The Ten Year Holiday

Ten years of holidays almost sounds too good to be true and well out of reach to your average human. I thought ten years of holidays was impossible unless you had some sort of location-independant income or you were an incredible travel blogger (Take WanderingEarl as an example, he’s been doing it for 13 years). This post isn’t about showing you how to travel non-stop for 10 years because realistically that’s something we’re going to have to learn together.

What I’m trying to do is show you how you can get 10 years of holidays for the low, low price of just 9 months. I’m warning you though the discovery of this logic was the turning point from me considering long-term travel to biting the bullet and making it happen. It’s simple and rather obvious once it’s explained and a very powerful reminder of how just one 9 month trip will change your life.

Spanish school in Puerto Escondido

Spanish school in Puerto Escondido

In January of 2010, a mate and I decided that we’d set off for a bit of snowboarding and travel at the end of the year, with no money in my bank account 10 months of an insane amount of overtime and second and third jobs followed before we hit the tarmac for Canada. This began a life-changing journey from the ski-fields of Canada, down the West Coast of America, through Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama to the jungles of Colombia. An unbelievable 9 month trip filled with memories I wouldn’t trade for the world, people I’ll never forget or hesitate to offer a bed when they’re in my town, and a very strong case of the travel bug. It was decided, this is what I want to spend the next few years of my life doing, if not my entire life.

What I’m getting at here is that those 40 weeks were absolutely incredible and I want to put into perspective just how hard it would be to get 40 weeks of holidays in the alternate fashion-working hard every year for a 4 week vacation at the end of the year.

The average worker gets around 4 weeks of paid holiday per year (varies a little depending on your country) but statistics show that the full 4 weeks of holidays are often not taken putting a realistic estimate of annual holidays between 2 and 4 weeks a year. You also have to take into account that included in this time is the rush to pack and unpack, the relentless jet lag before and after the trip and the stress of organising a trip. It seems that in a two week holiday you hardly get time to relax before you’re back at work saving for the next trip.

san pedro

At this rate, to get same amount of holidays that a 9 month trip would give you, you would have to spend over 10 years in the workforce and as we just explained those trips might not always be that fulfilling.

I strongly urge everyone to travel before they do anything else. You’ll come back a more complete person with a richer character and priceless experiences some of which you may find help you strengthen your relationships, passions and careers. When you think about it, you might put yourself ‘behind’ by a year in terms of career progression but over a 40 year career that will dissolve pretty quickly and what you get in return is a 10 year head start on holidays, experiences and relationships you wouldn’t trade for the world.

Just remember, no one ever regretted that time they went travelling….