I want to go home. I want it more than anything right now but I won’t do it. Not yet. Seeing my mom’s face would mean the world to me, but seeing the world means a lot to me too. I’ve been away for nearly three years and I won’t go home until I’ve finished the itinerary I set out to do.
Because, well, I’ll regret it if I don’t.
While a life of travel is indeed a privilege, sometimes it feels more like something I HAVE to do. I spoke with a friend who travels often and she agreed that travel fatigue is real and happens to the best of us nomadic souls.
Avoiding admitting this for a while now, I’ve realized that it’s finally time to go home. Not for too long and certainly not forever, but if I want to feel back in control of my life and re-connect with the people I love, now is the time.
So, if any of you out there think you might be a little travel fatigued, there ain’t no shame in getting back on the plane. Here are some signs that you may need a little break.
You Aren’t Enjoying It Anymore
It was what you lived for, what made it difficult to go to sleep at night and easy to get up in the morning. You could almost physically feel it as you got that body high from being in an unfamiliar place. Now, the enjoyment has faded. Like a stoner who needs more and more weed to get that same high, you just don’t feel it like you used to. Navigating new places feels like a chore and holding up in a hotel room with some wine sounds about a thousand times better than chatting with other travelers in the downstairs bar.
Nothing Feels Exciting
It’s like a piece of you is broken. The part that gets you fired up about exploring and finding adventure. Sometimes you want to slap yourself for your lack of excitement about being places that others dream about and having opportunities that many others never will. You feel like a snob really, especially when you barely bat an eyelash at a famous landmark or natural wonder. You wonder if you’ve seen so many amazing sights that you’re ruined forever. Will you ever be impressed again?
You Are Literally Dreaming About Home
Thoughts of your family and friends are on your mind so often, that they start to seep into your dreams. While you can shove these sentimental feelings to the side during the day, your unconscious mind brings out all of your most twisted and deepest fears. Sometimes you wake up crying to dreams that family members died while you were away. Other times, you wake up out of breath from chasing your mom around a dream world and searching for your sister who seems to go missing in your mind every few nights.
All You Want To Do Is See Friends And Family
Some days, even your own itinerary drives you insane and you would much rather watch TV with your Dad than go whale watching off the coast of whatever paradise you happen to be visiting. The dinner plans you have for the top rated restaurant in the country seem tedious compared to a home cooked meal by your mom. And, even the bohemian looking, three language speaking travel blogger from France seems lame compared to your best friend from home.
Your Life Feels Out Of Control
Control of your life always seems to be just out of reach. Keeping up any sort of exercise and beauty routine seems nearly impossible when your toothpaste is buried at the bottom of your bag or when the lines for the hostel showers are six deep. You can’t keep up with a healthy diet and never seem to have access to a kitchen when you are sick of eating in restaurants. Your bank account is dwindling and trying to work from the road is draining your energy and making you wonder why you came to Thailand if you’re just going to be sitting on your computer all day. To Do lists never get finished and student loans, taxes, phone calls and doctor visits are way harder to handle than they should be.
Your Travels Feel More Like a Mission
Even though it was 100% your decision, travel is starting to feel more like a mission you were sent on rather than a choice that you made. While you could technically pack your bags and fly straight back home, you have an itinerary of places to visit and experiences to have that somehow feel binding. You think about cutting city visits short and skipping entire countries to get home sooner, but are too fearful of regret to ever make any of these drastic decisions.
Long term travel is a lifestyle and just like any lifestyle, sometimes we need a break from the routines and norms we create for ourselves. Travel will be a huge part of my life for the unforeseeable future but right now, I need a break before I lose sight of why I fell in love with it in the first place.