Pros and Cons of Traveling for a Year

by Colly
This is us at a closed, cheap, weird, dino park.

This is us at a closed, cheap, weird, dino park.

Some of you might think that traveling for a year is your dream; home schooling, being with family, it all sounds great. Others may think that doing this is your worst nightmare and you would never take the time to do something like this; you’re stuck with your family, and it’s way too much work of moving from place to place and never stopping. Before I left I was thinking both of these ways and I still am. I am really sorry if it sounds like I’m whining — I love traveling with my family, but it isn’t all happy, it’s really hard too.

Most times we get lucky and do really fun stuff, but sometimes we have no clue what we’re doing, and it turns out terrible. For example, one day we had to wait in a Hertz car rental for about an hour. We finally got our car — we were trying to get the cheapest one possible, so it had an egg-beater engine; it was cracked in the back; there were no back doors so we had to climb though the middle to get to the back seat. My brother and I were really hungry, so my mom went to the store and got us these health bars. I tried an apple one, and it was the worst thing ever! I literally was on the verge of throwing up. Then we drove for about 30 minutes. We were excited to go to this outside dinosaur park, because we thought it had dinosaur bones and statues. We wanted to go on this one day because it was the only day it wasn’t raining. But I was so carsick driving there. We finally got there, and it was this stupid, cheap, deserted ’70s park — and it was closed! From a distance, we could see these paper-mache statues with faded paint and a huge yellow Lays Potato Chip flag in the middle of it for some reason. Then we drove more and my parents made us go on this hike they thought would be a mile but turned out to be about a quarter mile (which was a good thing).

If you ever decide to do a long trip like this, you should really read this. I think it will help you. You see, traveling is really hard, but at the same time super fun, so here are some of the pros and cons of travel.

Pro

My dad took this photo at the most beautiful place on earth, at least I think. What is cool is that it's spring here but it's snowing.

My dad took this photo at the most beautiful place on earth, at least I think. What is cool is that it's spring here but it's snowing.

You get to see the most wonderful places in the world like Argentina, Australia, Greece, and so on. For example, so far we have seen the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, and lots more beautiful places. Right now we’re in Patagonia, in the town of Bariloche, and there are tons of snowy mountains and huge lakes.

Con

You get really homesick and don’t get to see Piedmont for a year. I miss my dog, house, my friends, Mulberry’s, the Piedmont Pool, and trapeze arts.

Pro

Here I am walking with my mom in Buenos Aires; I love spending time with my family but I am getting sick of them and sick of walking everywhere!

Here I am walking with my mom in Buenos Aires; I love spending time with my family but I am getting sick of them and sick of walking everywhere!

You get to spend a lot of great time with your family and do really fun stuff with them; for example, go to a chocolate museum (I am about to do that!).

Con

You get sick of them after a while and really miss other people a lot. It gets really tiring hearing the same people talk to you every day and not talking to your friends.

Pro

You get to experience new things outside of the USA such as street fairs and festivals.

Con

You miss holidays, you don’t get to dress up on Halloween or have regular holiday traditions on Christmas and so on.

Pro

You get to home school and it’s way shorter, and for me it is a lot more relaxing too because it’s more flexible with deadlines and I have a weekly schedule rather than daily schedule. Homeschooling is about two-five hours but you get the same amount of work done. You get to learn outside of the classroom.

Con

You really miss school and the teachers and kids there. I miss some of the activities that they do.

Pro

You get to read a ton (I read on the Kindle because we can’t carry too many books with us).

Con

You miss out on seeing movies and books that aren’t on Kindle. For example, I like the Twilight books and was excited to see the New Moon movie but can’t. Also, we can’t get the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.

Pro

You get to see new TV shows that aren’t in America.

Con

Most of the channels are in Spanish.

Pro

You have the greatest friends ever to email who keep you updated on what’s going on.

I am spending a lot of time with my brother Kyle; most of the times we get along, but we fight a lot too.

I am spending a lot of time with my brother Kyle; most of the times we get along, but we fight a lot too.

Con

You miss your friends who email you, and it makes you sad reading about everything, and you wish you were there. For example, most of the emails I get are about school and Halloween.

Pro

You get to travel for a year and have a great time even with some hard parts; there is no con to that.

17 Responses to “Pros and Cons of Traveling for a Year”

  1. Hi Colly –

    I really like this blog entry because it’s very honest and thoughtful. I’m sure you have a lot of time to be thinking of things, and I’m grateful that you shared all your feelings with us. There certainly are a lot of pros and cons; it isn’t all fun and easy doing what you guys are doing. I wish you luck on your journey!

    I love you guys –

    Martha

    PS – watch out for the paper dinosaurs!!

  2. Hi Colly-
    It can be tough to be away from home and travel, but it is also great to see the world! You have a fantastic perspective on how everything in life (not just travel) comes with pro and con aspects. I’m really impressed with your introspective commentary and am glad to see you’re taking it all in..and don’t worry…by the time you get to Australia you’ll be able to see the new Twilight movie :) Love,
    Cheryl

  3. Hi Colly,
    You bring up some great points here and it is a wonderful update for us who are not traveling with you to see this from your perspective. I loved this posting. Thanks so much for sharing it. I am excited to read more of your blog in the weeks and months ahead. I miss you guys! Love, Sayso

  4. I miss u sooo much, even when you would talk forever although your writing has almost made up for your words. you have talent! I still said almost, i still miss talking to you (especaily when your speaking in your french guard accent) It’s cool that your seeing the world

    Jenna

  5. i miss you soo much collie!!!! notthat i would see you if u were in piedmont though, which is also sad!!!! email me!!!!
    <3 lexi

  6. you dont get to dress up for halloween!!!!!

    caroline

  7. Nice skype!

  8. hi colly! im sorry that there r cons to your trip. i still think tho you’re probably having a nice time! (atleast i hope so : )!) wen u come back we should all get together and hav a party and watch the new moon movie. (that would be fun!) hope your having bongo baskets of fun!

    your friend,
    merey

  9. I found this post really interesting, as I am a mother planning a trip with my family. My children will be aged 8, 6 and 4 when we go next year and I will show this post to my eldest daughter to see what she thinks. Thanks for writing so honestly about the pros and cons of travelling.

  10. Colly,

    Your ambivalence comes through loud and clear in this post (you seem to have written it at a point where the cons were coming more quickly than the pros!), and I know that–adding to your burdens–is your own knowledge of the need to keep your spirits up (for yourself as well as for your family) and not let thoughts of friends and home distract you from the all the cool stuff you’re encountering on your travels. Whew! Being abroad IS a challenge in so many ways!

    For my own part, I think the most telling comment on this posting was made by your friend who noted “your writing has almost made up for your words.” In my mind, your writing has more than made up for not being able to see you in person. I admire both the fact that you turn to this blog–to writing–to try and work out these issues (what a mature response on your part!) and, as an English teacher, I am of course delighted to see how much your writing has improved. Please know that, as difficult as things may sometimes seem, the way in which you write about them brings a lot of pleasure to those of us who miss you so much. So, keep posting!

  11. Hey Colly,

    sounds like youre having a blast, youve got some bigger limitations than most travellers, also known as 2 parents.

    Youre at the hard point right now, 2ish months in is the hardest, where you miss everyone the most.

    Ive just finished 1400 days travelling (1000 of that constantly travelling!)

    My only tip is to enjoy to stupid things, the paper mache dino park is soo cheesy that you wouldnt find it anywhere else etc.

    If your parents decide that its great to get a rental where you have to climb into the back, time to have some fun with that :)

    random adventures are the best! ask to navigate in the car for a day. alternate right and left turns for a few hours. see what you come across, jump out, explore…

    Keep it up, routine is well.. dull!

  12. Hey everyone thank you so much for posting great comments. I would just like to note that i got 2 international comments! Victoria lives in England and posted a really nice comment on my blog, and Moby posted a super nice comment! thanks again!
    ~Colly~

  13. Hey Colly!!! i love your blog post and sre about the Cons! i miss u and i know i say that every time

    ~Megan

  14. very neat about your travels!

  15. This was really interesting for me to read. I am so envious of your year away, but I can definitely see ways in which it is also a challenge. I hope that in the end, there are more pros than cons!
    -Mrs. Kelleher

  16. Wow Colly,

    Reading your posts are amazing-and funny too. I just recently found out that all of you were traveling for a year. Yes, my first thought is “how amazing”, but I do realize that it must have its challenges. I’m so happy that you are taking the time to share your experiences so I can get a glimpse of what you guys are up to. I look forward to reading and seeing more. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

    miss you,
    Christine

  17. […] can read about 12-year old Colly’s experiences as a nomadic kid here and here on her very own […]