How to adjust to real life after long-term travel -- according to a couple that is doing just that

Courtesy Great Big GlobeMatt and Alana Elderbrook of Great Big Globe.

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.

Still, they started a blog to keep track of their adventures.

Alana and Matt partnered with hotels and tour companies in some of their destinations, but the supplemental income was just a nice bonus, not a way to fund the whole trip.

They spent two years living out of backpacks.

For Alana, the highlight of their travels was a three-day safari in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.

'I'm a big animal person, and I've always wanted to see them in the wild in Africa,' she said.

Matt enjoyed experiencing different cultures through food and drink, citing Japan and Ireland as his top two.

'I would go back in a heartbeat to either of those countries,' he said.

It was in Guatemala that they realised they were ready to go home.

'We kind of looked at each other and said, 'I don't want to do this anymore,'' Alana said.

While they loved life on the road, it wasn't too difficult to call it quits.

'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.'

One change they decided to make upon their return is to own less stuff.

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.

'Time is worth something, and I think after two years on the road we realised that time is something you never get back,' said Alana.

'The travel, after two years, definitely changed us, and in my opinion changed us for the better,' Matt said.

And the Great Big Globe isn't going anywhere.

'Keeping Great Big Globe is also a great way to motivate ourselves to go on vacation,' Alana laughed.

She also started a new blog called The Wild Gut about fermentation, a passion she discovered through their travels.

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