All The Times You'll Feel Burnt Out While Traveling
Cathedral Shmathedral - I'm going to Starbucks.
You've been waiting for this moment all year, ever since you covered your eyes with your hands and clicked "book" on Expedia. You're finally in Brussels, eating fries with mayonnaise while sitting on the edge of a water fountain. You're ordering macarons in your broken high school French as the Parisian baker behind the counter smiles non-plussed. You're drinking Sangria and eating dinner at 11 o'clock, because do as the Spaniards do. It's everything you dreamed it to be and more...but then, there are those moments where you want to chuck your suitcase into the Thames river and be done with it all. There are going to be moments where you're going to feel so burnt out from the constant visa stamping in your passport, that you can't be bothered to enjoy the Insta-perfect moments in front of you.
And that's totally okay, because even the Eiffel Tower at night gets old. (Well, not really. But you know what I mean.) Below are 6 times you'll feel burnt out while traveling.
1. You'll Get Tired Of The Constant Rush
Alarm blares. You shove it off the bed but still get up. Six AM, brush your teeth. Put on mismatching socks. Grab your suitcase and struggle with it down the stairs, out the hostel, to the subway. Figure out subway directions in a language you only know how to say “hello” in. Get sweaty with frustration. Hop on train. Run to station. Have the suitcase hit you on the back of the ankles as you try to jog-trot to save time. Make it through gate. Make it to new city. Get off train. Repeat.
This is your Oregon Trail. You will die of snake bite if you stop moving, but Christ do you want to stop moving. As greedy as you are to see all the spots on the map, to read at all the cafes, to share all the late-night dinners, and to wander all the curious streets, you also want to...stop. Just sit still. In one place. And never move again. Never, ever, amen.
2. You'll Want To Leave Your Suitcase In The Middle Of The Woods And Hope It Doesn't Follow You Home
You will seriously contemplate staying in a city for a week and a half that most people only visit for three days just to get a break from zipping and unzipping, packing and repacking that blasted suitcase. Sweaters seem to only grow fatter as you try to wrestle everything inside, nothing Tetris-es neatly into place, and you have about one sock of each pair left, which drives you friggen mental. You end up wearing the same shirt five days in a row just to avoid opening that now-Pandora's box of a bag.
3. Everything Will Kind Of Sort Of Start Looking The Same
Oh look, another Gothic Church from the 1200s. Kewl. Want to grab a pint at a pub that's had it's doors open since 1653? I 'spose. What's Yelp say?
Want to walk down the windy, twisty, romantic streets of Barcelona with me? I don't know, doesn't it kind of look like the Medieval Quarter in Antwerp? If you've seen one you've seen them all, right? *elbow nudges.* How about we poke around the ruins of that castle? Fine, but I'm not bringing my camera. I've got enough crumbled walls on Instagram to last me a lifetime. But let's at least do that brewery tour. Or we can just buy a six pack at the grocery store for a fraction of the price.
Give it a couple of months and the most sigh-inducing, poetry-inspiring, we-are-gods-on-this-earth type of places will become the same ol' same ol' to you. It's ridiculously bratty, but it's true for at least a little of the time being.
4. You Won't Care What You Wear Anymore
You think back to that moment where you sat on your bedroom floor, head in your hands, agonizing over which dresses to pack and which cardigans to fold up. And at that memory, you get the lols.
Oh how you'll laugh and laugh and laugh.
Give it a couple of weeks and everything gets threadbare in the wash, wrinkles in the backpack, and you'll be too busy hitting the pavement and following the lines of a map to care that that was the sweater you wore three times in a row and your pictures will now look like you lost your suitcase at the airport. As long as you don't smell like one of those dreadlock, I wear-masking-tape-as-sandals backpackers, you're coo'.
5. You'll Get A Ron Swanson Attitude When It Comes To Meeting People
The beginning of the trip it was all “sooo, where are we all from?” as you unpacked your bag on the hostel room floor, and grabbing dinner with people you've chatted to in the elevator for about five seconds. Day trips were organized with those you shared a breakfast table with that morning, and you can spend nights in the hostel kitchen, taking turns sipping grocery store wine and talking till five in the morning.
But there will come a point in time where you think, “No more.” You'll grow a glorious mustache like Swanson, and with deeply furrowed brows you'll hold up a shushing finger to the first person that tries to interrupt your bunk bed solitude when they come into the room. You've had enough. At least for that day. You don't want to hear how they're on a gap year, you don't want to be told how you just have to go to Bali, you couldn't care less how there's a pub crawl happening in literally 10 minutes, and you def don't even want to hear the murmur of someone sharing their name. Social burnout, guys. It's real, and it makes you want to glare at anyone that dares to break into your five foot radius of anti-social funk.
6. Take A Picture? You Take A Picture
True story: One time my friend and I spent about a month in Bangkok, drinking mango smoothies and climbing up and down and around every jewel-encrusted temple we could get our hands on. We've seen so many temples – so many solid gold Buddhas, bronze deities, and staggering stupas – that we just couldn't put away any more of it.
Which leads me to share with you our day trip to Ayuthaya. Ayuthaya, the place with 1,000-year-old palaces, Buddhist temples, and ancient monasteries, is — in every sense of the word — glorious.
Enter me and my friend Tom, sitting in the back of a tuk-tuk, rolling up to our third temple that day and - butt still firmly planted on the plastic seat - nodding our head at the site and “ooh-ing” non-committedly.
I think Tom even had his eyes closed behind his sunglasses.
The driver looked at us rightfully perplexed, helpfully suggesting we, um, get on our feet and out of the taxi to go study it from every angle.
“Nah,” I say, swatting at a fly. But surely I should take a picture, he suggested. So with a heavy sigh, I took out my phone and framed the temple unceremoniously, filing yet another jaw-dropping, once-in-a-lifetime-visiting shrine into my albums. The effort, you guys.
Seriously, someone kick me in the ass. But it's true. #OverIt