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What exactly is it that burns you out?


Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 268
Joined: July 25th, 2008

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  • Added on: December 30th, 2010
Some people get burned out from the constant moving. Others burn out from information overload, whether it be from visiting too many museums or looking at too many temples.

I remember on my eight month trip what burned me out the most was the people. I started to tire of having the same conversation with people-where are you going, where are you from, where have you been. I found myself telling the same stories about myself, my travels, my home life. I longed for someone who already knew my story, someone I didn't have to introduce myself to. Someone who actually knew me.

What little aspect about traveling burns you out?
"i'm on my way, don't know where i'm goin..."~Paul Simon, Me and Julio

Maestra LE

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Lost in Place
Posts: 82
Joined: June 25th, 2010
Location: Durham, North Carolina, USA

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  • Added on: December 30th, 2010
I think the constant moving is the #1 thing that burns me out. At the end of my first backpacking trip (3 months in Europe), I was so ready to not be moving every 3-4 days. In hindsight and after reading these boards, I know that this could have been remedied by staying in one place for longer, but we had a long list of places we wanted to go and a finite amount of time in which to see it all, so that never really occurred to us as an option. Useful knowledge for future trips, though. :D

Sensory overload gets an honorable mention, but I learned how to cope with that in the course of that 3-month trip. If my traveling companions and I felt that we had had all the museums/attractions/culture we could handle, we'd call a "Do-Nothing Day" and just hole up in the hostel with a book and a cup of tea, or find a quiet corner of a park and laze around there all day.


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 112
Joined: January 29th, 2009

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  • Added on: January 1st, 2011
I think my #1 challenge was just traffic....whether it be motor scooters in Vietnam, street traffic in Cairo or Delhi or Varanasi or Hong Kong or Shanghai or Beijing or elsewhere, rail passenger traffic in Japan and China and India.... I did much better when I found places that had a little (or a lot) less traffic...I loved finding quiet places in all of the big cities and populous countries I visited.... I just got back last night from my 8 month RTW and my first observation was that the highways seemed to be empty....



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Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 710
Joined: December 11th, 2004

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  • Added on: January 1st, 2011
different trips have been different causes.

Some burn out is temporary, then goes away I've found.

On my most recent 4 month+ RTW (RTW #2)...burnout was from boredom of all things. Lack of "unique, exciting" experiences. Things seeming to be the same -- and I was semi-stuck to change course. More one travels, harder to impress.

I've experienced the burnout from too much stimulus, noise, etc... too.

On this recent 4 month trip...lots of cool, unique stuff in the beginning 1 month - Canary Islands, UK - Crop Circles, Bath, etc...Switzerland - CERN, Bern, Zurich Street Parade,

Then a bit of lull as I went to Jordan, picked up again in Bahrain and Iran, but was getting tired from sensory overload, time from home, and stress of travel in Iran. Cape Town was a breath of fresh air. Then semi-boring again for stretches in South Africa. Interest picked up in Cambodia - Angkor Wat was cool, and 1 week in Hawaii Big Island was good fun too at the end. But ready to leave on the 8th day.

I rented a car 3 times. La Palma, Canary Islands - Bahrain - Hawaii. As I don't drive any more in my "regular life" all these times of car rental was a boost of excitement for me. So changing the mode of travel is one way to combat burn out... one thing. Some burn out was easier to recover from...


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Extra Pages in Passport
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Joined: August 20th, 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada

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  • Added on: January 3rd, 2011
I think the constant moving does me in. If I had my trip to do over again, there would be at least one stop where I just stayed put for a month. As it was, it was rare to spend more than 3 nights in one bed, and I hate constantly repacking.

It's tough sometimes to make that decision..there's always some excitement about the next place to see.

The other thing that got to me at times was a feeling of "go here, take pictures, next." I like my holidays to involve activity - biking, hiking, swimming etc. Some countries it's difficult to do much of that because there isn't the tourist infrastructure, and they're not activities local people normally partake in. In other countries, I would balk at the price, even though in retrospect it probably would have been worth it. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in being stingy and stretching the budget, and forget to have a good time while you're doing it.

This is actually something I like better about shorter holidays...if I spend an extra $50 per day above what I'd planned on a 3 week trip...oh well, that's an extra thousand dollars. That matters, but it's not like it's not like I can't make that money back in a month. On a long trip, going over budget adds up to much higher numbers, and there's no immediate way to earn it back.

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