You read that right. I didn’t believe it at first but here I am, getting sick of the world. I heard a lot of stories from long-term travelers saying they’re really tired of traveling.
This usually happens when you hit your first-year mark and I am already at my 14th month. After all the fun during the World Cup, I just felt that I needed to slow down and at least do something productive.
I first started feeling weary when I consistently see photos of my friends and family on Facebook — birthdays, important life events, parties, together. That made me feel I was missing a lot in their lives.
Believe me, I almost booked a flight back home but then I realized, “those get-togethers are momentary. The people you love are also busy with their lives — jobs, families, college, children, etc. You should be busy with yours too.”
I was longing for too many things: my mother’s cooking, endless conversations with my siblings, a sleepover with friends, dealing with my crazy aunts.
You might all be thinking, “you’re crazy! You’re in Brasil and living your life!” For a time, I thought I needed a break but what I didn’t know is that I am allowed to feel this way and I just need to recharge, take it slow and then carry on.
The truth is, after Brasil, I didn’t know where to go. I was having visa problems with Argentina and that sucked the life out of me.
Imagine, I was going to the Embassy everyday (almost) and they kept asking and asking for ‘additional documents.’ Well, I don’t want to rant about it now but this will be discussed in another post.
Going back to burnout, that’s just one of the reasons. Another thing is, I never volunteered here in Brasil. I have done it all over the continent but not Brasil. Why?
During the World Cup, there were no opportunities available and if I really wanted to participate in the cup, I had to spend the money that I don’t have.
Well, I did and eventually survived. But not doing volunteer work is not my thing anymore. I craved for it. I was very thirsty for it. I needed to do something. I feel like all my learnings about the world are all from volunteering.
How I battled travel burnout
I concluded I just needed a change of environment; that I had to stop getting up in the afternoon; that I had to slow down with parties all night.
With the parties, #sorrymom but that is what Rio de Janeiro is all about. I just needed to defend myself on this part. HAHAHA!
Today, I am happy to tell you that I am back and energized! After a grueling search, I found a new volunteering job in Rio de Janeiro which will allow me to stay until the end of August!
I will be working in a Bed and Breakfast Hotel in Santa Teresa and will be doing a lot of things — reception, teaching English, cooking, etc. I think this will be fun!
By the end of August, I will be announcing where I will be going next via my newsletter (as always). If you haven’t subscribed, now is the time to do so! I always send unpublished posts there every month! No spam. Never.
Are you a long-term traveler? If travel burnout hit you, here are a few things to remember:
- It’s okay to feel that way. It’s perfectly normal. Breathe. Think.
- Tell someone. It really helped when I told my traveling friends/friends back home because they will give you the best words of advice! I was surprised to receive a lot of encouragements: instead of saying “come back here. We miss you,” my friends told me “Stay. You will learn more and enjoy life over there compared to here.” They will also mention that they’re jealous of your life and none of them can just ‘up and leave’ so that should give you a jumpstart.
- I know you might feel that you’ve already done everything in a particular country or continent but look for more! Maybe you didn’t take samba classes? Or passed on an outrageous gastronomic activity before? Think of something! There will always be an item that we didn’t tick.
- Write. If you’re not comfortable talking to someone about it because you think they will not support your long-term travel endeavor, talk to your notebook. It will help a lot.
Here’s a letter I received from a blog reader in Perth, Australia. This is something that really helped me get my energy and strength back.
Lastly, never ever stop traveling. You are already on your way and you’ve battled a lot more hardships on the road before getting here.
I’d like to leave you with a poem by Edgar A. Guest that always helps me whenever I am about to quit. This is something that I’ve lived by growing up and I hope it’ll help you too. Enjoy the ride!
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far
So stick to the fight when you’re the hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.