vacation vs travel lifestyle

Vacation vs Travel + How to stay in a Palace for Free

The Definition of Vacation vs Travel Lifestyle

The terms vacation and travel are two distinct terms.

Many people have wrongly assumed that Meredith and I are on an extended vacation. Not so much.

  • A vacation has a finite end. Travel lifestyle is finished when you decide it is finished.
  • A vacation involves doing what you want when you want, in order to maximize your comfort and relaxation. A lifestyle of travel means you sometimes have to slog through your work when you don’t want to, in order to get to the play time that is constantly staring you in the face.
  • A vacation is time limited. A lifestyle of travel expands the horizon of time far into the future.

Even as I sit on a hotel room bed in Portugal to write this post, I am most decidedly not on vacation. In fact, this week I have been to the local Portuguese library each of the past 4 days to work in peace and quiet, utilizing their free wi-fi and decent office chairs! I get up once every hour or so to venture out into the warm winter sun. It reminds me why I chose this lifestyle, and that I need to get back inside to keep going.

The Power of Taking Action

Do I ever consider myself on vacation?

Yes. Next Tuesday I will consider myself on vacation while traveling. The Nomad Newlyweds have worked hard this past year, and are happy to accept a small respite.

The beauty of living a creative mobile lifestyle is that you can dream up outrageous ideas and try to make them happen. I believe you should try to dream up at least one nutty idea a day, even if all you do is type it out on a Trello board and file it away for another time. Ideas need time to germinate, fruit, and then fully ripen.

For example, have you ever thought about contacting a 5-star resort and asking them if you could stay … for free? I know, impossible right? That’s what I thought too, until I decided that maybe it wasn’t so unattainable.

I am sure my friends and family who have known me my whole life think I am a dreamer, idealist, and always coming up with schemes. I am. I don’t deny any of it. Sometimes though, the fanciful ideas work. I encourage anyone to go forth and pursue your hidden ideas with vigor. Seek out other dreamers who you can connect with to build something wonderful in this world.

I believe in the power of one’s mind and imagination. Plan for success and how you will reach your goals. Then, take action and execute your ideas.

The Birth of A Honeymoon/Travel Lifestyle Blog

A year and a half ago, shortly after Meredith and I purchased the wedding blog, we came up with the idea to extend the wedding brand into the next logical phase: the honeymoon as well as life after the wedding. It seemed like a natural fit since that is the stage that Meredith and I know best and live day in, day out. We just had no idea what that looked like or how to go about doing it.

It’s not just the Nomad Newlyweds that live a thirty-something married life existence. A whole swath of our generation are either just married newlyweds, or will be getting married in the next few years. Hundreds of thousands of young couples will join the ranks of living a post wedding lifestyle.

We just seem to be doing it a bit differently.

In our case, we have a digital asset: a top wedding blog that gets a lot of traffic and keeps us quite busy. Our life involves seeking out travel locations (honeymoon hot spots) and opportunities that allow us to grow, expand, and learn about ourselves and the world around us.

Our strategy to leverage the wedding asset and create as both a personal travel blog and brand extension for honeymoon travel seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. One year later, after much planning, testing, learning, and failure, I think we have finally found our niche. The evolution of Nomad Newlyweds into a honeymoon destination travel guide mecca is finally happening.

How to Stay in a Palace for Free

Let’s get back to how you could stay in a palace for free. I am sure there are several ways, legal or illegal. The truth of the matter is you need something to offer in return for your stay.

I haven’t thought too much about the (legal) ways that you could trade something of value that you have for a complimentary stay. No doubt there are many.

  • Perhaps the palace needs on-site employees, and have rooms that you could board in as part of your compensation package;
  • Maybe they need a website overhaul, and your killer web design skills are just what they require

Strangely enough, I have fantasized about the ‘Catch Me if You Can’ style ways that one could stay somewhere without paying.

  • No, I am not going to create bullet points about how to sneak into a palace!

But I don’t have a Travel Website!

Don’t have anything to offer? You better get to work. Either acquire an asset that you can leverage or start and grow an asset to do the same. Winning the lottery would also work. Then you can stay wherever you please!

Both our wedding and travel blogs enable us to connect with decision makers in the industry to do some creative things. We reached out to several posh resorts/palaces in Portugal and offered something of value: our review in exchange for a first hand experience in their establishment. A win-win situation.

A well crafted proposal goes a long way to reaching decision makers so that they can reply with, “Sure, come and stay with us for a night.” And, several venues have taken us up on our exchange of value over the next couple of weeks. You’ll have to stay tuned for all the palace life updates.

Staying in a palace sounds like a vacation, not work.

I still consider myself working while at a resort. After all, Meredith and I have to come up with ideas and write a travel article or two about the joint. That shouldn’t be too hard – knowing we will be working beside a luxurious pool, sipping a cold beverage, overlooking the historic capital city of Portugal.

Can you stay in a palace too? Maybe. But you’ll need to get creative in order to make sure you offer something desirable first before they’ll open the wrought iron gates to let you in.

Now the only question that remains:

“Should I buy a new suitcase or show up at the door with my 12 year old travel backpack?”

Blog Eye Candy?

Is this post just blog eye candy, meant to boast about staying in a palace? And what’s more, who cares whether digital nomads are on vacation or traveling, isn’t it all the same!?

No and no. One of the primary messages that I evangelize through writing, photo taking, and acting on creative ideas is this: you can live a slow travel lifestyle if you desire. Go into it with your eyes wide open:

  • It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to create unique content day after day that your audience will enjoy.
  • There is risk involved; you don’t know upfront if the time and energy you expend will be compensated enough to let you survive, or thrive.
  • You must have a strong believe in yourself and your abilities to keep going ever single day.

I enjoy sharing my thoughts to try to make sense of ever present themes that seem to run deep within me – the only way I know how to let them go. And, if someone else in the world reads this one day and sees value in what I say then it will be worth it … especially if that someone decides to finally act on one of their ‘crazy ideas’ stored away in their mind vault.

Maybe that crazy idea ends up becoming something big that changes the world for the better. That would be something special indeed.

For the longest time this travel blog sat without any updates or articles. It was neglected like so many well-intended travel blogs before it; destined to be discarded into the vast wasteland of blogging rubbish that Google has long since banished to its indexed pages purgatory.

We have worked hard to breathe new life into this blog. The resuscitation is almost complete, and it didn’t take too much out of either us. Now we look forward to sharing honeymoon excursions, inspiring others to a life of slow travel, and (of course) stay in luxurious palaces!

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