Wednesday Write-Up: Long Term Travel Life

As I was mopping our tile floors this morning, I had the sudden idea of how much the long-term travel life is similar to what one would consider a “normal”  life.  And I had a long time to think about it because it takes me an hour to sweep and mop these floors.

I have had many people ask me how long-term traveling is different from our old lives, but no one has ever asked me how it is the same. And even though no one has asked, I am going to share it anyways. I mean, I put some serious thought into this as I was trying to keep my mind off my chores. Someone out there must be curious, right?!


1. I still do housework. 

Yep, that’s right. I still sweep, mop, dust, do the dishes, and do the laundry. I also follow around my toddler and my husband picking up the things they somehow inevitably leave in their wake. I have done this throughout our journey around the world, although I did have a housekeeper once a week in Hua Hin that was included in our rent. That three months was heavenly in that respect.

I clean the house so often that my three-year old (who kindly helps me with many of the chores) calls us the housekeepers. I have a feeling that she will have a very clean house as an adult… Or maybe she will be a big mess in a way to rebel against her slightly clean freak mother. Only time will tell with that one.

Mess? What mess?
Mess? What mess?

2. I still cook.

When traveling on a long-term basis, it is almost impossible to eat out every meal. It is just too expensive. Even here in Thailand, where we can get a full meal complete with three dishes, an appetizer, and three beverages (a couple of those probably beer or wine at dinner) all for under $10 USD it is important to be frugal. Believe me, my one thing that I love to spend money on is eating out, but I have consented to the budgeting life (haha… yeah right, well sometimes) and cook at home often.

There have been some things that have made cooking in other countries much more interesting along the road. For example. here in Thailand it is not common to have an oven. One can get them, but our house doesn’t have one and we don’t really need it. We make do just fine with a couple of hobs. Plus it saves me from making massive amounts of homemade cookies, which brings me to the next part…

I do not need these... well at least not everyday.
I do not need these… well at least not everyday.

3. I still attempt to stay healthy.

When I am on vacation, I am on vacation from everything. From exercising, from eating healthy foods, from sleeping a normal amount of hours (well as much as a mom of a toddler can), pretty much from anything that I would normally do to stay healthy and fit. This lifestyle works for about 2 weeks. But, it would completely blow our budget if I was having to buy new clothes every month because I was living as if I was on vacation and not traveling long-term.

I have to eat a healthy diet and have to watch how much I eat (I use Weight Watchers Points Plus Program- It’s been amazing for me). I have to exercise. I have to sleep (oh my, how I have to sleep more still…. zzzzzzz).  This is my life, not a vacation from my life (how wonderful is that, Thank God!) so I have to continue to treat my body with care and respect.


My exercise of choice lately.
My exercise of choice lately.


So there you have it. three ways that my life stayed almost completely the same as it was back home. Exciting right?! Maybe next week, I will write another scintillating post about long-term travel, maybe even about the differences. That might be fun.

Have you traveled long-term and found similarities with your life back home? Share them with us in the comments if you want to! Or you can leave a comment with links to really delicious stove-top recipes you have found (or written about).  Or you can give me cleaning tips that make the time go faster. There are so many ways for you to comment and say hello! I hope you will!

photo credit: ginnerobot via photopin cc

  21 comments for “Wednesday Write-Up: Long Term Travel Life

  1. Benay
    September 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Jenny, I love it when you get all philosopical! Please keep it comming!

    We’ve lived in two different places this year and I find that my after about 2 weeks of ‘settling in’ (understanding where to shop, finding a good gym, sorting out my internet connection, finding cool stuff for my toddler to do), I’m back to my normal routines. Same same , just different. I works! 😉

    • andthreetogo
      September 10, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      Thanks Benay! It is amazing how quickly we get acclimated to a new place isn’t it! It makes life exciting but also gives the feeling of stability as well.

  2. mamabyfire
    September 11, 2014 at 12:05 am

    This makes sense. I imagine for the first few weeks, it would be like being on vacation, but then its business as usual. I would be better off without an oven, I make way too many cookies!

    • andthreetogo
      September 11, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Cookies are my yummy nemesis. 😉

  3. The Vanilla Housewife
    September 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I have a question. I am a very sentimental person and moving to the city took a lot of my guts and I cried a lot. It was miserable the first few months and even until now, I still miss it back home. If the time comes for you guys to move on to the next destination, do you think it will be hard? or would you be more excited to travel again.

    • andthreetogo
      September 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Oooooh, Jhanis that is a good question. And I want to answer it fully, would you mind if I write a post about it on Wednesday next?

  4. expatlingo
    September 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Perhaps this is not helpful, but when we lived in China without an oven I discovered that Chinese cake recipes exist where the cake is steamed on the stove top. They can be quite yummy! I don’t seem to have the recipie any more, but a quick google search might turn one up.

    • andthreetogo
      September 11, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      That sounds amazing… And horrible all at the same time. 🙂 My stomach thanks you (my thighs not so much) hahaha

  5. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    September 11, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I’m sure you’ve noticed (I have) that Jhanis at The Vanilla Housewife (for those who don’t know) has some spectacular dessert recipes that are stovetop. Ummm. Just telling you. Just in case. You know. You’re really missing a cookie. (Bad follower here.) This was a fun post to think about! One day, we will move to a warm climate destination. I wonder if its appeal to me will change as I move into “real life” rather than vacation? Loved the photo of Z stringing toilet paper all over! LOL!

    • andthreetogo
      September 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Oh I have. And I have pinned them for a day that I feel I have the strength of will not to eat the whole batch myself.
      Real life sets in somewhat, but there are things that will always be surreal. The beaches, the food, the people… Etc etc 🙂

  6. joylovestravel
    September 11, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Great post – people always write about what’s different so good to get an insight into the similarities. Never travelled long-term (unfortunately), I guess though housework has to be done no matter where you are!!

    • andthreetogo
      September 11, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      I guess if you want to live in a clean place it is. Haha
      Sometimes I wish I could be a little more comfortable with dirt. 🙂

  7. Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
    September 12, 2014 at 1:16 am

    See, this is really interesting insight! And what you reveal is so true – vacation time is “break the rules” time, but that only works for short periods for a lot of the usual rules we tend to break (spending big, eating big, lazing around and/or burning the candle both ends…).

    So you might be breaking some “rules” and going outside the box that way, but you still have to respect the long-term realities of economy and biology!

    • andthreetogo
      September 12, 2014 at 7:50 am

      Exactly! I think the hardest part for me is the eating big though hahah. Good thing they have small serving sizes in Thailand!

  8. Lani
    September 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I’ve written similar things because non-expats are under this impression that expats are living on “vacation”. This we know is absurd because we still have to make money, pay the bills and basically fend for ourselves. So I can totally relate to this post and I’m so glad you wrote it! Good overhead shot of Zoe w/ the tp by the by. 😛 And I can’t believe you don’t use a maid! Me, too 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      September 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      I know it is tempting every time I have to mop the floors to call up a house cleaner. 🙂

  9. Joy
    September 13, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Yup! Pretty much exactly the truth!

    • andthreetogo
      September 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      I am glad you think so! Miss you over here! 🙂 hope all is well stateside!

  10. Elle
    September 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Aw no, bubble burst; cooking and cleaning would be the very things I would hope to escape, if I could do some longterm travel. 😉 It really does make it more “normal”, but I suppose a degree of normal is always good too. 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      September 16, 2014 at 10:22 am

      If always seems so, until you are cleaning the toilet. 🙂 hahah

  11. Pingback: Wednesday Write-Up: Always Ready to Move - And Three To Go

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