Have you ever been midway through a long journey when that all-too familiar feeling creeps in? You know which one I’m talking about: the very moment when you ask yourself “what am I doing here?”
You’re exhausted, frustrated, hungry, dirty, uncomfortable. The trip you’re on—the one which cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars, the one you’ve anticipated for months—well, that trip now feels like a tedious, mind-numbing slog.
You daydream of clean showers with hot water and strong pressure. Your own bed, miles and miles away, calls to you with its soft, clean linens. The few wrinkled, tattered clothes in your pack reek of the road’s pungent concoction. There will be no washing machine. There will be no dryer. The food, bland and tasteless, has left you crippled and in pain at times.
The fun is over. You just want to go home. And now.
Can a traveler experience a more depressing feeling? Doubtful. But you’re not alone. Millions of travelers have been there, myself included. You’ll see them at the bus station, the airport, the hotel lobby, ready to go home. Blurry eyes, defeated postures, unkempt appearances, bad attitudes—they all look the same.
Don’t join them. You’ve put too much time, money, and effort into this process to let a few mind games dictate whether or not your trip is a success. If you get to this point, seek out the most comfortable and enjoyable activity possible. Splurge a little if necessary.
A hot tub, a slice of pizza, and a beer is typically all I need to get over myself and get back to enjoying my journey.
What about you?
When I’m that unhappy on a trip, it’s less the trip and more the company.
Like you say, a night relaxing, or if needed, a night of everyone doing their own thing is enough to make everything better.
Can’t say the company has really got to me at all, as I tend to travel with my wife. But I can easily see your chosen travel partners being an issue! I like the “do your own thing” approach, especially on those longer hauls.
Well, Eric, I don’t really do a lot of far off traveling, but I can sure understand your point! Sometimes it’s good to take a breather and check your attitude and have a good shot of tequila! (I’ve also been in Guapo’s situation where the company I was with started fraying on my nerves – when that happens, I ususally try to have a let’s start over moment and find some humor!) (or~ drink some more tequila!)
Since most of my travels have involved extended stays (weeks…months.. years!) I can definitely relate to road weariness, and that feeling of wanting/needing something familiar right freaking now. (Does ANYONE here speak English? Pleeeease!) I usually travel solo, but there have been times, when traveling with others, that my companions have grated on my nerves. (2 hours to decide on a restaurant? Really?! This in a town SO small there are only 3 to choose from!) Usually, however, I don’t have others to point a finger towards, and can only blame my bad frame-of-mind. The remedy, for me, is to change up the way I’m thinking..and quick! Get out, go hiking, so sailing, talk to total strangers, buy something, drink something, or if the problem is from over stimulation (which is more likely when traveling) then stay in and hibernate for an evening.
You’re right, it all boils down to over stimulation. There’s too much foreign stuff going on around you. It seems like everyone is having one big conversation you can’t understand. You feel lost and unable to order a cup of freaking coffee. So good call on staying in and hibernating for the evening. Personally, I’d feel guilty for doing so if I only had a few days in town, but things change when you have a few months, or years even.
Always appreciate your insightful perspective on all things travel and adventure related, Alex.
Taking a day off the hectic schedule is built in to all of our trips. Nothing like kicking back in a sidewalk cafe or 3, sucking beers and watching people is the way to break out of that trap.
I’ve had a horrible case of wanderlust for a long time; I love to travel, though I’ve not done so for months or years at a time…usually days/weeks (and I’m on the 25th move of my life…0_o. I get squirmy after a few years in the same place. Still upon returning from whatever adventure I’ve been on…..my own bed and the ability to do as much laundry as I want without using coins and hauling it to and fro usually perks me up:) Oh and I second, third, fourth….the people watching bit. As a photographer with a particular affinity for street photography, I can watch people go by for hours and never be bored.
25 moves so far?! That’s probably more than most people (military personnel excluded) will make in a lifetime. Isn’t it amazing what consistent access to laundry does for your morale? It’s the small things we take for granted sometimes. And people watching is always fun!
Ah, I’ve experienced it as well, Eric. It was a few-weeks long trip overseas and I was with people who were the wake-up-at-the-crack-of-dawn, non-stop, go-go-go type of vacationers. By the end of it, I was so exhausted and pretty much convinced that I’d be less tired once I got back home and back to work 😦 … So one day towards the end of the trip I put my foot down and said we’re going to see a movie. And we did. And it was the best 2-3 hours of just sitting there in air-conditioning, not having to move or talk to anyone. Hallelujah, brother.