Travel is awesome! It’s a break from the norm. When you travel, you’re kinda moved out of your comfort zone and are forced to try new things in some far flung region of the Earth. It’s a great way to experience something entirely different from normal life. I THIRVE in it. It suits my personality because I’m one of those freaks that finds comfort in change. However… and there’s a BIG however… When I travel, I also need to be still. I’ll explain.
I think the best way to describe the type of travel I do is ‘long haul travel’… Just imagine travelling for an extended period kinda like one of those crazy long haul flights from Australia. They sometimes take around 27 hours to get to Europe – but instead of sitting on the plane, long haul travel is kinda like constantly living out of your backpack moving from hostel to hostel over a couple of months. That’s pretty much how I travel, and… it’s just me, my trusty backpack and some sort of cheap transport to my next unknown location. It’s awesome! I love it, but at the same time… it can be exhausting.
When you’re a solo traveller like me, sometimes you gotta be really careful not to burn out because travelling like a backpacker can be REALLY HARD. There are a lot of comforts from home that you miss out on… like a nice warm bed… your favourite shampoo and the big one – privacy.
Hostels are awesome! I love them. I’ve stayed in some pretty swanky hostels all around the world. And what I really love about some hostels is the people I’ve met. Just recently, I met a sociologist professor from a university in California – we had an awesome chats. I also met a lawyer from Sydney who’s uncle lives in my village!
But, sometimes… the hostel’s I’ve stayed in are one step away from being a frat house. Yes, you win some and you lose some, but that’s the name of the backpacker game. It can be a fun gamble and these days, the time backpackers are winning because there’s loads of reviews online from fellow backpackers to help with research. But anyway, the point is… when you’re travelling for long periods of time, you don’t really relax.
As a backpacker, I am constantly on my toes. There’s no set menu or an all-inclusive all you can eat buffet like they do on cruise ships. I remember being in Asia eating sticky rice packets in banana leaves along with dried wild boar for three meals a day. It was incredibly tasty, but that was my meal EVERY NIGHT FOR TWO WEEKS. For the first time in my life, I actually CRAVED McDonalds… Seriously… This does happen to travellers. It’s naughty, I know… but seriously, I cracked it and needed something comforting.
I normally travel with no set plans and sometimes I even end up on a couch. Each day is an adventure and each day, I need to be weary for my own safety. I am constantly thinking of all scenarios to keep myself safe because if you think about solo travel, I’m the only person looking after myself. After a while, my brain starts to hurt,and what I discovered is time out during long haul travel is necessary to let your brain reset otherwise you become a zombie.
Yes, I want to go out and see everything. Yes, I want to have a chat with my new best backpacking mates I’ve met and yes, I’m the type of girl who wants to run herself into the ground by seeing every frickin thing known to man. But that’s also how we burn out and can’t properly function.
So, my point is… be still. We’re all different creatures, so being still may be different for you. Perhaps your method of being still is to get lost in a good book or maybe it’s by staring out the window of a cafe. Or, you find comfort in writing a blog or taking a nap. Find that one thing that works for you and recharge the batteries.
You’re no good to anyone and mostly yourself if you don’t… so, it’s ok to take the afternoon off and relax.
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!