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Ten Years of Travel: How Travel Has Changed Over the Years

Ten years ago in the summer of 2011, I set out on my first international solo trip. I was young, naive, and unprepared. It sounds cliche but this trip ended up changing my life. This article outlines my journey over the past decade. I’ll talk about my past trips, how travel has changed, and how I have changed during that time. I’ll also share some travel tips that I’ve picked up over the past ten years of travel.

Prague, Czechia
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Ten Years of Travel: My First Trip

Just like every other kid, I grew up fantasizing about leaving my hometown and traveling the world. When I was 18 years old, I decided to set out on my own and travel to Europe.

I chose Europe as my first travel destination mostly because it seemed like an easy place to get around. This was important to me because I was inexperienced in travel at the time. I had never been outside of the country without my parents before. Before this trip, I had never left North America. I didn’t want to go somewhere too exotic.

In Europe, I knew I could easily travel everywhere on the continent by train, bus, and ferry. The transportation infrastructure is fantastic. I also knew the language barrier wouldn’t be much of an issue either because English is widely spoken. There were also plenty of countries I wanted to visit and historic sites to see. For an American kid from a mid-sized city, Europe seemed exotic enough.

In the spring of 2011, I bought a round trip ticket to London and a 3 month unlimited Eurail pass. My dad bought me my travel backpack as a birthday present. I still use the same bag to this day.

My Osprey Talon 44 backpack
My travel backpack that I have used for the past decade

I spent the next few months researching and planning my route around the continent, gathering gear, and packing my bag. A big world map hung on my wall in my room. I used my map to help me plan my stops. I also had the Eurail timetable. Every couple of days, my trip became more complex as I discovered a new destination I wanted to visit.

I wanted to experience as much as I could in the time that I had with the money I had. I needed to get home in time to start college in the fall. My budget was also limited. I had about $5000 to work with.

One of the biggest challenges I faced while planning my trip was telling my family that I was going to go traveling. I was nervous about their reaction. I worried that they would try to talk me out of it or try to fearmonger. Luckily, this didn’t happen.

Dad understood my desire to see the world. Mom worried about my safety but accepted my decision. Grandpa and Grandma understood but were a bit unsure about my decision to travel. They wondered why I would want to go all the way to Europe when I could just travel in the U.S. instead. They also thought it was odd that I was traveling alone. After some explaining, they came around.

When my departure day arrived, my dad dropped me off at the airport, shook my hand, and wished me luck. He was a major influence in my decision to travel in the first place. He traveled extensively and lived abroad during the 60s-80s and inspired me with his travel stories while I was growing up.

During the next 3 months, I made a lap around Europe. I traveled through 20 countries through every region of the continent. After starting in London, I crossed the channel then headed north through Western Europe and into Scandinavia. From Stockholm, I turned south through Central and Eastern Europe. I traveled as far east as Istanbul then turned west and crossed Southern Europe through Greece, Italy, and Spain. From there, I headed north back to London to catch my return flight. It was a fast-paced trip.

Paris, France

My First Day of Travel

I’ll never forget the first day of my first trip. It was a disaster. After arriving at Heathrow airport, I waited for my backpack to arrive at the baggage claim. It never came. Air Canada lost my bag with all of my travel gear that I had so carefully chosen and packed.

I went to the luggage counter to ask about my bag. A careless attendant handed me a lost luggage claim form. I filed it out and proceeded through immigration and customs. A customs agent stopped me to ask why I didn’t have any luggage after arriving on an international flight. After explaining that the airline lost it, he waved me through.

After passing through immigration, I took the train from the airport into central London to look for my hostel. I did have my cash and cards so I wasn’t completely out of luck.

Big Ben and the horse statue, London

Before I left home, I had written down the address and directions to the hostel. My directions weren’t good enough. All I knew is that it was located on Borough High Street. I asked around and walked up and down the street for well over an hour before I was able to find the place.

On the first night of my trip, I stayed in my first hostel. I felt a bit nervous about sleeping in a dorm with a bunch of strangers but the experience was pretty uneventful.

After checking in, I took a nap. In the evening, I went out and bought a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a soggy sandwich from a shop around the corner. Afterward, I returned to the hostel and went to bed.

During the next couple of days, I did some sightseeing in London. Two days later, the airline found my bag. A driver dropped it off at the hostel. This was a relief.

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

I decided to get out of London. I wasn’t really having a good time there so I figured I might as well move on to my next destination, Amsterdam.

The Rest of the Trip

The first two weeks of my trip were pretty rough. My backpack was lost for the first 3 days. I had to make probably a dozen calls to the airline before they found it and delivered it. My bus from London to Brussels almost left without me. I had trouble making friends at the first few hostels I stayed at. I felt awkward and nervous and didn’t know how to talk to the other backpackers.

Finding hostels when arriving in a new city was also a challenge. I kept getting lost. In those days, I didn’t have a smartphone or GPS to help me find my way. All I had was my handwritten directions that I copied off of Hostelworld.

When I arrived in Amsterdam, I didn’t have a hostel booked. This was a mistake. Every hostel I found while walking around was full. I ended up spending an eventful night on the street wandering around. I learned to never arrive in a popular tourist destination without a booking.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

There was a steep learning curve. Needless to say, it was pretty exhausting. I was not having a good time for the first two weeks. I began doubting myself. Did I bite off more than I could chew? Was I capable of taking the trip I planned? My decision to go traveling was starting to feel like a mistake. I remember sitting on a park bench in Stockholm thinking to myself that this trip might not be fun but it will be a great memory looking back after it’s over.

I pushed through and things slowly started to get better around the third week of the trip. In Stockholm, I had no trouble finding my hostel. This was a win. I also met a great group of fellow travelers, who I ended up spending almost a week with.

One of my favorite European Cities, Stockholm

This marked the turning point of the trip. I had overcome the learning curve. From there on out, it was smooth sailing, for the most part. On a few occasions, I partied a bit too hard. I drank too much absinthe in Progue. There were some lonely times as well. Particularly during long train journies. I spent almost 24 hours on a train from Bucharest to Istanbul. On a couple of occasions, my debit card didn’t work. These all turned out to be minor setbacks.

During my trip, I rode countless trains through the beautiful European countryside. I wandered around world-class cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, London, Berlin, and Istanbul. Everything felt fresh and different from back home. I visited historic sites that I had read about in school. I enjoyed phenomenal cuisine from all over the continent.

The Colosseum in Rome
The Colosseum, Rome

Over the course of the trip, I stayed in around 25 hostels and made friends with backpackers from around the world. I ended up growing to enjoy the dorm experience. Hostels exposed me to backpacker culture.

I found that backpackers were free, adventurous, and confident people. I wanted a lifestyle like them. They seemed to have it all figured out. I also met people who were much more well-traveled than me. I was envious. This just made me want to travel more.

At 18, I was the youngest traveler most of the time. I would guess that the average age of travelers I met in Europe was 23-26. Before my trip, I knew that I would be the youngest. This made me feel a bit nervous. Age was never an issue. I traveled and became friends with people over a decade older than me. Age doesn’t matter in travel.

In a hostel in Rome, I met a Canadian traveler who was studying for his TEFL certification. He explained what it was and told me about his plans to teach English in Asia after finishing the course.

This conversation planted a seed in my mind. I could work and live abroad too. At this point in time, I had never heard the term digital nomad before. The idea of starting a travel blog hadn’t even passed my mind.

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen

Returning Home and My Next Trips

When I set out, I thought this would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. My plan was to return home, go to college, then start a career. I still wasn’t 100% sure about what I wanted to do with my life. I planned to study accounting in college.

After returning home, I did start college. The problem was that I had grown addicted to travel. All I could think about was my next trip. I wanted to go to Asia. During my first two years of college, I planned and fantasized about hitting the road again. I was obsessed. I was also broke.

By 2013, I had saved up enough money to hit the road again. My initial plan was to travel through India and Southeast Asia for 3 months over summer break. I ended up taking a semester off school and traveling around the world for 6 months.

I started the trip with a free stopover in Iceland. There, I celebrated my 20th birthday at the Blue Lagoon. From there, I continued on to Finland and took a Ferry to Russia for a visa-free stopover in St. Petersburg.

church of the savior on spilled blood, St Petersburg, Russia
church of the savior on spilled blood, Saint Petersburg

Next, I traveled through the Baltic states. From Latvia, I caught a flight to India with a stopover in Dubai. After traveling around India, I continued on to Southeast Asia. From there, I flew to Australia then made a quick stopover in Beijing on my way home.

During this trip, I experienced travel in the developing world. While traveling in India, I felt culture shock for the first time. The crowds, heat, and filth overwhelmed me. The place is intense. For the first couple of weeks, I found travel a bit of a challenge. It felt like everyone was trying to scam me.

Jodhpur, India
The Blue City of Jodhpur, India

After a couple of weeks, I settled in and grew to enjoy the experience. I met loads of friendly locals, and enjoyed incredible Indian cuisine. The train journeys, in particular, were unforgettable. India is one of the only countries that I’ve visited that I can’t wait to return to.

In Southeast Asia, I experienced more backpacker culture, sampled exotic foods, explored the region. I partied on the beaches of Thailand, explored the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, and went Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos. I stayed in cheap guesthouses and met loads of interesting travelers from around the world. During that trip, I even made some long-term friends who I still keep in contact with. It was a blast.

What surprised me the most was how touristy the region is. Southeast Asia has a well-defined tourist trail that is difficult to get away from at times. There are even bus lines that cater specifically to backpackers. These buses transport tourists between destinations across the region. Most backpackers visit the same towns, eat at the same restaurants, and stay at the same hostels. This disappointed me a bit. I hoped for more of an adventure.

In Vietnam, I bought a motorcycle for $150 and rode it across most of the country. This exposed me to a different type of travel, Overlanding. This gave me the opportunity to escape the tourist trail for a bit. During my ride, I explored some small villages, enjoyed authentic local food, and relaxed on deserted beaches. This was a highlight of my travels.

My motorcycle that I bought in Vietnam
My Honda Win 100 that I bought for $150 in Vietnam

My trip to Asia was expensive and fast-paced. By the time I finally returned home, I was flat broke and exhausted. I returned to school and worked a series of odd jobs to save up some cash for my next trip.

During this time, I became disenchanted with the college experience. The school was so overpopulated that I was struggling to get the classes I needed. My professors were hit and miss. Many of my classes felt pointless. I was doing a lot of busy work that was unrelated to what I was studying. Prices were high as well. I certainly wasn’t getting my money’s worth. I felt like college was basically a racket.

The following year, in 2014, I quit school. I sold my car and decided to use the money to travel to South America. Before I left, I managed to line up a job. I only had a 2 months to travel before I started work. I booked a last-minute budget flight to Cartagena, Colombia and set off without any plans.

For the next couple of months, I backpacked through Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. I relaxed on Caribbean beaches, hiked to Macchu Picchu, explored the Amazon jungle, practiced my Spanish, and experienced Latin American culture. The trip was short and relaxing. I spent a lot of time wandering around, talking to people, and taking in the sites. South America is one of the most naturally beautiful continents.

Machu Picchu, Peru

When I returned home, I started working as a manager at a restaurant in Southern California. For the next 3 years, I didn’t travel. I worked late nights and long hours. I saved and invested every spare dollar.

During this entire time, I dreamed of traveling to Africa. During slow periods at work, I would sit on the computer in the office and plan my eventual trip. I researched attractions, priced the trip out, and planned a route. I had no idea when I would have the opportunity to travel next.

In 2017, the owner of the restaurant I managed decided to sell the business and retire. After the sale, I was laid off. The new owners were going to manage the business by themselves. They didn’t need me.

I had mixed feelings about the situation. On one hand, I was upset that I was unemployed. I felt depressed and lost. On the other hand, I knew that this meant that I could travel again. I had saved up a nice chunk of money by working hard, investing, and living frugally over the past few years.

A couple of months later, I bought a ticket to Ethiopia with credit card points that I had accumulated over the years. For the next 6 months, I traveled overland all the way to Cape Town through 11 countries in East and Southern Africa. I traveled independently by bus, taxi, boat, and train.

Meskel Square, Addis Ababa
Meskel Square, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

During my trip, I saw the big 5 on safari in Serengeti and Maasai Mara National Parks. I relaxed by beautiful Rift Valley lakes in Uganda, Rwanda, and Malawi and visited the tribes of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia. I partied on Zanzibar island and camped under the Milky Way in the Namib Desert near Sossusvlei. Of course, I also met countless crazy locals and backpackers.

Giraffes and zebra in Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya
Maasai Mara, Kenya

Before this trip, I was intimidated by the thought of traveling in Africa. During my planning, I considered taking an organized overland tour instead of traveling on my own. Based on the news, Africa was a lawless, undeveloped, and dangerous place. I also knew I would stick out like a sore thumb everywhere I went due to the color of my skin. Naturally, I prefer to blend in. I don’t like to draw attention to myself. These are the reasons that I saved this trip until I had a bit more experience traveling.

Shortly after arriving in Ethiopia, I realized that I had no reason to be intimidated. I quickly fell in love with the continent. This turned out to be my favorite trip. Africa quickly became my favorite continent to travel.

After returning to the U.S, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I was unemployed and had given up on college. I felt depressed. Rather than moving back to expensive Southern California, I decided to move to Tijuana, where the cost of living is a bit lower. I figured this would buy me a bit more time to decide what I wanted to do with myself.

I rented a room in an apartment for $200 per month. To get by, I started doing gig work for Uber and Amazon in San Diego. I commuted across the border 4-5 times per week.

The arch in Tijuana
Monumental Arch, Tijuana

During this time, I also started this blog about my experience of living in Tijuana and working in the U.S. I had met a travel blogger in Africa who inspired me to give travel blogging a go. My expectations were low but I didn’t have anything else going on.

Over the next couple of years, I slowly expanded and developed this blog into my full-time job. During that time, I also made a couple of short trips to other parts of Mexico, Central America, and Cuba. Now, I live a digital nomad lifestyle.

Tijuana, Mexico
Tijuana, where I spent my first year of digital nomad life

How I’ve Changed Over The Past 10 Years

Over the past 10 years, I have traveled to around 60 countries. I caught the travel bug at 18 during my first trip to Europe. I thought it would go away after I started college but it only grew worse.

After my first trip, my life plans went out the window. I lost interest in my education because all I wanted to do was travel. I was obsessed. Instead of going to school and starting a career like my peers, I was out traveling.

This set me behind career-wise. In my mid-20s, I found myself without a degree or a job. I had no education or skills. I had also spent a massive amount of money traveling over the years. This set me behind financially.

When I returned home from South America, I was pretty much broke. For a time, I was completely lost. At one point, I thought that travel may have ruined my life. I had nothing going for me. I felt embarrassed to talk to my friends who had careers, relationships, homes, and money. All I had was a passport full of stamps.

Luckily, everything worked out in the end. I was able to develop this blog into a real job. Now, I earn enough to live comfortably, travel, and even save a bit of money. I don’t have any debt. The digital nomad lifestyle works for me. I will never be wealthy and I will never have a prestigious career.

Over the past 10 years, I have also slowed down a bit. During my first trip to Europe, I packed up and moved to a different city every 3-4 days. I scheduled my transport at night so I could save on a night of accommodation. Sleeping on buses and trains, packing and unpacking, and being on the move constantly didn’t bother me. I had plenty of energy in my teens and early 20s.

These days, I can’t maintain that kind of pace for more than a couple of weeks because I start to feel burned out. I prefer to travel slowly.

I usually base myself in one city for 2 weeks to a month or more before moving on. I’ll then usually take day trips around the surrounding region from my home base. If I really like a particular place, I’ll stay longer. If I don’t like it, I’ll move on after just a couple of days.

Mexico City
I recently spent a month in Mexico City

Part of the reason I travel slowly is because I have to work while I travel. It’s difficult to get work done while moving to a different place every couple of days. The move throws off my schedule and workflow. It’s also difficult to get work down on travel days. Before starting this blog, I never had to worry about that.

Another difference is my feelings toward my home country and the rest of the world. When I first started traveling, I was eager to leave the U.S. I grew up in a mid-sized city in the northwest and I hated it. The place was boring and run down. I thought things were so much better in Europe.

Ten years ago, I traveled to Europe. It was amazing. The cities I visited were pristine and well maintained. Every city had a convenient public transportation system that could take me almost anywhere. Most cities were also pedestrian-friendly. I could legally drink a beer on the street. In my home country, I couldn’t even drink legally yet. I wanted to live there.

Interestingly, the more I’ve traveled, the more I’ve grown to appreciate my home country, the United States. People are friendly, open, and accepting. The cost of living is lower than much of the rest of the developed world. Taxes are generally lower and wages are higher. There is also less regulation and bureaucracy and more personal freedom.

The population density is lower as well. I’m not much of a people person so it’s nice to have some space. Best of all, it’s possibly the most naturally beautiful country on earth.

Mt Rainier National Park, Washington
Hiking in Mount Rainier National Park

I’ve visited plenty of places that are nice to stay for a few weeks or months. I haven’t found any place where I’d rather live long term than the United States. It’s one of the best places to live. I will put down roots there someday.

Of course, I’ve also grown older over the past ten years. When I first started traveling, I was the youngest person at every hostel. I had just turned 18 a couple of weeks before my first trip.

These days, I’m the same age or slightly older than most other travelers. I’d guess that the average age in most hostels is 25-30. In a few years, I’ll become one of the older travelers.

The hostel experience itself hasn’t really changed since I’ve aged. Backpackers are social and welcoming people. Maybe things will be different in another ten years when I become one of the old guys in the hostel.

One thing I have noticed is that I have become a bit more of a loner over the years. From the ages of 18-24, I loved staying in social hostels and party hostels and meeting and going out with other travelers. A major goal of the trip was to make friends and party. I even went out of my way to visit social destinations like the Full Moon Party in Thailand.

These days, I spend more time alone when I travel. I prefer staying in a private hotel room or Airbnb instead of a hostel dorm. Having a bit of privacy is nice. I also enjoy being able to unpack and spread out a bit.

When I feel like going out, I prefer going on a date with a local rather than going out with a bunch of other travelers. Dating apps are an excellent way to meet people while traveling.

Of course, I still stay in hostel dorms occasionally when I’m feeling lonely or when I’m traveling in an expensive city. I also enjoy the occasional hostel party. It’s nice to chat with other travelers and compare notes about different destinations.

I’ve also grown to appreciate nature much more over the years. In the past, I was happy to spend my time exploring cities. I loved the hustle and bustle of a metropolis.

These days, I prefer visiting less populated areas. I love camping and hiking in national parks and wilderness areas when I travel. I really enjoy spending time in the mountains. Visiting small towns and rural regions also provides a unique experience. These places feel more adventurous. They’re off the beaten path.

A Swiss mountain town

How Travel Has Changed Over the Past 10 Years

The internet and technology have changed travel substantially over the past 10 years. I started traveling just before the mobile web really took off. I didn’t carry a smartphone or laptop with me on my first trip. Mostly due to the cost. The only piece of technology I carried was my camera. This made communication, research, planning, and navigation much more difficult than it is today.

In 2011 when I first started traveling, most travelers relied on hostel common computers and internet cafes for all of their internet needs including research, making bookings, and communicating with family and friends.

Pretty much every hostel had a few desktop computers set up in the common area for guests to use. During busy periods in the mornings and evenings, you’d have to wait for one to open up. Sometimes there was a time limit. Internet cafes were also much more common than they are today. In hostels, I would only see a handful of people with a smartphone or laptop. Most hostels still didn’t have Wifi yet. The last time I saw common computers in a hostel was in Lima, Peru in 2014.

After arriving in London at the beginning of my first trip, I bought a phone card and called my dad on a payphone to tell him that I arrived safely. That’s the last payphone I ever used. For most of my trip, I communicated with my parents and grandparents through email from a hostel common computer. I emailed my grandma every chance I got. I also sent some postcards to family and friends.

Today, communication is so much more convenient. There are dozens of apps I can use to keep in touch with friends and family for free right from my phone. If I don’t have a local sim card, I can just connect to wifi and communicate over the internet. I use WhatsApp most of the time.

Probably the biggest hassle 10 years ago was navigation. After booking a hostel, I would carefully copy down the address and directions on a piece of paper. I had to include landmarks, transit line numbers, distances, and every other detail I could find.

When I arrived in a new city, I’d have to follow my written directions precisely in order to find my hostel. This could sometimes include multiple modes of public transportation. If I took poor notes, finding the hostel would be a challenge.

For example, I walked around downtown Budapest for about 2 hours before I finally spotted my hostel’s postage stamp sized sign on the side of a building. On a couple of occasions, I had to find an internet cafe and look at the directions again. It was a major hassle.

Smartphones have made navigation so much easier. Wherever I am, I can just pull up the map and use GPS to navigate. I download offline maps from Maps.me before I enter a new country. This way, I can check where I am without an internet connection. This makes getting around so much easier. I rarely get lost these days.

Research and planning were also a hassle ten years ago. The only way to research my next destination or book my next hostel was to use a common computer or go to an internet cafe.

When I needed to book a seat on a train or bus, I would usually have to go to the station and book it in person. Most small bus companies didn’t have a website. Going to the station took time out of my day and was a major annoyance. These days, reservations can almost always be made online. Once in a while, I have to make a reservation in person.

For booking hotels and hostels, I tend to use different websites than I did 10 years ago. On my first trip, I always used Hostelworld.com for bookings. These days, I prefer Booking.com and Airbnb. I find that prices are a bit lower.

These days, it’s also easier to get around. Rideshare apps are available pretty much everywhere these days. It’s so much cheaper and more convenient to just order an Uber rather than having to haggle over taxi fare. I do still use public transport when available because it’s always cheaper. I also walk whenever possible.

Another major change has been the cost of travel. Some things have become more expensive while others have gotten cheaper.

Hostel prices have increased significantly over the past 10 years. On my first trip to Europe in 2011, I never paid more than $30 for a night in a hostel. Even in the most expensive western European cities. On average, I was paying around $20 per night. These days, a night in a centrally located hostel in an expensive European city such as Paris, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen can cost $50 easily. That’s getting a little steep. These same hostels charged $30 per night a decade ago.

Hostel prices in other parts of the world have increased as well. Cheap guesthouse-style hostels are becoming a bit less common. I have found that many hostels these days try to market themselves as a higher-end or ‘boutique’. They paint the walls, install a few nice fixtures, and hang some artwork and increase the price by 50%. Personally, I don’t care about the light fixtures or furniture in a hostel. I just want a cheap and clean place to sleep.

These days, I have found that it’s often cheaper to stay in a budget motel than a high-end hostel. I always check the prices of private rooms before booking a hostel dorm bed these days. Of course, hostel prices haven’t increased across the board. There are still plenty of affordable hostels in much of the world.

The price of airfare has decreased over the past ten years. On my first trip, I paid $1200 for a round trip ticket from Los Angeles to London. I shopped around quite a bit and that was the best deal I could find. I booked the trip well in advance.

These days, I could find that trip for less than $800. If I waited for a sale, I could book the same trip for less than $500. This is possible thanks to budget airlines. Booking sites also make it easier to find cheap connecting flights with multiple airlines.

Some Highlights From My First Ten Years of Travel

The memory of my earlier trips is getting a bit foggy but a few experiences stand out. Probably my top travel experience was going on safari in Africa. I visited both the Serengeti in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya. Seeing the big 5 African game animals in their natural habitat was an unforgettable experience. It’s something I had dreamed of since I was a kid watching nature documentaries.

Hot air balloons and buffalo in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Buying and riding a motorcycle through Vietnam was another top experience. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more free than I did while cruising across the Vietnamese countryside. Descending the beautiful Hai Van pass is one of my most memorable travel experiences.

Hai Van Pass, Vietnam
Hai Van Pass, Vietnam

That was also one of my most challenging trips. My bike was a mechanical nightmare. It broke down almost every day of the trip. I also crashed and injured myself to a point where I could hardly walk. The high points made up for it.

Visiting Sossusvlei in Namibia was another highlight. I had never even heard of this place before I traveled to Africa. The most memorable part of the experience was seeing the milky way for the first time. There was zero light pollution in the area so I could see the stars clearly. I stayed up for hours peering up at it.

Dead Vleai, Namibia
Dead Vlei, Namibia

Visiting India, in general, was a highlight as well. It’s the only place I could say I ever felt culture shock. The people, noise, and filth overwhelmed me at times. It’s also one of the only countries that I really want to visit again.

Of course, I’ve also visited some major tourist sites during my travels such as the Taj Mahal, Macchu Picchu, Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, the Colosseum, Stonehenge, Tikal, Teotihuacan, the Hermitage Museum, the Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower, and more. These sites are popular for a reason. They’re spectacular. I enjoy doing touristy things while traveling.

My Future Plans for the Next 10 Years of Travel

I have no plans to stop traveling. Hopefully, I can continue traveling, at least part-time, for the remainder of my life. I have two big trips planned for the near future. There are also lots of smaller trips and individual countries that I want to visit.

The first big trip I plan to take is to Central Asia. I’ll probably start in Europe and head east through the Caucuses then on to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

I also plan to take a West Africa trip at some point. I want to start in Morocco and travel along the coast all the way to Nigeria.

I’d also love to visit Japan, Madagascar, Mongolia, Brazil, Argentina, Antarctica, New Guinea, and the DRC. I doubt I’ll get to take all of these trips but I can dream.

Within the next couple of years, I plan to buy a house and set down some roots somewhere if I can afford it. I’ll probably still travel for 3-6 months per year. It would be nice to have a home base somewhere where I can store my things and start a home.

Living out of a backpack gets old. Having to constantly pack, unpack, and schlep all of my belongings around is the worst part of travel. So far, it’s certainly been worth the effort.

How has travel changed since your first trip? Share your experience in the comments below!

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