Travellers fatigue

Puerto Princesa Travel Blog

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...what you'd need once in a while...
OK, this is for once not an entry about how wonderful everything is, but about the downsides of long term travelling. It might sound weird to people who have never done long trips, but yes, there are some moments when spending 3,5 months in all sorts of tropical paradises isn't all that, even if the beaches are post card pretty and the coconut trees just right. There's a marked difference between 3 weeks relaxing in the tropics and travelling for multiple months, it isn't just those 3 weeks times X.
I'm not talking about the small inconveniences you might experience in Asia, the hassles with cabs/busses/tuc-tucs/tricycles/rickshaws/jeepneys, the cockroaches/rats/ants/spiders in your room or beachside cottage (or walking over you while you sleep, had all of the above), the basic toilet/shower/bucket bath/hole in the ground, the hooker in the cabin right next to yours, the noise in the morning of honking cars and motorbikes in the street, etc, etc.  It's stuff I at least get used to soon enough, and in exchange the scenery is usually stunning and unlike anything you'll ever see in Europe and the people are much more friendly than you'll ever see in Europe.
After a few weeks of not being all that much into the whole travelling experience I've figured out so far that what sometimes gets to me are 2 things: the constant moving around and living out of your backpack, and the fact that privacy is a very scarce commodity when you backpack.
The moving around bit is the easiest to handle, I guess once in a while I should just not keep on moving to the next best mountain, volcano, beach or dive spot.
Privacy has been harder to deal with. Even if you get a private room instead of bunk in a dorm it's usually not a place where you can spend a quite day 'at home', reading, watching DVD's, fiddling around the internet and snacking out of a full fridge, basically the stuff you'd do on a rainy sunday. Still have to find a place where - even for big bucks - you can have all that. Despite what some people fear in travelling alone you are usually surrounded by other people, fellow travellers or TB's. It's actually quite hard not to meet other people if you're a person with average social skills. And in every internet cafe there's somebody looking over your shoulder so you can forget about doing anything that would be offensive to the local culture (and I found out there's quite a lot that would get me into trouble with local culture). So unfortunately something I can't shake so easily is the overindividualistic western lifestyle, and in the countries I've travelled so far there's definitely a whole different concept of individuality, privacy and personal space, if those concepts exist at all.

So, what does it all boil down to? Every sun filled blue sky has a small cloud and sometimes I just need a break from travelling ;-)
jilltrekker says:
I can relate somewhat. The longest I spent traveling was a month, and already I got travel fatigue towards the end of it. Yours is slightly different coming from a different culture and all, but basically, yeah, you get tired after awhile.
Posted on: Jul 21, 2008
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