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About: Travel Burnout

The principle of diminishing returns — that too much of a good thing is not a good thing — applies to traveling just as much as it applies to food, hobbies and people.  

Travel burnout is when our minds and bodies get tired of traveling.  Getting in a bus is no longer exciting but has become something we no longer look forward to, planning what to do in a city feels too much like real work and not like pleasure, and waking up in unknown places every few days makes us feel homesick. 

But there is nothing wrong with experiencing travel burnout.  It can happen to anyone at anytime and anywhere.  For example, two friends of ours got travel burnout after six months of exploring Southeast Asia.  We got travel burnout after three months of traveling when we found ourselves in Mexico.    

Suffering from travel burnout does not mean that you are not fit for extended travels.  It means that you need to change the way you travel (i.e. slow down) and that you need to start doing something different (i.e. leave the city to go to the beach.)  It is as simple as that.  In our case, we went from one major city to another major city to two smaller ones.  We failed to take a detour by the whitesand beaches. 

And that's the thing that is wonderful about traveling: you discover yourself and learn what it is that you like to do or are comfortable with.  It is then and only then that you learn what type of traveler you are because you have tried different things already.

People regularly suffer from burnout.  Whether we have been working too much in our cubicle or socializing too much, we need to hit the break pedal and yank the steering wheel to head in a different direction.  We are humans, not machines.     

So...if you find yourself in the place of your dream — for example, seating next to the Dalai Lama in a Tibetan temple — but feel sad and lazy, don't blame yourself for not enjoying what you're doing at that particular moment.  Excuse yourself and make another appointment for a different day and hit the spa — I'm sure he would understand.

Travel burnout is an integral part of the experience of traveling and you need to embrace it.  Just like everything else in our life, burnouts are a sign.  A sign that you need to change the pace of your travels, a sign that you are more of a hiking type of person than a museum type of person.  

And having this epiphany is just fine. 

- Vincent