I am fortunate to be able to travel every couple months as a result of my job, but I’ll be the first to admit that day after day, week after week on the road wears me thin. Perpetual travel can be exhausting, and I’m grateful for the fact that I have a home base, a bed and a daily routine. My travel schedule—which is peppered throughout the months—tends to space itself out well enough that I’m always just a bit itchy to travel in the weeks leading up to my trip and also pleasantly relieved to be able to spend time at home once my trip is over.
I realize that every traveler is different, whether you travel with family, travel on your own, travel for business or only get out when you have vacation time. I also know that, regardless of the travel style, there is an opportunity for burnout. Travel can feel stale and lose its novelty. The wide-eyed wonder that once accompanied your passport is left behind. Where you used to find interesting local experiences, you now encounter pushy touts, street kids and people who want to rip you off in the market.
Losing the lust to travel can be akin to ripping out a piece of yourself. What happened to that love you used to have? Why do you dread packing your bags and boarding an airplane? If you find yourself feeling this way, it’s time to reboot and rekindle that passion that once compelled you to travel to new places, eat new food, chat with new people and experiment with a new language. It’s time to let your next trip feel like your very first one.
If you usually travel alone, buddy up with a friend or go with a tour group. If you normally stick to the comfort of an all-inclusive resort, plan a trip that involves piecing together your own travel details. If you normally go to the beach, head for the mountains. If you always find yourself at the airport, plan a road trip instead. In other words, shake things up so you don’t feel like you’re doing the same old things every time you leave home.
Read, listen and be inspired.
Just because you have vacation time doesn’t mean you have to take it. And just because you always take the family somewhere for Spring Break doesn’t mean you have to go this year. If travel feels like a chore, then it is. Instead, let yourself be inspired. We all find travel inspiration somewhere different. For some of us, it’s found in music. Some people like to thumb through coffee table books splashed with photography. Still others want to get up and go when they see a certain movie. Let inspiration guide your next trip instead of feeling the need to travel just for the sake of traveling.
One of the things on my Life List is to take a completely last-minute, spontaneous trip. I want to have no plans for the weekend today and jet off for the weekend tomorrow. If I had to make a guess about how this would happen, I imagine I would receive one of those emails telling me that vacation packages to the Caribbean suddenly dropped to the bottom dollar or flights to Hawaii were so empty they’re practically giving away tickets just to fill seats. It hasn’t happened yet (though I’ve been tempted a few times), but when I am this spontaneous, not having time to think about every detail is sure to keep the trip fresh and exciting.
Take time off.
If you tend to travel a lot, spend some time at home. Move into a work position that requires less time traveling, or settle some (temporary) roots just to get into a routine. Whether you find that spending more time at home makes you antsy for more travel, or you just don’t venture out as much, I’d be willing to bet that you appreciate those trips you do take a lot more. It seems like when you don’t travel as much, each trip becomes much more valuable. Conversely, spend your time at home exploring your own backyard. When was the last time you attended a local festival or did some of the touristy things that visitors to your city enjoy doing? Looking at a familiar place in an unfamiliar way can be an eye-opening experience.