Should I Settle Or Should I Travel?

The Tourist Of Life


Settel or travel? I’ve seen questions like this pop up a lot of times before.. and I’ve seen dozens of blogposts similar to ‘How to travel the world fulltime’ telling people to quit their day jobs and travel the world. The reality is that most people can’t live the lifestyle of a fulltime nomad and the reality is that we still need to earn money, and we still need to have a place to come home to. Whenever the question of settling or traveling pops up in your mind, at a certain time in your life just remember this:


“The question whether to settle or to travel is irrelevant; it’s not a choice – it’s a combination.”


Why should it be a choice? You want to travel, so you can’t be in a successful relationship? Or you want to buy a house, because you simply need a place to sleep, so now you can’t travel anymore? It sounds ridiculous, I know. But to be honest, if I hear some of my ‘colleague’ travelbloggers talking about ‘how you should give up everything to travel the world fulltime’ it definitely sounds like these statements are true.


You can consider these travelbloggers as lucky: they see a lot of the world in a short amount of time living like nomads. But thinking about how they have no place to come home to and almost never see their friends and family I’m definitely not one to be jealous, and you shouldn’t be either. And you should definitely not think it’s the choice of settling OR traveling.


The combination of settling and traveling, sounds far more peaceful and easy. Take me, for example: I’m a 20 year old, I just graduated. I moved house with my boyfriend because I simply needed a place to live. Next to travelblogging I work a parttime job because I simply need the money, and I am in a successful relationship with my boyfriend and I own the most cutest dog of the world. I still however manage to visit more than 10 countries a year, and a number of destinations even when my boyfriend doesn’t like to travel and my parents and friends barely have the time to do so. This does mean that I need to save a lot of money for travel, that I need to find someone who watches over my dog when I’m gone and that I need to inform my boss about the dates I want to travel. But overal, I think I can handle the combination of settling and traveling perfectly well, so how can you make it work for you?


Norway - The Tourist Of Life

Save an amount of money per month


Make a financial plan for yourself: how much do you spend per month, and how much income do you have.. based on this results, what do you feel comfortable with to save for your travels? Set a goal, and give yourself an amount of money that you can put away for your travels every month.


Plan trips months in advance

Planning a last-minute while you have a fulltime job probably isn’t going to work, just like last-minutes aren’t going to work if you need to arrange something for your house, pets or children. So be sure to plan months in advance so you can arrange everything before leaving.


Tell everyone about your travel-dreams

For some reason this makes it so much easier to find help when you need it. People are gladly willing to help you out if they get the chance to make your dream come true. However, if you never talk about traveling and you suddenly need someone to watch over your house, you suddenly need three weeks of from work, and you need to leave your family.. people will not quite understand it and will not feel compassionate.


For example: my boyfriend knows how much traveling means to me, so he never complains when I ‘go again’ – even though he doesn’t feel the same way about it. My boss also knows about my travelblog, and when I work hard and work a little bit during my travels he doesn’t mind me leaving at all.


Traveling doesn’t mean you have to go away for a month

Within a four hour drive I am in Nothern-France, within a six hour drive I’m in Berlin, and within two hours I’ll be in Antwerp, Bruges, Gent or Brussels. Easily enough for me to travel abroad while not going away for too long. I’m sure, that wherever you live, you can drive somewhere awesome as well.. traveling doesn’t mean you have to go away for a month, and even with a 9 till 5 job you can go away during weekends.


When nobody wants to go with you.. go solo

If you’re boyfriend doesn’t like to travel.. travel solo. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the relationship and leave all together, as some articles might tell you. I’ve written a lot of articles about traveling solo, so if you’re still not convinced about going solo, definitely read these articles!


Who said you can’t travel with kids or pets?

Even if you’re completely settled down and have somebody to take care of, you still can travel. Who said camping isn’t fun for children, and who said there is nothing in cities to do for them? There are also a lot of hotels, airbnb rentals and campings that allow you to bring pets with you. So why not? And if you do want to travel without them, just ask your neighbors, your parents, family or friends!


Remember: you don’t have to compare yourself to travelbloggers or others who live the nomad lifestyle: as long as you can travel, you should be thankful! ‘Just once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.’ – Dalai Lama.


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  • Thank you, this is exactly how I feel. Yes, it would be incredibly nice to travel all you want and never have to worry about catching that plane or train back, but the reality is that we indeed need to make money. Being a traveler isn’t a black and white thing. It isn’t all or nothing. At least, that’s what reality is like for most of us, I was thinking about writing a post like this, but now I don’t need to anymore. 🙂

  • Restless Cat

    I totally understand you and it’s great that you found your balance between settling and traveling. After I’ve been a long time abroad I returned “home” and last year I thought I could settle down, get a job and live my life in Germany but now I feel more and more like settling down for 2 years in another country and then move on… it’s currently a internal battle 🙂

  • Eleftheria

    Thanks for sharing this!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂
    I sometimes jealous those who quit everything and travel the world….and sometimes I wish I could it…………but I just can’t!!!!
    I also have a home,two dogs,a job (I also need the money) but at the same time I find the time to travel….maybe not as mush as I would like to,but it would be unfair for me to complain……and I’m travelling mostly solo…..and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!
    (I owe a lot to my mom who watches my dogs over,every time I’m travelling)

  • Rachael Brennan

    I think i’ve found the perfect combination of this. I LOVE travel, but I also love my home. I found a good job overseas and now my family and I (partner, child, dog and cat) have moved to Japan for a few years. I feel like living overseas satiates my need for travel, but also allows me to feel settled 🙂

  • Natasha

    You’re so lucky that you live in an area where you can travel so much! I liVe in Hawaii, so we literally can’t drive anywhere else. It costs an arm and a leg to fly out and My job only allows a few days off each year. In the future I’m going to quit my job for about a year to travel, but I do have a dog and a house too! This was a good post though, no matter the situation it can be worked out.

    • Ouch, I can imagine that will cost you. You consider me as lucky for living in Europe, but then again, I would love to visit Hawaii and to be closer to the west-coast of the USA and middle Amerika (I’m in looove with Costa Rica and Panama) but that is such a long way from my home to visit!

      • True! Pros and cons to living in any area I guess 🙂

  • The 5 to 9 Traveller

    Excellent post and one in which I feel more people should talk about. I love to travel like LOVE but there are still things I would like to achieve in my life that requires holding down a 9 to 5 (including funding the travel life) that lies outside of travel. Sometimes I think the ‘quit your job and travel life’ stories give hugely unrealistic romantic ideas ( a bit Disney-esque if you know what I mean lol). There can still be hardships encountered adopting the traveller lifestyle only and fulltime. I definately think I have the right balance and in the words of Aude Revier ‘…its good to come home as well, and prepare for a new departure.’

    • Definitely! I recently saw a quote ‘don’t worry about the money, just travel.’. I mean I’m sorry, but I would like to NOT be evicted from out my home because I didn’t pay my rent. Why do people think of traveling and settling as a choice you HAVE to make?

  • Michele Roberts

    Definitely everyone should travel. Because anyone can settle anytime but travel can not be done anytime so one should utilize this time exploring.