Full Time Travel vs. The Gap Year, Part 1 of 3

Wanderlust is a serious affliction. It can incite otherwise sane, mature people to sell everything they own and hit the road or to tell their employers they’re taking a year off so they can travel the world. If you have an acute case of wanderlust, you might be asking yourself some life-changing questions. Can I just run away and travel the world for rest of my life? What if I just take a year or so off and do a round-the-world trip?

We suspect there are quite a few of you out there grappling with questions like these. Some amount of very exciting long-term travel is in your future, but will it be as full time nomads or as a sabbatical? Do you sell it all with no particular plans of settling down again, or do you take a gap year (or gap 9 months or whatever seems comfortable)? If you’re asking these questions, then this blog and the two that follow are for you.

Let’s start with some definitions. Full time travel is setting out with no definitive plans of stopping travel. A sabbatical, or gap year, is travel for a (fairly) pre-defined period of time. We could try to add a few more distinctions to both types of nomadic travel—like whether working or not or whether planning to return to work or whether the home was sold—but none of those “stick” consistently to the profile of who might be considered full time travelers versus sabbatical travelers.

These three blogs are actually a collaboration between two couples, one who fits into the full time category, the other who fits into the sabbatical category. For the benefit of the readers of each other’s blogs, here are some introductions.

Travel bloggers Chuck and Lori
Travel Couple and Full Time Nomads Chuck and Lori 

Chuck and Lori of www.chuckandlori.com have always had a passion for travel. After 28 years of wedded bliss, they had traveled all over the US and the Caribbean and had 5 European vacations under their belt. Then, from late 2011 to 2012, everything changed: both of their kids moved out of the nest, Chuck sold his company, both of Chuck’s parent’s passed away, and Chuck lost 80 pounds. Life was radically different. They decided to travel and announced to the kids that, come June of 2014, they were going to Europe on 1-way tickets without any specific plans to come home. Of course, they did come home…just long enough to sell the house and keep on traveling.

Chuck and Lori’s 6 months in Europe in 2014 were something of a trial run. Was it truly possible to establish and maintain a lifestyle of perpetual travel? Could they make the transition from working at desks to working on the road? Is the travel lifestyle truly affordable and can it be perpetually sustainable? Can they be together 7×24 and not strangle each other? These are the questions they, as full time nomads, are constantly striving to answer and it favors lots into their blog.

Travel bloggers Andy and LuAnn
Travel Couple and Recent Round-The-World Trip Nomads Andy and LuAnn

LuAnn and Andy met through www.meetup.com in January 2008. They had both joined a local group for sailboat owners to connect with crew. Andy sent an invitation to sail, but since it was winter they decided to meet at an “International Travel for Singles” meetup where they immediately hit it off and agreed to travel to Brazil with the group that August. Throughout that summer they sailed, traveled to Brazil, and also went to Miami for a photo shoot and to Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding.

In April of 2009 they decided to get married, which they did that August after traveling to London, Paris and the Loire valley in France. LuAnn had breast cancer in 2000 and in August of 2010 she was diagnosed with a recurrence. After aggressive treatment they both decided they should not put off anything really important, and that’s really where the idea of full time travel really started to develop. After trips to Hawaii, Spain, The South of France and Venice in 2011 and 2012 they decided to sell the house and hit the road at the end of 2014.

We imagine, if you’ve read this far, that you’re considering either a full time travel lifestyle like Chuck and Lori or contemplating taking an extended amount of time away from careers and “regular life” to do some traveling like Andy and LuAnn. We get it; you aren’t getting any younger, are you? To help you get the perspective of both of the choices in front of you, in the 2nd blog in this series Chuck and Lori interview Andy and LuAnn, and in the 3rd blog Andy and LuAnn interview Chuck and Lori. We hope this will give you a better perspective on your nomadic ambitions.

Stay tuned…

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