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Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

Odder, Denmark
Level Contributor
17 posts
1 review
Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

Hi. Don't know if this is the right forum, but here it goes:

I've been traveling solo around South east Asia for 2 1/2 months now. For the last couple of weeks, I just been so tired of traveling and moving around. I have no energy or even want to meet new people, cause I know that the friendship is gonna be a short one anyway.. I gotten cynical with time I think, because I found it really hard to meet great people you start to really care about but at one point you're gonna have to say goodbye... I guess it's becoming a way of protecting myself, cause I have a hard time of letting go. I'm like a robot who just gets up and spend the day doing nothing but lying at the beach. At night I can't be bothered going out for dinner with people, I actually prefer just staying in and watching Netflix . I really miss having a friend where you can just sit and be quiet and where you don't have to be 'on it' if you know what I mean? It's not that I haven't had that in my travels but I travelled to a new country 2 weeks ago and now I'm just full of meeting new people. Nor do I get excited about new places anymore. My ticket home is in 11 days so that's good. But all I wanted to know, is if someone has felt the same way? Cause I feel "wrong" in some way - I see travelers who's out and about every day and drinking every night and I feel like that's what I should be doing, but I just don't have the energy.. I feel like I'm traveling in the wrong way, especially cause I haven't been drinking that much(I had two crazy nights where the alcohol completely messed me up, so a bit scared to be drinking again), but it seems like drinking alcohol is the main thing to do at night for most people.

Has anyone felt the same way or maybe just have some comforting words even?

32 replies to this topic
Italy
Level Contributor
9,066 posts
1. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

At some point in a long trip I always WANT to go home. It's normal.

It's also your trip. If you want to crash on the beach crash on the beach. If others want a drunken haze let them. Do what you want. That's the whole point of traveling alone.

NZ
Level Contributor
1,387 posts
38 reviews
2. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

Agree that burnout can be a major issue. If you are travelling super budget - spend some extra funds and go to a decent hotel for a couple of nights. Also check your nutrition as that can often be the cause of something wrong. Often on longish stays people take short cuts with food etc. Perhaps you could book yourself into a nice but small apartment, cook for yourself for a week, have some routine in your life and just be by yourself to reflect on the good things.

No you are not travelling in the wrong way avoiding drunken nights out. SE Asia is also an area where drinking particularly spirits has cause a huge number of deaths so avoiding it is a great idea.

Every one travels differently depending on their likes and dislikes. Even in my long ago youth drunken parties were not for me. I was more interested in good food, local sites and pleasant company, but knowing I was going to move on so they were acquaintances not friends.

My advice. Don't worry about the friendship aspect for the next 11 days. Get rid of the Netflix and book yourself on a cooking programme or something that will allow you to interact with local people - or find a nice beach and blob before heading home.

Chin up!!!!...

Edited: 12:29 am, May 13, 2017
r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
9,469 posts
1 review
3. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

youre not alone.

My first trip was 3 weeks.

my next trip and all after that has been 4 weeks - 1 month.

This is just my personal comment.

I think that if you just want to travel just because, i think you may end up with some issues. Meeting people,ect can be fun, but as you figured out, its like a temporary type friendship. Everyone knows you will be moving on. Same with any other travelers.

I travel to do and see things i cant at home. I dont know what you are doing. But for me laying on a beach is boring. You laying on a beach maybe a result of you being in the dumps, but for me, its not a #1, #2, #3 thing to do on any trip. If i "plan" to lay on a beach then it will be it. But that wont happen too soon. Yeah, in my fantasy where I'm richer than god and have my castle on a private island with servers at my whim and all and any hot women with me, then it maybe interesting. But i know myself and after a time, i dont think it will be as fun. Too much of anything can be bad.

Theres a Star Trek episode where Spock is in his 7 year breeding cycle....but the jist of the comment he says to his rival is something to the affect of...."After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

I find that for me the pursuit is more fun than the having. Its may not be the same for you, but i figured that out for myself a while ago. And i feel that the whole planning process for my 1 month yearly trip is what bring me alot of joy too - its the pursuit. Once I'm on my trip, its just "another" trip, but its fun for me since i have plans for everyplace i go.

as i mentioned you are not alone. Well, when i was up in your neck of the woods on one of those 1 month trips, i longed to hear some English. I know that many people speak it, but mostly when spoken to. 3 weeks into that trip, i was longing to go home. I again, learned something about myself that trip. Didi it stop me? No. Guess what. Im traveling to S. America where english is less spoken and again, i was longing to hear some English. But i survived and enjoyed seeing some really cool places. And I'm going back again this year and for 2 ~3 more trips.

You only have 11 days left. Im sure you decided to travel for a reason and to learn something. Well, you learned something about travel and about yourself. Learn from it. You survived your trip and you may want to apply what you learned on your next trip.

Have you tried going on any group tours. Maybe even any tour without any of the people you have been around? maybe try to find some NEW people to chat and hang with?

I'm sure others will chime in.

good luck.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12,258 posts
155 reviews
4. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

Travel fatigue is real and hits people at different times and in different ways. As mentioned, a nicer hotel for a splurge can realy give a boost. Healthy food. What about a short yoga retreat?

There is no one way to travel, and if the crowd around you is causing guilt and stress, then move out of there and change your environment. Even if all you do is lay on the beach, at least you don't hsve to feel guilty about it. If funds are way to limited, then put on head phones, create your own bubble of mental happiness and remember to keep to apply sunscreen regularly :-)

Also, when you get home, please have a health check up. After several months away, you may have other reasons for this fatigue.....low iron, parasites, etc.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,943 posts
111 reviews
5. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

It's a long time to be constantly meeting new people, coping with other cultures and concentrating on your travel plans.

Sounds to me like you've achieved what you set out to do and now you're mentally tired and need to space out.

Now realise that you want something different. Enjoy the chilling out, drink coffee/tea, watch the world go by and let body and mind unwind and recharge. There's little enough time for that in daily life.

While you're lying on that beach you may let your mind wander to what is missing from the trip, how you've changed and what options might be interesting to explore another time and how long or busy each should be.

There seems to be a vision younger people have from promotion of a particular type of travel and that it is essential to do in a certain way and as long as possible but there's a whole world more choice about what and how you want to explore that is different for everybody.

Over the years my travel style has drastically changed. It's always a surprise when it changes but going with it and exploring other options is fun and individual to each.

Think there's an option for a new thread to see how peoples travel styles have changed. Always interesting and opens new ideas.

NZ
Level Contributor
1,387 posts
38 reviews
6. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

Toopaz and Rc have very valid points about expectations. All the tourist brochures concentrate on people having fun in groups and no one mentions any of the problems and if you listen to people returning from a long stay very rarely do they confess to periods of loneliness, they usually brush it aside and concentrate on the fun stuff and the mini disasters that they turn into fun stories.. Language can be a problem and what I missed during some of my more lengthy times away is someone who is a native speaker of my language and who understands the humour and the 'in jokes' in that language.

Toopaz. Great idea re topic.

Banks, Oregon
Level Contributor
5,575 posts
35 reviews
7. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

Yes, I can understand a long travel burnout__it can be very natural and expected. My longest trip was a month and a week. I drove from Portland to Alaska, sleeping in my truck in campgrounds. That required loading and unloading all my camping gear every night and following morning. It got tiring by the last wek and I realized what a long drive ahead of me to get back. I was happy to get back home. Travel is wonderful, and going home is comforting :)

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
2,081 posts
66 reviews
8. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

hello dear one- my suggestion- go to a shop and buy and exercise book - I want you to start a journal- write down your thoughts and how things are going for you. Don't worry about "today I went to see the blah blah"- but more about how you are feeling. and what happened when you were drinking- that was a good indicator of feelings too..When you are home and feeling better you can reflect on what you have written. All travel is a learning experience- you will learn about yourself as well as other cultures.

You are not there to make friends. However you do sound lonely- are you lonely? get those feelings out and write the down! that is OK if you are- it maybe solo travel is not for you and you are better off with some companions. The other thing is time- as RC said the longest travel he/she takes is 4 weeks. I can and have gone off for 3 months and hardly talk to anyone- it does not worry me. Perhaps you have been away too long. And some places are more mentally draining than others- Asia is frantic and noisy and you are sounding mentally drained.

if you can afford it maybe hire a private driver to take you up to the hills or somewhere peaceful. or perhaps go on a short tour- then you will be around some other people. Dont go hanging around bars as you are not in a good frame of mind at present.

As a last resort you can usually change your ticket home for an extra fee- I did when I was in India- I had ended up in hospital for 2 nights ( which was awful) , so took a week in a nice hotel to relax and then got the plane earlier. I could not get a flight to my city but could to get my aunty's city- she looked after me for a week where I could rest- I was physically and mentally exhausted after 9 weeks in India.

take care and eat well- get some B vitamins- although hard to get in Asia.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
74,122 posts
478 reviews
9. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

What you're experiencing isn't unusual. It's natural, although the point where the burnout sets in will vary from individual to individual. I also feel that being 11 days away from returning home is a factor. I think you've reached the point where you are looking forward to your return home, but it hasn't quite come yet.

Who knows, as it gets closer to departure time, you might feel a bit of a resurgence, as the reality that you have only a few days left to enjoy where you are will replace the emotions you have now.

Edited: 10:08 am, May 15, 2017
Australia
Destination Expert
for Singapore, Bargain Travel, Holiday Travel, Singapore
Level Contributor
27,344 posts
123 reviews
10. Re: Tired of traveling - travel burnout :(

I've suffered travel burnout. On my second big trip to Britain and Europe in 1985 I was away from home 10 months when I ended up on the phone to my father back in Australia, crying my eyes out. I was in a London Hotel and just wanting to go home. After I settled I looked at a newspaper and saw an ad for a Holiday Cottage in Cornwall. Booked it for 10 days and got the train down there. I slept well, cooked for myself, wandered around and did lots of walks along the beaches and cliffs. Plenty of fresh air and rest. That was just what I needed and I was able to continue on with my trip. I realised I had been pushing myself too hard and needed to slow down a bit.

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