turquoise destination together. For once I didn’t have to say goodbye, but rather we were able to travel together. It’s moments like this when 4 months away are erased and forgotten with a glimpse of the beautiful turquoise sea while holding the hand of the one I love. Cuba

With only two months left of full-time travel before I return to work, I’ll only be saying goodbye one more time when I depart for my 15 country trip in Europe. Even though I have said it more times than I can count, I am still dreading saying bon voyage again.Cuba

23 thoughts on “The Hardest Part of Full-Time Travel…

  1. Ownnn Jessica how sweet is this post…your words are so sincere and full of love! I know it must have been hard, and you are very lucky to be supported by your family and boyfriend. But I know that you will also miss this time of your life…every person you met along the way and all the beautiful places you have been. A year in your life to never forget!!! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m glad you get a sense of what I am going through because I am describing it the best I can. I’m just glad I have an amazing support system there for me. There is nothing like travel and I am blessed that I am able to experience it for long periods of time. I will never forget this year.
      Jessica, Turquoise Comment

  2. I’ve only gone on one “sightseeing” trip by myself ~ to St. Thomas for 10 days over Spring Break in college. Great experience.

    I took the Auto Train to NJ two years ago, by myself. Another fun experience since I sat with interesting folks in the lounge and dining cars.

    If I had to choose home with my BFF OR travel by myself, I would choose HOME!

    Enjoy your last 2 months “on the road.”

    • I’d love to visit St. Thomas. I hear it is beautiful.
      I started traveling by myself when I was 5 years old. I’m used to it and it’s part of my life; my mom instilled in me to be an adventurer! I love traveling by myself, and for long periods of time, but I hate leaving my loved ones behind (that’s the downfall). Luckily, I have an amazing support system who encourage me to go and explore this big world (and they would never hold me back–as I wouldn’t with them)! Sometimes I do it with them, yet this year I am exploring mostly on my own! I am blessed to have this amazing opportunity.

  3. Wonderful, loving post. I enjoyed hearing about the downside of missing your family, but I am glad you get to occasionally see new places with your loved ones. I always think investigating new places with friends and family is the best way to do it. You’re very brave, going on your own.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, there are always downsides to traveling, but I am powering through. I like traveling on my own, but I wouldn’t want to do it for too long because I miss my family, boyfriend, and friends too much. It’s much more fun with them!
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  4. I know how you feel. When I travel without my kids or my friend I always feel a little something missing. I see things I know they would love and get a little tinge of wishing they were there to see for themselves
    instead of just me telling them about it.

    • I guess knowing that there is something missing is what makes us human and know that we love something/someone more than ourselves. It’s that “something missing” that carries me on during the hard days. I get the exact same way! I see things that I want to share with them and tell them all about, yet I really wish they were with me experiencing it too.
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

    • Thank you so much for the award nomination. I’m so glad you thought of me and that you love my blog as much as I do. We share a love for the sea~! I shared your nomination on my social media sites. I hope it brings more traffic to your blog. I will share your nomination with my readers at my earliest convenience! Thanks again, Jessica

  5. Hi Jessica! I can imagine that it must be so hard to go off by yourself but also be firmly pulled by your desire to see more of the world! Before I got married, I travelled by myself and was always happy to leave but now, I can barely imagine leaving my hubby for a day. We are looking after our little one together with family in another city and another country. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere without hubby and baby so it’s easier for me to see your perspective.
    Thank goodness for technology now! It’s so much easier to even *see* the faces of your nearest and dearest every day, if you want that. (Even though I said I was happy to leave, I still was also thrilled to find an Internet café to reach them and pined deeply for emails from my fam! ;D)
    Take care and looking forward to your Europe posts! Hilary :>

    • I really do enjoy traveling alone, but I miss being with my family, boyfriend, and friends at the same time. There is something exhilarating about traveling alone on my schedule, my own time, and in the places I wish to see. Yet, there is nothing better than traveling with those you love.
      That’s amazing that you get to share a travel story with your husband and baby in new places. I’m sure now that you are married and have a baby it has changed the way you travel.
      Yes, thank heavens for technology. If it wasn’t for Facebook and Skype (and my blog) I wouldn’t have been able to stay in touch with those I love or do this for 14 months on and off.
      Thanks for your comment and the connection we share together.
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  6. That’s a great way to be! I suppose the joy of discovery must be completely irreplaceable for you. Everything has two sides and we cannot get it all, something has to give. You are very young, thus, you should enjoy your freedom. People are very different, and they also have different attitude towards many things as they get older. So enjoy the moment, take the best out of it, and life will show you where to go from there. Such a wonderful life style!

    • Yes, that’s very true, two sides to every experience. Thanks so much for the kind words, encouragement, and inspiration. You have such a positive view on life and I love having those kinds of people in my life.
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  7. I think this was definitely one of the toughest parts of our RTW trip, at least for my husband (I’m quite solitary and since we knew when we were going home, I was never homesick knowing exactly when I’d be seeing everyone again). That and just being in such unfamiliar surroundings – food, climate, language – got a bit much toward the halfway (3-month) point … it was definitely the low point of our trip, that one.

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