I wanted to wait to write this post until after my travels through South East Asia were over. But I can’t wait. I’m tired.
Alright, I said it. I want to, or rather, I need to take a break from traveling. The words that any seasoned travel blogger are practically forbidden to say. We’re supposed to love every aspect – the good, the bad, the ugly. We’re supposed to inspire and inform. We’re supposed to be the unofficial ambassadors of all things world travel. And we’re never supposed to say we want to stop.
I’m about two-thirds of the way into my three-month journey through South East Asia. Earlier this year, I was living in Sydney, Australia. Then, took a quick three-week trip back to the United States, before jetting off to Thailand for four months. We then flew back to Sydney, to the States, to Colombia, to the States, to Sydney, back to Asia. All in the month of August… From there, we started our last travels of the year through Asia, including a month in Vietnam, three weeks in Laos, two weeks in Cambodia, a week in Singapore and four weeks in Indonesia. Later in November, we’ll fly to Sydney to see Sam’s family and friends for a week before flying to the United States for a month, with a quick trip to LA, Vegas, Orlando and home for the holidays.
We’re halfway through our time in Cambodia, and I’m feeling the need to take a break. I still have thousands and thousands of miles left to roam before I settle back into a home. Where that home will be we still don’t know, but the idea of having a permanent address is so appealing to me I’m even dreaming of picking out coffee tables.
This year has been, and will continue to be, the most epic journey of my life. Spending more than 150 hours in the air on over 20 flights just this year. Crossing borders via plane, train, bus, foot, kayak and more. Meeting people from all over the world, dealing with some of the world’s biggest scammers, making it out alive in my relationship with Sam, riding elephants, watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat, motor biking cross country in Thailand, tubing in Vang Vieng and so much more.
But I’m tired. I’m just plain tired. I miss the familiarity of family and friends. I miss the reliability and efficiency of a developed nation. I miss having a kitchen and a living room and air-conditioning.
I’ve never been a Martha Stewart – cooking, cleaning and interior decorating has never been my forte. My dorm room in college definitely didn’t win any awards. I don’t need much, and living out of a backpack taught me that real quick. Yet I find myself buying handmade coasters and cups for an apartment that doesn’t even exist. Sam and I talk about how we would want to decorate our home, when we don’t even know what country that home will be in. I dream of all the clothes I’ll be able to buy when I have a closet instead of a backpack to live out of. I even bought clothes online and sent it to my home in the US, something I haven’t done in over a year.
I always write about how you can live without your daily conveniences and how travel is actually surprisingly affordable when you live with the basics, and yet here I am, buying unnecessary items for a life I haven’t even started yet.
I miss having friends around for longer than the next bus stop. I miss sharing laughs with my family and snuggling with my dog. I miss so much about being home, or even just having a home.
It’s okay to want to stop traveling. It’s not a cardinal sin of Travel to take a break and revaluate. I feel as a travel blogger you have this persona (and obligation) of always wanting to be out on the road, and in my case, it’s about 70% true. But after 10 straight months of exploring 4 continents, it’s starting to get to me. Everyone burns out when you do something for a long period of time. Whether it’s work, running a household or traveling long term, eventually there’s a breaking point, if you don’t allow yourself to take a step back.
So even though I’m extremely excited to visit Singapore, Indonesia, Sydney and home, I’m also equally excited to settle into a bit of a routine and reestablish relationships with the ones I love. Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m going to stop traveling altogether. I don’t think the travel bug will ever quite leave my system, but for now, the desire to have a home is far more of a pull than getting another stamp in my (almost) full passport.