Why I’d Rather Be an Expat Than a Constant Traveler

Drinking Juice at a Festival in Accra, Ghana

Drinking Juice at a Festival in Accra, Ghana

People always wonder how I’m able to travel so much. Often people are jealous, but I don’t think they really understand what it involves. I’ve based my whole life around this nomadic lifestyle, which has a lot of excitement but also a lot of challenges.  Living in another country for work is a choice I’ve made. It means I don’t have a car or a house, and my friends aren’t able to rely on me to attend important life events.  However, I think it was a good choice for me, because I like to travel slowly. I enjoy being in a country for a longer amount of time to really explore the culture and see different parts of the area.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want my future to be, where I’ll live, and what type of work I’ll do. I like living in new places, but I also like short vacations. Check out my latest blog Life as a Traveler vs. Life as an Expat to hear more about the differences (preview below).


Walking the streets of Venice

A lot of people think that traveling the world is very exciting, and it is! It’s interesting to learn about new cultures, it’s fun to try new activities you may have never even heard of, and it’s (sometimes) yummy to try new foods! But when most people picture this around-the-world adventure, they picture traveling as a tourist. Everyone is having fun all the time on vacation, right? That may work for 2-3 weeks, but after that, you will probably start to get tired, and one cathedral just blurs into the next. It can be overwhelming for some people.

Living out of a Suitcase

Say you’re European and have a gap year, where you’re planning to go with your boyfriend on an epic adventure and back-pack around the world. Sounds great! Some people really do love doing this, but I’m not one of them, and I know a lot of people are like me. Living out of a suitcase isn’t always glamorous, and a backpack is even worse! In fact, a lot of these people end up stopping for a month or two in Sucre, Bolivia (where I’m living right now) because it’s a great city to chill, volunteer, and take Spanish classes while regrouping for the next leg of your adventure across South America.

If you hit each city for only 2-3 days at a time, you never have time to make friends, know your favourite café, or have a chill day. Since you’re only in a place for a few days, you feel like you need to “make the most” out of every day. Having a chill day often isn’t an option because you need to see the basilica, try surfing, go for a hike on an exciting trail, see the sunset from a certain lookout, and try the top five best restaurants in the city! It can be overwhelming. If you do get sick or just sleep in until 2 pm then you can easily get FOMO (fear of missing out). This is especially true in huge cities like New York or London where there are hundreds of different things you feel like you SHOULD do while you’re there. You may not even be able to do laundry because your clothes won’t have enough time to dry, and since you’re not in the city for a full week, you can’t even participate in the fun activities that only happen on Friday nights.

Read more of this post on Expat Coffee Club – 

Life as a Traveler vs. Life as an Expat

About Amanda

Hi, I’m Amanda! Originally from Ottawa, Canada, I am currently living with my partner (Steve) in Sucre, Bolivia for the next year. I work in the unique space between industrial design and international development – but what does that even mean? I’m passionate about working WITH marginalized communities in a way that utilizes design to improve the lives of different types of people around the world. I have worked, studied, traveled, and researched on every continent (except Antarctica), and most recently I lived in Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal. I love exploring new cultures and learning more about myself along the way.
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