What exactly is it that burns you out?
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?
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.
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...
So...no one thing. Some burn out was easier to recover from...
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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