Just because you have the privilege to travel doesn’t mean it’s always gonna be fun……
You’re going home?! Really? ” “I didn’t expect that” “You don’t like travelling”? These are all words we have heard when we announced the big news.
If you’re new here “HI”. Jamie and I quit our jobs and left for our RTW trip in Sept 2019. We had saved up enough money to travel for a full-year, or longer (depending how we managed our money), little did we know that travelling full-time is exhausting! We announced that we’re heading back home for good. By the time we get home we would have been travelling for 4 months.
What Exactly Is Travel Burnout?
When we think of travel we always assume it’s beach days with girly drinks and endless amount of time adventuring out. Social media can sure trick us, by only seeing the good side of things. We all travel because it’s a passion and because a new place excites us with curiosity. In reality it’s really stressful and can be exhausting.
Being “burnt out” means that a we feel a strong and emotional physical exhaustion due to overload, which is caused by any job, stay at home parent, and even travellers.
There are many symptoms that are similar to depression. Some symptoms are lack of drive, tired all the time, you want to stay inside and do nothing.
Everyone can have different symptoms, but the following symptoms are the ones most often described and how we felt.
- Permanent Exhaustion
Difficult to relax, your body feels overworked, simple tasks like booking stuff or figuring out where to eat is such a drag.
- Lower Performance
Certain “tasks” are not easily fulfilled as they once were. Youtube channel, editing photos, etc. Compensating by trying even harder to take everything in and enjoy reduces energy and resilience further.
- Physical Problems
Headaches, unable to sleep, digestion problems, weak immune system, high stress, anxiety.
A feeling of indefinite exhaustion and dissatisfaction. It would come down to nothing exciting you anymore. Just feeling unhappy.
A burnout like ours looked like this:
We didn’t get excited about our upcoming trips, we procrastinated instead of booking things, we weren’t in the mood to meet new people, or exploring more places. Packing our bags and checking in and out was a big chore. The local food just didn’t taste good anymore, everything tasted and looked the same. (in Asia)
We left Thailand because we were sick of SEA (or so we thought), we booked a flight to Egypt and both of us were so excited! Egypt was magical, but on our train ride to Luxor, I just broke down crying. I was confused, I love seeing the world, but I missed home! I never thought those words would EVER come out of my mouth, yup I was officially homesick. We both missed the routine we had at home, the gym and nutrition routine for me, being able to see family, home-cooked meals, our cats, and being home in Canada. Jamie and I both had so much to say, we spent two full days in our Airbnb figuring out what we wanted to do with our life. More tears, and lots of discussions, we chatted with our parents and knew we finally made a decision to go home.
We spent a week feeling horrible and felt like failures. This whole journey was very emotional. We spent a year saving for our trip, we quit our jobs, we left our cats (Thanks Niki & John), and we left with all the excitement in our bones, and now we wanted to go home after 4 months?
As I write this, I no longer feel like a failure. People are always so occupied with social media, that it actually starts to play tricks on us. We always see the good, the perfect, and the extravagant things, but in reality it’s much more than that. We see other full-time travellers on Youtube, but they never mention the bad, they never seem to open up and be honest, or IG travel influencers, same thing; they only post picture perfect photos with the perfect captions. etc.etc…
I give full-time travellers props, but the raw, and the real thing is, is that full-time travel is HARD and very EXHAUSTING. We spent 30 hours travelling to Egypt, dealing with bloating and not being able to digest food properly on the road, not being able to sleep on overnight trains, not being able to drink tap water, living out of a backpack.. and so on.
No one ever talks about these things, but we should! Travel burnout is a real thing!
If you feel like this, it’s ok, you’re not a bad traveller. There isn’t really a way of fixing how you feel, but here are some options to maybe help.
- Create a routine
- Figure how to use your time wisely
- Take time to reflect
- Don’t over plan
- Stay healthy
- GO HOME!
PIN ME! <3