South Beach in Miami. For many people, this is the ideal vacation spot. For me, this is the place I almost quit traveling.
After a few weeks on the road for the College Football Travel Tour with Expedia, I was tired, missing home, lonely, and not having fun anymore. Working with a big travel company on a sports and travel series may seem like the perfect job. I realize many people may not feel sorry for me as this travel writing thing is supposed to be glamorous and fun.
Life on the road isn’t always easy.
However, I learned a few tips from my quit traveling experience that can help people get their lives back on track when you feel lost and discouraged.
When travel makes you want to quit traveling
I’ve had some incredible highs while traveling. Hanging out with the Irish people reminded me that our connections with people matter. Getting goose bumps at the Air Force Academy gave me a greater appreciation for sacrifice and service from a younger generation. Throughout my travels, memorable moments have surprised me.
A few years ago, I cried on top of a mountain in Austria. In Dublin, I had one of my most depressing days I’ve ever had on the road. And while a 27 hour journey home can be frustrating, nothing may be worse than spending an entire day in your hotel because you are too burned out and emotionally spent to do anything.
Even when you are doing two of your favorite things in life – football and travel – not everything is bliss. A recent conversation with Spencer Spellman comforted me knowing that travel can lose its sex appeal. What I was feeling is normal. Leah from Leah Travels told me to take a break and step back from the ledge.
I’m not the only traveler who has wanted to quit traveling.
Adam Baker from Man vs Debt made the decision to quit traveling a few years ago. He talks about his struggles on the road with his family and why they decided to come back home and settle in Indiana.
Nomadic Matt has finally decided to settle down and become semi-nomadic after spending years on the road. While he was tired of backpacking around the world, he wasn’t listening to what his head and heart were telling him. This made him a little jaded about traveling. While Matt won’t quit traveling, the time had come to make some changes.
Lillie Marshall took a year off to travel the world only to return to work. She didn’t quit her job but realized that her job could allow her to help others while still traveling. For some people, including myself, travel and a job go together very well.
7 things I learned to get your life back on track
Do any search on the web and you will find countless articles on how to quit your job and travel the world. My favorite story (and one of my favorite people) comes from Jodi of Legal Nomads who tells her story of why she quit her job to travel the world.
However, what happens when you want to quit traveling and go back to work?
I’ve been there recently. I know what it feels like. While traveling can give you euphoric highs, there are also some lows.
No matter what you do in life, there are times where we need a break. Whether you are burned out from traveling around the world or worn out taking care of kids as a stay at home mom, you can get your life back on track. Here are a few things I learned from the day I almost quit traveling.
1. Take some time off
For those who work for a living, they want time off to travel. For those who are traveling, now may be the time to take time off. Spend a day or two in your hotel or hostel. Do nothing. Schedule vacation days during your travels to keep from getting burned out. No matter what you do in life, you need time off.
2. Do something else
All of us have interests other than just traveling. So whether you are on vacation or traveling around the world, don’t forsake your passions. Read a book. Watch TV. Enjoy a sporting event cheering on your favorite team. Do something you enjoy that has nothing to do with travel or your regular life.
Many times, our burnout comes from being emotionally spent and physically fatigued. Get a good night’s sleep. Splurge on a nice hotel for a night. Getting the proper rest can recharge you with the proper perspective.
4. Talk to people
If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone. A hug, an attentive ear, or an understanding soul can help you work through your feelings or let you know that you are not alone.
5. Power down
While technology helps us feel connected, it may also cause us to be disconnected. It’s time for travelers and society to turn off their smartphones and get connected to the people and world around us. We may not realize what we are missing until we turn off the noise.
6. Find your security blanket
Is there some place or some thing that reminds you of home? Maybe you need to go back there – even if it’s just in your heart or head. Look at old photos, call home, or recall special moments that inspire or comfort you.
7. Quit traveling
Even if you do all of these things, the time may come to take a break. Whether that’s for a week, a month, a year, or forever, go home. Sometimes going back to the familiar can give us the clarity and direction we need.
Over the next month, I am going to take a break from traveling. The holidays are coming up so I will spend the month of December at home (if you will be away from home, use these holiday travel tips to ease the stress).
I need to refresh myself and get some focus. I have plenty of stories to share but it’s my soul that needs a vacation from traveling.
While most people want to travel more, there is an important lesson I’ve learned:
A perfect life or the ideal job life won’t ever be perfect.
Has there ever been a time when you wanted to quit traveling? What tips would you offer someone who misses home?