I’ve put off writing this post because I figured that if I admitted that I think I’ve been suffering with a spot of ‘travellers fatigue’, you’d all laugh me off the Internet. It turns out it is a real thing though – travel fatigue that is – and can impact even the most enthusiastic of long-term travellers.
For the past week or so I’ve felt so tired and unmotivated to go out and explore. I’ve skipped meals instead of bothering to head out and choose food. Or, I’ve eaten at western places that I’m not even a big fan of simply for the ease of a pizza over a tongue tingling curry from a roadside warung. When faced with visiting a tourist attraction, a must see site or even heading back to one of my favourite spots, I’d honestly rather sit in my bed, in my pants, and watch Netflix under the air-con. Even just lying in the sun – one of my favourite pastime – has felt like a lot of effort.
I’ve finished After Life and The Sinner (season two) this week, if you’re interested. Highly recommend!
I haven’t said anything basically through fear of alienating people or just sounding super whiny. Let’s be honest, when you’re at home working your 9-5 (or whatever it is you do), dealing with transitional weather and basically gasping for a holiday, the last thing you want to see is some Instagrammer complain they’re tired in Bali.
Travellers fatigue is a real thing though. When you’ve been away from home for a long time, constantly navigating new places and new beds (I’ve slept in 12 in the last 6 weeks), it’s easy to burnout. Although I love slow travelling and like to feel as though I’ve experienced living somewhere rather than just passing through, there’s still a pressure to be a go-getter every day.
This week I actually found myself missing the camper van. Yes that in itself had its real challenges but it also felt like a little home. I was totally in my element and loved the utter freedom, but also having a space that was mine for an extended period. I should probably say I’m missing home but honestly, I haven’t once in over four months. At least there’s that! (Sorry Mum).
I don’t have bad words to say about Bali but budget backpacking is exhausting, mentally and physically (I’ve got the swollen glands this week to prove it!) and I’ve been making matters worse for myself by feeling too guilty to admit that. I think most of us have probably experienced the ‘but I should be having the time of my life?!’ guilt in some circumstance or other. Like any time when we don’t feel as though our mental health is at its peak, the best thing to do is just talk about it.
I’ve got a week left in Bali and I’m determined to use it to take care of myself. Despite this blip – which I’m confident is just that – there’s still nowhere I’d rather be than abroad with my backpack. Next week we’re going to Singapore for a few nights before joining a 31 day tour around South East Asia, beginning in Bangkok. I absolutely adored Singapore last time and can’t wait to be back; I think a change of scenery and a fresh adventure is exactly what I need. I know the Asia tour, whilst really exciting, is going to be really tiring and a new challenge altogether travelling with other people, so I’m trying to be extra kind to myself in preparation.
But first, a week of naps in the sun, Bintang and nasi goreng…