Reasons To Take A Round The World Trip

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12 Reasons to take a round the world trip (RTW). Only 12? There are far more, but I’ve tried to condense them into an even dozen. Our primary reason for travelling is education, learning, and understanding. I’ve always been driven by my thirst for knowledge in the areas that interest me, this is why I’ve always travelled and why I now want my children to travel. Travel IS education. But there are more reasons, they work at any age and for couples, singles,, and families. Why waste your life feathering a nest or saving for a retirement that may never come? Follow your heart, get out there and live life NOW! We only have the now, the future is always uncertain so start planning your RTW.

Reasons to take a RTW Nepal

Reasons to Take a RTW

A Round The World Trip Is Fun!

It’s possibly the most awesome fun you will ever have, no commitments, no schedules, no work, leave all your obligations behind, you’re free for this precious time.

You decisions from endless possibilities, what to do and when to do it. You can be around people or be alone. You pick your activity, be it bungee jumping or camel riding, when and with whom.

You can sit under a palm tree with all the books you ever wanted to read or climb a mountain. You have time to do things you may never do at home, to draw, write or develop your spiritual side.

No responsibilities other than calling your Mum every now and then. It’s fun, your way.

Annapurna circuit
Annapurna circuit. 3 weeks of amazing trekking in Nepal.

Travel can be cheaper than staying at home

You may not believe me right now, but it can. The longer and slower you travel, the less flights you take, the less you rush around, the cheaper it gets per day. 

Not in total, that’s a fallacy, but per day costs come down. You can reduce your carbon footprint by adopting slow travel.

Work out how much of your salary is normally left after rent, mortgage, car loan, utility bills, and all that other stuff is taken out. I’ll bet you’ll find you can live on way less than that in many countries.

Not all, there are huge variations, you may need to pick destinations to suit your budget. Have a look at our About page to start thinking about how to make your trip affordable.

Ularu, we got there by train and car and lived in a tiny tent.

You get to visit all the places you ever wanted to go

Do you dream of Mount Everest, the Taj Mahal and Petra? I do. I’ve not been to those 3 places, somehow we’ve missed them and I need to  see them urgently.

( Update: Mount Everest is now in the bag. Read how we took the kids to Everest Base Camp here.)

We all have dreams of different iconic attractions, I’ve ticked a lot of mine off already but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go back for a second look.

So if it’s the Great Wall of China, Disneyland, or Machu Picchu that’s calling you, go, start reducing your bucket list.

I’ll tell you something else, planning your trip and where you’ll go is a big part of the fun.

The Ghan, Australia
Traveling on the Ghan Australia

You Will Learn and Grow

You will see the world through fresh eyes. Not just in an appreciative way, in thanking your lucky stars to be born privileged, in a time and place where freedom, health and travel are a possibility. Not just in the learning and understanding that go hand in hand with extended travel.

It will change the way you live your life. When you get back you will question what you are doing, and why, you will know that anything is possible and that you have the power to change your life for one you like better.

It will give you self-confidence, you did something that most people never do, it’s pretty special.

I have been unable to sit still since we came back, unable to accept any normality that I found boring, unable to do things because they are just what’s expected of normal people.

Maybe it’s a bad thing, maybe I should conform more, but life is certainly more interesting these days, I seem to be doing more things that others consider odd (homebirth, homeschool, endless travel) but it’s the way I like it.

Diving Great Barrier Reef
Learn to feel comfortable in a strange environment, learn to Scuba Dive.

If you don’t, you will regret it

If in any corner of your mind you have that nagging idea that you really should be doing this, breaking free, living your dream, it’s probably time you did!  

You could just let it pass you by, leave in unfulfilled, I know it’s a cliche, but I want to be telling everyone  in the nursing home what an amazing ride it’s been, not just an OK one.

I hope I never have to say I’m too old for anything, but one day I may wake up and find it’s too late, the body has let me down and I simply can’t do this stuff any more.

My dear friend Ange just climbed to Everest Base Camp at 65 years old, I hope I hold out as well as she has, but I’m not taking a gamble on it. Who knows what the future holds. Climb a mountain before your knees give in!

Tea with Mongolian nomads
Making new friends, taking tea with a family of nomads in Mongolia.

 You will meet people

I met my fantastic husband on the Nile, so romance may be out there for you too.

Other than that, you will meet interesting, outstanding, inspirational, irritating, and ordinary people. From every country and every background, your fellow travelers and the people who live in your destination countries.

You will share stories, experiences, games, and food. You will support each other through the hard times and celebrate the good times. You will be humbled by the generosity of some and staggered by the selfishness of others.

They are all out there, waiting for you. I will never forget some of the people we met on the road, from the deeply caring to the downright irritating.

Village in Rajasthan
Hanging out with the camels in a village in Rajasthan

Learn a new skill

Be is scuba diving, Thai cookery, or yoga, certain skills are best learnt in certain places. There are millions of courses out there, all achievable. Think what really attracts you and start finding out where best to do them.

They can increase your employability, enhance your life, maybe even change your career path as part of your round the world trip. Your RTW will give you the time you wouldn’t normally have to master something.

I can honestly say that travel has changed my life, I was a bored scientist, now I’m a full-time travel blogger, miracles do happen!

Satay Bali
Finding new and exotic foods is easy when you are 5. As you get older you have to travel further. Satay next to a rice field. Bali.

Get Fit

I lose loads of weight while we are traveling, most people do. For me, it’s a combination of walking a lot, often carrying a heavy pack, eating light (Asian food is so healthy), cutting down on junk (who wants chips when you can have Tom Yum) and climbing a few mountains for a week or two at a time.

It’s not, as most people suspect, as a result of Delhi belly. I’ve done really well so far in not getting sick, I think it’s mostly down to good hand hygiene.

There are plenty of trips where you can build in trekking, cycling, kayaking, mountain climbing, just about anything really. If exercise is your thing it can be a major focus of your life all day, every day, no work commitments to stop you sweating.

Ankor Wat , Cambodia
Another one off the bucket list, Ankor Wat, Cambodia, is breathtaking.


For couples or families, this sort of time together is precious, we waste our lives working for somebody else to pay for expensive toys we don’t need. Take out most of the distractions in our busy lives, not just work, TV, cell phones, computers.

Travel gives us uninterrupted time for each other, to talk, play, read together, get to know each other again.

Lake Titicaca, Peru
Plenty of couple time on a floating reed island. Lake Titicaca, Peru.

Lose the clutter

There is something extremely liberating about being free of unnecessary material possessions. Everything is in your pack, no dramas over what to wear, you only have thongs and one clean outfit, so it’ll do.  

No worries over matching your wardrobe, you wear what you have, if something gets damaged, it’s cheap and easy to replace on the road (mostly).

It’s the Buddhist way, possessions do not bring contentment, desiring more and more material goods leads to suffering. You may find you never return to a wardrobe full of unnecessary and expensive clothes, we didn’t.

Golden Temple rats Kathmandu
The Golden Temple in Kathmandu houses thousands of sacred rats. It pushed MY limits, no shoes allowed.

Push your limits

Fears and doubts so often hold us back. Get out there and destroy those artificial limits you’ve placed on yourself, smash them! If you’re scared of spiders, shy, lacking in self-confidence   that was me..all three!), doing something different, something unusual, will help you break free and feel strong, capable and proud of yourself.

Do something you wouldn’t normally do, try a new food, chat to strangers, learn a skill. It all helps develop the strength we all need to feel great about ourselves.

Alice Springs Camel Cup
Discover a new sport. The Alice Springs Camel Cup.

Give something back

Have you thought about volunteering? We all have skills that could be put to good use somewhere in the world, could you teach, build, help on a farm or environmental project? There are so many schemes out there, not many of us will get the chance to help out with orphaned orangutans, it is very expensive for the volunteer in many cases, but there are ways you could help someone in need.

We volunteer in a small way with Tangaroa Blue when we are in Australia.

Can you think of any more reasons why extended travel is so great? Please let me know, I’ll stick them on my list. I haven’t written a bucket list, but it would start with Bhutan, Everest, Burma, and Jordan, they just didn’t fit on our last round the world trip. What would you do on your RTW?

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

21 thoughts on “Reasons To Take A Round The World Trip”

  1. Of course I just love this. I am so excited for you next leg in your adventures. Even though we started as expats for a couple of years and now doing more of the RTW or exploration, you just need to travel. RTW or not, just go somewhere new and meet new people, try new things and challenge yourself.

  2. Great post! I would love to do a RTW trip, especially if I can actually lose weight. I always seem to gain weight when we travel long term, but I think that is the difference between US and oversees travel. Convenience food here is so fattening. Not a lot of fast fruit stands on the side of the road in the US.

    • I had the same problem in the US, then compound that with a couple of cruise ships. I’m very much looking forward to getting back to Asia in February, I always feel much better for eating right.

  3. Well, it’s nevertheless uplifting to take a round the World trip. But it’s certainly costly!
    So I’m not that sure about this being cheaper than staying at home.
    Depends on who you are, how you live at home and which country you’re coming from and most importantly: how much you make and home and how much you spend…
    Suppose you take a round the World trip and you touch expensive destinations like Dubai, Tokyo, Sydney… Well, that would be an expensive trip.

    • Hi mysterious traveller! Well, of course, you could make your trip as cheap or expensive as you like, but for people who backpack as we do, I’d expect it to work out cheaper just about every time. We live in Australia normally, our mortgage payments were tiny and still, toting up what we paid on utilities, council payments, food, etc, it came to a lot! One heck of a lot more than we spend on the road. If it didn’t then this sort of travel wouldn’t have been an option for us. Also remember that Asia is our continent of choice, we spend most of our time there and got by on around $50/day. We’re in the expensive countries now, UK and USA, but still, it’s not so bad. If you were really pushed for cash you could always couch surf, plenty of people do. The trick is, spend a day or two in the expensive parts, months in the cheap parts. Thanks for commenting!

  4. These are all great reason to travel for a long period of time. Sort of along the same lines as meeting people, but I love those conversations with strangers you can have while traveling. They always leave me with powerful one liners about the place.

  5. I havn’t done an around the world travel trip in 18 years. we’re stationary in france now but all those things you listed is how we feel about are now 1.4 year stay (so far) in France. From “losing the clutter” to “reconnecting”. Not only with your significant other and kids but with yourself. It’s a time to get to know or learn things about yourself you never knew.

  6. I agree with 2. and 5. !!

    We spent a third traveling around the world vs. our normal spend in Chicago. and noone will ever regret taking a year to travel. You have so many amazing experiences in one year of travel, the only risk is that it becomes addicting and you want to keep traveling.

    • It most certainly is addictive Caroline, but is that not a good thing? I’ve tried to settle down, be a home builder for the last 5 years, it’s just not working. Now that the kids are old enough to enjoy and learn from this sort of travel, we’re off again, only 5 months to go now! Thanks so much for commenting, I always read your blog, it’s great.

  7. I second traveling being cheaper than staying at home. In DC we were paying $1600 a month just for our apartment, and that was before we even did anything! Now with that $1600 a month we’re not only able to secure accomodation but also it covers a lot of our food/drink/site seeing/transportation/etc.

    • Glad you support my theory Dave! I was a bit scared by the amount of cash you two have saved for your trip, it’s a lot more than we will be taking, but you’ve got some big expenses, more in flights etc. We’ll be pretty happy to leave here with $20 000. That should keep us going for a long time if we take it really easy. Our daily budget in India last time was $10/day, and that’s not each! Thanks for taking the time to comment all the way from China! Alyson

  8. Spot on list. I love how you incorporated photos to highlight each point in your list.

  9. I like the bit about calling your Mum!! That doesn’t happen to me and I would like my sons to do so from time to time whether they are travelling or not!! I think many people in our society get stuck into their routines and think it is too much trouble to get up and go go go overseas. They like it at home too., they just don’t have the travel bug. You’re right about keeping fit. I didn’t get sick in Cambodia which really surprised me. We ate freshly cooked wherever we went and had no trouble and I have a very sensitive tum.

    • Thanks Suze, now I’m a Mum I totally get that! It’s not compulsory to travel, obviously, but if you’ve got the urge to do it then you should go, there is nothing as sad as unfulfilled dreams.

  10. Great Read Alyson

    My sister has just been over to Nepal with her four children. She bought the youngest one home and her husband is taking the other three to base camp Mt Everest.

    You really do inspire us to get out there and see the world.

    I love the overcoming of fears. We can so often think of the potential tsunamis, muggings, political unrest, terrorism, landslides, earthquakes, illnesses etc and forget about all the positives.

    You capture it all and still make it sound bearable and possible and enjoyable.

    x Kym x

    • Thanks Kym, I am very, very jealous of your family, I’ve trekked around Anapurna for 3 weeks and I’ve seen Mt Everest from a plane, but I just want to be there. I’m not sure if I’m up for taking the boys to that sort of altitude yet, James has had terrible altitude sickness in Peru and I’ve seen people helicoptered out in the Himalayas so I know how bad it could be. You must let me know how they get on, what ages are they? As with most things, the kids will probably go better than the adults. Alysonx


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