I am on the plane right now. On my way from Singapore to Bali. And I’m writing these lines. That’s how I was intended to start this article, when this idea once again popped up in my mind. And, well, in fact I was on the plane back then on that particular moment, traveling from Singapore to Bali. It was February 2018. And I had just spent 5 days in Singapore.
I was on my own. I didn’t have my laptop with me. Actually I had gone to Singapore to buy one. Apart from that I didn’t have any schedule. I was just traveling. And it had felt so good.
But then I went back to Bali. Back to my work routine. And forgot about it.
We had just launched a new travel blog in Latvian – Latvieši Ceļo (Latvians Traveling). There was a lot of work to do with it. Not knowing what the outcome will be. Will someone find it useful? Will people read it? Are we going to earn any money of it? There was a lot to do. And a lot of uncertainity.
But we wanted to do it. And so pushed hard. Working long hours. Every day.
At the same time knowing that we don’t have too much time.
We were about to go to Vietnam, a new country for us, in March. But that always means spending at least a few days traveling and adjusting to the new environment. And when you are in a new place you want to go out, too, to see some sights. Which – even though exciting and interesting – means less time for work.
And then in May we had planned a 9000-kilometer journey across India by trains and buses.
We didn’t know what we are going to do after. Where are we going to live and what are we going to do. Which meant we had to think about it, too.
Then It Became Too Hard
When you don’t have any routine anymore. When you go to sleep at 4 AM and wake up ap 3 PM. When you are tired all the time. And unhappy. When your health starts failing. And your business is doing worse every month. Then you know it’s time for change. Now. Not later.
That’s how we realized that – working while traveling isn’t for us right now. Not at this stage.
We just can’t focus enough on work and making money when we have to think about when our visa is about to expire and where are we traveling next. Changing places involves a lot of challenges. Imagine arriving at your aparment for the next month and realizing it sucks completely. Or going out for dinner after long day of work and learning that most of restaurants are already closed. Or spending 3 days on buses to get that visa you need for country you are traveling to next.
All of it has happened to us in the last 2 months.
All of what is an adventure when you are traveling, quickly becomes a burden when you just want to stay put in some place, do some work and just live there. Because you don’t want to walk around for an hour simply to have a lunch.
It wears you down.
And then it’s hard to appreciate anything at all.
We think we have found a solution.
It wasn’t something we had planned, but a week ago we received news that we have been granted a 1-year multiple entry Indian visa. We asked for a 6-month visa, but you never know for sure what you are getting. So we though we may get a 4-month visa as well. But now we have a 1-year multiple entry visa. Read more about obtaining Indian visa in Vietnam here.
And so now we are planning to spend a part (maybe – biggest part) of the next year in India. Separating work from travel.
We will travel, too. That’s for sure. We’ll have to. Because with this type of visa (T-1) you have to leave India every 3 months at least for a day.
But now we’ll have a place where to leave some part of our stuff. A place where to return to. And we’ll be able to come back without obtaining a new visa or even thinking about it. Something we are really looking forward to now.
Yes, you can stay in Malaysia for 90 days. Then leave for a few days or a week and come back hoping that you’ll be allowed to stay in the country for another 90 days, but that didn’t seem appealing to us right now. We have done like this before. It’s definitely not the best long-term solution.
Travel Still Excites Me
But despite all the hardship there have been quite a few special moments. Little moments – when I’ve slowed down, looked around and realized once again how much I like to travel. And how grateful I am for all I have had a chance to experience. You never know when it will happen. But it happens every now and then. And it happened a few times when I was traveling solo in Singapore.
When in summer of 2012 we with Una went on our very first trip abroad, it was something completely new for us. We weren’t sure as what to expect. And if we will even like it.
At the same time we agreed on one thing – if we will like it, we will try to find a way to travel more.
We enjoyed it a lot. Simply being in a foreign land and seeing how people are living there. And we figured out how to travel more.
For me it’s never have been about countries or cities and checking them off some list.
It’s about doing more what I like and what excites me.
So, I guess, if working while traveling feels like a burden to me. And it ruins the whole travel experience. Then it’s not just OK to separate them, but it’s necessary.
Traveling Isn’t Always Easy, Too
I’m not gonna be complaing here. It’s just so you know. And if you are or will be in a similar situation, you’ll know that there is at least one more person who has the same kind of issues like you.
There are days, sometimes a week, situations, events, when I’m pissed off. When I’m angry. When I have this what-the-hell-is-happening feeling and I want to be alone. I know that not many can imagine that it’s even possible. Because, you know, Kaspars is like a monk, always calm and relaxed.
But there are people who really get to see this. Sometimes Una, but not too often. Mostly intrusive taxi drivers and tour agents, who don’t take no for an answer. And then happens what you can imagine. Swearing. Sometimes very badly. Cursing. Ignoring everyone (not always possible). And so on.
Because it can be hard. And everyone has their limits as for long you can stand one or another thing.
But still – I really love traveling.
Is traveling for everyone? Long term traveling? No.
Is it something for you? I don’t know. But if you feel like it might be I highly recommend you to find a way and give it a try! You’ll never know otherwise. Same like I wouldn’t find out that traveling is something for me. If not for that very first trip. First step.
Or maybe there is something comletely different (not travel related) you have been thinking of trying to but haven’t yet.
Find a way and give it a try!
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.