The Part of Long-Term Travel That No One Talks About
In a world full of comparison, where everyone seems to project their "best life" to the world, I want to share with you one of the lesser talked about subjects, which can be connected with long-term travel. I want to talk about the Travel Slump.
As I started writing this post, I decided to do a bit of quick side research on anything that I could find about the travel slump, and interestingly enough, it is actually a more discussed topic than I realized. It's been something that I've discussed with others who I know, who spend long periods away travelling. To help put this concept into something more tangible, I'd like to explain it as reaching a point in travel where things don't feel quite the same. The newness is gone, the excitement has disappeared and things seem to feel dull. This can be a normal occurrence and is most common in long-term travel, but can also make its appearance in shorter trips as well.
The Travel Slump often feels like going through a low. There are numerous factors which can play a role in this slump. Becoming exhausted from always being "on" is pretty typical. When you are in a new place with new surroundings, whether you realize it or not, your mind is working at full speed. It does this to not only take in everything that is going on around you, but also to make sure that you are safe. Sometimes travelers can get to the point where they no longer desire to see new places. Feeling bad about the lack of excitement for things that should be exciting can tie in with this as well. Another challenging factor can be potential time zone differences. There is nothing like needing to reach out to someone from home, be it for encouragement or any other reason, and knowing that over there, it's the middle of the night and it's simply just not possible.
Like I talked about before, the Travel Slump is normal, and it is nothing to be alarmed about. If you feel like you are experiencing this for yourself, here are some ideas which may help:
1. Take some rest, if possible. Give yourself a bit of a mental and even physical break, if needed.
2. When you are traveling, even if you are feeling uninterested, try your best to enjoy it. Every new place, and more so, every day is both a gift and a treat to enjoy, so do your best to remember that.
3. When you finally do get to see your loved ones again, treasure those moments. It can be tough to be away, but when you finally do reconnect, make the best of it all.
4. Try spreading trips out. If things seem to be getting overwhelming or become too much, if you can, consider taking more time between your travels.
One final note that I'd like to make is that if there is someone you are close with, who has been traveling for quite awhile, there is a chance that they could experience the Travel Slump at some point. Remember that even though on social media, things may look perfect, there could be unspoken things going on. If you have a close friend who is away, don't be afraid to ask them how they are really doing and to be a good friend to them, as you hope that they will be mutually, for you.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully this post has been informative and eye opening to this subject, which often stays behind closed doors. I hope to encourage travelers to know that they are not alone in this and to provide some suggestions of how to continue to move forward, even through the Slump. As per usual, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.