You don’t imagine that there’s a downside to traveling. After all, we escape our daily lives and go on holiday to unwind and relax, right? Travel Fatigue is real and strikes at different times and in different ways. Even if you’re only traveling for a few days! But what is it?
We Felt Bad For Feeling Like We Did
After selling all our belongings, we planned to travel around South East Asia for some time. Our goal was to last at least one year before going back home. We thought the idea of going home before then would mean we failed.
Looking back at this now- it’s silly. Why is wanting to come home early a failure? We put added pressure on ourselves and were saying things that made us feel worse:
- We should be so lucky to be traveling long term.
- Our life on the road is what most people dream of doing.
- We’re lucky to escape a boring and mundane way of living.
We Were Overwhelmed
But in reality, If your whole life is a little on the safe side, surviving on nothing but routine, it’s what you know. It’s all you know and supports you until this point. How do you banish it, indefinitely, and not expect there to be consequences?
It’s only natural to be overwhelmed by meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, tasting unfamiliar foods, and seeing new surroundings all at once. And continually.
How Our Travel Fatigue Started
At first, we thought it was merely a feeling of being home-sick. It was early January 2020. We’d just survived our first Christmas and new year without family and friends. We missed our loved-ones more than ever.
But then we started realizing that it didn’t matter where we went after that, the result was the same.
We hardly got excited about visiting new places. Going to see another beach, hike to another waterfall, sit in a new restaurant.
Adventures Became Tasks
All these adventures were now becoming tasks. The tasks we had to tick off our checklist, and we were doing so begrudgingly.
Some days we didn’t even attempt the checklist. We sat around the apartment, watching tv, and doing mundane stuff until the day ended.
We were phoning home more often and talking about the things we missed about our lives back in South Africa.
We decided to make a difficult decision.
Either we were going home or flying to a small Vietnamese island that looked great. In the end, we decided to give the tropical paradise a visit. Hoping that this is what we needed to get us out of our travel rut.
We Learnt About Travel Fatigue
At the airport, we decided to do some research on how we’re feeling. We didn’t even know the phrase’ travel fatigue’ or ‘travel burnout’ was a thing at this point.
We entered the words into google: ‘can you travel for too long?’
I was amazed at how many blog posts were out there—some written by ‘famous’ and well respected long-term travelers. After reading a few articles, I discovered we were the very definition of ‘travel fatigue.’
I even realized I was feeling other emotions I hadn’t acknowledged yet, like anxiety.
We Got Over It
At this point you’re probably thinking, okay, well that’s it. Best you go home! But actually, it’s quite the opposite.
After coming to terms with all this, we discovered a whole host of things we could do to overcome our travel fatigue.
We read through a few helpful articles (and some not so great ones too) and decided to put some of the ideas to the test. By the time we arrived at our new destination, we had a new outlook on our travel life.
Going forward was going to be different, and we glowed with excitement once more.
We continued to travel for another three months with no travel fatigue and it was great!
Eventually, COVID brought us home, and it was equally great to be back.
These events made us realize that there’s nothing wrong with going home! Even if a dreaded disease isn’t your reason for returning.
A visit home can set you up for a positive outlook on traveling once more and get the doubt out of your head.
Whether you’re dealing with travel fatigue or avoiding it, we hope this article helps you.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve felt something similar and how it affected you. Or send us an email if you managed to deal with travel fatigue differently. We’d love to know your story too.
If you relate to our story you’ll want to check out our helpful article on this subject
Below are a few articles, written by other travelers with similar experiences. I hope you’ll find them as helpful as we did.