I lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I’m here. – Slyvia Plath
I have a question for the long term travellers out there: Do you ever feel like the road gets too much?
I’ve been travelling constantly for the last 3 years. I moved from place to place, experienced a lot – many different places, people and countries.
It was beautiful and really good at first, but after a while, the continuous movement started to get the better of me.
I no longer found amazing beauty in the small things. As much as I wanted to enjoy to the 20th waterfall, temple or scenic view, I couldn’t, and I found myself getting annoyed by the most trivial things.
My patience had dwindled, and worryingly, I had forgotten why I was travelling in the first place.
This mindset made me feel incredibly guilty. I was travelling the world, doing whatever I wanted, and I knew that there was thousands of people out there wishing that they had the same opportunity.
It became clear that I had numbed experience and become desensitised to travel.
I needed a slap in the face and a push back to reality.
A Necessary Reminder
Towards the end of my 3 years of travel, I was hitchhiking down the West Coast of America when a good friend called Hollie flew out to travel with me for a couple of weeks.
She had never left her hometown and travelled before so this was a special experience for her.
Like a newborn baby, she saw beauty, life and fascination in everything that hit her eyes.
It reminded me of the time when I first hit the road.
Questions racing through my mind such as:
What are they eating? I wonder what kind of life that man has lived? What’s going on over there? What’s down that alley?
It all came flooding back, and this was the pleasant reminder I’d been longing for.
Hollie helped me snap out of my desensistised mind-set and gave me a succinct reminder of why I was travelling in the first place.
Her enthusiasm was contagious, and I latched on to it.
I felt reborn again.
A Few Helpful Tips To Prevent Desensitisation
It’s novel and fun when we start out with anything new in life that we are passionate about. Hats off if you can sustain the novelty, but here’s a few things to remind yourself when you become accustomed to and lose the passion for something:
Remind yourself WHY – Reconnect with your original WHY. Look back to the beginning and ask yourself why you started in the first place? What was your vision? What did you believe in and what did you want to achieve? What’s changed between now and then? With time, it’s easy to lose sight of our vision, but sometimes a gentle reminder is all that’s needed.
Take a Break – If things are getting too much for you, and you carry on going you might experience more numbness and eventually reach a point of burnout. There’s no shame in stopping and taking a break. Use the time wisely to take a step back, put things into perspective, reevaluate and regain your energy.
Try Something New – Accepting failure is a tough one, but it’s a lot more courageous to drop an idea that clearly isn’t working and try something else. It might be time to let your passion go, and create a new strategy with a fresh focus. Remember, there’s no humiliation in stepping away from something that’s not working. At the very least you’ve learnt something you don’t want and knowing that is very useful in life.
Approach It In A Different Way – Is it the way you are thinking about your idea and passion that is getting to you? Is your methodology working? Does your mindset need shifting? Can you bring back that original buzz by approaching what you are doing in a new and exciting way? In an ever changing world, it is crucial that we are adaptable to changing circumstances because what we are currently doing can quickly become obsolete.
After travelling for a while, I’d become blind to beauty when it was clearly there to be found in all the little things right in front of my eyes.
Thanks for reminding why I set off and travelled in the first place Hollie.
And to everyone else out there, remind yourself that it’s beautiful what you are doing.
Sometimes a gentle nudge from someone close to us is completely necessary to put us back on the right path.
Thanks for reading and all the best,
Daniel Beaumont, Tuesday 15th March 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
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