The INSIDER Summary:
• Matt and Alana Elderbrook spent two years travelling the world before returning to the US.
• Adjusting to real life isn’t easy, and it’s the one part of long term travel that no one ever talks about.
Matt and Alana Elderbrook of a Great Big Globe didn’t set out to be travel bloggers. They just didn’t want to push off their bucket list items any longer.
After two whirlwind years of living out of backpacks and travelling the world, they decided it was time to return to their native Wisconsin and settle back into “real life.”
But adjusting to real life isn’t easy, and it’s the one downside to long term travel that no one ever talks about.
Here’s how they’re doing it.
Alana and Matt decided to quit their jobs and travel the world after meeting a couple in Nicaragua that had done just that.
'I just thought, 'Real people actually quit their jobs to travel?'' said Alana. 'Eventually, Matt and I decided that if we really wanted to see the world and travel to all the places on our never-ending bucket list, we needed to do it now and not wait for retirement.'
Although many people who take this plunge turn it into a permanent lifestyle, they always knew they'd return to the US.
'We always knew we were going to be coming back to the US. We wanted to experience travel and do the long-term travel gig and see the world, but in the back of our minds we didn't really plan on trying to become travel bloggers full-time,' Matt said.
For Alana, the highlight of their travels was a three-day safari in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.
Matt enjoyed experiencing different cultures through food and drink, citing Japan and Ireland as his top two.
'We weren't upset about it, to be honest,' said Matt. '(We were) almost excited at the prospect of coming back to the US, starting back up again, but doing so with almost a different view on how we're going to live and what we're going to do.'
After carrying everything they owned on their backs for that long, they realised they don't need that much in the first place. 'I don't want to spend my life cleaning my house or taking care of my things,' said Alana. 'I want to spend my life doing what I love and spending it with people that I love. Cluttering your life with stuff can really take away from that.'
They also learned that time is precious, and aim to be more conscious of how they spend their time back home.
'The travel, after two years, definitely changed us, and in my opinion changed us for the better,' Matt said.
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