Last updated on 7 December, 2022
What is it like to travel full time? Let us debunk ten full time travel myths and discuss the realities of what it is like to be a full time traveller in Australia. You may be surprised.
Commonly held beliefs and assumptions about the realities of full time travel are hardly surprising. You only have to scroll through our Instagram feed to see an endless stream of highly glossed photos and edited videos of travel locations. Sure some post about the less appealing aspects of travel, but not very often. For the most part, it is not hard to see why many people conclude that travel life is expensive, endlessly fun and only for a lucky few.
What is it really like to travel Australia full time? The common travel myths debunked in this post are related to full time travel in a caravan around Australia.
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- 10 Full Time Travel Myths
- 1. Only the Lucky to Get to Travel Full Time
- 2. Full Time Travel Around Australia is for Everyone
- 3. Living Full Time on the Road Has No Downsides
- 4. There is No Housework To Do
- 5. You Will Never Argue with Each Other
- 6. Every Day is Like a Holiday
- 7. Full Time Travellers Never Want to Stop Travelling
- 8. Never Ending Travellers are Fit and Healthy
- 9. Full Time Travel is for Everyone
- 10. Full Time Travel is too Expensive for Most People
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10 Full Time Travel Myths Australia
1. Only the Lucky to Get to Travel Full Time
Many of us travelling Australia full time feel lucky to live what we believe is our best lives.
Planning, determination and action made it possible for us to live on the road indefinitely. Some people are on the road full time within weeks or months of making the decision. For others like us, it takes a year or more.
We each have our unique story about why and how we came to be travelling continuously, but for non of us, was it just luck.
2. Full Time Travel Around Australia is for Everyone
Undoubtedly those of us that have decided to travel full time in Australia are grateful that we can. We organise our lives so we can live the nomadic life. It was a choice.
There are also countless people to whom the idea of long term travel does not appeal, even if they thoroughly enjoy long holidays and travelling. The life of constantly moving to new places, living in a space as small as a caravan and having no long term career is not for everyone. Heck, we do not even have a regular doctor.
For some, the constant changes, uncertainty, the lack of regularity is exciting and adds to the sense of adventure. For others, it is either not appealing or causes anxiety. It is okay not to want to travel all the time.
3. Living Full Time on the Road Has No Downsides
What a load of hogwash. Indefinite travel has many fantastic benefits and positives but to say there are no negatives is short sighted and wrong.
The negatives of full time travel will vary for each traveller. Some of the common drawbacks are:
- losing contact with family and friends,
- missing out on family and friends’ small or big moments (their life goes on without you),
- your family and friends are happy for you, but their interest in what you are doing day to day or about your travels is minimal,
- you miss out on being part of groups or clubs (I miss book club),
- it is impossible to have something like a garden (not something I miss but is a big deal for some).
4. There is No Housework To Do
Pfft! We do caravan housework every single day.
Every day we do the dishes, make the bed, put stuff away, sweep the floor and wipe down surfaces. It is necessary to do this every day in a caravan because, in a small space, clutter, dirt, sand and dust are more noticeable and build up quickly.
There is still laundry to do. Constantly there is laundry to do. Plus the shopping, cooking and for us looking after the dog. You know, all those chores that are always a part of life.
Granted, the housework in a caravan takes considerably less time than in a house. Still, it is not none. No one is travelling with a housekeeper.
5. You Will Never Argue with Each Other
Only non travellers think this. A favourite activity amongst ongoing travellers is to pull up a chair and grab a drink, then watch a newly arrived couple to a campground set up. The arguments that often occur between couples setting up are incredibly entertaining.
Setting up aside, living in a small space and being together nearly 24/7 for months on end is prime for arguments to happen from time to time. We all find ways to manage tensions, learn how to give each other space in a caravan and regroup. And if we do not, we are potential entertainment for others.
6. Every Day is Like a Holiday
I wish. But even holidays can be exhausting.
Here is it. Sometimes perpetual travel is tedious. Well, some days are.
Funnily though, it is sometimes a welcome relief for the occasional day to be tedious. We call these our down days, where we do nothing travel related. Instead, we might watch movies, sleep most of the day, chatter on the phone to family or friends, watch dog rescue videos on the net or, as Daryl prefers, garage sale or golf videos.
Days of constant sightseeing and activity are exhausting. Downtime helps recharge our batteries.
7. Full Time Travellers Never Want to Stop Travelling
Many travellers set out to be nomadic with no actual end date. Many travellers know that they will not want to travel endlessly, forever. Instead are open to travelling for as long as they want to and stopping when they have had enough.
Daryl and I have met travellers on the road for ten to twenty years with no desire to stop. Most, though, have been on the road for less than five years.
To stop full time travel in our caravan is highly probable for us. It will not be any time soon, but one day. I imagine a future life, half the time living on a property and the other half trekking around Australia and the world.
In the meantime, stopping to work and becoming a part of a community for a short time helps keep the balance between moving all the time and setting down some (temporary) roots.
8. Never Ending Travellers are Fit and Healthy
Undoubtedly, travel can do wonders for your health and fitness, both physically and mentally. It can, but it is not a given.
Amongst travellers, as with non travellers, the amount of exercise and the kind of diet eaten is varied. It is easy to be idle as a traveller as it is to be highly active. It all comes down to individual choices.
The same applies to what we eat. My weight is constantly up and down on the road. It seems to correlate with whether or not I am working. If I work, I eat less. I lose weight. If we are travelling, I eat more, so I put on weight.
As someone travelling with a generalised anxiety disorder, travel has been the best. My mental health has never been better. It is not simply the travelling that has helped, but rather that I have time for the activities that help, like walking, yoga and meditation.
9. Full Time Travel is for Everyone
Full time travel is not for everyone and that is okay. Full time travel is also not a forever venture for all of us doing it either.
Some people want roots, a house and a community. For some people living in a space as small as a caravan is unimaginable. Also, for them, travel is not freedom; it is uncertainty.
If travelling is not for you, that is okay. Equally, if travel was for you but is no longer, that too is okay.
Daryl and I have no end date. We plan to take our travels overseas in a few years. We also have a Plan B in our minds of what we would like to be doing if the never ending nomadic lifestyle is no longer sustainable for us or it stops being enjoyable. Our Plan B is why we still own our home.
Related read: Is it Better to Sell or Rent Your House to Travel?
10. Full Time Travel is too Expensive for Most People
Budgets and expenses amongst travellers are varied. It is not unusual to see campground setups that range from a cheap tent to a massive fifth wheeler and everything in between.
Some travellers spend only hundreds a week. Some spend nearly $2k a week. The rest of us fall somewhere in between.
The odds are, for most people, it is cheaper to live on the road than in a house. That is not to say that travelling costs on a big lap around Australia cannot blow out if allowed.
Full time travel myths debunked! If you want to travel indefinitely or do the big lap, then do it. There are loads of ways to save money while caravanning. There is also plenty of jobs for full time travellers available around the country if you need to top up your funds.
If also, like us, you want to travel Australia with your dog, our posts on Should You Travel Australia with your Dog and How to Best Plan a Trip Around Australia with your Dog may be helpful.