Lee and I just finished backpacking across Canada from the West Coast to the East Coast, and it was a thrilling three months filled with adventures, new friends, and never-before-seen sights. We made it all the way to St. John’s, Newfoundland and this is where we have decided to stay for the winter.
Newfoundland is a truly gorgeous place, but you might wonder why we would choose to stay put in one place for several months, when we have the freedom to work and travel anywhere in the world? However, there is a lot to be said for taking a break from covering ground and putting down roots in a destination for a short while.
Whenever we settle down like this, it’s never permanent. We don’t buy furniture or take out a mortgage or anything, we simply rent a cheap place to live and settle down into somewhat of a routine for a while. We did the same in New Zealand, living in Christchurch for about four months. Here in Newfoundland, Lee is working at an electronics shop and I am working on my writing.
Here are a few of the reasons why going into periodic “hibernation” periods from traveling can be beneficial:
You Can Really Get to Know the Place
Staying in a travel destination for longer gives you a better chance to see beyond the cliche tourist image and into what life is actually like there for a resident. Get to know the locals, adjust to the pace of life, and engage in local events. You will be rewarded with meaningful travel memories and glimpses into a culture that you might not have seen if you were only breezing through.
You Can Save Up Money
Moving around from one destination to another can be very expensive, especially with the added costs of airfare, train tickets, and buses. When you stay in one place for several weeks or months, you will probably be able to get a cheaper rate on accommodation by renting an apartment. If you have a working visa for the country you are travelling you can get a temporary job, and you can shop at the local supermarket to save money. These temporary breaks from travel can really help you build up your fund for the next trip.
It’s Good for Your Health
Although our trip across Canada was amazing, I must admit that I ate probably a little bit too much fast food, went drinking too often, and didn’t sleep well thanks to various nights spent on trains and in unfamiliar beds. It can sometimes be good to stay in one place for a while so that you can get into an exercise routine, cook healthy meals at home, and repair your body after the physical toll of months on the road.
It Gives You A Chance to Get Excited About Travel Again
After many months on the road, sometimes you can get a bit tired of planes, trains and automobiles and traveling can lose its excitement. Sometimes just doing nothing for a few months can help you recharge so that you can gather up the excitement for your next big journey. Lee and I are taking off to the USA and Southeast Asia later this year, and it’s nice to let the excitement build for that journey.
So when you are travelling the world, don’t feel bad if you find somewhere you like and you just want to settle down there for a few weeks, months or even a year. Hibernating in Newfoundland was a great choice for us, and when the spring starts to melt the snow our travel plans will begin to bloom again!