Signs of Travel Burnout: How to Know When To Come Home

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In the full spectrum of the travel process, discerning the right time to come home is just as difficult as it is deciding it is time to sell all your stuff and hit the road.

Here are some signs that it might be time to reckon with buying that ticket home and reflecting on your amazing journey, rather than causing yourself a meltdown on the road.

“I Want to” vs. “I Should”
If you find yourself uttering “I should go to the (insert amazing wonder of the world here)” take a pause lady Jane! You most likely started your globe-trotting out on the pretext of sheer desire; traveling to those sights you wanted to see, learning the language you wanted to master, etc. As soon as the “I should” starts entering your vocabulary this indicates that you might be forcing yourself to do something you do not want to do. Travel is about utmost freedom. With that said, you have the freedom to bring it to a respectful close and enjoy what life brings next.

Judging Your Travel Against Others
Do you cringe when another new backpacker arrives in your hostel full of energy and stories of the 30th country they have been to? And, do you silently question your traveler mojo when said backpacker says, “OMG you have been in (insert continent here) for 2 months and you have not seen (again add your own bucket list item)? What have you been doing all this time?” Refrain your inner critic; the world is large, and that person was being an ass! Traveling is about relishing in every moment, big or small. Remember that you are the sole judge of your journey; the backpacker culture of “one-upping” is pervasive. However, if you find yourself constantly falling prey to your ego in comparing your trip to another person’s pay attention.

You Stop Taking as Many Pictures


This world is incredible to witness, as well as photograph! If you notice yourself not taking as many pictures on your journey, this shows a lack of effort to commemorate and engage yourself in the experience. Every country and its people deserves your full attention whilst travelling, otherwise you will ultimately be short changed in a lackluster experience.

You are Tired
You slept a whole day away at the hotel in Buenos Aires. You sound like your grandmother trying to hike some of the Pacific Rim’s many volcanoes. The unique sights of your travels are blurring together…what country am I in anyways? Babygirl…you have fallen victim to travel fatigue! Lucky for you it is totally treatable…stop moving and sleep. If this does not help while you are still following your itinerary, look into what might be causing the fatigue and ways to remedy it. If not, you might just be tired because, let’s face it, travel is super draining on so many gloriously exhausting levels.

It is totally okay to go home or return to a place of comfort whenever you see fit. What is not okay is to stick around trying to cross countries off a list when you know that you’re over it. It is a sign of true wisdom to know when your mind, body, and soul has experienced enough and is ready to step back and enjoy the processing/decompressing time of returning to your home country. Do not dismay; chances are if your curiosity and drive got you out on the open road once….the travel bug will bite again!

How do you deal with travel burnout?

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About Author

Traci is a bold New Yorker who loves taking her empire state of mind global. She holds a degree in International Business, and bleeds humanitarianism. Traci spent a semester in 2007 living in Italy and bouncing around Western Europe. In the past 3 years she volunteered at a homeless shelter in California, worked construction in New Orleans, and moonlights as a bartender everywhere she goes. She recently completed an epic 7 month backpacking trip through Central and South America and spent a month road-tripping the East Coast. Check out her personal blog at www.alwaysinjourney.com. Based out of: New Orleans, LA

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