I’ve been backpacking around for quite a while now and lately I’ve started to get the feeling that I’m not appreciating everything as much as I should be.
It’s only been a few month back on the road after Morocco so I’m not suffering from backpacker burn out yet…so it’s got me thinking – have I simply travelled too much?!
Comparing and Setting The Bar High
One of the first things that pops into my mind when I’m thinking about whether I’ve travelled too much is how unimpressed I can be at amazing sights and experiences at the moment.
I’m not ungrateful for the amazing stuff my nomadic lifestyle presents – but I’ve seen so many epic things along the way that it’s hard not to compare them and feel underwhelmed.
One of the prime examples for me about this is snorkelling. I love snorkelling – it’s a great way to spend a day in the ocean with the sun on your back and I’ve always travelled with a snorkel kit in my backpack.
But then I went to the Galapagos Islands and it all got ruined!
Within 5mins of being in the water there I was surrounded by no less than 5 fully grown sea turtles, a handful of black tip reef sharks, a school of bat nose rays and even a playful sea lion.
Now that’s put the benchmark so damn high I can’t help but be disappointed every time I slide into the water now!
Everything seems to be slightly dwarfed by a past experience.
I know I must almost sound like a spoilt brat thinking that way but that’s how it is in my head right now.
It’s a vicious circle to be stuck in!
Too Many Options, Too Much Time
My second biggest annoyance at the moment is actually something I never thought would be an issue – I simply have too many options and too much time!
This year I could literally go anywhere I wanted. I had enough dollar to support the whole year of travel and have little to no commitments.
Yet I opted to spend this year indulging in surf and for some reason or another I’ve pretty much found myself going over countries I’ve already travelled too (bar Malaysia, New Zealand and some extra parts of Indonesia).
I’ve got a whole heap of places I want to visit (I posted about the top 10 countries I want to travel last week) yet the lazy travel bum side of me opted to take a relatively easy flight route and kick back spending some more time in places I already love.
I guess that way I know what I’m getting, know I’ll enjoy it and won’t have wasted my time or money somewhere rubbish and with no surf!
Experiencing Something Totally New
Which leads me to realise that perhaps I’ve slipped from being the adventurous traveller I was last year into being a different type of backpacker. I’m no longer concerned about exploring so much and I’m more inclined to
- take the easy route
- opt for surf
- kick back and relax in one place for a prolonged period of time
Does that make me a rubbish backpacker? I don’t think so actually. What it does demonstrate for me though is how long term travel has slowly changed the way I approach life on the road.
I no longer want to bounce around all over the place and cram in heaps simply for the sake of it. I simply know what I want and have the means to make it happen.
What I need to remember to do though is to force myself to experience something new every so often, not just for the sake of being able to blog about it but also to keep the travel bug alive and remind myself of why I hit the road in the first place!
Take A Break To Appreciate It All
I guess I’m using this year as a way to take a slight break from the crazy world of the full on backpacker bubble…don’t get me wrong I’m far from returning to the UK, giving up my epic lifestyle and becoming a boring suit in an office.
I’m just traveling more for me this year. I set out to surf as much as I could and that’s what I’m currently doing! It might not make the best reading for you but it’s going to be the bulk of the adventure!
…and it also saves me a whole heap of money!
Money which I shall be saving away for amazing epic adventures and projects that are already in the pipeline for next year (yup I have already started throwing ideas around for next year!) in which I shall be back to the old sense of adventure, striving for new places, new things and new experiences.
That way memories of old travels will be slightly faded and not taint what lands in front of me along the way.
A refreshed backpacker and fresh perspective on the world of travel.
I don’t think it’s possible to travel too much.
I do however believe that you need to accept that your perception and goals whilst travelling change when you start doing it long term. It’s not a bad thing – I think like everything travel matures over time, it evolves and it changes along with the person who’s doing the travelling.
And that at the moment sounds like an amazing adventure….