Travel Burnout

I never thought the  day would come when I was sick of learning about new cities and new places.  I realise I’m lucky to be able to travel as much as I do, and we’re really trying to make the most of our time abroad.  Maybe, though, we’re trying to make too much of it.  While wandering around the City Museum of Prague this past weekend, I had a fleeting thought.

If I look at one more bronze age dagger or ancient clay pot or burial ritual, I’m going to go out of my mind.

It was then I realised that maybe we’ve been hitting the museums too hard.  Trying to soak up too much culture.  I’ve visited so many castles, forts and ruins (and museums about them) that they start to look the same after a while. (I realise this sounds terrible, but I’m being honest).  It made me think that maybe we need to reevaluate how we travel.  We don’t need to be up early every morning to see the sights first and to feel like we need to see every sight in the city as efficiently as possible.  Maybe, some of the culture can be soaked in over lazy afternoon cups of coffee (or beer, whatever).

So Lucas and I discussed our favourite experiences traveling. I realised that my best memories of places were generally not museums (although some are very cool) but the hands on and unique experiences we sought out. Things like traveling to the World Series of Darts, or when in Flam, kayaking the fjords, taking a pie making class in London, and pretty much every adventurous aspect of our Iceland trip were the most memorable.  So maybe we need to look at destinations that fit what we enjoy the most and I need to feel less guilty about not seeing every museum and monument in a city.

Have you experienced travel burnout? What do you do to change things up?

 

 

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26 Comments Add yours

  1. As a family – we just came to a similar realization after our winter break to Italy and even there we did NOT hit every monument or museum (tweens and teens just won’t tolerate that plan). We also decided that all new travel planning had to be less “site” oriented and more experiential. I think there is definitely a balance to strike and nothing wrong at all with “slow travel.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a big fan of the slow travel movement, I just need to actually do some of it myself 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – challenging to dismiss the “I need to see it all while I am here” urge for us as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I suffer from the same problem and find it hard to slow down too. But I completely agree, it’s best to slow down and soak up the atmosphere and chill…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely! Especially since you can experience a new place so well doing just that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s true. It happens. I loved my trip to Petra but my fondest memory was of the cooking class we took at Petra Kitchen. Made the best Baba Ganoush I’ve ever tasted.
    Same with doing The Inca Trail. Machu Pichu was amazing, but I remember best the game of soccer at 3000m I had with a group of folks descended from the incas.
    I think it is important to immerse ones self in the current culture as well as experience it’s monuments and history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Current culture is so often overlooked when visiting places with such an impressive history. That cooking class sounds amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ragnhild says:

    You took a pie making class? That sounds awesome! I have experienced travel burnout, and I found the same as you – I was traveling in a way that didn’t suit me. These days I do more interactive activities such as dog sledding (Northern-Norway) og walking at the bottom of the sea (Cyprus). I wondered why I hadn’t figured this out sooner and realized I was stuck on what other usually do on their travels. In reality, who cares what they do? Do what fits you:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pie making class was delicious! Although dog sledding sounds pretty epic! I don’t know why I’ve taken so long to figure this out either but I think it’s going to improve my future travels and travel goals.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ragnhild says:

        It was, you should try it! I think so too, at least it improved for me!:)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Trish says:

    Lucky for you that your upcoming adventure is with us “oldsters”! We know how to relax and savor the vacation moment. We have so many wonderful travel memories, but the best are not about being in a museum. Museums absolutely help us to learn about, appreciate and enjoy the place we are exploring though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait! Road tripping Scotland is going to be so much fun. (And where we are going there aren’t many museums)

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  6. Museum, church, castle fatigue is quite common I think. During my trips to Spain I got ‘Cathedral fatigue’… The best thing to do is take a time-out day. Just lay on the beach or hang around in a coffee shop with a good book to refresh your senses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A guilt free ‘day off’ sounds like a great idea, especially on longer trips. Plus you’re still enjoying the location, just in a different way.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I completely hear what you’re saying. I always end up returning from trips feeling absolutely exhausted. Any time friends or family come to visit, they always want to go to Paris. One of the best trips I ever took there, though, was with someone who had been before and didn’t want to rush off to every one of the sights. We ended up just wandering through the city and discovered some awesome bakeries and quirky stores and gorgeous neighborhoods…I left feeling so invigorated, like travel SHOULD make a person feel! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like an amazing trip! (And what I should try to spend at least a day doing each trip to relax)

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  8. I guess, sometimes we just need a break. Enjoy more relaxing time! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will do! I think the next vacation will be a lazy one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. iTravel4life says:

    I probably wouldn’t call it travel burnout but rather finding out what you really enjoy doing on your travels. I have stopped going for the big sights and museums to avoid tourist crowds and rather choose outdoor and hiking destinations aiming to stay with the locals. Makes me much happier 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s probably true for me as well. I really enjoy hiking followed by a good meal when we’re at home, no reason to think that wouldn’t work elsewhere!

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  10. I can’t say that I have ever burned out on travel but I can exhaust myself with over scheduling things or too much driving. I probably am not lucky enough to travel as often as you though…

    I think it’s great that you had this revelation and are going to change it up to refind your travel mojo. You can always go back to your original method when it sounds fun again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think part of it is that we’re afraid this may be the only chance we get to travel this much, so we want to see EVERYTHING, which means long days and a bit of pressure. We even considered flying to Germany for less than 24 hours. That would have been way too much travel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally feel your pain about balancing seeing everything versus being real and enjoying the moment. I wish I knew the answer. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is on point! Especially for us expats, there is this sort of pressure that comes along with living abroad where you feel slightly shameful if you don’t ‘take it all in?’. I had a moment a few years ago where my friend and I had made it a goal to do as many museums in London as possible. Except, one day, we walked into the Victoria and Albert museum and did not even get to the main exhibits before we looked at each other and said “Please don’t make me” and walked back out.

    I’ve since been back to actually enjoy it, but burnout is real!

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    1. Exactly! The pressure is real! That’s an impressive goal, but unfortunately if you see too many in a row, museums all start to look alike. I spent about 30 minutes in the V&A the last time I was in London, mostly to see the famous mechanical tiger, but I’d like to make it back at some point in the future.

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