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Do you dream of a worldwide travel adventure, following your heart and going where the wind takes you? Putting your life on pause for months to indulge in long-term travel around the world is something few travelers get to experience, but for those who do, it’s a life-changing opportunity to satisfy your lust for life.


But what no one tells you about these incredible adventures is that in between those once-in-a-lifetime encounters, things can occasionally – just very, very occasionally – get pretty dull. It seems unbelievable, but often when you’re traveling – particularly on a solo adventure – you’ll encounter brief periods of time where very little is happening.


These lulls will usually be on long-term travel between one destination or the next, but it could just as easily be a dull afternoon or slow evening in your hostel. To fill these quiet moments, here are just three magical ways to make the most of your travel adventure, even when you’re sitting still.


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Long-Term Travel: What to Do When You’re Bored

1. Write


Writing is a rewarding experience that allows the mind to wander and express its innermost thoughts. And whether it’s prose, poetry, a journal, or even a blog, it’s is a wonderful way to document your travel experiences. That novel you’ve been meaning to write for years? Take it with you! Let your adventures inspire your work.


And of course, the best advice for any budding writer is to read – if you don’t want to be weighed down by hefty tomes, invest in an e-reader or simply download a book to your phone or tablet to be accessed anywhere on the go. Swap out those mindless scrolls through social media for some quality reading material and enjoy.


Getting to know great travel writers like Jan Morris, Wilfred Thesiger, Barry Lopez, Eric Hansen, Bill Bryson, and Freya Stark will provide unique insights on bringing the world’s most amazing places to life through evocative words – and help you mold your own, unique writing style.


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2. Learn


The internet makes it easier than ever to learn on the go, whether it’s a three-minute video on the history of aviation or studying for a new qualification. Many of the courses offered by ARU Distance Learning take place 100% online, meaning they can be accessed from anywhere in the world at your own pace.


Studying whilst traveling will equip you with lifelong skills for a promising future career whenever you decide to return home – changing your career destination can be a journey in itself.


Another great by-product of online learning is that you develop friendships with classmates from all over the world, which means you’ll never be stuck for somewhere to stay during future adventures!


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3. Create


Much like writing, art is a beautiful way to remember your travels. Carry a sketchbook wherever you go and capture the stunning landscapes and beautiful cities you come across. Even if you’ve never drawn before, a simple sketch can be a peaceful way to pass an hour or two.


For visual art inspiration, take a look at some of the classic travel paintings of years gone by. Who could fail to be moved by masterpieces like The Houses of Parliament, Sunset by Claude Monet, View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer, Window at Tangier by Henri Matisse, or Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.


Alternatively, go retro and try your hand at some form of needlework. You’ll find plenty of basic knitting patterns to make your own hat, scarf, or gloves as an easy introduction. Besides, rudimentary sewing skills can be incredibly useful for saving a little money here and there – if you can patch up a hole or stitch on a spare button, you’ll never have to replace a perfectly good shirt or coat again! Well, not for a while, anyway…


Travel is an adventure for the mind as well as the body. So during those moments of downtime, instead of getting frustrated, writing, topping up your knowledge formally and informally, and indulging your creative side are amazing ways to maximize your enjoyment and nourish your soul.


By squeezing every ounce of positivity out of these long-term travel tips, you’ll direct yourself into countless new dimensions, picking up new skills every step of the way, on a journey that lasts long beyond the date you return to your home base.


For travel to be truly transformational, you need to instill the discipline to find delight in every moment – from the sun setting over the horizon in a beachside bar, to the bubbles in your beer as they bounce to the surface of your glass.


Remember that it’s called the ‘present’ because it’s a gift – by being fully “in the moment” as you travel, your experience will be infinitely rewarding. So, follow these three long-term travel tips to fill those quiet moments and maximize your globetrotting fun – bon voyage!



Carissa Shuman

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