Travel Burnout

9 Apr

Nope, we’re not burned out yet despite having been on the road going on 7 weeks, but we thought we’d talk a little about it here. Before and during the trip, folks told us that we needed off days where we could take breaks from being a tourist. Prior to this trip, I was the type of vacationer that needed to be go-go-go- I had to visit all the places, find the best local version of each food, maximize my time, etc. I think this was fueled by the fear that since vacation days/approvals are so hard to come by (America is a no vacation-nation, grrr), I had to see as much as I could since who knew when I’d come back, or even if ever.

For a marathon trip such as this one, this method definitely wouldn’t fly. We’d burn out so fast! So we’ve been employing a more go-with-the-flow attitude and making sure we take regular breaks most of the days. Every once in a while, spending an afternoon doing nothing does wonders for us and we’d recommend it for those on the move for long periods of time. In some cases, we did miss out on what the particular locale had to offer- for example in Buenos Aires we didn’t go to a tango show, or even see any street tango performances. In Hakone, we skipped out on seeing Mt. Fuji and the surrounding lakes. We also didn’t make it to either Imperial Palaces in Tokyo or Kyoto. I didn’t get to try the hot dog that Valparaiso was famous for, or dine at Porcao, which is supposedly THE place to eat in Rio. We ended up not being able to eat Kobe beef or kaiseki in Kyoto either. The former me might have been upset or disappointed, but the new me is okay with that. Given our schedule, trying to hit up all the “quintessential” places and cuisine that each city has to offer wouldn’t be the most pleasant experience, we’d feel rushed and tired.

The last thing we’d recommend is spending a good mix of time between the big cities and smaller, more rural attractions. In South America, we mixed up our time between scenic (Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Patagonia, Iguazu Falls), and urban (Santiago, Buenos Aires, Rio). In Japan, we also did the same thing by coming to Hakone after visiting the big cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. We employed this similar style for our Australia/Fiji honeymoon- it was a great combination!

Soon we’ll be off to China. If there’s any place where we will need a rest from the people and crowds, this will be it.

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