During the last 3 months of travel we’ve had a blast. We’ve seen and done more than we did in the previous year or two. We’ve visited some amazing places, met beautiful people and learnt a lot. We wouldn’t change a thing. Maybe just the 3 things that we’ve learned in our first 3 months of travel.
The month of May this year not only marks one year exactly since the trip that changed our lives, but also a quarter of the year since we packed our things and left London in search of a location independent lifestyle.
While a quarter of a year might not sound long for the pro travellers who’ve been on the road for years, for us it feels like we’ve been away for quite some time.
1. Packing less is not a myth
It is really tricky when you don’t know what you should and shouldn’t pack for a long term trip. While packing for our trip to South East Asia, we tried to pack light. But there is always that voice at the back of your head saying ‘you will need a mosquito net in Laos’.
Before leaving, we read endless blog posts of what to pack, but in the end, we still brought lots of stuff we don’t need. Charlie’s already left nearly half of his belongings somewhere in Thailand.
We never really needed the mosquito net, especially in Laos. Everywhere we went, a net was available. We used it a couple of times, but we will be leaving it behind when moving to Cambodia in a couple of months.
The rule is… less is more. So pack wisely and make sure you can mix & match your clothes. Believe me, you will end up wearing your favourite combination over and over again.
2. Be more flexible and let go of your initial plans
We had so many plans to visit as many countries as possible in Southeast Asia, but the reality is, sometimes you need to readjust your plans. We skipped Myanmar (for now anyway) because we didn’t feel we were ready enough to go there. Instead we hopped to Laos as it felt more logical to do so while being in the north Thailand.
Planning is good, but we learnt that it is important to be open to changes as they happen. We learnt to let go of our initial plans. We also learnt that our plans change quite often and that’s not a bad thing, that’s the beauty of travelling.
While travelling in Laos, we really wanted to see the 4 thousand islands, but due to the extreme heat and high travel costs we changed our plans. While exploring Vientiane, the capital of Laos, we decided to fly to Hanoi instead. Until now we feel this was the best decision we made.
3. Beauty of slow travelling
It was only in Luang Prabang we learnt the beauty and importance of slow travelling. Especially if we wanted to make our nomadic lifestyle work.
Travelling fast and not having enough time to reflect on your experience will only leave you exhausted. It’s important to stop and enjoy one place for longer, catch up on your travel blogging or any other work that might sustain your long term travels.
While travelling south in Vietnam, we knew we will be stopping in Hoi An, a gorgeous town by the sea. Once we got here, we rented a flat in a lovely local area. We’ve been here for nearly a month and will stay for another one.
We have all the basic stuff plus some nice speedy fibre optic WiFi which allows us to work on our blog without any unnecessary interruptions.
We are still learning as we go and really enjoying the whole journey. We do miss being on the road, but we also know that we need the time and space to build our website, create content and work hard to inspire others to become location independent too.
The perception of a location independent lifestyle is widely misunderstood. We too, for a long time, misunderstood the term ‘nomadic’ or ‘location independent.’
Now we know, it’s not the speed you travel at, it’s the beauty of being able to enjoy the location you’re in while travelling and sharing your experiences with others.
Are you location independent or planning to become a digital nomad? What are your lessons learnt while travelling? Let us know in the comments below or contact us if you need any advice…