“I’ll never be tired of travelling,” thought to myself a few years back as I embarked on a 2 year adventure abroad. I was going to take every moment to travel. I wouldn’t get tired of travel, I wouldn’t mind delays, it’d be all good.
Cue 6 months into the 2 years where I’d begun to catch every new bug the kids at school could give me, weekends were never down time and my holidays were mapped out well in advance with flights all over Europe, whether I was well enough to travel or not. The thing is I was approaching my travels with a ‘fast travel’ and not a slow travel mindset.
I stumbled on, some destinations with far less pictures of me in them than others, and managed to visit 19 countries in 2 years. Some destinations I was energised and excited. Others I stumbled around new cities, dying to have a nap. I waited in airports for delayed flights until 2 in the morning and somewhat forgot the art of how to relax.
Did it stop me? Well, on the rare occasion my husband put his foot down and told me I was too unwell to go anywhere, no, not really. Did it cause me to have a mega case of being travel weary? You betcha.
Now that my travel schedule is not quite so full on, I can see how my weariness began and developed. I was simply too tired to travel and just a little bit tired of travel. Read on to spot some of the signs that you might be a little travel weary.
The airport isn't as exciting as it used to be
For travel lovers, the airport is an exciting place. It is a place of endless opportunities and adventures. Its the gateway to your next journey, however when you’re feeling a little travel weary, it can become a drag.
For some reason you are always behind the most disorganised person in the security aisle, you seem to be selected for the full body scan every time, not to mention the ‘random’ drug screening. Instead of a place of opportunity, it becomes a busy and noisy place that you just need to ‘get through’ in order to get where you really want to be. Travel is tiring if it becomes a process rather than an adventure.
You may even begin to tire of the perks of lounge membership and if you’re dreaming about being at home rather than being on the move, then the airport may really have lost its charm for you.
Queues make you roll your eyes
When you first set out, you’re prepared for the wait. After all, some of the best things to see are quite busy. Queuing is inevitable in many locations and sometimes the queues will be quite sizeable. Whilst you can often reduce the wait with fast track passes, if you are on a long term journey this may not always be financially feasible for you.
When you’re excited, the wait generally tends to pass quickly. You can chat to a friend, check your phone or even day dream about travel. However, when you become a little travel weary, the idea of having to queue may often be the turn off needed in order to skip a certain attraction.
Travel weariness can cause us to be less patient than usual and if you are visiting locations where long queues are inevitable, you may just find yourself skipping attractions you may otherwise have not wanted to miss. If you’re swapping an attraction with a queue for a sneaky nap in your hotel, you may just be a little travel weary.
You forget what you came to see
When you first started travelling you had lists and plans of what you wanted to see. Now you’ve been to so many places that they all kind of seem a little like each other. You may find yourself forgetting some of the more obscure places to visit to begin with and then after a while you may settle for seeing whatever you come across.
Whilst we all have our own ways of exploring, you may end up missing out on the best of a city. For me, this was the case in Madrid. Not overly inspired by the architecture compared to the rest of Spain, I opted for a lap on the tourist bus with a few travel mates before doing some shopping and heading back to the hostel for a nap. I was simply too tired of travelling to muster the energy to go out of my way to explore.
If you asked me then, and even now, what I wanted to see in Madrid, I honestly couldn’t tell you. By that point, I valued a nap more than exploring and was not in travel mode.
You start to wonder if its really matters if you visit 50 countries before you're 50
You’ve set yourself a goal and you’re going to achieve it. Thing is, it takes a lot of time and money to travel continuously. You give up the routine of seeing friends, it is tricky to join a sports team as you’re regularly away and sometimes you travel so frequently one destination blends into the next.
When your travel has the objective to visit a certain number of destinations within a given period, it can begin to feel like you are ticking off a list. Revisiting a country may feel like a waste as it doesn’t add to the ‘count’ and your travel can become somewhat shallow.
In the age of Instagram and easy access to travel, there can be some pressure to visit new and interesting places, but is it really so bad to revisit a destination or have a yearly holiday spot? If travel is beginning to feel like a tick list, then you may need to address how you travel and find a happy medium of setting travel goals, and enjoying the experience whilst you’re having it.
You're tired of being on the go
If you’re dreaming of your couch and a weekend of Netflix, then rushing to the airport on Friday night after work for a weekend away, only to return late on Sunday evening may induce a sigh. It’s not that you’re not excited, but sometimes it would be nice just to be still for a weekend.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t move from your couch, but travelling to the airport, going through airport routines and then flying to a new destination is tiring. You also tend to be far more active on a weekend away than you would at home. Add that on top of a week at work, and very little weekend downtime and after a while you will become very tired of travelling and not the best employee!
Add delays into the mix and you could be burning the candle well into the wee hours of Saturday morning before you get to bed. Add a delay on to your return journey and you’re starting a new week on the back foot. This may be sustainable for the odd weekend, but do this regularly and you’ll be craving a weekend at home.
Have you ever suffered any of the signs of being travel weary? If so, what strategies have you implemented to get your travel passion back?