When it comes to long-term travel abroad, you have two options: backpack or live in another country. Both have their pros and cons. This guide can help you to choose the right option for you.
Why choose to backpack?
Unlike living abroad, backpacking doesn’t tie you to one place. Everything you need is on your back – this gives you total freedom to travel where you want without having to return to the same base.
Those that are looking to cover a lot of miles or potentially explore multiple countries should choose backpacking. It’s ideal if you’ve got a bucket list with lots of places to tick off.
Backpacking can be done fairly affordably if you’re willing to consider cheap accommodation such as hostels, As you’ll constantly be on the move, it is possible to spend more on transport – however, there are tricks for saving money on planes and buses.
Things to consider when traveling long term
Because you won’t be based anywhere for too long, you need to be prepared for constantly meeting and saying goodbye to people, as well as being on the move all the time. Backpacking can be very tiring at times. If you’re a creature of habit, you may find it more stressful than enjoyable – it’s more suitable for those that enjoy new experiences and a fast-paced lifestyle. Traveling with a partner, friend, or family member can make it easier.
You also need to consider how to fund your travels and how to handle commitments. Some people will save up lots of money beforehand, while others will find a way of making money on the go. Making enough funds could be a struggle if you’ve still got rent or a mortgage to pay back home – some people move out or take on a lodger while traveling to cover payments. Backpacking with kids can be very challenging (although it can be done).
Why live abroad?
Living abroad allows you to not just skim the surface of culture but actually live it like a local. It may even be an opportunity to adopt the lifestyle or learn a new language.
You’ll have the stability of being in one place. This could allow you to get into a routine, build deeper friendships and possibly find a more secure job to provide an income. It’s often a better option if you have kids or pets.
Some people live abroad for reasons beyond traveling. This could include pursuing a specialist career path, studying a course, or reconnecting with distant family/friends. You may even be looking to move there permanently if it’s a place that’s been calling you for a while.
Things to consider when living abroad
Living abroad ties you to one location, so don’t expect to see as much as you might do when backpacking. You’ll need to immerse yourself in the culture more, possibly learning the language and getting to understand local laws. It’s better for creating a deep connection with one place.
You’ll have to look for long-term accommodation, which could be more costly in the long run than staying at hostels. Those that are thinking of staying abroad for a couple of years could consider buying property such as these beli rumah in Malaysia. If you’re only living somewhere for a few months, it might be better to rent somewhere or stay with a local family. In some cases, you may be able to get a job at a resort that provides accommodation.
There could be extra costs involved when moving abroad such as seeking out a working visa, moving belongings over, and having to pay bills. It all depends on how long you plan to stay. Finding a job before you go could be worthwhile so that you’re not panicking to secure an income while there. If you’re planning to live abroad for a few months or are studying, you may be able to save up in advance without getting a job, however, it could require a lot of savings.
Which is right for you?
If you want to see lots of places in one trip and you can thrive without a routine, then backpacking is the right option for you. It’s ideal if you’re at a certain stage in your life where you have few commitments.
Living abroad can be a more stable option for those that want to truly immerse themselves in a certain culture. If you want to keep some routine and aren’t worried about seeing lots of places, it’s definitely the better option.