Tired of traveling? You’re not alone. This is he story of our travel fatigue - and how even adults have to deal with homesickness abroad…
Disclaimer: This blogpost is much more personal than our usual itineraries and travel ideas. This is our story rather than a guide. Maybe it helps some of you…
Travel fatigue is more than being travel tired. It does not go away after a good night of sleep, some exercise, or a healthy meal. It can stay with you for weeks and spoil the whole experience. And it often comes with another topic that is not often talked about: homesickness in adults.
Travellers’ fatigue hit us in our third month of travel - and we have met a lot of travellers who have confirmed this time frame. Before we were struck by travel fatigue, we didn’t think such a thing was possible. We had vowed to be yes people, to seize the day, and to live life to its fullest.
In our case some of the symptoms were:
—> When you’re exhausted, you do not visit all the places you want to visit, both in a country and in a city. This can lead to a circle of you being even more frustrated with the trip and so on.
—> When you find it hard to meet new people, it gets even harder to combat homesickness. Travel fatigue and homesickness can be quite a vicious circle.
There are several guides online on how to tackle travel fatigue so of course, we tried some of their tips.
We said yes to two amazing travellers, who wanted to join forces to travel the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. One of the highlights of the whole trip was staying on Little Corn Island for two weeks in an attempt to recharge our batteries. The stay was amazing, unfortunately, our batteries remained uncharged.
Of course, we tried the next tip on the list: If Nicaragua could not recharge us, maybe moving on to Costa Rica could help? Spoiler: It could not.
In Costa Rica, we tried something new: Normally, we like to travel on our own schedule. We like to do and see what we want when we want it. At this point, the lack of energy was so prevalent that we tagged along with a group of people we met on our first day in Costa Rica throughout the whole country - definitely a first. This led to great adventures (I am super happy that we said yes to join them in the Corcovado National Park) as well as some fails (we should have never joined a group of young, better-trained people on a bicycle tour in Puerto Viejo 🙈).
Sometimes, we tried to just say yes and it failed. We tried to push ourselves and just go out and had a miserable time. We tried to meet new people and it just didn’t vibe. We tried to explore something new but just did not fully take advantage of the amazing place.
Saying yes does not lead to a magical array of good things happening. Life is not a movie. And that's okay.
We should have realized that long-term travel is not for everyone and come home. We should have just said no. It’s weird that this seems to be the one solution which is not really socially acceptable. If you are looking for advice online, most people will tell you just to tough it out and power through. It seems like an admittance of defeat to say we should have just stopped - in fact, we even considered not releasing this blogpost.
It might be true that you shouldn’t quit a carefully planned around-the-world trip on a whim. But if you gave it some time and tried some coping mechanisms why should you keep on going? After all, travelling should be fun most of the time. It is okay to stop. You’re not alone. It is okay to say no.