OK, so you’ve been away a year or two now and reckon travel’s well cool and you want to go on – but you can’t, cos you’re tired, numbed, overwhelmed.
Panic not: there’s an easy solution – Stop. Go home !
There’s no shame in this. Forget the societal badge of honour: “I travelled for two years …”; afterall, why do something that doesn’t thrill you? Stopping is the obvious answer, yeah?
But going home isn’t – if your options there, suck.
So, what now?
Stop on route. Work somewhere. (or volunteer: although the amount of disillusioned volunteers I’ve encountered gets me wondering about that option – but there must be some happy stories … let me know).
IF you don’t need the cash – then take a long holiday, get drunk everyday or read the Koran, whatever, simply park-up awhile – like 1-6 months – and desaturate from the stream of exciting experiences that is travel; or maybe it’s the endless journeying of buses, trains, taxis, packing, unpacking, checking-in … that tires you out?
Personally, I don’t find the physical journey too exhausting; it’s the barrage of experiences and sights – after 6-12 months of intense travel – that overstimulates and hence, tires me.
So, when I get full, I must desaturate (before I’m ready again, to refill). Like, needing to be a total vegetable.
So what sort of vegetable should you aspire to become?
Think potato. Meaning the obvious: that couch potato cliche. For the first couple of weeks I barely do anything but sit around, watch movies or read, listen to music, but mostly stare into space with a bottle and daydream (on a balcony with view, at the beach etc).
For a period of time I retreat from my passion of photography and browsing too much into recent travel photo archives.
After a week or two, this veg state becomes dull, and so it’s time to get into work. And amid the job routine, I begin exploring the local environment with some small regional trips.
Basically, do whatever, works for you.
Just ensure that you empty your head …
The 6 months-on 6 months-off formula works well for me. But mix it up accordingly. Sometimes a month is enough, or 3 months. Maybe a year is good if you feel the need to settle down, to unpack your bag, to live “normally” for awhile.
If you’re a restless soul like me: I’ve found that living, holidaying or working somewhere starts as a nice change then becomes “routine” soon. This freshness then fades, gets a bit stale, before boredom sets in and I crave a new horizon … the road beckons. Fresh again.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’ve been nomadic since 1988 – over 100 countries – and this is how I’ve managed to continue travelling for so long and far: by alternating intense overland journeys with mellow, foreign-rest stops. But off course, everybody is different and has differing needs.