I love to travel. Although I’ve only relatively recently started to explore my passion for seeing the world, on some level I’ve always loved it. Even when I booked a two week, beach style all-inclusive holiday, I was poring over guidebooks and reviews and seeking out places of interest to explore. Holidays were not just about the relaxation and the sun and the sleep. They were about so much more. About stoking the fire of my enthusiasm for cultural experiences.
So I should be full of excitement and joy when reflecting on the past two years of my life – of all the experiences I have had, all the travel I’ve managed to fit in around my busy work commitments.
But mainly I’m just tired. And I think it’s because I’m dealing with travel burnout.
I’ve always prided myself on being a pretty excellent city-breaker. I can get in and out of a city in 3 days, blitz its foodie hotspots, it’s cultural icons and walk amongst the best architecture it has to offer and then jump on a plane back home. Slipping quietly through a new city like a ninja – unseen, quick and sneaky. I’ve got a “to-go” packing list, with my basics already stored in a carry on sized suitcase, my boarding pass downloaded and my itinerary on my phone.
I’m really really good at planning and executing the perfect city break.
Except, travelling every month, often more than that, in short bursts around my day job has finally taken its toll. I have two trips left this year and I can’t even tell you if I’m dreading them or looking forward to them. That is crazy! And that is also very very sad.Why do I feel like a mess after constant travel this year? I'm dealing with travel burnout.Click To Tweet
The fact is, that fitting travel around your day job on a long time basis is actually not that straightforward. I’ve taken fairly limited leave this year and taken the majority of my trips over the weekend, taking the odd Friday or Monday off to extend the trip. That sounds great, but once you’ve used up your weekend time for travelling, where you are on the go and on your feet, it leaves no time for normal weekend activity. You know, like washing clothes, household, life admin. And when you are travelling consistently, when do you get the time to do this?
And when do you get the time to sleep, recover and watch all those boxsets on Netflix?
The other difficulty with constant short break travel is the travel time. That sounds counter-intuitive, as you are often flying for less time, with little to no adjustment in country. But in order to maximise both the time spent actually city-breaking and the cost of flights (that constant travel all adds up) I often find myself on outrageously early flights, from an airport that actually isn’t that close to me. The stress and the additional strain takes it toll and all adds to that feeling of burnout.
But all the technicalities aside, is it actually my fault? The way that I travel? That I just can’t take a step back and do things carefully, more slowly?
You see, I’ve noticed a slight desperation in my actions and my mindset when I travel. I need to soak it all up, do it and visit everything – or else I feel like it is a waste. I’m so scared I either won’t ever go back to a place or never make it through my bucket list that I just race and race. It’s caused issues with my own health and it’s definitely made those closest with me not want to travel with me. Gosh, how sad. Why can’t I just turn up and chill the hell out?
There are a few things I’m going to do to deal with this sense of burnout. Because I love to travel, but I don’t want my passion to overtake me and to suddenly feel like I can’t or don’t want to any more. I’m going to take a step back and think about what is really important when I travel. Is it the tick list or is it the fact that I’m there?
- One of my best city breaks this year in Amsterdam was the most chilled out, incredible weekend and despite terrible flight delays I came back feeling refreshed and relaxed. We didn’t rush, we didn’t have a list and instead had more time to eat, chat and wander. I want to try and replicate that on my upcoming trips this year.
- For my next city break I haven’t booked the first flight out and the last flight back. I’ve booked a leisurely lunchtime flight out and my trip home has me landing at 6pm. I’ll get less time in country, but I will have a much less early start and a much less frantic trip home.
- I’ve never been one to spend on travel extras, wanting to get the most bang for my buck and saving my cash for food and fun when I get to a destination. However, I am going to try out a booking into a lounge at my next flight from Stansted so I can relax and unwind before flying.
I’d love to hear your tips and advice on this topic. I’ve been in denial for quite some time now, but its clear to me that right now, I am dealing with travel burnout. Whatever the cause, I want to cope better with regular travel – I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments about dealing with travel burnout!