5 Things I Miss Most While Traveling Around the World

Mar 06, 2016

You know, traveling long-term is pretty awesome. Everything is new almost all the time and freedom from nagging responsibilities is just a way of life. It’s nirvana for the free spirited and constantly tantalizing for the adventurous souls. But as I have said before, it isn’t all happy times and life in Technicolor. Sometimes it’s boring. Sometimes it’s annoying. More often than you would like, sometimes it’s uncomfortable. That being the case, I tend to drift at times from euphoric awe and sullen frustration and everywhere in between when I think about the fantastic journey we are on. Some aspects about traveling just do not jive with my personality or preferences and, like anyone; I tend to miss a few things from home.

My morning routine

 Delicious coffee.

This is a big one for me. I do maintain a semblance of routine but it is much more difficult to do when almost every day is different and your surroundings are always changing. Now before you say “dude, I thought you were all ‘F your routine and travel,’ what’s with this I miss routine BS?” It’s not that I miss monotony; I just miss a part of my morning ritual that sets the tone for my day and helps me focus.

Here’s what my typical routine was like: Get up around 6:00am and get some coffee going. Have a seat at my desk to read up on the news or better yet, sit at the table on the balcony of our little apartment (I miss that little Ivory Tower something fierce!), with a newspaper and see what’s happening in the world. Sip coffee and read for about 30-40 minutes before getting dressed for the day and making breakfast. Around 7:15 or 7:30 I usually got started in on something productive and depending on the day, that was commonly a workout or just heading off to work.

It was simple but pleasurable and always put me a good mood. Saturdays were my favorite with the extra long coffee and reading session followed by a light breakfast, a hardy workout at around 8:30.  A trip to the Public Market to knock out some shopping usually followed.

When traveling, however, my routine is usually just crappy coffee in the common area wherever we are staying and with any luck a weak wifi-signal which is only allowing me to load basic articles on my phone at a snails pace. Assuming we aren’t scheduled for an early departure. Camping in OZ and around NZ were different of course as we could take some more time to get going and enjoy the morning but those places are exceptions to the norm.

My bed

I think we can all agree there’s nothing like our own beds. I for one do not skimp on beds. I might trim costs in almost every department of my life to maximize savings wherever I can but when it comes to my bed, the place I spend 30% of every day, it’s the best or nothing at all and I had a great bed. Sleeping in a different bed every few nights isn’t all that bad and I tend to sleep fine everywhere we go but I truly relish a nice mattress with soft sheets and comfy pillow.

Sometimes we stay at a place that has a decent bed and I just lay around in the evening to take advantage of it. As I write this post in fact, I am laying on the best bed I’ve had to sleep in since our trip began. It’s an Airbnb place in Indonesia that was a steal at $20 a night. Sure it’s a little more than we wanted to spend on accommodation but this bed is totally worth every penny.


This one might sound odd but it is a pain in the ass to store food while traveling. In most instances we travel without any stored food with the exception of maybe a few small spice packets, instant coffee or olive oil for cooking in hostels. But without a refrigerator, storing healthy and fresh food to consume it a day or two later can be tough. It can make it really hard sometimes to eat well and all but impossible to buy/prepare in bulk. We will cook a larger meal sometimes if we have a few days somewhere but that’s usually happens only when it isn’t cheaper to eat the typical local fair and we have a usable kitchen. Even fresh fruits have a short shelf life as the heat and bugs get to them pretty quickly or they get smashed and bruised while we are in transit.

Just having a place to keep drinks cold or get some ice can be tough sometimes. If there is a communal refrigerator, then you usually have to hope someone doesn’t swipe your stuff or that it doesn’t get destroyed in the constant shuffling of food items as people rummage for the bowl of pasta they tossed in the fridge three days ago. Yep, whenever I have a place to call home again, I will not take having my own refrigerator for granted. 

Being productive

Doing things like roofing a friends house

This is a big one for me. Jen will tell you “Teague needs to be kept busy” but that might be over simplifying my need for productive effort. If you’ve worked with me then you probably know what I mean and are shaking your head thinking “ah yes, Teague never really stops doing things.” It’s not that I need to be occupied with any old task. No, meaningless things will certainly not do. I need to be doing something with purpose. Something I can get into and feel accomplished in completing. Travel doesn’t really offer that. I mean sure, I get some sense of accomplishment when we complete a long journey or have a full day of adventure but those things only serve me. What I really miss is doing something that impacts others and has some tangible result. It doesn’t need to be world changing or even all that important but it does need to have a purpose and a result. When I can blend those two in with an interesting work environment and great co-workers, I get into productivity overdrive. Like, block-out the world and forgetting to eat mode. I love that though! When I was home for my brothers wedding, I was on busy doing stuff almost every single day and it was great.

Matt and Elissa probably saw this side of me quite a bit. It’s the manic “I need to be doing something right now” side that is impatient and always on the move. I had a chance to satiate a few times while traveling but not often enough.

Healthy habits

 Working hard on a Saturday

Ok, so this just comes down to choices and priorities right? But I would argue that traveling does make it tough to carry on healthy habits, especially when you’re trying to live on a budget and are constantly on the move. Whenever we do settle in somewhere for a few days, I’ve been much better about locating places to buy healthy food and getting in some much needed exercise but it is nothing like what I was doing at home. I can feel the difference in my body and mind and it tends to nag at me.

Sometimes, I get to the point where I just need to get out for a run or swear off alcohol and binge on fruits, veggies and good sources of protein. Australia was particularly good for that as Jen and I made a habit of working out and being active every day and cooked sensible healthy food every chance we had which was just about every day. Other places though, were the opposite. Either it was hard to find the time with all the sightseeing we wanted to do or it was too expensive or too impractical to buy/cook our own meals. We’ve gone to Crossfit and other gyms on a handful of occasions but I am looking forward to a more regular exercise and healthy eating routine when we find ourselves stationary again.


You might notice that I didn’t mention Family or Friends but those are obvious and probably don’t need to be pointed out. It is, however, THE thing both Jen and I miss the most. For that reason, we tend to make fast friends while traveling and keep up with the goings on at home via Facebook, email, text, etc. There is no substitute though for being present for the fun things happening back home.


Think I missed something or have something to add? Let me know. I’d be happy to hear from you on this.


Category: Photo Essays

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