How to Overcome the Travel Blues

No not Sunday blues or Monday blues.

We’ve all felt slightly depressed when another week of the daily groundhog arrives. We spend those hours of dread dreaming of a life hitchhiking from Mediterranean sunset to wildebeest chasing on the Serengeti plains.

[stripe text=”How could travel ever be an adjective for the blues?”]

The travel blues is a reality of long-term travel, possibly even short-term if you arrive at your beach bungalow for your annual vacation and the cockroaches have moved in with you to escape the impending monsoon.

Travel is not always the glamour that your Facebook or Instagram feed depicts.

Sometimes, instead of running barefoot along the soft powdery sand of another stunning Australian beach, you find yourself staring wistfully into the horizon wishing that you were back in a house living a normal life.

Rottnest Island, Western Australia
Pinky Beach, Rottnest Island, WA

What is wrong with me? You’ll berate yourself over and over again. I’m living this amazing life of adventure, fun and freedom, yet I feel a little dead inside. I just can’t seem to understand what it’s all for anymore.

You’re supposed to be living the dream and you know by the “jealous” comments replying to another of your Facebook updates, that most people want to be you. You struggle to hide the fact that you want to swap places for a while.

When long-term travel becomes the norm

Long-term travel becomes a lifestyle. The norm is to get tired of the norm.

It’s bizarre to think snorkeling with manta rays, nightly sunset barbies, and cafe bumming can all become a little ho hum.

When you’d rather sit in the car and write a list of what my life will look like when I have a house, you know the sacrifices of a life of travel are too much to bear.

If you’re not finding value in your adventures, then its time to consider a change.

Like I am now. An end to the adventure. A couch of my own I can curl up on for a afternoon of channel surfing before going to the corner cafe where everyone knows my name. It’s been that bad, I’ve even contemplated going back to a job!

I don’t need to go back to a job, but I”m craving it because it’s easy and certain.

Like a marathon runner who has hit the last couple of kms, I’m struggling to finish our Australian road trip. I don’t feel there is any point to making the sacrifices if my heart is not in it.

I want to speak the truth, keep it real, so you can be prepared when the blues hit you.

How to overcome the travel blues

Have a good old WHINGE (or whine for our American friends)

If this post was via pen and paper, the wastebasket would be overflowing and the paper scratched up with nasty red ink. Writing the first and second draft felt good because I was having a good old sooky la la whinge.

Nothing feels better than that right?

A whinge is necessary to clear a path for acceptance and honest reflection. But, there is the danger of continuing the whinge and doing nothing else. Letting your mind focus on hosting a self-pity party won’t help you see a clear exit out of the mire.

A whinge is allowed if you intend to do something to change your situation into something better.

Rest

Exhaustion makes everything muddy.

Stop the travel. Find a place that will offer you a chance to recover, regain your strength and find the clarity you seek. Even if it is just for a couple of days.

No more exploring. No more socializing. Just swing in a hammock and let the wind blow away all the anxiety, stress and unhappiness. Once you’ve found your happy peace, you can uncover the issues and discover what your heart wants you to do.

After 16 months of this fast-paced travel life with kids, my body was slipping into exhaustion. It was made worse by our two-week, intense side trip to the White House. I hadn’t quite gotten over my arrival jet lag before getting whammied with the return one.

The day after we flew in, we made the silly decision to cycle around Rottnest Island in gale force winds and then slipped right into silly season and completely amped up our socializing.

No wonder I felt so bad. On January 4th, I slammed on the brakes to take it easy down in Margaret River and figure out what else was causing these blues.

slowing down in Margaret River
slowing down in Margaret River

Assess the blues

It’s time to assess what’s causing the travel blues so you know whether you need to change direction, or stop for good.

How are you feeling? What’s at the root cause of the blues?

You cannot change what you aren’t aware of. Once I identified why I was suddenly getting irritated by travel, I could work on finding solutions.

The exhaustion of balancing

I’m tired of trying to balance all aspects of my life: health, family, business, travel, and other interests I wanted to express.

We travel full-time. We’re with our two beautiful, but highly energetic daughters full-time, we home-school Kalyra full-time, and our business is full-time. That is a lot of full-time to manage.

If this is how the future looks for your travel, I highly recommend you seek another path. It’s not the ultimate.

Long-term travel is. Digital nomad lifestyle is. Traveling with your children is. Road tripping around Australia is. But combining them all is NOT.

A lack of routine and stability

Living out of a camper trailer is  starting to wear thin. I’m craving my own home with space and a place for all my things – a little bit of security and stability for all of us.

It’s very difficult for us to get into a routine, which is having an impact upon my health, and I think a routine would make parenting a little easier.

Too expensive

Australia is so big to explore and so bloody expensive; it’s starting to annoy me just how much it costs and I’m realizing how much further our money could go if we were elsewhere.

It’s becoming more of a priority to be smarter with our money to provide a more secure future.

Relationships

I’m going a little cuckoo living with the kids and Craig 24/7. Long-term travel with a partner or children can be draining and you have to be careful the whole 24/7 thing doesn’t tear you apart.

All the facets of our life: marriage, family, business, hobbies are all rolled into one. I want to separate them a little so I can be more in touch with the individual identity of each one.

The constant worry and guilt as to whether this is the best thing for the girls is killing me too. Damn you Mother’s Guilt!

Managing a business on the road

I’ve never worked a calling or a passion before; I worked a job I hated, or I lived in circumstances I hated, so running away from that to a life of travel made so much sense. I was the girl who believed sick days were there to be taken. Now I have my own business I love, I get annoyed by public holidays!

We have so many brilliant ideas for this blog, but our excitement quickly diminishes when we realize we can’t.

We just don’t have the time, the structure, and the certainty.

I’m completely stuck in my ability to learn, create, manage, and grow. It’s too hard to do it with the kids and the travel. The worry of what’s going to happen to our income if we can’t get the work done is starting to weigh heavily.

(And don’t get me started on the shitty internet)

All of these issues marinated in a healthy dose of guilt in my head. Guilt for feeling this way, for wanting to turn my back on this amazing life, and for not being the best I could be for myself and others.

What’s causing your travel blues? Is it exhaustion, loneliness, or a lack of money? Are you tired of living out of a backpack and not having the stability of a home? Go inside and figure it out.

Is there anything deeper you find jumping out? Any other themes or issues you need to deal with?

Sometimes when we assess the blues we only find the surface level stuff that can easily be fixed: I’m tired. I miss my friends. I want a steady income.

It’s the deeper stuff we need to be aware of, otherwise, it will find a way to make you pay attention until you learn the lesson.

Uncertainty

My balancing act is made worse by not having a solid base to throw the balls from; I juggle from on top of a ball called uncertainty. The unknowing, leads to instability, which brings about a lot of fear.

Even when I want to plan, I generally can’t.

Like at this moment, I want to make decisions for the next year, no scrap that, for the next month, but I can’t make a decision until I hear back from that person, and that other person. The world moves slow, and I wait and wait and wait, with tightened inner knots. It makes me feel out of control and afraid.

Uncertainty can lead you on grand adventures; it can force you to go deep and develop strength you didn’t know you had, it makes you think and act in different ways, it helps you develop the ability to respond quickly and adapt like a chameleon, but it can be agonizing pain when you want to make a long-term decision but have no base or root to make it from.

You’re just a spinifex bundle rolling around in the wind with no trunk to ground you.

How can you make a decision about your future when you don’t even know the direction the wind will blow you tomorrow?

Feeling incapable and having no roots

I’m 40 this year.

I’ve been a gypsy since I left my parents house in 1997 to move to London. I’ve been running to a life of adventure and freedom. I didn’t believe a settled life could offer me any of that joy.

I’m having a sense that I don’t need, or want to, run anymore. My priorities are changing and this travel style does not fit with them.

I need a chance to find my roots again. Perhaps to discover who I am and what I am capable without the travel present. Maybe travel has been a crutch for me – a way to avoid a deeper connection.

There’s a calling within me now to do something different, and I’m bashing up against myself with that one because I don’t trust enough in me. Perhaps the fear was living inside me that I wasn’t capable of creating a home of my own.

Maybe the idea of home works against my idea of freedom and so in an effort to avoid the curtailing of my freedom, I run from a home.

It’s hard to want to live two very opposing lives at the same time.

I want my own place. I want a vegetable and herb garden with a kitchen I can create wholesome foods in. I want my own office – space to create. I want my girls to have their own bedrooms – and us too. I want them to have friends over and I want my own to come over to. For BBQ’s and dinner parties and cups of catch up teas.

And that just throws up in my face my greatest fear – that I can’t provide for this financially.

I’m homeless with nowhere to go and not a shred of clarity as to where to go.

I have no means to create a home. I only have a few suitcases filled with possessions, which usually I love, but now I’m kinda scared about it. I’m too scared to decide where to make my home, in case in six months time I realise it’s not actually the home I want.

I’m filled with guilt that Australia is possibly not the home for me. Some of the places I want to create a home in are separated from me by oceans and visa rejections.

My head hurts from thinking about it and trying to latch onto an answer in a vacant room.

I feel as if I am suspended in a bubble – a place that has no past and no future – and I’m just hanging around waiting until I’m dropped somewhere.

Can you see how underlying the blues is a melting pot of fear, doubt and insecurity? We have to dig down to uncover them if we ever have a hope of moving freely forward.

Assess your values and priorities

What is important to you? Is it freedom, fun, security, contribution, adventure, self-growth, love? What will bring you most fulfillment? Perhaps your travel blues have hit because your values have changed.

This process has made me realize that although I value freedom above all else, security is now a high value of mine. Hmmm. They don’t coexist so well do they? Or perhaps they do.

I’ve discovered that you can’t have true freedom until you do have security. Because you can quit your job, throw you backpack on and wander aimlessly for years, but, pretty soon the resources will dry up and your security is breached. Discomfort and fear enters and the freedom slowly goes.

I want the freedom to wander aimlessly without having to work so tirelessly. That comes with security, passive income and smart investments. All of the things I know I can’t do so well while I’m traveling. It is possible, but I need some time and stability to work it out first.

Once you evaluate your values and what is important to you, you can figure out what you need to do. It’s okay to change. Most of the battle is tied up with resisting change because you’re frightened of who the new you will be. You don’t want to go home and say your passion for travel is gone when you fought so hard for it in the first place.

It might not even involve quitting the travel. It might just be an adjustment that is needed so you can make your travel style fit your new values.

Get real about what you want?

Time to remove guilt, fear, regret, insecurity, doubt and what you think is possible.

What do you want? Just speak from the heart without any limitations. Make it a simple paragraph.

I want the stability of a home, the security of knowing my needs are met and a base to continue to travel and create memories with my family. I don’t want this to necessary be a full-time nomadic thing. I want to break it up with a home and the space to create and explore the other parts of me that are important to.

Once you’re clear on what you want, you can start working towards it.

List the solutions

Now you should be getting clearer on what to do.

You know what you want. You know what your values are. You know what your deeper issues are and what’s currently not working. The rest often takes care of itself.

You’ll be surprised at how once you do the work in the previous steps, and get that clarity, the Universe starts moving things around to help you create what you want.

And usually now the haze has cleared, so you can see the solutions far more easily.

List all the possible solutions to your travel blues.

You know the drill: pros and cons. New paths, same paths, quitting paths.

Take some time to mull over it. Allow your gut to speak the truth.

Forget caring about what others think, or is best for them. This is your life, you’ve got to decide what’s best for you. (Unless you have kids, then it’s a whole different thing. Decision making is much easier if you don’t)

Now each day take one small step toward those solutions.

Reconnect with what you love

Take some time to reconnect with what you love, or those experiences that give you a sense of the home you’re craving to return to.

Meet up with new friends, rent a house and have a dinner party. Spend the day at the beach. Go for a walk in nature. Take some dance classes if that’s what you loved to do at home.

I chose to do yoga on the beach, go for bike rides through the forest, and rent out a beautiful home and had a dinner party with new friends and family.

I also took myself to an outdoor Bernard Fanning concert. Live music is something that always feeds my soul. It was the perfect lift to my spirit and I wondered what I was ever bluesy in the first place.

quality time with friends over the weekend
quality time with friends over the weekend

Let it go and just enjoy the moment

In my mediation this morning, I heard the inner voice telling me that it’s about learning to embrace the present.

That’s why I live in this uncertain bubble at the moment. It’s forcing me to get comfortable with having no connection to the past or future.

Living from the present is easy to do when you travel. But, when you lose the travel wonder and awe, your ability to let go and enjoy each moment is replaced with the awareness of uncertainty and the fear of it.

The fear and the angst comes from our resistance to the present moment.

I’m not completely okay with how our travel life is at the moment, but I accept that at the moment this is the way it is.

Until the bubble drops, I’m going to be grateful for this opportunity to travel with my family. I’m going to give up the guilt and the fears and trust that everything has a divine order and I will be taken care of.

Once I cleared up my blues through the above process I felt so much lighter and more able to cope. The fog cleared and I was doing the Billie Jean moonwalk with Kalyra in public car parks.

What’s next?

Acceptance. Trust in each step forward. Gratitude. New directions. Surrendering. Imperfection.

I’m still in the bubble so can’t tell you.

We could stay in Western Australia. We might just head straight to Queensland and find a base. We might spend 3 months in Thailand and work on some projects. Or, we could pursue a US visa and move back to North Carolina.

The path will reveal itself soon enough and I know all will be okay.

Ever been hit by the travel blues before? Share your experiences and how you overcame them? Did you stop travelling or just change direction?

71 thoughts on “How to Overcome the Travel Blues”

  1. This post definitely came at the right time for me. I currently have a base in Sydney but will be travelling for a year from June, mostly with friends and by myself as my fiance doesn’t want to do the long term travel thing anymore, at least not for the next couple of years. I want a base but I’m also nervous about choosing somewhere to settle and put down roots. I feel guilt that I am not living in my home country of NZ even though I love it there. I want to live back in Vancouver more than anything but it will be hard with visas, we still plan on trying in a couple of years. I’m getting older and my biological clock is ticking. I want to work in Eco Tourism but then I wouldn’t have as much freedom to travel like I do now, doing contract admin work then travelling in between. It’s hard. My wants conflict with each other and I feel so much uncertainty. I’m scared that my fiance won’t want to do any long term travel again and that will mean that I won’t be able to either once we have a child. I will definitely follow these steps, I need to sit down and really think about what is important to me

    1. I so feel your angst Katie. It’s so hard to straddle two different worlds and to not be able to find the answers. I’d definitely take the time to go through these steps and allow yourself space to breathe and not have to know the answers. I’m focusing on that now. Every morning I wake up and feel that fear pop up, I just hand it over to the Universe. I just simply breathe and say, I really don’t know what to do here so I’m trusting that you can help me see the right path. And then I go about my day. I can slowly see the path unravelling and I feel much better now I’m not trying to control it as much and know all the answers

  2. Connection with others and having a home are not to be sneezed at. I love love love road tripping but also look forward to coming home after extended stays away. Good luck with your decision!

  3. I can relate to a lot of what you are saying.I am turning 40 this year also and I think most of us on the cusp of our forties review where we are at,where we have been and where are we going.I am also a gypsy and until now ,owning a house was never important for me.But ,now I too dream of the vege patch and a pet dog and stability for my 3 children .We are living an awesome lifestyle in Perth ,an awesome base for our travels!But I miss NZ,my home and so ,we have made the decision to buy an investment property in Hawkes bay..where my family live.That will be our nest egg.And it gives us the freedom to stay in WA or go back to NZ ..but in our own time.Good luck to you.Change is good!.

    1. I like that idea Liane. Something for me to think about. I didn’t even think that the whole 40’s thing might also be impacting upon this sudden shake up.

      Hope you have a great birthday this year and enjoy the last year of your 30’s!

  4. So many touch points that resonated with me, not only in a ‘been there done that’ kind of way, but also so relevant to life in whatever guise it takes. As Australians we are so lucky to have choices, but having made those choices we feel as if the world expects us to honour them forever. But the truth is that as humans we grow, we have our edges knocked off, we make startling discoveries and we have to embrace change sometimes before it’s thrust upon us when the fear of not knowing what the future holds can then become crippling. We try to hang on to too much, make too many decisions, troubleshoot problems before they arise – it’s just the human condition. I think you’ve come up with some great solutions and tips on how to deal with uncertainty in a positive way. I hope you find your homely house in the woods perhaps with a cool verandah, a log fire, an interesting study filled with books, a small veggie patch, a garden for the girls and their friends to play in, and an online career that provides enough disposable income to satisfy the desires of your imagination. Hang on a minute … that’s what I want too!

    1. You’ve just described the perfect place for me! I know you are going through some uncertain times too at the moment J. You’ve got such beautiful advice here. We are so fortunate to have so many options in Australia, but sometimes it can be a little crippling. It’s been so great catching up with you lately and experiencing your warmth Jo.

  5. Dianne Travelletto

    I lived away from Australia for 6 years – some of that was travel, and some based in London, and have done two 7-month trips. Stability and routine are important, I get it. One thing I love about travel is the anticipation of it – looking forward to the trip, planning a trip, and then taking a trip — before returning home. If it were Christmas everyday, then I’m sure I wouldn’t be looking forward to turkey and pudding every day. I think it’s similar with travel. The build up and excitement before I go is half the fun!

    The depression I feel when a trip is over isn’t fun – and the only way I’ve been able to get through it is to plan another trip. Even if it’s in two years (with some short trips in between), that’ll get me through it.

    Missing family – that just goes with the travel territory – same with living in different cities, as I’ve done for 20 years – and there’s no way around that. At least nowadays there is Skype / email / phone calls that don’t cost the earth so keeping in touch has never been easier.

    You could:
    – try housesitting in different parts of Australia, choosing longer term sits so the girls can go to school / kindy / day care?
    – Just stop for six months and figure out what next – if that is stopping for another six months, so be it. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

    Yes, Australia is expensive – but one thing I always keep in mind: you get what you pay for. Health care, safety, life style, water you can drink straight from the tap, good roads, blah blah. .. Could you say that same about Sth East Asia?

    You’ll figure it out, I’m sure you will, if you haven’t already. Take stock, enjoy Margaret River, and see what the universe delivers. You’ve put it out there and something good will happen next. I have every confidence xx

    1. Thanks Diane! Love your advice and similar thoughts. We’re contemplating the house sit somewhere. I’m being called to Burleigh Heads for some reason these past two days, so we might make our way there. I’m not sure it will be forever but until we figure it out. I just worry about putting Kalyra in school for six months and then whipping her out again. But, I’m leaning to it being better (and doing less damage) then be with us every day while we’re settled. It will probably do less damage to me too!! 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing your feelings so honestly. It’s good to know that others go through these feelings and to read advice for dealing with them. I found myself agreeing with much of what you have been feeling even though you and I have different situations (you have the flexibility and freedom that I long for, while I have the stability and steady home that you mentioned above). All the best to you as you sort out your options for the next year. 🙂

    1. Thank you Jenna! I’m starting to realise there is no perfect life and no matter what one we choose soon enough the challenges that fit that lifestyle will have us searching for something else. I guess it’s all just a precursor to change

  7. It is really so strange, how we always want something we don’t have. For instant, we are a couple also, working 9-5, but vagabonds by heart. Our wish is to travel long term, so we have the travel blues because we cannot, at least not yet. But to tell you the truth, I do wonder if I would even be OK with traveling for let’s say a year, two, maybe three…. All I want is to try – maybe I will even find out this is not for me and that going traveling 2-3 times per year for two or three weeks is enough.
    My hubby and I do everything together, we are soulmates, but again, it is nice to have few hours, a day complitely for myself, not to mention that being exhausted on travelling makes a big point for having the travel-blues.
    And you are right, it is nice to know you get a steady income every month – even if it’s low, but you can organise your life about it. Oh well, we all have bad days, asking ourselves if the life we live in is really something we want… and I guess we can always answer with yes and no…it depends of the day… So this will pass by too and the new day will bring an answer that your life is exactly what you want, even though this means taking some time off and staying in one place longer…afterall, you need only “few” hours to find a new place, you can travel to, when being fed up with the rutine…

    1. Great points Nina. I think it’s possibly an important that we do question our lives and get frustrated with them, no matter what grass we graze on. This keeps us from being complacent, so we’re always moving towards growth. We all reach a point where we feel something is not working and that is the signal to change direction. It’s the nudge from the Universe to keep us fulfilling our purpose.

      I hope you soon move into that long-term travel lifestyle. I think it is much easier without kids.

  8. Hit the nail on the head! We’ve just been travelling for six months now but have already begun to feel the fatigue exactly how you’ve described it. It’s easy to chalk it up to missing friends or having local connections, lack of routine, and just general boredom with moving around all the time.

    But!! I think a lot of it comes down to being in a location you just don’t love, no matter how hard you try. For people who obviously thirst for new experiences and The Unknown, like long-term travellers do, I think there’s nothing worse than the feeling of being uninspired or unexcited by a place you’ve committed some time to.

    We’re both feeling run-down and our conversations often wander to fantasies of going back to Europe or the USA. But we realised it’s less a feeling of homesickness than it is the fact that we’re really not very excited to be in Southeast Asia. It’s the dread of spending the next few months moping around a place we don’t like, not travelling itself, that’s brought us down.

    Before you make the decision to go “home”, maybe try and change the scenery to somewhere you know you’ll enjoy. 🙂

    1. Yes for sure. We sometimes stay on the journey because we feel we have to, but what is the point if we’re not inspired by it.

      Just writing this post has given me a lot more clarity and confidence that we’ll figure it out. I think we’re more in tune with what we want, so it will come, even if I’m not sure how.

  9. I think you hit the nail on the head with the bit about exhaustion and rest. You and Craig output an enormous amount of work and rarely have a day when you are not looking at life through a long-term-travel filter (even those days that are fun).
    I would say to give yourselves at least one month after you finish in WA where you stop in one place, catch up, and don’t even think about what comes next. (take notes as ideas pop up but don’t assess them for at least one month).
    Then see where your heart draws you 🙂
    Good luck – the right path will always unfold – it may not look how you expected, but that’s OK! xx

    1. Thank you Melinda. The exhaustion is definitely taking its toll. I’m actually surprised by how well the kids are holding up. Their energy is amazing and Kalyra’s thirst for travel keeps growing each day. Although Savannah is not shy in telling us how much she hates the camper trailer at the moment!!
      We’re going to slowly move towards Esperance over the next few weeks and hopefully by then we’ll know where to rest for awhile before we work it out.

  10. Great post Caz and sounds like a turning point is ahead. I’m sure it’ll be a good one whichever option works out. It took me a little while to be happy “settled down” after years abroad but now that my son is four and in school, I feel that it’s the right thing – we still travel regularly but I love that I have a herb garden (totally get you there!), that his friends come over, that we walk to school each morning, that he has a home. (Also, I think I would go utterly insane if I was to home-school him – hats off to you!). This is right for me for this phase of life. Good luck figuring out your “right”!

    1. Yeah, I don’t recommend the homeschooling!! Although Kalyra’s been awesome these past two days. She’s enthusiastically approaching the work and being quite independent with it.

  11. What a great post. So candid, and oh how I can relate! The ‘right’ thing to do is always changing, which is why it’s so wonderful that you’re sharing how you’re creating the next ‘right’. I’m also 40 this year! Our trip around Oz will start 3 weeks before my 40th b’day and I’ll be out in the middle of woop woop I think. Might dance naked in the desert or something….!! I’m kinda struggling that I won’t be near friends and family having that huge party I have been talking about. But that’s OK. I’m not, and perhaps 41 might look a bit more like connection with friends & family.
    That I know our trip is finite, but something we’ve all wanted makes it a lovely thing to look forward to, but already I’m glad that we’re talking about the ‘coming home’ bit, especially for our kids who have such great friends here. My daughter is writing a blog to keep in touch with her friends, which is great.
    I really hear you about the wanting a job bit. I’ve had very little security with jobs for the past 18 months (partly deliberately so we could up and travel) but I like the idea of something more stable to support our family’s future.
    Good luck with moving through your uncertainties, balancing priorities and toward a new ‘right’ for you guys. We’ll be travelling in your footsteps for much of this year, and I’m grateful for the advice that has filtered our way!

    1. Such a positive and happy comment Kirsti. I say yes to the dancing naked in the desert!! And I LOVE how you said the “right” thing to do is always changing. I believe in the power of change so much – it’s our only constant.

      You have the most amazing trip around Oz – so many fantastic experiences await. Here’s to our amazing 40’S!

  12. I think your post is very honest and grateful you have shared this. I really enjoy your blog and emails but I tend to agree the Australian Road trip is beginning to seem, the same ole, same ole…

    I often wondered how you managed to blog, manage the business, home school 2 kids, put up with tired cranky kids, and “enjoy” the actual places without feeling drained. I know just writing in a travel diary after a full day sightseeing is draining….

    I agree I think you need a home base for at least a while to think about your “future” and what you want…you need some stability and some real “chill out” time in a house. You could still blog perhaps once a week, with tips, places you have been – like travel reviews, etc…

    I hope it all comes together in your heart and minds for you.

    1. Thanks Chaz. I’ve always usually had such high energy levels and it sustained me for a long time on this trip, but I think there is only so much you can manage and eventually it catches up with you. I think I’m finally realising it doesn’t have to be this way and it’s okay to change directions. No more shoulds!

  13. Your post came about 2-3 months too late for me. We were 8 months into our 10 month adventure around Australia when I could easily have packed the camper down, left it by the side of the road and flown home. We still experienced lots of travel highs, but the lows became pretty low thanks to weather, sheer exhaustion (120 set ups and downs in our Jayco Swan in 10 months), managing two kids under 5 on the road and yes, don’t get me started on the dodgy, expensive internet and phone reception.
    Now we are ‘house’ home, almost back into the routine and comforts that I have been craving (an ensuite! a weatherzone free space! internet!) but with incredible memories and a new positive outlook on our life. We’ve achieved what many only dream of.
    So I predict that now you are actually yearning for “house as home”, you won’t actually get over that hurdle until you have it, but you’ll be able to manage those low moments better and be even more thankful for the highs now that you’ve diagnosed yourself with the travel blues.
    Good luck, our country is amazing and you are experiencing it in the best possible way.

    1. A fellow Jayco Swan comrade!! Geez does setting that up and down take it out of you. Next time we get a caravan! I have thought of dumping the van and flying home too!!

  14. Jennifer Fogarty

    This article is in line to where I’m at with my own life, living in this tin shed and inside my head. I’m sick of wandering too. I want space, stability and a proper set up. Enjoyed the read, well written . Sisters in sync xxx

    1. I hear ya sis. After living in PH for so many years you need more space!! LOL. Was so great spending time with you these past few weeks and the girls loved it. This is your year.

  15. It is good to see how you are working through your issues. We all have them. At my stage of life looking after our parents and making sure they are fine while we are travelling is a worry. We can’t travel as much as we would like at the moment. I know that I only feel truly happy when I do what came to you during yoga meditation. To live in the now and enjoy what is happening at the moment. If I can do this I am happy. It is difficult to keep myself in the present though. 🙂

    1. It’s so hard isn’t it? I don’t know why it is that way for everyone. It seems as if we were all wired incorrectly. My parents are getting a little older now so I do worry about moving to the States and being so far from them.

  16. Great post, Caz. I echo others in applauding your honesty. I put my remaining bits & pieces in storage and set off around the islands around the same time you left on your current trip, but gave up for health reasons (mine and my dog’s) 8 months in, I chose to return to somewhere I knew, because that’s a good place when you’re feeling ill, but there was enormous guilt nagging away at me. That said, at the same time the last place I stayed was awful, and I will never know how much that factored into my decision. Of course, I don’t have the pressures you have, but this was my third “journey without end” (nowhere to come back to, or return date) and every time around the 8 month mark I’ve begun to stop enjoying it all so much. Perhaps that’s my limit. I don’t know. It’s almost like you’re damned if you do/you’re damned if you don’t! Settling down for a while has its own charms and variety of course…..until your feet begin to itch again! Much luck. I will enjoy reading about it wherever you go!

    1. It’s all so confusing isn’t it? I feel everyone does have a time limit. This has been the longest stretch we’ve ever done of full-time travel. I think I might have reached my limit!! It’s amazing how much guilt impacts our decision too. I have a post I’ve half written on it. I’m definitely trying to let go of it.

  17. Great post! This has been really helpful for me. My current base is in Sydney and after having settled down for a few years with stable job (after the last bout of travel) I decided late last year to travel again. It’s only been two months so far, all in Europe, all of which has been amazing and I can definitely feel changes happening within, some of which are leading me to question the purpose to my travel. Have I lost it?, if so does that really matter. Can I generate income while I travel so I don’t have to go back to a stressful, corporate job (which has afforded me the luxury of being able to do this travel!). Will definitely work through your suggestions and hopefully I’ll get some clarity! I probably should not resist what is calling me! Thank you x

    1. No worries Hayley! I hope it can help you get some clarity. It’s starting to work for us now, I can see things moving around to support us so just trust in the process.

  18. I appreciate your post. I’ve always planned on having a future filled with traveling, but felt the only way that could happen would be to leave the present. Everything in my life happening right now is going to move toward a different direction, and I’ll never have the opportunity until I seize the day and do it soon.

  19. Thank you for your honesty and depth of your post. It’s impressive to read a post that is so strong in its vulnerability. When we met in DC I was wondering how you can do such a short 2-week trip (considering where you flew in from) and jump right into work as soon as you arrived, posting every day multiple times a day. You guys work very hard! As a freelance journalist, I totally understand that this life style has major challenges and that you are longing for more stability, especially financially. I also believe that you asking yourself the hard questions comes at a very opportune time. In our 40s we often re-evaluate our lives, our skills and our values. I’ve been doing the same since I turned 40 and I am struggling with similar changes in values and sometimes a lack of trust in myself and my abilities. I also think that this “midlife-opportunity” (crises is sooo last millennium) is immensely valuable. I will soon launch my redesigned website that encompasses my passions and also reflects where I am in my life right now, and appreciate your thoughts on how to turn the blues into a rosy sky again. I will keep my fingers crossed that you soon will find the perfect veggie patch that let’s you put down roots AND let’s you enjoy the freedom that you seek. I am sure you will have no problem finding somebody to housesit and water the veggies while you are gone exploring, hint, hint 🙂

    1. I love that “mid-life opportunity” I never even thought that this is what is going on, but it makes sense. I’m so glad you have found the work that reflects who you are now. It was so great meeting you in D.C. Bettina!

  20. Totally agree with this, I wrote a similar blog recently about missing home. Occasionally, I’ll just be in a bad mood for no particular reason then realise it’s home comforts I miss. I really struggled when I first arrived in Canada, and after a week I was ready to come home; this was the complete opposite to when I was in Valencia, in which I felt immediately at home and in two months only had one day I even thought about wanting to be back in the UK!

  21. Finally someone who writes honestly about this theme! I thought that we were the only ones crazy enough to actually feel drained at certain times during our one-year trip around the world… And we felt that we couldn’t really be honest about it, because we felt we should rather be thankful for our life… well, we were, but as you say, everyday traveling DOES become the norm, and let’s not forget that traveling – although you are an experienced traveler – can sometimes be very stressfull… Thanks again – will share this on our social media channels… Anders/threeonthego.com

  22. Finally someone who writes honestly about this theme! I thought that we were the only ones crazy enough to actually feel drained at certain times during our one-year trip around the world… And we felt that we couldn’t really be honest about it, because we felt we should rather be thankful for our life… well, we were, but as you say, everyday traveling DOES become the norm, and let’s not forget that traveling – although you are an experienced traveler – can sometimes be very stressfull… Thanks again – will share this on our social media channels… Anders/threeonthego

    1. Thanks Anders. I think a lot of people feel guilty about saying the travel is hard, but we can’t be afraid to express ourselves because of the fear of upsetting others. Sharing the problems can only help others and takes immense pressure off ourselves.

  23. Darby of Green Travel Antics

    I think this strikes a chord with most long term travelers! The first time I traveled for a long time, I was burned out after four months of sleeping in hostels and eating street food. The beauty of the place I was got lost on me. What helped my travel blues was to spend a month working at a school, where I developed a community and made some friends. I didn’t feel as lonely anymore and I recuperated so that I could enjoy myself as I had intended.

    1. I love that Darby. i think that sense of contribution and purpose is really important. And it could be a reason why many people get the blues, because they feel the travel has become too glutinous perhaps.

  24. Yes travel does get exhausting and even tiresome at times. I remember after being cooped up in our caravan for days on end near Karratha because the wind was sandblasting us with red dirt, I got the blues very badly. I just wanted to be home! After a few phone calls home to both of my children and some solitude I finally shook myself out of it and continued with our travels. I feel your pain and hope that your respite in Margaret River will help get over the blues. 🙂

    1. Oh yeah that sounds like a definite catalyst for the blues!! Thankfully we’ve had such great weather for the past 8 months so we can all hang out outside the van!

  25. We were the revers of what you are going through, we had the hi profile well paid jobs House, friends that we partied with every weekend. Then i had a bad accident that paralysed me for some time until an operation /Micro-Discectomy & the removal of 37mm of pro-lapsed Disk from my spinal cord helped with the spinal injury. After a long time getting back on my feet so to speak we decided to sell everything we had & leave NZ. we purchased a boat & went sailing from Florida to Grenada & 2 years later we came low on funds so we had to sell & returned to UK to find work & save some $. while we had no children we needed to teach or worry about I believe it prob made things easier. Prior to getting the yacht we also spent 2 years in a Camper van going around NZ & we never got board of This. May be what you have is not what you really want ? or is the wrong time for you !! We have been back working for a year so far & hope to be able to have enough Funds $$ To start the next part of our trip This time its a land base trip again in a camper around AU. & Hope to find extra work as we go But what we found was to do it all SLOWER , take more in & don’t move on as fast as we did as we could have spent 3 or 4 years on a yacht instead of the 2 if we had done better planning for hurricane season.
    Some times we all think the “GRASS” is greener in the next garden !! & would like a change but i can assure you , after a total of 4 years traveling & only 1 year back in a house & “a normal” Job life is even more of a RAT RACE in the towns & Cities We defiantly need our freedom & wild open spaces. People have become selfish & money orientated,
    Simple things in life are more relaxing for the mind & sole !!
    Hope you find what your “yearning” for

    1. Yeah I think the travel life is still what I love. But, it’s too challenging the way we do it at the moment with kids and running a business. It’s such a different experience with kids. I’m thinking some stability for them and our business – which will still give us our freedom. And then we continue travel, but more short-term. I’ll probably become a full-time nomad for life once they fly the coop!!

  26. Awesome post – love your honestly. You say what many people don’t feel allowed to say because they are traveling long-term and the masses think it equates to an automatic perpetual vacation (ie. therefore how dare you complain, right?)

    We’ve only been on the road for 7 months, so overall, we’re still really enjoying it out here with no plans on stopping. Ever. But.

    I’m not living in a camper with 2 young kids as you guys are. And I’m not moving from place to place as fast as you are. And, I’m positive I don’t put in as many hours towards my online projects as you must be with yours. And my kids are a bit older than yours. (Heh, and I haven’t been invited to the White House either, so on the bright side, your hard work has paid off in so many ways!) 🙂

    All that’s to say that I’d be exhausted if I’d been doing what you’ve been for as long as you have – I don’t know how you do i!!!

    We were in Bali for 2 months (same house), Siem Reap 19 days (same hotel), Penang for a total of 6 months (with our 1 week Singapore trip as a visa run)… then Bali for 2 more months after that. So we’re moving slow. At this rate, it’ll take me until I’m 90 to see the world haha… hence why we had to start now 🙂

    I think if we ever do feel burned out, we’ll aim to slow down our speed of travel even more. I’m always able to enjoy a place more when I have a long time to get used to a place. It’s tough to fit in travel/sightseeing with raising a family/homeschooling AND trying to earn a buck to support yourself. I feel like if we aren’t careful, we’ll end up in a rat race of our own making out here… gotta be on guard for that, and change things up if it starts to feel that way.

    I love the comforts of “1st world” or developed countries, but, they are expensive to live in (as you say about Australia). I don’t want to work the amount I’d have to work to support us in an expensive country over the long term.

    I think a country like Malaysia has a lot going for it as a home base for a burned out traveler (mind you, I can only speak for Penang so far) – it’s developing, but you still have access to almost all of the comforts of home (including decent medical care if a calamity happens), at a fraction of the price. And they have a MM2H visa if you’d ever want a home base (for 10 years), somewhere you can stay without needing to make visa runs every so often (and the worry that goes with wondering if they’ll let you back in again, or if you now have too many stamps in your passport), and there is no minimum number of days a year you have to be in the country either, so if plans change, one could leave and then come back whenever they please.

    Mexico also sounds appealing as a resting spot – we get 6 months to stay upon arrival, perhaps similar rules for Australians? Might be a nice place to hang out for a good long while and rest up, recharge etc.

    I’m looking forward to reading more, and seeing where you guys end up – fingers crossed that you find a solution that makes all of you happy and feel at peace 🙂

    1. Yes I am definitely questioning the impact of travelling Australia. I’m so grateful that I have had this opportunity where I’ve been able to, as it is so expensive and because of our blog, it’s been manageable. But lately, I can’t help but think how more secure our future would be if we were somewhere, where our money went further.

      Trying to figure out the next best move though is really tough. The whole homeschooling thing is throwing a spanner in the works, because if we were to stay in one place for a few months or more, I’d want Kalyra to go to school. I don’t want to be a “traditional homeschooler” When we’re on the move it’s a great solution.

      Things are starting to get a bit clearer for us now and I just have to trust the right solution will appear.

      Malaysia sounds like a good alternative. I will check that out. Thank you Sheralyn!

  27. I relate to this post in so many ways. After getting a bit comfortable in Melbourne for 6 months, I started traveling again. After doing two trips ( one in Tassie and one in the outback) I’m so tired and need some time to stop and not do anything. I’m learning so much about myself and my travel style – 10 months in OZ has been quite an adventure so far. But sometimes I need a less adventure and rest for a bit 🙂

    1. It’s amazing how travel teaches you so much about yourself. It’s a tiring experience, but such a gift in that way. It saves you months, if not years of time, trying to figure it through a normal life.

  28. Hi Caz,

    Even though I know you’re frustrated, what I love about this post is you highlight just how good travel can be for discovering what you really want in life. It’s having the opportunity to swing in a hammock or do yoga on the beach that provides clarity to be able to realize your best path. That’s why I think so many of us travel to escape; or as I always say – I travel to organize my life.
    I felt slightly cheated out of my big travel plans when life was decided for me, and ended up being properly settled much sooner than expected. I yearned for long-term travel, especially with the kids and found it really hard to stop in one place and be appreciative of it. I was constantly planning and scheming another trip or move back to Europe, and for a long time I could think of nothing else. Then slowly, as I watched my girls create their own little social lives, grow their roots here in Australia and become part of a wonderful community here, I’ve found this settling down malarkey a little easier to cope with.
    Acceptance is key, though probably the hardest step of all! After I learned to accept, everything sort of fell into place, and just recently – after seven years being freelance – I started a new, real-life, working-in-an-office job! A complete turn-around, I know, but so far, so good.
    I really hope you enjoy the rest of your travels and your path will be revealed soon 🙂

    1. I think there is no better way to get to know yourself than through travel. IT strips away all the other things blocking you from gettting in touch with your heart.

      Acceptance is totally the key and I’m trying really hard to do that lately. IT took me years to accept my gypsy heart, now I’m having to accept that perhaps a more stable life is the best for me right now.

      The biggest lesson of all – nothing is ever constant! Don’t hold onto your labels of yourself because they can change so quickly. Good luck with your office job – hope it all goes well for you. What an exciting change!

  29. This traveling decision reminds me of a relationship. You want the bad girl but when you have her you long for the good girl. And of course if you have a good girl you want the latter. The fact is you want them both. Not too much of one but just enough of both. Not saying its this way completely for traveling long term but after awhile it might become the “norm” and no one wants the norm. We want usually what we don’t have even if sometimes we truly don’t want it. It can be so confusing. Taking a break, relaxing and just getting away from it all allows you to think clearly.

    Travel for many is that break, the excitement the what I cant wait for moment. I don’t know how you really have that it is seems like everyday is a challenge or the same old same ole. Many people dream of having what you have but now you have it and IT doesn’t seem a glitterly as maybe it once did.

    I say just enjoy what you have while you have it. Like you mentioned live or enjoy the moment. Once that moment is gone move on. Funny thing is if you change something set up base or move back to NC for example the question is will you wonder what if you should have kept traveling, why did you ever stop or what to do next. Thing is you don’t know and wont know until that time comes. Until then live love and have a great time.

    1. Thanks for the wonderful advice Thomas. I love your analogy! So true. I really think that possibly for the first time in my life I’m ready to settle down. I don’t think I’ll have angst over it in the future because I’ve managed to create a business that I control and can craft my lifestyle around.

      That makes me really happy. I think the fear of settling down has always come with working a job I hate and struggling to pay the bills. I’m past that now, so home feels right to me. And I know the travel will never stop and will be done in a way where I can appreciate every minute of it rather than feel resentful or tired of it. Thanks for helping me get some clarity on that!

  30. Most of us get away on 1-2 week vacations a couple times a year and are still ready to get back to our own beds, routines, houses before they’re over. It’s one thing to love to travel and a whole other to live a nomadic life where you really have no “home”. The grass is always greener, right? I’ve always believed that it’s better to try something and realize it’s not for you than not to try it at all out of worry that it won’t be for you. You just have to find a balance that works in the now and constantly be changing things up when the need arises.

  31. The saying goes… you need a vacation from your vacation. We don’t full time travel because when we travel, we want everything to stay fresh and exciting. We fear becoming bored and losing interest in things if it then becomes the “norm.” I think a large reason travel is exciting is because it is new- inviting- and different. When it isn’t different anymore, and just plain exhausting, it’s time to rethink things a bit. Good luck!! 🙂

  32. I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling this way but I think it’s completely natural for people like us who travel so much. And you guys have been on a particularly long journey with this Oz roadtrip!
    The most important thing is to have a break after it and I hope you manage that. But then I can imagine you out on your next big adventure. The hardest thing is juggling work and travel because then the travel stops being as enjoyable as it once was. Hopefully there’s a way for you to take it a bit easier on your next trip and reconnect with why you first started exploring the world.
    Good luck with it all!

    1. Balancing the work and travel is challenging. Trying to do both of them with kids is just ridiculous!!! LOL. Something has to go, and it’s not going to be the kids, or the business. So sadly, the travel must pause for awhile until we get a few more systems in place and the little one is out of the highly challenging three year old stage!

  33. Great – so well written. We have been travelling 3 years and it is hard as we get on a road and sometimes we want off that road and onto a new road and that is not always so easy. Thanks for the write-up. I think we need to focus on what we want in life, and for our journey.

  34. I can understand what bothers you. I’ve experienced that in a different style and scale. However, I found this out and tried to find a way for it.

    As a national tour guide in Iran, I used to travel a lot and specially on the roads and most of the time, I drove as well, at the same roads again and again in Iran guiding individuals and groups! Several times I felt my eyes couldn’t stay open, fatigue! I had suffered from lots of things you’ve mentioned at this post. It’s great that you admit this seemingly perfect lifestyle isn’t an absolutely right one for all at all time.

    I think the solution lies in one word: BALANCE. I’m 47 and I love to settle too. What I’ve done is using my connections and capabilities to work as a tour consultant. I sell tours. So, I travel when I need to. I can see my friends, I can enjoy the lazy weekends. I travel with my wife to the places we like any time we want. I have my freedom. And so on. I’m sure you’ll find a way too. All you need to do is to STOP, THINK and DECIDE to CHANGE things. Make a plan and stick to it.

    1. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us Rahman. Such great advice. I’m so glad you have found the balance in your life. You’ve got it so right with the decide to change things. That’s what we’ve been saying to each other lately – we know what we want, we just have to make the decision to do it now. The path is certainly working itself out for us now. We’re just tying up a few more loose ends but by next week I think it should be all good!

  35. Hi Caz!

    I really loved reading this post!! I think it has a lot of great advice &, like all long term travelers, I’m definitely not immune to travel blues.
    I’m wondering if I can link this post to a blog post I’m working on.

    Stephanie

    1. Hey Stephanie, do you mean can you link to our blog post from your blog post? If yes, absolutely. We just don’t like it when people copy and paste our whole blog post into their blog 🙂

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