Nomad interview: travel tips for a long journey around the world

Laurence Bolduc-Hénen —

Have you ever dreamed about travelling the world for an indefinite period with a one way ticket?

Well, we did too! With summer ahead of us and so many travel plans in the air, we have prepared a handy guidebook for you to embark on your next adventure.

Having both traveled for over 16 months and crossed the planet, we asked our two nomad ambassadors, Alexandra (@alexandracarriere) and Laurence (@laulbh) to share with us their tips for preparing for a long journey.

Photo credit: Laurence Bolduc-Hénen (@laulbh)

Our ambassadors' tips

- Make sure to create a budget and have enough money before your leave or to have a working holiday visa to work abroad.

- Have all the necessary visas and vaccinations for the countries you will visit.

- Bring a small amount of local currency or USD in cash with you to your destination. You never know if your credit cards will work once you arrive in a foreign country.

- Get a bar soap/shampoo instead of a big plastic bottles! It saves lots of space in your suitcase, you won't have to worry about the amount allowed on the plane and besides, you make a nice gesture for the planet!

- Do not overload your suitcase (everything can be purchased almost everywhere). When dragging your luggage from one city to another, you'll be thankful you did not choose to bring along those extra kilos.

- Make sure your cellphone is unlocked to buy a local SIM card. That way you can contact who you need to and find your way around anywhere. 

- Buy travel insurance that covers you for the whole duration of your trip. Otherwise you can have very bad surprises!

- If you leave more than 6 months, try to choose your dates wisely to keep your RAMQ health insurance. You must be present in Quebec more than 183 days in the calendar year (between January 1st and December 31st). You could therefore leave a year in total by leaving on July 1st and returning on June 30th the following year. It is also possible to request an exception once every 7 years. It will allow you to keep your health insurance even if you are absent the whole year. This could allow you to travel for a total of 2 years if you plan your dates accordingly.

- Planning your trip a bit (but not too much), will help you save money.  Transportation costs, car rentals and accommodation will be cheaper by booking in advance.

- Most importantly, put on your YES mode and take the time to live and experience things you would have never done at home. 

Photo credit: Alexandra Carrière (@andraloha)

Do you have an anecdote of a moment when you could have been more prepared?

LBH : Arriving at the Prague airport, I wanted to withdraw Czech crowns at the ATM, but I did not exactly remember the conversion rate. My boyfriend and I therefore relied on the maximum we could withdraw in the ATM (thinking that it is never more than $300 CAD). But... Turns out it wasn't!

We accidentally withdrew $ 3000 CAD in Czech crowns with our credit card. Haha. Moral of this story, understand the conversion before leaving your previous destination. Once in front of the ATM without wifi, that kind of thing can happen. And good luck to reconvert your money!

AC : We were leaving for El Salvador! We were super excited because it's one of our first trips and we did not plan anything. We wanted to live the real travel life...

After arriving at the airport in El Salvador, we queued to pass customs and immigration. There was an entrance fee to enter the country. We headed to an ATM to withdraw money with our credit cards (we never thought of bringing foreign currency with us).

We tried all our cards... 2-3,10 times! We borrowed a phone from a stranger to call our bank in Cananda ... NOTHING worked! We could not even enter the country, we were stuck at the airport!

Then, a miracle happened... A woman heard our story and gave us a bit of money (and a huge smile), just enough to pay the costs! We thanked her a thousand times!

What is your most beautiful memory of travels?

LBH : There are so many... But I would probably say it was a weekend back when we were living in Western Australia.

We went down to Margaret River with our friends and felt like we were living a dream and the time had stopped. The whole weekend was pure joy. Standing on the cliffs watching the whales migrate, touring the vineyards, making fires at night under a sky full of stars... Simply spending time with people we love and enjoying every minute of it. The people you meet while traveling are also a BIG precious part of your trip and its outcome. 

AC : Sailing at night in the Caribbean, we knew a big step was ahead for us; we had 36 hours to go without seeing the land.

Well prepared, we watched the sun set over the ocean. The night settled and there was no moon...

We navigated all night, the sails wide open on a rather calm sea. That moment was surreal and magical. The white sails, the sky covered with stars, the light plankton in the waves and our sailboat sliding on the water! We watched without saying a word... That silence meant everything!

We hope this little guide will help you through your planning!
Enjoy your next trip!

Team June xo