My travel confessions

Vintage travel labels

I’ve been travelling for almost 20 years now – and blogging about it for the last two. So when I get occasional emails from new bloggers or people planning their next trip, I love helping out and sharing my advice and experiences. Travel is my passion and it’s great to be able to share it and encourage other people to see the world. But I can’t help feeling like a little bit of a fraud sometimes, because in some ways I’m a bit of a rubbish traveller. I’m miles away from that stereotype of a ‘serious’ traveller – visiting obscure countries on $50 a day, staying in dorms, eating street food and befriending the locals. But there are all sorts of travellers out there, so I thought I’d come clean and share my travel confessions.

I don’t really like travelling solo that much

A love of solo travel seems to go hand-in-hand with being a travel blogger, but most of the time I prefer travelling with someone else. I’ve done solo trips – like six weeks in New Zealand. But although I arrived as a solo traveller, I only spent a couple of days alone and ended up travelling with an American girl I met on the first day. Sometimes it helps to have someone there to push you – to keep you going if you’re exhausted and tempted to crash out with room service. And although being able to do exactly what you want is a bonus of solo travel, travelling with someone else means you’re exposed to their interests. You can always go off and do your own thing, but you might find out that that cheesy tourist attraction you’d never have visited on your own turns out to be one of the best memories of the trip.

Gisborne in New Zealand's South Island

On my (not really) solo trip to New Zealand

I’m a picky eater

Picking up skewers of unknown meat and a bowl of mysterious stew might be some people’s ideas of food heaven, but street food scares me. The deep fried spiders and rat on a stick I saw in Cambodia probably didn’t help. It’s not that I don’t like food or am one of those people that won’t eat anything but Western food whenever I go abroad, it’s just that I like to know what I’m eating and how it’s been prepared. I do have some digestive problems that mean I have to be a bit more careful of what I eat than most people, and having recently had to give up gluten and dairy for a while it’s a major challenge eating out at the moment. This is why I’m a big fan of apartment rentals, so I can prepare some of my own meals and get to indulge my fondness for exploring foreign supermarkets.

Balinese food

Delicious (and not too scary) food in Bali

I don’t want to see the whole world

Although part of me is in awe of travellers who’ve visited every country in the world, I’m not planning on trying to join them. I have a healthy travel wish-list that will keep me going for a long while, but there are whole parts of the world I’m not that interested in seeing. Antarctica tops a lot of people’s bucket lists and although it looks stunning, I don’t like boats and am terrible in the cold, so I think it’d be wasted on me. Same goes for a lot of the Middle East, Central Africa and the ‘stans’ of Central Asia – they just don’t appeal to me. Your travelling tastes change over time too – ten years ago I happily bounced through south-east Asia’s party towns, but today I’d rather go temple hopping and relax on the beach.

Penguins in Antarctica

The beautiful but chilly Antarctic scenery – photo credit Sandwich on Flickr

I’m neither a budget nor luxury traveller

Reading as many travel blogs and websites as I do, it seems like people are split between budget travellers (dorms beds, street food, 24-hour bus journeys and hippy pants) or luxury travellers (business class, luxury hotels, private chefs and champagne). But what about the middle ground – when you’re past the ultra-budget stage but you don’t have a luxury-style income? That’s where I’ve found myself, trying to stick to a limited budget and get the best value for money, saving money where I can so I can splash out on amazing experiences. We could do with a decent name for this type of travel though – ‘mid-range, good value travel with a bit of luxury on a budget’ isn’t all that catchy a title.

Nicholas Maillart Champagne house

Champagne tastes on a sparkling wine budget

I don’t want to travel full-time

Being a permanent traveller seems to be the dream for so many people. And although the longest stretch I’ve done is 16 months in one go, these days a month is about enough for me. I love to travel and start to get a bit panicky if I’ve not got at least one trip lined up. But after years of moving around, where I couldn’t count the number of different places I lived in, I also love having a home base too. My latent nesting instincts have totally kicked in and if I have a few free days you might find me getting stuck into my latest DIY project rather than jumping on that last-minute flight. Having a gap between trips gives me chance to reflect on the last one and start getting excited about where I’ll be off to next.

So those are my travel confessions! Make me feel better about myself and tell me what are yours?

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t want to travel full time either. How are you supposed to digest where you’ve just been if you’re already on the way to the next place? Personally, I like travel best when I have somewhere familiar to come back to… which doesn’t mean I never want to live anywhere else again, I just don’t want to spend all my time in one place thinking about where to move to next!

    • says

      Yes I think the shine can wear off the whole travel experience if you are constantly on the go and it becomes routine, it’s good for me to have somewhere to recover from one trip and plan the next!

  2. says

    This is a really great honest piece about travel. I definitely have no interest in going by myself anywhere, I love the company.

    And I think that traveling on a in between budget, a mixture of luxe and affordability is the way most people tend to travel. I know I do. Splurging on the little things is good and often helps create amazing memories. My fiancé and I splurged on bus tickets to go from Geneva to Chamonix in the Alps this weekend. And those bus tickets were the best money we spent the entire trip.

    Great post! X

    • says

      I love the occasional splurge too, it’s all about balancing out the things you can save money on and the things that cost more but are worth it as they really add something special to your trip. Chamonix sounds lovely, the Alps are just gorgeous!

  3. says

    I’m a mid-range traveller, too, and don’t feel the need to see every bit of the world. I don’t have the luxury of traveling full-time (house, job, kids, etc.) but definitely make the most of every moment I am traveling.

    My travel confession? I love buying souvenirs and gifts for family so usually have to take an extra bag with me.

  4. says

    I agree with literally every point you make! And I don’t think that these really are “bad” confessions – it’s just your travel style!

    I especially get your point about being neither backpacker nor luxury traveller! I used to feel a bit guilty that I never wanted to be a typical backpacker with long party-nights and endless bus trips just to save 5 Euros (which is what I thought was expected of someone in their early twenties). By now I’m okay with admitting that I also fit in that “mid-range” budget category and that I prefer maybe some cocktails after a day sightseeing and going to bed relatively early. Thus, as I’m still a post-grad student with a student budget, I rather take one trip in my “mid-range” category that I’m totally comfortable with than two or three trips where I have to turn every coin twice.

    I feel the same way about not wanting to see every country in the world. But than I sometimes wonder it this is just because we don’t hear so much about many countries (on blogs, the internet in general…) like the “stans” you mentioned and just don’t know that they are nice places to visit…?

    • says

      That’s true about some of the countries I’m not so keen to see – I’m sure if I got out there I’d find loads of interesting things there. Though there are so many places I already want to see that it’ll be a long while til I make it that far down the list!

  5. says

    Love this post! It’s easy to get the impression that everybody writing a travel blog is an all singing and dancing budget backpacker. Really refreshing to read a different point of view.

    I have been wondering for some time whether or not I’d like full time travel, but recently I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t think it’s for me. I like to have a place to call home with my fiancee, somewhere to come back to at the end of a trip. But I’m yet to find my comfort zone for trip length having only been away for at most 2 weeks. Also completely agree on the solo travel, I really prefer to share the experience with somebody I know. I think it builds better, more meaningful memories of the places I’ve been.

    • says

      It’s great that there seems to be a whole band of us part-time, semi-budget travellers too! A long-term trip is definitely worth doing once but for me a three-four week trip now is plenty long enough to feel like I’ve really had time to see a place but not too long that I get burnt out. Though I do still love the short trips too when you just want to get away!

  6. says

    You can expect to receive an email/message of some sort from me in the next couple of weeks as I am about to start planning my travels and seriously need some advice about where to start! Interesting confessions, I think I’ll probably end up being a “mid-range, good value travel with a bit of luxury on a budget” traveller too! And there are definitely a few places I have no interest in seeing…

  7. says

    Oh, I hear you sister. I too, fall into that mid-range traveller who doesn’t go five star, but I’m happy to splurge on once in a lifetime experience. I think the name for it should be “savvy travellers” but maybe that’s just me! ;)

  8. says

    I just completely agree with you on every one of these. I always thought I was the only one and that it would make me a lousy traveller! Nowadays I usually visit a country new to me about once a month, and I’m off to Argentina on Saturday. Reading this I realise it’s ok to for me to travel the way I want to. Although you’ve been travelling for as long as I’ve been breathing, It’s a passion for me too.

    You said that you like giving advice on travelling. While I’m set with that, I would love to hear some tips on blogging about travel, if that’s cool. I’m going to reblog this. That’s something I’ve never done before.

  9. says

    I’m a ‘mid-range, good value travel with a bit of luxury on a budget’ traveller as well! I used to stay in hostels when I was younger but prefer something a bit better now. I’ve never travelled by myself and don’t think I could. It’s good to travel with someone else and have those memories to share with them. And not all travellers are the same – it’s good that you’re not a typical “traveller” – means that you do different things and so blog about different things. I think I’m quite like you when I travel – apart from I do want to see the whole world!

    • says

      I stayed in a hostel this spring in Porto for the first time in years and it was as nice as a hotel, but my dorm room days are well past me, I like my own space away from random strangers’ snoring! Good luck with seeing the whole world – I’ve got about 50 places I’d like to see to keep me busy for a while!

  10. says

    What’s interesting to me about what has (by way of this thread) now come to be called “mid-range travel,” is that those who fall into that class of travel (and come on, it has to be pretty much the center of the bell curve, doesn’t it?) are the only group that is imbued with some pull toward having to apologize for, or at least explain, being “mid-range.” Many of us quickly blurt out some connecting of the dots as to why we fall into that category, explaining why we are neither or no longer “budget” and offer a shrug of “what can you do?” with regard to luxury travel. The backpackers and the jet-set never seem to feel the need to do so. Is it possible they are more comfortable in their travel skin, while we feel neither fish nor fowl? Here’s to being mid-range and being proud of it, and knowing that a great journey is neither about how much you spend nor how much you save — it’s about how much you live.

    • says

      That’s very true, I think perhaps it’s as there is no particular term or definition of a ‘mid-range traveller’, it’s more defined by being neither budget nor luxury, rather than by it’s own terms? I’m a proud mid-ranger too though and as you say there must be a lot of us out there!

  11. says

    My travel style is a lot like yours and I totally know what you mean about feeling like a bit of a fraud amongst the “hardcore” travel bloggers. I feel that way too sometimes but most of the time I’m totally ok with it. In fact, I think there are a lot of us out there, we’re just not as vocal as the see-the-world-with-a-backpack-and-$20 crowd. What could be a good name for our style? Budget-luxe? That’s the best I can come up with.

    Incidentally, I just last week found out that I need to give up gluten and am mostly upset about it from a travel perspective. No pasta in Italy? Croissants in France? Donuts in Portland? Never mind trying to stick to that diet while eating out somewhere that I don’t speak the language. If you have any tricks or hints to share, a gluten-free travel tips post would be really helpful!

  12. says

    I love your post It was so refreshing to read…It’s like a traveler’s declaration of individuality. Not “my way or the highway,” but “my way is the highway, at least for me!” Even if it’s a combo of nesting and going, being frugal and splurging (I could eat a street taco with a glass of champagne any day), sometimes solo and sometimes sharing. Creative travelers are individuals making the most of their experiences!

    • says

      Thanks, yes it’s easy to think of travellers as being divided into tribes – the solo travellers, the budget travellers, the luxury travellers – but everyone is individual and fits in somewhere along the scale from one to another. There are as many travel styles as there are travellers!

  13. says

    So know what you mean about being a picky eater. I just returned from an east coast beach trip and was telling my daughter how though I love to travel; I kind of don’t like the solo travel. I still like and want my alone time and space, but it would be nice to have someone tag along. Great post and photos as always. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Glad I’m not the only picky eater! I do like having days on my own when I travel with someone else too, but it’s good to have someone to meet up with and compare notes later.

  14. says

    That cambodian rat on a stick made me laugh! Seriously? I saw spiders and scorpions when I was there but would have loved to have seen a rat!

    As for my own confessions, I always take decent tea bags with me and have a full English breakfast before heading to the airport!

    • says

      I spotted both rat on a stick and frog on a stick, flattened and grilled, in one of the Phnom Penh markets. The spiders were the worst though, I can’t stand them alive or deep fried, makes me cringe to think about them still!

  15. says

    Love this blog. I can totally relate. Walking past first class makes me boil with rage but the thought of goin to 10 quid a night hostel always makes me panic. I live every minute of what we do but im defo on the same page as you. X

    • says

      I would love to experience first class sometime (or business would do, I’m not picky!) but it would have to be someone else paying and would probably ruin me for flying economy for ever afterwards!

  16. says

    Fantastic post! I love the honesty of this post because it speaks to all of my travel confessions as well. I’ve never traveled alone, not because I am scared to, but because part of the joy in traveling for me is sharing the experience with other people. And for us part-time travelers who wait longer than the full-time travelers for our next trip, adding a bit of luxury to our trip is part of what makes it special.

    Another travel confession I have is not wanting to “see all the sights.” I used to go in with a packed itinerary and move through a place at rapid fire trying to see everything. Now, after a long day, I typically choose to relax with a drink, unwind and take in the culture rather than rushing off to a museum an hour before it closes!

    • says

      I’m so with you with not feeling the need to see everything! So many of my favourite parts of trips are the wandering the back streets and hanging out watching the world go by with a glass of wine rather than trying to cram in every single museum and attraction and ending up exhausted and overwhelmed!

  17. says

    We’re pretty much the same as this except that our house is rented out so that we can afford to travel, so we don’t really have a home base right now and no plans to go back to live in that house.

    • says

      That’s a good way to do it if you want to keep hold of your property – I’ve been following your New York posts as I’d love to spend an extended time in the city! I have been thinking about getting a house-sitter for some slightly longer trips so we have someone to look after the house and cats while we are away.

  18. says

    So glad to see so many people agreeing that they don’t want to travel full time! I love travel, but I also love being a part of my community, having a home, pets, steady income etc. I think it’s the best of both worlds.

    My other travel confession is that I don’t think you have to go far from home to “travel”. There is so much to see in every corner of the world, and we often forget about the parts close to home in favour of the “far flung” and “exotic” places. I want to see both!

    • says

      That’s so true about travelling locally, it’s easy to overlook what’s close to home and concentrate on more exotic destinations. I’ve been trying to see a bit more of my local area this summer and have found some really great places.

  19. says

    I know what you mean about travel styles changing, I look for totally different things in a trip now compared to when I was 19! Also I like to mix things up, so while I’ve been a big fan of solo travel in the past its nice to have met someone now who also wants to go on adventures with me – although he is pretty keen on going to Antarctica and I have exactly the same views on it as you!

    • says

      I don’t think I could keep up with the pace of 19 year old Lucy! Good to have done all that though but my tastes have definitely changed. Glad to see I’m not the only Antarctica sceptic, maybe if they could sedate me every time the boat had to move it might be ok!

  20. says

    Great post Lucy, I found myself relating to a lot of these.

    I’ve recently found myself starting to move away from the tight budget side of travel too, although I’m yet to find out if this is a permanent change or I just needed a break from it. I agree with the others that say it’s nothing to be apologetic for either, after all the important thing is that you travel the way you like and have fun doing it.

    • says

      Thanks Carl, I think if you’re a part time traveller you tend to spend a bit more – when I did my RTW trip I had loads of time so didn’t mind going on an overnight bus to save a few dollars. But when you are only away for a few weeks it’s worth splashing out on a flight to save the extra time.

  21. says

    This is a great post and it is very interesting to see how other people like to travel and what they experienced.

    I love travelling around by my own for different reasons:

    1) you don’t have to wait until you find a friend who has time, money and want to see the same places
    2) travelling alone never means that you are really alone. You will always meet a lot of people from different countries
    3) you can plan your trip as you wish and can change the plans whenever you want and you can choose if you want to join someone or not

    This doesn’t mean that I am not open to try new things and maybe I will change my mind after beeing abroad for 8-12 months next year.

    But one thing is clear. As many people already said in their posts I don’t want to see the whole world. There are several countries I really want to see but I am always happy to go home after travelling

    • says

      Thanks for commenting – I’m been lucky enough to have friends and family who want to travel with me and to the same places recently, but in the past I’ve travelled alone when there hasn’t been, and would definitely travel alone rather than not go somewhere. I’ve met some great people when I did too and it does seem easier to make new friends when you’re solo.

  22. says

    I’m with you on all counts Lucy. I love my family, friends and home and when I’m on the journey home I really look forward to seeing them all again. I also think travel is enjoyed more when it’s a shared thing – something you can talk about and reminisce over afterwards. My travel confession is that I really miss a decent cuppa when I’m away (the milk’s never the same) and I take way too many photos – but you probably know that already!

    • says

      Thanks Suzanne, I agree on the reminiscing bit – I love talking about my Australia trip with the friend I went with, all those funny memories and the strange people we met just wouldn’t make sense to anyone who wasn’t there too!

  23. says

    Hi Lucy, you travel the way you want to, and that is what is important. There is no right or wrong way to travel, and there is nothing you must or must not do or see. I always say that when ‘everyone’ pays for my travel, then they will be entitled to determine how and when I travel. Until then, I make my own decisions!

    • says

      That’s a great way of putting it, that until everyone pays for your trips it’s up to you, very true! Makes it so much more interesting to read about travel when people have such different tastes.

  24. says

    I loved this post! I am just getting started on my own travel blogging and discovering my own travel style which is quite similar to yours I must say. I especially can relate to the idea of not wanting to travel full time. At times I have felt discouraged by reading other travel blogs that made it seem like full time travel was the only way to succeed at this travel blogging thing. I have moved around a lot in my life, but having a place to call home has always been very important to me. The entire concept of your blog and this post especially have been very encouraging so, thank you! I wish you safe and happy travels in the future. I look forward to reading all about them :)

    • says

      Thanks so much! I love having a home base now too – not least as I’ve got somewhere to put up all my travel photos and display the things I’ve collected the years! I think it’s so important to have a balance so you really appreciate both worlds.

  25. says

    Great Question! I have a confession. Most anyone who knows me, and knows how passionate (and yes obsessed) I am about foreign travel, and how I have no fears about exchanging my home with strangers in other countries, probably thinks I’m a fearless traveler . Well, that could not be further from the truth. In fact, I’m a great big wimp. I have never traveled alone and I probably never will. I can arrange home exchanges, plan all the details for an extended trip, figure out the roads and transportation system, etc… but I can’t travel alone. I’m positively phobic about being alone and feeling lost; and this could be an hour or a time zone away from home. Thank goodness I have a husband, kids, and lots of other family members who enjoy traveling with me! I am always in awe of other fearless and independent travelers, like you Luce.

    • says

      I can totally understand your fears about travelling solo – although I’ve done some solo trips in the past I’ve never done enough to feel totally comfortable with it, and often ended up travelling with people I met on the road. It’s something I’ll probably try out from time to time if I can’t find anyone to come on a trip with me, but generally I much prefer sharing the travel experience with family or friends.

  26. says

    great travel post. Im in the middle ground too when it comes to budget vs luxury. I prefer to save and to have a better experience and I always try to get good deals in everything, from the hotels to the souvenirs.

    • says

      Travel doesn’t have to be long distances! I do a lot of trips around my local area, even if it’s just for the day, which helps keep the wanderlust away when I can’t get away any further.

  27. says

    I really enjoyed this post! I’m a college student and I’ll be going on my first ever solo trip this summer for my research thesis. I look forward to it and hope to meet and travel with interesting people along the way. The only issue is that I’m getting a little tired of friends, and family complaining about traveling solo. Would you have any tips on putting their concerns to rest?

    • says

      That sounds like a fantastic trip and I’m sure you’ll have no problem meeting people on the road. For solo travel tips check out the #WeGoSolo movement – a lot of female bloggers have got together to give advice and information about travelling solo, and they have some good info to give to family and friends who are worried. Enjoy your trip!

  28. says

    Great post Lucy, even though I’m quite a budget traveler I still agree that the occasional splurge is worthwhile otherwise you miss out on things such as spending £100 to see Mt. Everest. In your confession you have basically summed up my travel style. :)

    • says

      I’ve never understood those travellers who go all the way across the world to somewhere like Angkor Wat or Petra then don’t want to spend the entrance fee to actually see it! Saving when you can so you can splurge when you want too is definitely the way to go.

  29. says

    Love this! There are a lot of different ways to be a traveller, and its nice to see someone understands that not every traveller wants the same thing. It frustrates me when people believe you have to like certain things or do things a certain way in order to be a “true” traveller, when its such an individual experience. Thanks for posting!

    • says

      Thank you. Yes there are so many different ways to travel and every one is just as valid as the other, as long as you’re seeing the world and enjoying it that’s all that matters!

  30. says

    i also like traveling and i believe that everyone should travel where they dreamed. i have not enough money as i am student but after some years it will definitely will change and will like to travel with someone who will has dreams,passion about new thing and culture :)

  31. says

    Interesting read! I love traveling too and I seem to be the opposite of you on some of your confessions, and agree on others! I also don’t like traveling alone, at least with one other person you know is someone who wants to explore. I’m not a picky eater though. The way I see it is that if I travel, I want to experience the best that country has to offer – excluding snakes, insects etc. you know what I mean! Part of me wants to see the world but I guess I can agree that some places would be wasted.. Finally I believe I’m like you, not a budget nor luxury traveler, I tend to be in the middle with the occasional splurge when the situation allows.

    Thanks for the insights Lucy!

    • says

      I’m always really impressed by people who try all the adventurous foods, I just couldn’t do it! Interesting to read about different people’s travel preferences – there seems to be a lot of us middle ground travellers who mix saving and splurging, it’s a good way to be!

  32. says

    Your post makes me believe that you’re an honest traveller. I love to travel but am a greedy pig – I want to go everywhere though I have my priorities still :)
    Am picky in food too and no loner. Its fun to travel with people (like minded) and get to see their side of the world as well. I like to save money where I can and indulge where I like so am an in-between traveller with ambitions of being a luxury traveller.
    Thank you for sharing this…you’ve left me with many smiles. Congratulations!!!!

    • says

      It’s funny to think back on how my travel priorities change over time – some destinations I’d love to visit now I’d never have thought of before and some I used to really want to see I don’t so much now. Who knows where I’ll want to visit in 10 years! Thanks so much for your comment.

  33. says

    Thanks for writing this refreshing post. I think one problem is that mid-range stories don’t sell papers. A lot of people don’t want to be thought of as “middle of the road”, when it’s probably the reality for most people. I agree with what someone said above about you sounding slightly apologetic about it. There’s actually no need to be; there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s far too much cliqueyness and elitism involved in discussing who has the right to be a “real” traveller.

    A few years ago I spent a week doing a long-distance walk through Scotland, and met a lot of people doing the same walk. I just thought I was on a walking holiday, but many of the others were apparently “travelling” and I’m still not quite sure why. Is there really a difference between travelling and going on holiday? To be honest, I even find the word “hiking” a bit unnecessary, when I just think of it as going for a walk.

    Also, a few years ago I met someone who you might call a “travel snob” – she was looking down her nose at me as she told me all about how she’d trekked along the Inca Trail, travelled all around South America, Africa and Asia and being all superior about it. After further conversation, it turned out that she’d never visited Stonehenge, which is only about two hours away from London. I found this really ridiculous.

    • says

      There is a lot of snobbery in travel (as in everything I suppose) – travellers who think they are different from tourists for example! – and people thinking their way is the best, but you should just do whatever suits you. There seem to be a lot of people who have travelled around the world but seen nothing of their own country or area, but you can find such amazing places close to home. Like so many things it’s all about balance and finding your own way!

  34. says

    You read my mind it seems!! I once pondered the difference between tourist and traveller, and came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter in the slightest as long as you’re getting out there when and how you can. After my own backpacking adventures before I turned 30, I hung up the YHA card and vowed to never stay in a dorm again. Now I flashpack – budget where I can, splurge if it’s a unique experience. Although maybe these days I splurge more often than I budget…..oh well

    • says

      Glad to see I’m not alone! I’m definitely a flashpacker too – I did stay in a hostel earlier this year but it was a very nice one with a private room. So agree that however you travel it doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing it (p.s. just checked out your bucket list and you have some great things on there!)

  35. says

    I love travel. If you ask me what countries are on my “wanna go” list, I’d probably have like 15 countries to list. But my life has changed in the past few years from being single to being a husband and a father. In addition, I have a very demanding job and where I live, making a decent living is a more than enough challenge. I have learned, much to my dismay, that I need to adjust my plans according to my life’s changing priorities.

    I definitely can travel alone and have fun, but now it’s more about sharing travels and seeing new places with my daughter too. I want her to have fun and see things that would be pleasant memories that stay with her for the years to come.

    To be honest, I’m all about budget too :) I am the kind of traveler who spends a month or so just to book the cheapest and best value tickets and accommodation.

    • says

      Life does change your priorities so much! I set up my own business two years ago, bought a house a year ago and got married this year so I can’t just up and disappear for months at a time. Nor would I want to (well only occasionally!). It’s so great that you are travelling with your daughter and showing her the world at a young age, it’s such a great education for kids to have.

  36. says

    Awesome post lucy, although I would love to have a job with a 2-3 months vacation per year, it’s almost impossible to find one in my field (engineering), so the only way for me to travel however I want is by quitting my job and following a backpacker budget lifestyle, or change careers I guess.

    • says

      Thanks so much – I’ve lucky on the work front in that I work for myself so can be flexible with holidays but it can be a real balancing act if you can’t do that. I did previously take a sabbatical from an old job which was good too, but otherwise it’s just squeezing as much as you can out of your vacation time and weekends!

      • says

        Yes, I did LA, SF, vegas and miami in my last two weeks of vacation, and I went to Nyc for a weekend once :)
        As of the place I have no intention to visit, it would be India.

    • says

      Thank you – I did get a bit tired of travelling after 16 months straight and enjoyed being at home for a while, but there’s so much to see I that as soon as I get back I’m planning the next trip!

  37. says

    Well written ^^ In my opinion, I don’t quite agree with the “clasification” type of traveler… Well, sometimes I want to goes luxury and sometimes I go on budget. So I don’t feel match in any type :D Nice post! :)

  38. says

    Love your honesty! I would have the same confessions, though I couldn’t call myself a travel blogger because I really haven’t traveled anywhere near as much as I like to pretend I have in my mind.

    I think that leads me to my biggest travel confession — I say that I would love to travel all the time and to take some huge month long bucket list trips before I die, but deep down I think I’m fairly content with the amount of time I spend away from home. I’m a homebody at heart. But I love the sea and only feel at home the two or three times a year when I get to dip my toes in the ocean. So I say I’d love to travel so much more but, really, if my house was within a few miles of the water, I would probably be content to never go anywhere (except Hawaii — I’d never turn Hawaii down!). But I doubt I’ll ever live within a few hundred miles of the ocean, so I will keep fantasizing about how I’m a marooned traveler who longs to jump a plane from my wintry city. And I will continue to jump on an chance I get to stand in the ocean or to run my fingers through the warm sand — doesn’t matter where, as long as there’s warm water I’m happy!

    Thanks for the opportunity to come clean. ;-) And congrats on being freshly pressed! Well-deserved!

    • says

      Thanks so much. I’m a real ocean lover too and don’t get there nearly as much as I’d like. There’s something so peaceful and relaxing about listening to the waves, I definitely need to plan in some beach time for 2014! Hawaii sounds fabulous but is such a long way from the UK, but I will make it out there someday. But much as I love to travel I do love to have time at home too – sometimes I feel a bit like I’m being pulled both ways but I’m trying my best to find a balance between the two!

      • says

        I hope you make it to Hawaii one day. It’s well worth the trip — I haven’t been to too many places, but Hawaii is definitely the most beautiful place I have been — the beauty is just breathtaking.
        Thanks so much for replying to my comment!
        Best wishes,
        Leisha/ cancerinmythirties

  39. says

    I totally relate to this Lucy! I’m currently in New York living in a rented apartment room, cooking my own food, living on a decent budget – and constantly seeking company to travel with..Oh and I like the blog name :)

  40. says

    Whenever I travel {alone or with family/friends} we try to get the cheapest – but still comfortable – accommodation possible because all we do is eat breakfast/dinner and sleep while we are there. We’re all quite happy with a simple room if it means we have more money to spend on exploring and getting involved in different things! I’m planning a solo trip around Europe in 2016 so I’m already getting all the tips and tricks that I think I will need! :]

    • says

      Accommodation is definitely a good place to make savings, especially when you are going to be out and about all the time as you say. I don’t do hostels very often now but really like apartment rentals as you can come and go as you please and get a bit of a taste of local life. Enjoy your 2016 European adventures!

  41. says

    An alternate to budget luxe (which I like…might be the name of a really good band), maybe high-low? I travel like this as well.

    I love travel more than almost any other use of my income (nesting competes hard in that category) and will stay in a tent alone (which I did in May at the Grand Canyon) or happily splurge $$$$ on a great meal (as we did last February in Montreal several times.) I think the mistake is to assume to you have to travel a certain way all the time — it made a lot more sense for me (financially, as well as experientially) to sleep in a tent (w birthday present from my husband) — and I discovered (!) that the GC has an excellent medical clinic when I stepped barefoot on a tent peg and needed a tetanus shot…

    I was lucky enough to be raised by adventurous parents, like my mother who traveled Latin America alone for several years and a father who made films around the world, so I’m always eager to jump on a plane. But now, 37 countries later, I’m looking at long-haul flights and $$$$ places left to see like Japan.

    On my blog, the posts that get the most views every day, even years later, are the three in which I advise women how and why to travel alone. I’ve done it a lot and never, ever felt endangered.

    • says

      Budget luxe is a good one! It’s very true that you don’t have to stick to one travel style but can mix and match within the same trip – like combining cheap accommodation with expensive activities. It’s great that you encourage women to travel solo too – although I’m not the best solo traveller it’s a great experience and sense of achievement to have done it, and I’ve never felt unsafe being alone either.

  42. says

    I have travelled Ethiopia, South America and India on my own, but like you I met so many people that I was rarely on my own. I definitely prefer to travel with others. I went to India not liking Curry, so that was a real struggle. I am a bit more picky about where I stay now as I have got to an age where a pokey dirty room with a flea infested bed is no longer appealing. I have no intention of seeing the USA..

    • says

      That’s some good solo travel! It is very easy to meet people on the road if you want to – especially if you’re alone as people seem more likely to approach you that if you’re with someone.

  43. says

    Have to confess I am a lot like you! Not too hot on traveling solo either, although I have a solo trip lined up for July. Congratulations on the Freshly Pressed :-)

    • says

      Thanks Madhu, it’s been a busy day! I will still give solo travel a try every now and then but generally whenever I plan a trip there’s someone who wants to come along! Where are you solo travelling to in July?

  44. says

    I don’t like to spend the entire trip exploring, but I also don’t like to spend the entire trip lounging. On one side or the other of my family these two things make me the odd woman out.

  45. says

    Lovely post Lucy…. I sometimes feel out of place when I realize that I have no desire to see a lot of places that feature on a the bucket lists of a lot of people… and I have realized that this list has changed over the years…and this lack of interest does not stem from any sort of prejudice or anything inherently wrong with those places.. its almost sub-conscious.

    Wish you lots of great travel adventures in the future and looking forward to reading about them.

    • says

      Thanks so much! Yes I’m the same when people talk about places like Antarctica that almost everyone seems to be desperate to go to. But it just doesn’t really appeal – and lucky everyone is different or the same places would be so overcrowded!

  46. says

    Lucy, I have to admit that I can relate to how you described yourself. I used to be a fast-paced traveler who always stayed at cheap hostels. Now I’m neither budget nor luxury traveler, but I remain frugal all the time. There are some parts of the world which I’m not really keen on visiting, unless I came across a very interesting article or photo on those places. Anyway, congratulations on the Freshly Pressed!

    • says

      Thank you. Frugal is definitely a good way to be – to save while you can so you can spend on the exciting things. I’m more apartment rentals and wine tours than hostel dorms and cheap beers these days though, but still a very long way from five-star hotels and Champagne!

  47. says

    Lucy, what an honest, heartfelt post … and I think you’ve touched an important nerve! There are so many sincere travelers who feel the way you do – they don’t want to go everywhere and do everything. Everyone’s got to find their own travel style and path. :) Congratulations on the FP – richly deserved. All the best, Terri

  48. says

    “Grown up backpacking with a touch of luxury.” I like that in your ‘about me’ section and I like this little confessional with the middle ground exposure. I find that as I got a family and went into my mid then late thirties my travel plans changed and I am one of those middle people. And I agree with you about Antarctica .. it looks awesome but don’t think I’d take a cruise down there.

  49. says

    Hey just ran across your blog and thought I’d say I love it. Just recently started a blog of my own on travelling a bit and life. My next trip up coming this winter is to Iceland and Fjordland Norway with the rest of Scandinavia. Can’t wait

    • says

      Thanks so much! And enjoy your travels – Iceland is fantastic, and I have just booked a trip to Bergen and the Norwegian fjords for next spring so will keep an eye out for your posts.

  50. says

    Nice post! I can dig your honesty. The beauty about travel is that you don’t have to stick to labels. You learn over the years to define what kind of travel is good for you, as well as where you want to go. You’re lucky that you don’t want to see the whole world; this ambition is much more doable than a crazy travel addict’s dream of seeing EVERYTHING.

    My travel confessions: I am also a picky eater (vegetarian), but will try outlandish foods every once in a while. Whenever I visit a new destination, I sometimes miss a past destination or wish I were somewhere else entirely. Also, even though I enjoy walking and experiencing life as a local, when I lived in Buenos Aires, my most common mode of transport was taking taxis.

    • says

      Thank you! The good bit about not wanting to see the whole world is that you don’t feel too bad about going back and revisiting places you loved too, rather than always having to be seeing something new. And it’s so true that sometimes you just don’t connect with a place – sometimes it feels like every blogger loves every place they visit which isn’t possible!

  51. says

    Reblogged this on Spiceboy's Very Long Walk and commented:
    I really like this. I don’t think I am going to appreciate all the places I’ll be going in the spring. It’s going to be a slog, no doubt about that, and will I appreciate some company on some days; of course, me being me, I like walking alone, but ten weeks of it would drive me mad.

  52. says

    I’m a mid-range traveller as well. And the cold? I find the older I get, the less tolerant I am of the cold. Although a trip to see those penguins and perhaps a polar bear or two wouldn’t be so bad.

  53. says

    Lucy – so aptly written! I’m big on traveling as well, but find so much of what you identify to be true. And the great part of traveling solo is meeting new people along the way! I do agree though, I need someone to share the moment with, my camera isn’t company enough.
    Great post :)

  54. says

    Travel is more work than some people think! To save money I never rent a taxi unless to drop bags off at the place I’m staying. Even then, sometimes I lug the bags anyway. I can vividly remember the pain my legs were in after walking a few miles every day in Paris.

  55. says

    Like you I make my living out of travel but I must admit to preferring a little more luxury when I travel these days and defiantly not into deep fried spider or rat on a skewer!…thanks for sharing this great post very insightful.

    • says

      Haha, yes I keep well away from animals on sticks! A little luxury is definitely a good thing – it’s nice to have a balance between comfort and still having some local character.

  56. says

    I don’t want to travel full time either. My friend travelled full time for about two years and when she went to Machu Pichu, she said she wasn’t that impressed because she had seen so many ruins over that time. I’m also.i,e you and don’t want to see every country. We also travel like you neither budget or luxury somewhere in between.

    • says

      It’s so sad when people get a bit jaded and blase about such amazing sites! I know I got a bit like that after spending five months in Asia, it got to be just another temple, just another beach… I definitely appreciate it all a lot more now that I have time to look forward to it!

  57. says

    I totally get what you’re saying. Right now, I’m living out of my bag but I’m at home! I don’t even bother unpacking because I’m living in-between trips. It’s fun for now, the moving around to all these exotic places, but I can definitely see myself wanting to settle at a place and limiting the amount of times that I do travel. But now, whilst I’m still young and relatively-carefree, I enjoy the bouncing around too much to stop! Good read.

    • says

      I remember those days of it not being worth unpacking between trips! It was great at the time but my travel pace has definitely slowed down as I have got older and I’m happy to have a mixture of time at home and time travelling.

  58. says

    I also have a list of countries that I want to visit before I die (and preferable before I’m too old to hike around while there). So far, I’ve visited 23 countries, with my 24th next month. I have travelled by myself and with people and I can understand not liking travelling by myself. It gets pretty darn lonely pretty darn fast. The best way I like to travel with is a good friend who likes to stop and look at the less travelled paths and stop to take photos. So far, I only have 2 friends whom I can say was a pleasure to travel with. The others do not click with my way of travel.

    • says

      So true – it’s got to be the right type of friend to make a good travel companion, there are a lot of good friends of mine I know I could never travel with! It’s great to find someone who is on the right travel wavelength though and who you can experience places with.

  59. says

    Great post. Finally, a self-indulgent and balanced post related to travel. In an “over-mediatized” society, we often forget that we mostly travel for our own good and pleasure. It is good to know our limits and deep desires. Time is precious.

  60. says

    Thanks for writing this! I’m moving to NZ with my boyfriend for a year and it’s always so interesting to here people’s views on travelling. So with you on the luxury/budget conundrum!

  61. cornodibassetto says

    I have been travelling non-stop for over four years. Instead of visiting a number of places that fascinated me like India, Nepal etc.. I followed my passions which were European history and music. I have lived next to the theatre where Beethoven performed much of his music (and lived for a time!!), down the street from where the Knights Templar were slaughtered and Mozart lived, lived opposite Dante’s house, lived in part of the outbuilding of the palace where Wagner died, stood where David wrote the psalms and wept for Absalom, where Zadok anointed Solomon, . . etc. . . I rent a cheap apartment – normally part of an old palace or other ancient building with no lift! – for a few months and enjoy a very relaxed lifestyle while I enjoy the magic which these places exude.

  62. says

    Being a part time traveller doesn’t mean you don’t want to explore the world. Being one myself I think you become more conscious of where it is you truly want to visit rather than putting a pin in a map and says that’s where we will start and then see where we end up. We spend hours planning our trips and I have to say I love every minute of that experience. We have a list of cities and countries we have yet to visit, ones that we have visited and would love to return to and those that neither of us are particularly bothered about. Each year we try and visit a couple of different places, were we can create great memories and appreciate the fact that in order to do this we need to work at the same time.

    We have done the budget travel and on occasion, very occasionally the luxury travel but we still very much have our own thoughts about the cost of some of these places. One luxury trip or 5 mid range trips – it doesn’t take us long to decide in all fairness. However, we also enjoy camping which, you could argue falls into the budget range! There is nothing better when the weather is good – however, when this is not the case give me a hotel room any day.

    It is refreshing to see some many people commenting on your post that they too are part time travellers – I was beginning to feel very lonely – but knowing that there is so many of us out there gives me the confidence in my own decision that we have done the right thing!

    • says

      I love the travel planning part of the trip too – it’s great to learn about a place and anticipate being there. If you travel full-time it all merges into one and it’s harder to feel excited about the next trip. It’s been so great to see all the comments from other part-time travellers too!

      • says

        I love the sound of the travel books landing on the doorstep and the hours I spend on the Internet researching…I then have to hope that everything we have planned is as good when we experience as it is when I have read about it. We are already planning for a large trip to Australia and New Zealand at the beginning of 2015 and I am getting excited already. I still have trips in 2014 to plan as yet as well! Looking forward to hearing more from my fellow part time travellers in 2014! :)

    • says

      I’ve the same with guidebooks – I just got two new ones for Christmas so am looking forward to reading them and feeling inspired. Australia and New Zealand sounds like a fantastic trip. Hope you have lots of great trips in 2014 too!

  63. says

    I’m all about champagne tastes on a non-champagne budget!! LOL. Love seeing how far my $$ will take me. And if I want to live life to the fullest (who doesn’t), it definitely makes sense to prioritize your destinations. One of my destinations is actually my backyard, because it’s full of so much potential and I’m looking forward to turning into my fiancee and my version of paradise!!

    • says

      Yes it’s definitely prosecco and cava for me rather than Champagne! Very true that you have to prioritise what is most important to you – and great that you don’t need to go far from home necessarily to do that!

  64. says

    ya you shared an really good confession of your traveling experience. for me traveling is the life and i just want to visit all the famous places in the world. this is my lifetime ambition.

  65. says

    I agree! I think traveling full time solo would be absolutely draining and would make me enjoy the journey less. Although I do really love traveling solo, every now and then it’s great to have some home friends traveling with you. My ideal year would be 7/8 months on the road, and 4/5 at home. Balance is key!

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