aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Ourminds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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when travel loses its charm

Me at Pompeii

Me at Pompeii last month

This is my third new year as a permanent traveler.  We packed all our possessions into a storage facility in August 2009, and our sofas, dining table, and box-after-box-after-box of books have gathered dust for the last two and a half years.  We haven't settled in one place for more than two months in the last 28 months.  839 days of full-out nomadism.  When we head back to the United States next September, we will have been on the road for three solid years.  36 months.  1096 days.

When we left for Australia at the very beginning, Chewy was a spry 8-year-old.  Now, Abby, our baby girl, is going to turn 8 and Chewy is a steady 11.  Our nephew was a Spongebob-adoring preschooler and now he's fully enmeshed in Little League and the first grade.  We've lost and gained family members while we've been gone.  We've watched friends marry and have children from afar.  And, in those two and a half years, we've traversed five continents, over 20 countries, and way too many planes, trains, and boats.  We've been together nearly every single day for almost 900 days.

And, so far, we're not bored.  But, I'm afraid that it's going to happen soon.

Chewy and Abby at the Cotswolds

Chewy and Abby seeing rhinos and zebras at the Cotswolds Wildlife Park

You see, at some point, traveling loses its charm.  When we started this blog, we virtually met lots of travellers embarking on round-the-world trips.  While we've been exploring the world, most of those blogging friends have returned home, resettled into jobs, and some have even had babies.  In the last week, Jeannie from Nomadic Chick and Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic, two popular travel bloggers and super fun women, announced that they're ending their long-term travels.

Jeannie explained in her hilariously titled post, "Crazy Travel Lady Needs to Stop," that "I’ve been bulldozing alone for too long.  It’s time to stop.  I’m getting irritable, even slightly panicky about replenishing my savings.  What saddens me the most is that I’ve lost something.  The spark that first ignited my thirst for other cultures has dwindled.  I want it back."  Ayngelina echoed Jeannie saying, "I’m done with the constant travel.  The nomadic lifestyle is not for me, I loved it for a year and a half but now traveling is becoming a chore. I miss the wonder and awe. It disappeared somewhere along the line. And I think many of you realized it before I did."

And, though not quite as dramatic because he's not ending his travels, Dave from The Longest Way Home, who has been traveling for 7+ years in search of a "home," complained recently that he was "frustratingly bored" by Southeast Asia.  So, he headed to Kathmandu, the first place he ever felt truly at home, because, as he says, "I want to take up my own challenge and make a place to live. I want to throw caution to the wind and join the elements for an adventure to the edge of the world."

About a year and a half ago, Christine from Almost Fearless posted that "Eventually, Everyone Stops Traveling," referencing two other popular travel/lifestyle design bloggers who decided to quit traveling.  Christine asked, "is the romance of the round-the-world trip actually burning people out on travel? . . . . I’m beginning to think the entire premise of a RTW trip is flawed. It’s as if we’ve collectively decided that if you’re going to travel, then you must cram as much actual traveling into that time as possible. Lest you miss something."

Us at the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Us at the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Patrick and I are doing things very differently than most long-term travelers.  Because we've got Chewy and Abby with us, we move slowly.  In the last five months, we've been in only five countries, renting holiday homes/apartments for two weeks (or more) at a time.  We limit sightseeing to every other day at around 6 hours per day.  We cook most evenings, meaning that we're not packing on calories at mediocre restaurants every night.  We have our car with us which shortens most travel times.  We rent places with laundry machines, WiFi, and big beds, to mimic home comforts as much as possible.  Our dogs, amazingly, adapt to every environment in about 24 hours, eagerly scenting out the new places we stay in, creating as minimal disruption or annoyance to our lives as possible.

Even still, we are exhausted.

You see, we've been permanent travelers for 839 days.  We move establishments every two weeks.  I pick up a new language every month (while Patrick smiles and nods at my attempts to speak Spanish/French/Italian/German/you name it.)  We are constantly adjusting to new climates and cultures.  We find dog parks, walks, and veterinarians in every city.  We work every single day at least five hours per day.  (Last week, for example, we revamped our site while we were showing my parents around London.)  We never know the day of the week because we never take a "weekend."  And, sometimes, as Dani and Jess at Globetrotter Girls poignantly put it, we fear that we've become frighteningly forgettable as we struggle to keep up with our friends and families across the sea.

Yeah, we are exhausted.

The last four days, we've both slept over twelve hours per night.  We haven't ventured outside the immediate proximity of our apartment since the new year began.  We've been ordering in Indian takeaway.  We've been pretending that London doesn't exist, though we haven't even been to the acclaimed National Gallery, because we don't have the energy to deal with it.  Tomorrow, Patrick flies to New Orleans for a friend's bachelor party and, next week, we're both heading to Cancun for a wedding, but, in between, we're staying still.  Sitting in one place.  Catching up on Friends, Frasier, and The Big Bang Theory, all of which air continuously on British television.

And, I am totally okay with this. 

Me exploring Pompeii

At Pompeii

I think five days will be enough to get our travel juices flowing again.  When we come back from Mexico, we're heading to Croatia, a country that we are super excited to explore.  I'm already pumped up about our two months stay in Turkey in the spring.  And, have I told you that we're going to spend a month - a MONTH - in Paris, that heavenly land of cheese and chocolate?

I still love traveling.  I love the excitement of waking up somewhere else, of being somewhere new, of finding those unmissable firsts.  But, will I still be excited in another eight months?  Lately, we've found ourselves starting sentences with these words, "When we settle down, I want to . . . . "  Is the end coming for us as it has come for so many of our traveling friends?  And, if it comes, then what?  What do you do when you finish a dream?  How do we even begin to plan to move on from our current state of now, now, now?

Denise from The Art of Slow Travel --- who practices ultimate slow travel, often spending months or even years in a place --- explained that "slow travel is about understanding that the world is big and varied enough to make travelling a life-long endeavour."  That's it, exactly.  We want this to be a life-long endeavour.  We don't want to get burnt out or bored, and we don't want to be exhausted, either.

This isn't a round-the-world trip anymore.  It's definitely not a vacation.  This is our lifestyle.  Our nomadic lifestyle.  And, I don't know how this story's going to end.

01/05/2012 04:15
I love this. I've only been on my RTW for about 3 1/2 months & I feel burnt out. A big part of that is that I'm traveling solo while my husband Andy is at home. I've definitely lost that feeling of awe, that "wow, I'm really here!" feeling. I'm looking forward to being back home so I can recharge my batteries & get back to enjoying travel again. Andy & I are working on building a life that involves a decent amount of slow travel but still having Freiburg, Germany as a home base. Long term nomadic living is not for me.
01/20/2012 11:53
Ali, I can totally get where you're coming from because right now you're newlyweds living apart from each other. I'm sure that once you guys reunite and start traveling again together, it will be a totally different experience -- and maybe then the slow travel lifestyle won't be quite as tough.
01/05/2012 05:39
My partner and I had a good belly laugh at this: "In the last five months, we've been in only five countries". We've been traveling for the same amount of time but at glacial speed. We're possibly the worst travellers in the world.

So if you need help justifying going slower, just think of us ;)
Katherine Herriman's recent blog post: A birthday, French canals, and new friends
01/20/2012 11:58
Katherine, I think y'all are the good travellers! We're working on going much slower --- in fact, we're talking about adopting an approach where we stay in one place for 2-3 months.
01/05/2012 05:57
Pace makes such a difference, doesn't it? I find myself getting tired just *reading* about some people's adventures, let alone actually undertaking them.

I've been surprised to see just how slow we've done things, although it makes sense given that we've got two young kids with us and we were natural homebodies in our settled life. We hardly do any sightseeing here in Penang -- we've been here three months and have yet to see Kek Lok Si temple or Penang Hill. Our five-day trip to Kuala Lumpur for Christmas was plenty stimulating and it was a relief to come home to a quiet apartment.

I look forward to a time when the kids are older and more versatile and we can move more quickly, but until then we're happy. I like the way you are noticing your own capacity for moving around and the signs of coming to a new stage.
Alison Gresik's recent blog post: Hours For Art Interview with Marjory Mejia
01/20/2012 12:13
I especially think traveling with young children must slow you down. We find that traveling with our dogs --- who we leave at the house when we're doing lots of sightseeing --- has meant that we have to slow down. I definitely couldn't do the 1-day-here-1-day-there trip anymore and I'm starting to think that I might never want to do that sort of trip again. I look at some of our old blog posts from when we first started this trip and I think, "Holy smokes. How did I have the energy?"
01/05/2012 06:12
I've never been keen on going around the world in a year, or thereabouts. I've discovered that I like unpacking my clothes--however few that I have--and putting them away. I like finding a cafe I like, and being able to become a repeat customer. I realize that I might not get to see as much of the world when I'm traveling so slowly or living/working in another country, but I'd much rather travel in a way that I enjoy. Who knows how your story will end--but surely it will continue to be an adventure! Lovely post.
01/20/2012 12:21
Thanks Christine! Finding that cafe and becoming a "repeat customer" is so nice --- we kept going back to the same cafe when we were in Barcelona and the restaurant owner started to get to know us. I love the way that you travel and get to know a city or area so well. I think we're moving in that direction, too.
01/05/2012 07:15
Thanks for writing this. As someone who blogs about her travels but will most likely never take a RTW trip (if I do I suspect it will be later in life), thanks for being candid about the drawbacks of a nomadic lifestyle. I've often felt as if the travel blogging community glorifies a certain manner of traveling (RTW/long-term travel vs. smaller, shorter trips), and yet I don't think many regular folks can identify with it or sustain it over time. I often wonder myself if some travel bloggers think about things like savings or having children (although according to this post I guess they do). I believe that having a sense of newness and wonder in life can be found in lots of different ways whether it's long-term travel, slow travel, a one-week vacation or even in our own backyards.

Again, thanks for your honesty.
01/20/2012 12:28
I know what you mean about the glorification of the RTW trip. It's wonderful but I also think it's important that people know that traveling this way isn't for everyone. Travel --- whether short-term or long-term --- is the important bit and there are so many different ways to get out and see the world.
01/05/2012 07:50
Beautiful post - and with five years of full-time travel under my belt, I've been there. A few times now. In a fit of travel-induced-exhaustion, I once even went so far as to fall in love with a man in NZ with the idea that it would give me an excuse to stop traveling for a while. (It didn't work. Don't try this. Bad. Plan.) :-)

My 3rd and fourth year of permanent travel were probably the toughest....I had enough experience to think I knew it all, but not enough experience to understand what sort of pace is indefinitely maintainable.

Now, I don't mind spending months - even years in a destination. I'm still comfortable in my skin as a "traveler" even if I don't move for 6 months. It doesn't matter how many pictures I snap in a day, and "lest I miss something" has left my vocabulary. I have no checklist of destinations or sights to satisfy; only my latest whim and fancy.

Having just spent the last 3 months recuperating from the Ultimate Train Challenge (which I did with the awesome Jeannie of Nomadic Chick), I feel her pain. You NEED to have a place to stop, vegetate, recuperate, catch your breath, and answer to nobody when you're on the road.

Last year when I was fighting my own bout of travel exhaustion, I wrote a few poignant articles about it too:
01/20/2012 12:37
Nora, Thank you so much for this wonderful comment. It's so good to hear that I'm not the only one feeling this way and the feeling comes and goes. At times, I feel almost selfish and stupid for complaining when we have this incredible opportunity to travel, but I remind myself that this is our life and we have to enjoy traveling in our own way. I completely understand why you would need to recuperate after UTC - that was a CRAZY trip that y'all took! And I love these articles. Thanks so much for linking to them.
01/05/2012 08:15
At the end of our around the world trip we spent a month in an apartment in the Swiss Alps. By the time we were had to go home, I was ready to travel again. BUT I was *also* ready to go home. Our trip always had a finite amount of time and we never even considered the possibility of permanent travel (no one really did that back then) .
No one says you have to travel forever. You've already forged a life which allows you to work from anywhere so why not do that? Slow it down further. Get an apartment somewhere for 6 months and see what happens.
Or, come "home" and buy a house and "settle down". I did and I still travel, albeit for shorter trips. But I love my house and garden and family. Long term, my plan is to save enough to retire early, keep my house, and travel for longer trips, 3-6 months at a time.
Kristina's recent blog post: Restaurants in Naples, Italy
01/20/2012 13:42
That's funny that by the time you were ready to go home, you were ready to travel again. I know that will happen to me, too. If we stop and rest for a few months, I'm sure that I'll get the travel itch again. I love your long-term plan! I think that's the dream, isn't it?
01/05/2012 10:03
I need to be reading The Art of Slow Travel, why I missed that fantastic site is beyond me. Everyone has their reasons why they choose something. I needed to jolt my life to the core and knew that traveling full time was the motivation to change how I thought about the world and myself.

It was EVERYTHING I hoped for, but a commenter on my post hit a nerve. I've been going to fast lately that I've had zero time to collect and process all these changes I've been through.

That's what stopping is about.. and I'm coming round to your way of doing things and Nora's, etc. It might be time to move slower through the world after I plant for a bit. One thing for sure: Canada is not in the picture. Been there, done that. :)

Your philosophy makes perfect sense, sometimes you have to shut down, which means doing internal things (movies, books, vegging out) before exploring again. Your upcoming plans sound lovely!

I truly hope we meet up somewhere again, I have a feeling we will!
Jeannie Mark's recent blog post: House Hunters International Wants Me?
01/20/2012 13:44
I absolutely agree with you about not having the time to collect and process. I was looking at pictures from the last three weeks ---- we've done so much and seen so much that I can barely hold it all in my mind. Slowing down over the last month has been really good and we're working out our travel plans for the next few months so that we spend more like a month in each spot rather than just two weeks or so. And, we better meet up again! I had too much fun hanging out with you last time. :)
01/05/2012 11:46
In so many ways I needed to read that I was not the only one. I too traveled pretty slowly, mostly 2-3 months in each country often only seeing a few cities because I could not bear to pack my bag more than once every 1-2 weeks.

In a lot of ways I think it also has to do with my age and that I am traveling solo. I do wonder if I were traveling with someone if I would feel more grounded. A big reason why I decided to choose Toronto as a base and do shorter trips from there was that I was really starting to feel disconnected from people.

You know the weird solo travelers you meet that have been traveling for 10+ years and no one wants to talk to? I felt like I was headed in that direction.

I still want to travel, but I'm taking a cue from others, I'll work contracts in Toronto and then travel in between.

Maybe not forever, but for now it feels right/
Ayngelina's recent blog post: Struggling in Seville
01/20/2012 13:51
I totally know what you mean about the weird solo travelers you meet --- I kind of feel like Patrick and I are starting to act like a weird couple traveler. Sometimes, we don't even talk to each other in full sentences anymore because we know each other TOO well. I think your idea of working as a contract is kind of what I'm leaning toward, too. I love the idea of having a homebase, working as a contract attorney, and traveling in between. Well, that's the plan for next year, I guess.
01/05/2012 13:43
I've considered going nomadic a number of times but then when I take longer trips I'm longing for home after 3 or 4 weeks. You could always travel slower, spending 3-6 months in one place and hopefully avoiding burn out that way.
Andrea's recent blog post: Travel Photo: Dresden
01/20/2012 13:52
Andrea, I think that's what we're leaning toward. Spending 3-6 months in a place and getting to know it well is less exhausting than spending just two weeks or a month in a spot.
01/05/2012 14:20
We had a similar feeling in early 2010, opting to plant roots and reduce the "perpetual travel" for a lifestyle that embraced travel, family and careers.
At its core, we all want to be challenged and experience new things. The cubicle dweller dreams of white sandy beaches and freedom, but after months and years of beaches, a little structure and stability starts to look appealing.
The grass will always be greener! It's good that you have acknowledged this in yourselves, making the decision to change your lifestyle is the hardest part.
I'm sure your story will have a happy ending... ;-)
01/20/2012 13:55
Thanks Cam! I love that you guys have found different ways to incorporate travel in your life - especially now that you have a little one. I can't wait to hear about the littlest Traveling Canuck's first steps in and out of Canada!
01/05/2012 14:30
Wow, something is really in the air here! You, Ayngelina, Jeannie, Suzy, me...we are all starting to crave bases, wanting to move away from constant travel. I don't know if it's getting older, or getting tired, or the novelty of travel is wearing off. Maybe slow travel the way you're doing it is best. (Of course, this comes from the girl who planned far too much for 2012 already.)

I think you guys are doing very well. And I'm so jealous that you'll be in Paris a full month!! (Chewy and Abby will love it, too. Dogs are treated like royalty there.)
Adventurous Kate's recent blog post: Travel Plans: Where I’m Going in 2012!
01/20/2012 14:04
I think the reason so many of us feel like we need to stop and settle down is because we've all been traveling for around two years and that's when the weariness starts to hit. I definitely am looking forward to Paris with the pups and I'm SO glad that we've decided to spend a full month there which will give us the time to really relax and soak in that amazing city. (And, yes, I've also totally planned too much for 2012, too.)
01/05/2012 16:02
My wife and I have given thought to RTW travel but we too have a dog and cat. We've been wondering how it would go if we went to fewer places but stayed in each place longer (month). Good to see it works, but still can be draining. Still I look forward to the adventures ahead!:)
The World of Deej's recent blog post: Lux Bus America - Anaheim to Las Vegas in Style
01/20/2012 14:08
I think when traveling with pets, you have to travel slower because dogs and cats both crave stability. Our dogs, especially, have to be fed at the same time every day and we make sure that we carry their blankets to every house and hotel so they feel comfortable wherever we go. I don't know how it would work with a cat but we love traveling with our dogs. They are the best (and most fun) travel companions!
01/05/2012 17:25
You explain this very prominent trend in RTW travellers so eloquently...I wish more people thought about it before flying around the world...the fact that travel in large doses can have the opposite effect of why we set out in the first place...
I'd also like to say that I love your new site design, and that I'd love to meet up in Switzerland when you're here (I'm here until the 2nd of February, then I leave for Vietnam). Drop me a line if you come before I leave.
01/05/2012 19:30
I don't think it had the opposite effect, per say. There really is no post-modern definition of nomadism. One thing I will say that is a flaw relates to the anthropological definition of nomadism, which entailed large groups of people who moved according to food patterns and/or seasons changing. They would also stay in a place for a few months, not a week, unless the site proved dangerous or devoid of food. Nomadism in the old days involved whole communities, some beset with ethics, mores and even loose laws. In essence, you were never lonely and there was some structure. :)

When you are solo like Ayngelina or myself, that sense of disconnection is more acute, and that's what she felt, as well as I. I, too, was worried about turning into the "weirdo" with the skewed behaviours and ideas - I've met a few!

However, I'm still a believer in traveling solo. Sitting around waiting for someone else to join me was not there & I have grown an inner strength that seems unbendable. :)

Perhaps nomadism is more undefinable than we think?
Jeannie Mark's recent blog post: House Hunters International Wants Me?
01/08/2012 02:04
Hi Jeannie,

I know what you mean, and that's why I don't think long term travel is equal to nomadism. As you said, nomadism has a different purpose altogether. And I also don't think that travel burn out only comes when you're travelling solo. It's simply that, whatever anyone says, we humans seem to crave a routine, and lasting relationships and friendships.
01/08/2012 06:01
I think at some point, you are right, we do crave routine. I have been better this time around at establishing one, by always working out when I can, eating meals at mostly the same times, those kind of little things that matter. Burnout certainly can happen whether solo or not - this post proves by Akila proves it! :)
Jeannie Mark's recent blog post: House Hunters International Wants Me?
01/11/2012 18:25
If nothing else, I'm so happy that this post has connected Jeannie and Denise together and introduced y'all's sites to each other! :) That's exactly what I need to do more of --- establishing a routine. We're working on dieting while traveling and doing more exercise (other than just walking).

Jeannie, I totally get what you're saying about the solo lifestyle. I find that even as a couple, we have gotten to know each other so well that we've picked up these really bizarre habits that seem absolutely "normal." Sometimes, we have conversations without actually talking and when we get together with friends or other people, they look at us REALLY strangely. Because normal people talk, you know. We, on the other hand, seem to have adopted ESP because we're with each other ALL the time. So, I totally get why you sometimes talk to yourself --- because, sometimes, we don't talk at all.
01/05/2012 20:33
Happy New Year! Great post Akila, you captured it perfectly and although we miss the endless beaches and beer, we are pretty content at home on the couch too! Thanks for the shout-out, we are living vicariously through you guys until little Mila can carry her own backpack :)
Manali & Terry's recent blog post: M & T Holiday Giveaway | 100 free postcards!
01/11/2012 17:54
Manali, absolutely! I've always loved your site and am so so glad that we got to meet y'all in real life. And, yes, I can't wait to read about your adventures once Mila's a bit bigger. I'm sure she's going to be a globetrotter just like her mom and dad.
01/05/2012 21:03
This is exactly how I like to travel. While we can't travel long-term at the moment, we always stay put in a location for the time we're there. Like 6 days in Rome instead of cramming half of Italy into a week. You'll love Turkey! Istanbul was amazing (again, 6 days in Istanbul instead of cramming in Ephesus and Cappadocia into a week.)
ehalvey's recent blog post: The Blue Mosque in 12 Photos
01/20/2012 14:12
I think that's the best way, too, especially in cities. Rome is so huge with SO much to see --- the first time we went, we stayed for only 4 days and knew that we needed way more time there. Next time, I want to stay a month in Rome. And, I am SO excited about Turkey. We've heard such great things about it.
01/05/2012 21:54
I head ya chica! We were on the road full time for a year, then went back home for a year before heading out for 3 years on our bikes. By the time we reached the end of the world in Tierra del Fuego we had cycled 17,300 miles through 15 countries and, while I was thrilled that we had done it, I was done. I reached my max for constant travel.

We've now been back in the USA for 9 months and I am still loving it. I love waking up in the morning to find running water in our house. Now we even have running HOT water, which is even more special. I love having a toilet rather than having to squat behind a tree. Turning on a stove is a decadent luxury.

I think human nature is to want some sort of stability in our lives. It's up to each person how they find that.
Nancy Sathre-Vogel from Family on Bikes's recent blog post: You get to decide how you’ll live today; take advantage of it
01/11/2012 18:59
Oh my gosh, I can't even imagine what y'all did. I wouldn't be able to make it 1 week without a hot shower! :) When people say that we couldn't do what we're doing now with kids, I always point to you and your family. You guys proved that a family can pretty much do ANYTHING if they work hard at it.

The thing that we found so luxurious when we returned from Asia and Africa was drinking tap water. Even now -- though it's two years later -- I still find that absolutely luxurious. I imagine that it's going to be a long long time before you and your family start assuming that hot water will simply be there.
01/06/2012 06:30
Hi Akila, thanks for sharing your experience. I haven't traveled 'round the world, but I can understand why you might eventually feel worn down. There has to be some balance in life - I'm sure your voyages have been wonderful, life-changing experiences, but it's normal to need to plant your feet more firmly on the ground and rest in one place for a long while. In any case, I love your blog and it's great to read such an honest account of your travels!

Best of luck,

01/11/2012 18:40
Thanks so much Radina. Honesty is always our policy (even if it means that we have to tell the truth about awful restaurants and when we're down and out exhausted.) :)
01/06/2012 10:31
I have never been a person who wanted to pursue perpetual travel. I'm sure there is some romance with traveling the world forever, but it honestly doesn't sound like much fun to me. I absolutely love having a home (where I just decorated my office), a place where our dogs feel comfortable walking around, a writers group, a favorite coffee shop, a gym membership, routines. And I still love to travel, because I'm not doing it all the time. Every time I get ready to board a plane, it's exciting because it's not what I do every day. "Settling down" isn't a bad thing; in fact, there are a lot of really good things that can come from it. It's possible to be happy without a backpack on, and it's possible to be happy because you can still travel periodically. I think you should follow your heart, not the trends. Do what makes you happy, and if that means not traveling all the time, then that's what you should do.
JoAnna's recent blog post: I Love Las Vegas: Absinthe
01/11/2012 18:51
Joanna, I know what you mean about the dogs. Chewy and (our) Abby are fantastic - they adjust to new places quickly and love exploring new parks and people but I hate dragging them around at the same time. Long travel days with just me and Patrick are bad, but long travel days with the dogs are AWFUL. I love, love, love traveling with them but when we settle down, one of the things I want to concentrate on is traveling with them with less travel time spent. We've discussed camping with them - something that I think y'all have done, right?

The hardest part of this whole thing is figuring out what makes us happy. Sometimes, I wish I could open a book and it would say, "Oh, yes, that's what you should do. THAT is what will make you happy." That would be a lot easier (but a lot less fun) than figuring it out myself.
01/06/2012 12:46
Good post Akila. I've waxed poetic about the same thing a few times over on my site during my RTW trip. I think all of us have been there one way or another. And everyone's definition of long term travel is different and that is OKAY. There is no glory in traveling 'forever' if it's not what YOU want to do.
I traveled somewhat slowly for 15 mos, then returned to the US and stayed w/ friends and fam in various cities. Then I decided to leave again for another 6 months...I wasn't positive I wanted to, but i didn't want to pay rent and bills yet...so I left. That's when I felt it - I knew I was burning out and knew full-time travel wasn't something I wanted. I LOVE travel, but now would rather just live in one spot for months at a time. Like Ayngelina, I made my homebase (Chicago) and still leave for about a month at a time to travel. It's not as cheap this way, but makes me happy. Have a great time in Turkey! I was there 3 mos..pls email me if you want some great local contacts. :)
Lisa Lubin | LLworldtour's recent blog post: New York Eats: My Favorite NYC Restaurants
01/11/2012 18:01
Thanks Lisa! I love hearing from folks who have made travel work after their RTW trips end. I think there's this feeling like an RTW is your ONE shot but that's silly, really. Most of us are just in our thirties --- we have a LONG LONG time to live and lots of traveling left to do. I just have to keep reminding myself of that fact. :) And, yes, I'll definitely get in touch with you about Turkey - it's the country I'm most excited and also the most apprehensive about (in part because it'll be our first Muslim country.)
01/06/2012 13:29
I have a million thoughts on this post. I really should write a post about this on my blog...

When I first got into travel blogging I was super frustrated with how so many of the big time travel bloggers made it seem like the "true traveler" was the person that gave up everything to travel, and that if they didn't give up everything then they weren't really a traveler. While traveling is my most favorite thing in the world, I would find a life of only traveling to be very selfish and unfulfilled. I LOVE having roots and wings at the same time. I get the best of both worlds. Plus, I never get jaded with traveling like most nomads do. I'm happy that more and more travelers are starting to see that you can have a base and travel as well.
Andi Perullo de Ledesma's recent blog post: France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 6 (Part 1)
01/08/2012 11:15
What Andi said. Times a thousand.
Camels & Chocolate's recent blog post: Photo Friday: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
01/10/2012 20:33
Wish I'd have seen this light BEFORE I set out last year... now I know I'm much happier with shorter stints of travel bookended with time at home to sleep and contemplate and work. A year at a time was just too much for me!
01/11/2012 17:42
Well, travel is a learning experience --- including how to travel. I have LOVED, LOVED, LOVED traveling long-term for the last two years but we're ready for a break now. As we change, what we need and want changes too. I'm glad you've figured it out now!
01/11/2012 18:05
I think the greatest part of travel blogging is that we share the MANY different ways to make travel a part of a life. It could be a one-year round-the-world trip, someone who travels on short breaks and has a home base, or extended long-term travel. If we as travel bloggers stand for the proposition that there are millions (or billions) of ways to live a life --- as seen in the multitudes of cultures that we explore --- then we should also stand for the proposition that there are millions of way to incorporate travel into a life, as well. So, yes, write that post! I'd love to read it and get a different perspective on "having roots and wings" as you so eloquently put it.
01/06/2012 18:23
While we aren't ready to put down roots any time soon I can imagine that going at the pace you are can be tiring. The only thing calling us home right now is that we miss having our dog. We just don't have the funds to bring him along with us (or we may be gone forever!).

I really look forward to seeing what you guys have going on in the future.
01/11/2012 18:34
Our doggies were the reason that we went home after the Australia/Asia/Africa leg. We just plain missed them too much! It's hard being away from such cute faces all the time. :) But, I'm glad to hear that y'all are still going strong --- I foresee many more adventures in y'all's futures and can't wait to read about them.
01/08/2012 11:14
This is exactly why I prefer traveling for my job (and sometimes fun) while having a home base versus traveling full time. I know, for me, it would lose its luster the second I committed.
Camels & Chocolate's recent blog post: Photo Friday: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
01/11/2012 18:12
I think especially with traveling for work, it would be exhausting. The few press trips I've gone on have been so action packed that I've had barely any downtime at all. And that downtime is absolutely critical to keeping my interest in travel alive!
01/12/2012 10:48
Yeah, that's why I haven't taken a press trip in nearly two years...just not my cup of tea!
Camels & Chocolate's recent blog post: Whats Next
01/08/2012 14:29
Even when we travel "slowly" - e.g., 2 months in one country - we still face travel fatigue from moving every week or even every two weeks. The longer we're on the road, the sooner that fatigue sets in. And when you get to that point you don't appreciate what is around you and all the opportunities - that's when we know it's time to stop for a bit. We've started peppering in "travel breaks" where we stay still for 2-3 months and we give ourselves "permission" to not do anything tourist-related, but just focus on work and the joy of simple things like making our own coffee each morning. Like others, we're looking more towards having a base from which we can travel from instead of constantly be moving in one direction, having to plan our next steps. It's all a transition to figuring out what's best for you personally and professionally.
01/20/2012 14:22
Audrey, that's so good to hear because you and Dan are the trendsetters. You're the travelers that all the rest of us are trying to be! I think we're moving more toward the approach of 2-3 months in one place to give us the time to digest what we've seen. Right now, we've seen and done so much that we can't take it all in! Figuring out how to change and evolve is difficult, especially because there are no roadmaps and guides to tell someone how to live a life. Sigh. It would be nice if I could open a book and it would tell me what we should do next. Although it wouldn't be nearly as much fun, either . . . .
01/08/2012 20:29
Great post, I think a lot of long-term travelers can relate to this. I am sure that everybody who is 'on the road' has moments where they think about going home, and these thoughts cross our times from time to time too. The question for us is: Where is home? Jess hasn't lived in Chicago since 2000, I left Germany in 2006, and even though we both love London, the last place we called home, we're not sure if we'd want to live there forever. So we're continuing our travels hoping that we'll find a new place to call home somewhere... and we still have so many places to see! Our long-term goal is though to slow down considerably and maybe adapt the 3-months-in-each-place concept of the guys from For91days - enough time to explore a place properly and to get excited again to travel to a new place :)
Dani | Globetrottergirls's recent blog post: Dreamy Savannah in pictures
01/20/2012 14:27
I totally know what you mean. We haven't lived in Atlanta in 4 years though we have lots of friends and family in that area. We don't really like Atlanta --- too landlocked and not pretty enough --- but it's the most obvious choice as "home" because we have family and friends there. The city we love the most and feels the most like home is Asheville, NC, but we don't know anyone there at all. So, I think we'll probably end up back in Atlanta but with 3-6 month stints elsewhere in the world.
01/09/2012 10:44
Great post! I just quit my job (eek!) and plan to travel around the the world for the next several months. I've been getting a lot of inspiration and sage advice from your blog!
01/20/2012 11:49
Thanks Kavi! Good luck with your trip.
01/12/2012 19:52
I can relate to this a lot. I recently wrote about how a stint of travel (9 months) helped support my passions/purpose, but any longer and it would have hindered them. Travel is comparable to a relationship to me. It's an investment, but once that luster starts to be lost, then something needs to change. Nearly 9 months after ending my long-term trip and I love travel more than ever. Travel is a lifestyle for me. I'm traveling more than ever. I did a road trip this week and I have several U.S. trips in the next couple months before a big Europe trip this summer. It continues to evolve for me and I need to add variations to it so that that joy from the first time traveling, continues on the 200th time traveling. Good words and look forward as I continue to follow your journey!
Spencer Spellman's recent blog post: Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show
01/20/2012 11:46
Thanks Spencer. I think that's the exact feeling we're having - that travel is a relationship and that relationship evolves. We're slowly figuring out how that relationship is evolving and it looks like it's going to be a long-term slow relationship rather than a one-night (or even a 830-night) stand.
04/14/2013 18:04
I never thought about it this way before! Getting tired of traveling, I can't possibly imagine - but I guess I may change my mind in a decade or so.

The longest trip I've been on was study abroad in Spain. Granted I did have days where I was home sick, missed spicy food, missed LOST, but there were many more fun days. After that I have been on multiple 1-6 week trip through grad school. In fact, during a particularly difficult semester, I always had a trip to look forward too. In fact I should be writing a paper right now, but all I can think about is going to Bangkok next Wednesday!

Maybe the way to travel is to break it up, that way it still retains it's luster. I like to plan insane trips with so much sightseeing, couchsurfing, and fannypack toting that I'm completely exhausted when I come back to the US and need to sleep for 16 hours straight to recharge.
04/18/2013 19:20
Erum, I definitely think that's true. When you're doing short stints and you go full speed ahead on the trip, it's nice to return home. But, for us, since we were traveling for years, we needed that time to just regroup as you do at home!
05/26/2015 12:11
I am a travel enthusiast. 35 years old, I went on a Caribbean cruise. Incredible! So, I booked another, longer cruise. Great! A bit redundant toward the end of it. So,....I booked another one (because I go into a seasonal depression, so that is what I am trying to remedy) and I was glad to be back at Port and disembarking. I suppose I wore the novelty off. It scared me because I had built comfort in my mind based on always having travel to make me happy, probably as a replacement for people in my life, relationships, family and a home, but now I am 39 and feeling like I am in a crisis because I don't feel confident that world travel would sustain me. I am at a cross-roads. I can do the world travel thing in another 10 years with little financial difficulties, or I can set up camp here. I so, so, so wish I could fast forward through both scenarios and see how my future would look. One cannot ride two horses with one rear end as they say, so I am inclined to trust my gut and my own experiences thus far. I got a really sad feeling a few times in the Caribbean at the most beautiful places doing the most exciting things, and not only did it make me appreciate my regional travels (New England), but it opened my eyes to what celebrities must feel when they start falling to drugs. I have a hard time not realizing that life in exciting places becomes just life after a while, novelty wears off of anything, and life is real everywhere but I get restless in one spot too. The intellectual part of me knows this, but the spirited part of me, the kid, tugs at me. I need to budget a few getaways per year and find balance like that. When things get tough I feel like running, but I saw how quick I went from 30 to 39 years old, and it scares me enough to ponder this.
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