Travelling is one of the most amazing experiences that a person can have. It opens up new doors, teaches new perspectives, and makes the world and all its peoples and cultures accessible in a way that nothing else does. It is an experience I would highly recommend to anyone.
While it’s important to know how to venture out into the world, it’s equally important to know when it’s time to go back home. So, how do you know when that time comes? What are the signs that tell you it might be time to pack your bag and start making the trek home? The simplest answer is when you’ve become tired of the road.
It can be quite exhilarating to be travelling, especially if you’re going on longer trips to far-off places. It can also be quite exhausting, particularly if you’ve been on the road for a long while. An easy way to spice up your trip and reconnect with the purposes of travelling is to keep moving to new places where you can begin exploring all over again. But eventually, not even that will reinvigorate you as much as it once did.
The truth is that we still crave comfort when we travel, especially when we’ve been away from it for so long. Being on the road is great, but it also has its downsides. Living out of a suitcase or backpack can get very cumbersome and frustrating, as can a lack of privacy, which many of us budget travellers have to put up with in order to afford our trips. Staying in hostels and sharing common spaces all the time is difficult after a while and sometimes you just want to sleep in your own bed.
If you’re on a longer trip that’s more than just a few weeks, it’s very likely you’ll experience some of the downsides of travelling. Because you’re going to be bouncing around from place to place without having a place to call your own, you might start getting irritated more quickly than normal, you might begin to feel lazy or uninspired to go out exploring, and you might even get overwhelmingly homesick. You might start counting the days until your flight back home, or counting your pennies to see how much it will cost to move that date closer.
It’s important to pick up on those subtle signs and realize what might be the cause behind them. They are signs that you’re just getting tired of the traveller lifestyle and you need to take a break from it to recharge your batteries before the next adventure. Don’t be afraid to cut a trip short if you find yourself not enjoying it anymore.
Especially towards the end of a trip, it’s likely that you’ll feel conflicted – not wanting your adventure to end, while also looking forward to being back in more familiar territory at home. And that’s totally okay. What you need to remember is that travelling requires balance. You need to understand what your travel personality is like and you need to be able to recognize when a long trip is too long. The key to enjoying travelling is to be as flexible as possible, even if that means being flexible in when you return home. Sometimes it’s just not worth ruining an otherwise great trip by extending it past its prime.
There is a fine line between loving your trip and loathing your trip and it’s necessary to be aware of when enough is enough so that you can continue to love travelling in the future. The whole point of travelling is to explore and discover. Travellers spend their time and money on going to far off places, meeting people that speak a different language, have different traditions, live in totally opposite climates, and have overall contrasting lives. Journeying through countries and continents opens the mind while also providing the opportunity for internal reflection and growth. But there comes a time in the trip when it’s time to return to your own place in the world and enjoy the comforts of home. And it’s crucial to recognize that time when it arrives if you intend to travel for many years to come. It will be the key to many memorable adventures.
Written by: Sonia Motisca
Photo credits © Infinite Satori