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Wanderlust Friday: Travel is Exhausting

June 12, 2015

Hey there – so we missed a wanderlust Friday post last week. The short and sweet of it is we didn’t have wifi OR 4G connection – yes, those places still exist in the US.  Right here  is one, if you are curious )

The longer and much more truthful explanation is that of course we didn’t have a Friday post prepared to go, as these days we are running low on time, and very low on steam. Because travel is exhausting.  Since returning to our house – home, I suppose – seven months ago, we’ve traveled for 12 days to Florida, a week to Cape Girardeau, 10 days to California, spent several weekends in New York, a few more extended weekends in Connecticut, went off an adventure in West Virginia, and traveled to Geneva, Switzerland (well, just Jenia). That’s some sort of travel at least once a month. We are off to Kentucky next weekend, followed up by two big trips in August and September. July looks mercifully travel free for now (though we do have a potential trip penciled in there too, just not confirmed).

We are dead.beat.tired. Even if the internet connection was mega strong, our post probably wouldn’t have been up last Friday. Or if it were, it would have been pretty unimpressive. There, I admitted to the internets, and therefore it’s really. Too tired to care!

That makes sense to most people – if you are traveling a lot, you must get tired. But, hold up, didn’t we just do 14 months of non-stop, no-holds-barred travel spanning 17 countries, several continents, on a limited budget to boot? Wasn’t that exhausting?

Nope, not nearly as much. In fact, I was never more relaxed or well rested in my adult life as I was when we were traveling long term, staying in a new place every few nights, crossing country borders at least once a month, changing currencies, swapping planes, trains, time zones, and everything in between. During those 14 months, I had received facebook messages, emails, and facetime calls from friends and family who’ve congratulated me on how well I look despite adopting a lifestyle somewhere in between a hobo and a gypsy. I was also barraged with questions:

Didn’t I miss my bed, my couch, and the routine? Wasn’t it tiring to travel all the time?? Didn’t we want to come home, to rest up from the endless travel???

At the time, I readily admitted that we missed the comforts at home, but for the most part I was perplexed by the questions — especially given that in the same breath the people who know me well personally said to me that I looked happy and relaxed. And I was – it wasn’t pretend smiles for the cameras, or the tan. I genuinely felt awesome. Sure there was some general fatigue from constant new sights, cultures and people, and I did miss my bed and the people who are close to us. But the bottom line was – still is – I was pretty chilled out. And I had plenty of time, and I wasn’t anywhere near as tired as I am now.

But now, I understand: Travel is exhausting if you are living a whole other life on the side. Keeping up with social engagements, which must be scheduled around your travel dates,  so in the end they multiply like crazy; fulfilling deadlines and answering work email – which if you are a good, upstanding Samaritan professional must also happen on time regardless of whether you are traveling; maintaining a clean(ish) house, grocery shopping, buying and returning the wrong type of organic, gluten-free cat food on Amazon – all of that is still happening / being scheduled while you are off on a week(end) jaunt. And if you don’t keep up – well, the (life) Show Must Go On.

Sorry, it’s not entirely a cheerful wanderlust Friday. Now please excuse me while I go crawl under the covers and sleep for the next 48 hours. Oh right, off to the office I go, and then drinks, and the start the weekend with two breakfast engagements and an evening party on Saturday, followed by a dinner party on Sunday night. Somewhere in between I’ll make sure to prepare documents for our travel medical insurance reimbursement, go grocery shopping, and write a blog post or two (since next Friday we are traveling as well). Oh, and those plans we have to renovate our basement and add a master bath to our house? Well, at some point I have to sit down and do some drawings. GAH. Cue #firstworldproblems shame.

We still love travel. And we had a great time in each of the destinations that we’ve been to – and particularly appreciate the time we spent with people we love in those destinations. And yes, we are still looking forward to the trips we have scheduled. It’s just that we are also exhausted.  Sigh.

What about you? If you travel long term, do you feel more, less, or the same amount of tired? If you travel while working / living home-based life, is that more exhausting?

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