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October 15, 2019

5 tips to avoid travel burnout

Do you have a roaming soul that yearns to set off on a long, adventurous journey? Great idea. But be careful: you could fall prey to travel burnout. Here are 5 tips to avoid it.

What is travel burnout?

Travel burnout is like job burnout and manifests similar symptoms: anxiety, stress, inability to cope, feeling overwhelmed, minor health issues – fatigue, insomnia – and many others.

This affects mobile workers who leave for long periods of time – often years! – with only a backpack as their luggage.

Freelancers, for the most part, have to juggle work and travel to be able to cover the cost of their adventure.

How to avoid it?

1. Set your own rules

Start with a few baby steps into this lifestyle if you are drawn to mobile work, but feel slightly queasy about the uncertainty. Take off for only a few months to test your mettle.

Did you pull it off rather well? Plan a longer trip next time.

The duration of your adventure is not the only factor impacting your ability to juggle mobile work. Some unwelcome leaks can spring up to dampen the overall experience. For instance, before departing, make sure to find out about a country’s WiFi access and choose a friendly destination.

2. Rethink your must-see stops

You are not required to visit everything from A to Z when arriving in a new location, simply because you heard you c-a-n-n-o-t miss seeing this or that. After all, you are not a Michelin guide editor.

By all means keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground. But the trip should be a rewarding life experience, rather than an exhausting marathon to see all the most popular tourist attractions.

3. Approach adventure objectively

Living a nomadic lifestyle has its fair share of challenges:

  • Constantly on the move.
  • Packing, unpacking, repeat each time you change locations.
  • Sleeping in dorms alongside people you do not know. And having to exchange small talk with them!
  • Finding it hard to communicate due to language.
  • Getting taste buds tuned to exotic cuisine.

You will surely experience some trying times, so do what you can to lessen the stress:

  • Do not pack too tight a schedule. If you have some wiggle room, you could stay a bit longer in a place that particularly pleases you.
  • Choose a sturdy, durable, waterproof bag that is easy to handle.
  • Think about squirreling some money away if you ever feel the need for some alone time and want to grab a hotel room on your own for the night.
  • Install a translation app on your smartphone to streamline your communications. No such device? A small paper guide will work too.
  • Visit restaurants specializing in international cuisine before you leave and get acquainted with dishes served in the country you plan to visit. Your taste buds will thank you.

4. Embrace the unexpected

Are you being courted for an important contract assignment that promises to be intense, but will earn you a fat paycheque? Grab it even if taking this professional downtime makes you uneasy. It could allow you to move forward on more solid financial footing. A definite win-win.

Do not purchase a return ticket until you actually have a date.  This way, you can face the unknown stress-free.

5. Listen to your body

Are you feeling out of breath? Do you have shaky nerves + mood swings and you are not really enjoying the experience? Find your safe place.

A simple routine, faces that become more familiar with time, as well as a warm, inviting atmosphere is what you need.

Furthermore, you will learn more about the habits and customs of the country you are visiting if you take the time to observe life around you. An added bonus: you can build friendships with locals.

Happy travels!