Do you travel too hard?
Being exhausted while travelling is an extremely unproductive way to travel for backpackers. You forget things, get lazy, aren’t as quick to re-plan and organize your ever changing life on the road.
Because of this rush, rush, rush, as one door closes, which is quite regular upon backpacking, you struggle to find an open one to plan your next move. But that’s just not it. The worst of all is when you don’t appreciate where you are in the world, which is the whole reason you travel, to be right where you are and bask in that ever-magnificent moment. From the town you are in to the incredible sites you have right before your eyes and the list of what you have to appreciate but don’t due to travel exhaustion is, well, endless.
Taking a break on the Great Wall of China
At the time of writing this I am in Beijing and the fact that I am even conscious and typing due to my lack of rest is phenomenal. Oh and of all cities I had to choose the most polluted to be run down and withering away with the energy levels of an old decaying turtle about to cark it.
But nether the less we all get run down on our travels. However right now I am not talking to those whom take a 2-3 week vacation, because yes these people do get run down also, but they go back home to comfort and rest before they jump back into their 9-5 (which by the way is a travellers nightmare!).
I am talking about those backpackers who have courageously packed their whole life into one confined space called a backpack and have been gallivanting around the world for months or even years. Oh and in the rarest cases decades for you hardcore backpackers. If that’s you well, pat yourself on that back, I’m impressed.
But, by now I think we have it entrenched within us that while we are somewhere new and spectacular, we feel the need to do and see as much as physically possible creating these such problems as it’s constantly from one place to the next with us. It soon becomes a constant battle of where is my next place to rest other than an old rickety dust bucket of a bus or in an airport between connecting flights.
But this is a common mistake that I am probably the number one culprit for, is trying to see too much with too little time. It kills me and now I think I have finally learnt. Although it was the hard way, I still learnt. Even after 5 years, I realized that okay, I am not going to be going home any time soon and if I keep this up well I am never going get truly rested and rejuvenated.
So I decided to stop, slow down and take a much-needed break. I decided to have travel down days. Days where I could do nothing but rest, just sleep in, read a book sit by the beach or walk about leisurely without having to see certain tourist attractions or be anywhere by any certain time. And I fricken loved it!
I loved that I could put my mind at ease even just for a little while where I don’t become warn out by thinking about where the next place I will be able to sleep is, can I wash my clothes there, will they have hot water or even wifi?
So I found myself being a much happier traveller knowing that I could if I needed, to just stop and take a break, without having to plan, get things done and be worried about things that aren’t particularly important.
More importantly so, I am able to really enjoy and take in the things that I do, what I see and the moments I have along with the friendships I make.
Although sometimes, where ever you are, you may be somewhere you don’t want to take a break. Like Beijing for example, but if you need to rest, well you need to rest and suck it up no matter where you land. For those of you who love Beijing sorry, but for me it’s not particularly a highlight and will not be heading back there any time soon despite how much there is to be seen.
I know I am not alone here, knowing I should be having travel down days. There are other victims out there who have simply travelled to hard just like myself and I want to know their secrets. What do you do? Do you take a break, read a book, sleep for a day, movie marathon it up or eat food that reminds you of home? Please feel free to leave a comment about it below.