4 Signs You’re Traveling Too Much

Traveling too much

For me, and for I’m sure most travelers, travel is something I feel I can never get enough of. If I’m in the airport on the way to Paris, and I see departing flights to Berlin, I do get disappointed that I have to say no to Berlin because I’m literally already going to Paris. It’s a struggle! So, for the first few months of my life abroad, I packed all the travel I possibly could into my life. While I won’t say I regret it, there were some definite signs that I was pushing myself too far and traveling too much. Now when I talk to other travel friends and they complain about the following symptoms, I can easily diagnose it as “chill out man, you’re traveling too much!”

Fatigue

Travel is exhausting. Even if you take it easy, and don’t necessarily go skydiving every day, travel will still take a toll on your energy level. What you don’t realize is that not only is long-distance transportation exhausting, but when you’re constantly uprooting your home base, never totally aware of where you are, and experiencing some, even minor, sort of cultural shock, your body gets tired.

If you don’t pay attention to your energy level, be prepared to live off the travel high for a little while, and then crash hard enough that thoughts like “should I really be traveling? I want to go home, travel isn’t worth it without mom/dad/Jenny/Spot” start invading your brain. If this happens, you can absolutely stick through it and continue on your way, but it makes the travel lifestyle that much harder. Be aware that you’re likely just traveling too much for your own energy level and should cut yourself a break.

Sickness

Riding on the back of fatigue is sickness. Not only are some travelers constantly on the go which stifles their immune systems, but exposing your body to new elements introduces bacteria that maybe your body doesn’t have the ability to combat. Therefore, what happens is your body falls victim to these new elements in order to build up the protection it needs to survive in this new atmosphere.

The problem is, when you’re traveling too much, not only does your body not get a chance to rest, but you’re constantly throwing new elements at it. In the first few months of my life abroad, I was getting sick every month; though it was always just a cold, it was a very bad cold that kept me in bed for a week. Lesson learned.

Monotony

The thing that makes the travel lifestyle so wonderful is that you’re not seeing and doing the same things every day. While your friends are sitting at a desk 9-5, you went and climbed Mount Everest! However, when you’re traveling too much and travel becomes everyday, you find yourself unhappy with the same monotonous lifestyle that inspired you to travel in the first place. Eventually, all cathedrals, mountains, and beaches mesh together and become the same experience. Amazing things become boring because you grow accustomed to them. While you may have amazing memories to go with each place, the memories all blur into one general memory.

Your Bank Account

Travel is expensive. There is no doubt about that. There are tons of budget travel blogs out there that explain how to travel on a budget (what a thought, huh?), and a very common topic is to travel slowly. When you travel too quickly, you find yourself paying for bus tickets, flights, restaurants on the go, and last-minute hotel rooms. If you’re traveling too much, you’ll eventually run out of cash. Slower travel means you can hang out, maybe make some money on the side, and plan your expenses in advance, usually at a discount.

Comments

  1. Yeah – I’ve had travel burnout once, in Dubrovnik. I had been through 9 countries before I arrived there and I needed a break. I had travelled too quickly, and just couldn’t appreciate Dubrovnik at all because I was physically and mentally exhausted. Slow travel is definitely for the best if you have the time.

    • Absolutely. I had a nine hour layover in Dublin once, traveling from the US to Spain and while I was so excited to see Ireland for the first time, I just remember being tired and cold. I definitely should have relaxed in the airport!

  2. Excellent points! Since I now do this for a living it doesn’t feel like a job but I have felt burnt out a time or two with back to back travel gigs and jet lag.

    I slow down now

  3. So true. Great article Jamie. The fatigue one got us. Just moving everyday for 2 years continuously and not in “easy to travel” countries. Our blog was taking off at the time and with everything else, we were struggling to balance it all. By the time we got to Istanbul (from Thailand overland) we didn’t want to go outside to tour the city. All we wanted to do was sleep. Of course we eventually did and realised we need to stop for a while and recharge. We weren’t appreciating place for what they had to offer. That is not travelling! We travelled really slow the year after. We should have stopped and stayed in one spot for a while earlier but we were too stubborn. We have recharged now and have changed our style of travel. You need to recognise it and do something about it. It has made us stronger as people but also much wiser travellers.

    • That’s definitely something I feel all travelers need to do – learn who they are as travelers! Nowadays, I definitely prefer to take things slower and really drink in the place I’m visiting.

  4. You’re right there Jamie. Have to admit that I’m not a big fan of long trips which I suppose is why I could never do a lengthy round-the-worlder, the fatigue can certainly set in and if crossing several cultures there’s just too much to take in and I think in the end it just becomes travel for travel’s sake. I’m happy with shorter trips as you can really concentrate on an area and get the best out of it. Happy ‘slow’ travels !

  5. I definitely agree traveling too much usually happens when I get sick. I did a long eurotrip and one of the last days I got a 24 he flu. My body was like, “we need to go home!” Great post!

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