1. In the past couple years, it seems there are way more stories about people or couples quitting their jobs, packing up their belongings, and heading out into the unknown.
2. Travel bloggers Jarryd Salem, 28, and Alesha Bradford, 31, who write over at Nomadasaurus, are one of those couples.
They’ve traveled extensively through Asia, Latin America, Australia, and more for the past seven years. And for the most part, they’ve had an amazing time.
3. But they also want people to know that while their adventures have been amazing, and certainly induce jealousy on social media, their nomadic lifestyle has also put a strain on their relationship.
4. In a recent post on their blog titled “Behind the Scenes — It’s Time to Fix Ourselves,” they admitted traveling for a living eventually got to them and that they started to take the stress out on each other.
The couple — who got engaged last year in Vietnam in Hang Son Doong, the biggest cave in the world — decided to write the personal post because they want people who may want to do the same thing to know what it’s really like.
5. “We decided that we owed it to our readers to show that long-term travel isn’t just one big happy holiday,” Salem told BuzzFeed Life.
“We’ve received countless emails from readers asking for relationship and travel advice, thinking that we were ‘living the dream with our perfect partner,’” Salem continued. “Looking at our social media accounts and adventures, it is easy to think that that was the case. But behind the scenes we also battled with our own personal issues.
“It is unfair to paint a perfect picture and mislead people who may also be having the same relationship problems or travel stresses. We’re lucky enough to be able to choose to live this way and are grateful for it, but despite the image that we may have portrayed, travel isn’t all cocktails and sunsets, and doesn’t solve everything.“
6. Salem wrote that when they weren’t posting pretty pictures of their travels, they were actually struggling behind the scenes.
“At some point in China, we started bickering with each other,” he wrote. “Even though we have sung China’s praises on this blog and social media, and saw some of the most incredible landscapes imaginable, the truth is we struggled there.”
In reality, “China turned us into bad people. The pushing, the shoving, the pollution, the spitting, the lack of respect toward the environment and their fellow human beings, the oily food, the wasteful attitude that is now ingrained in their psyche, we could go on. This is not to say we didn’t have great experiences and meet wonderful people, because we definitely did. But those moments were far less common for us. We hate being negative, and it may sound arrogant or pathetic, but that is the truth.“
7. And even though they were aware of their fighting, that didn’t stop it from happening.
“We would snap at each other over small things, and these minor arguments would turn into all-day affairs,” Salem wrote. “Alesha would get angry at me over trivial matters, and I would retaliate. In the end I stopped being the caring partner that I should be. I neglected Alesha’s feelings and she would attack me for neglecting her. I continued to neglect her because I couldn’t stand being attacked. It was a vicious cycle.”
8. Eventually, they started to resent everything they’d worked so hard to build.
“Alesha started to resent travel, and I grew numb to it,” Salem wrote. “Nothing excited us anymore. Just like you can lose your passion for a hobby when it becomes a job, we’re starting to become jaded with travel.”
They also started to miss their crew: “Being away from friends and family for a long time is tough. Even though we have each other, we can still feel trapped and alone.”
9. And their health took a hit, too.
“We hadn’t done proper exercise for longer than we could remember,” Salem wrote, “ate a lot of dodgy foods that had little nutritional value and put on weight. This just made us feel even more down. Alesha has always said that if your stomach is happy, you are happy. Well after the diet we experienced across China, Mongolia and Central Asia, our stomachs definitely weren’t happy.”
10. And so they’re taking a break — but the lessons they’ve learned, and the experiences they’ve had, are still worth it in the end.
“At some point we sat down and realized that the best thing for us was to go our separate ways for a while, to give ourselves a break from each other,” Salem wrote.
But they want you to know that they still believe in the beauty of travel. They just want everyone to know that it can get very, very real. “Our travels are not over, far from it,” he wrote. “We’re looking forward to the next adventure, and know that it will be as epic as the last seven years.”
11. The lesson? Take social media with a grain of salt.
You may see traveling couples looking all happy and joyful, and maybe they are — but also, maybe they aren’t. You just never know the real, nonfiltered story, until you know.
So if you want to throw caution to the wind and get out there and go, by all means, go! Just know that it may not be all sunshine all the time. And if you’re actually happy at your 9-to-5, try not to feel like you’re missing out just because you go to an office every day. Let them do them, and you do you.
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