It’s inevitable, if you’re on the road for any extended period of time, you begin to miss the comforts of home. Yes, Machu Picchu may be beautiful, but after weeks of camping and taking
whore baths showers with a wet wipe, you begin to miss your own bed. You can recall the smell of your house and you yearn for something as simple as having a closet to hang your clothes in. There’s nothing wrong with that; most of us were brought up enjoying these comforts daily and thinking nothing of them. But when you are on the go, you miss that sense of home and familiarity. So, how do you cope?
- Have a routine – Did you used to go running every morning when you were back home? Maybe you would start your day off with some meditation? Keeping these habits going while you travel is one of the best ways to feel “at home.” Just because you are in a new location, it doesn’t mean you have to change your entire way of living! Do you love doing yoga? Great! Find a yoga class to attend while you are in Peru. Are you a fan of meditation? Awesome! Find a quiet place to relax, or have an online meditation coach to help you talk through things. (Check out my friend Shaun here! He’s the best.) Personally, I love going to the gym. When I arrived in Bali, I found a local gym and purchased a one month membership almost immediately. It helped me tremendously to be able to continue my morning routine in a foreign country.
- Personal Time – Sometimes when we travel, we can get a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, for the laymen). Pub crawl until 3 AM? Sign us up! Sunrise yoga the next morning? Can’t miss out on that… Sometimes we get so excited that we try to do everything. But that’s a surefire way to get burnt out…and quick! That’s why it’s important to carve out some “you” time. Go for a walk alone, or grab a book and a cup of tea and zone out for a few hours. It’s almost essential for maintaining sanity when you’re constantly on the go. Even a 20 minute power nap can give you the rejuvenation you need to carry through the day!
- Chat with Friends – When you’re on the road for a while, you meet plenty of new people and make tons of new friends. But as I’m sure you are aware, meeting new people and having “travel” conversations can be exhausting and redundant. (Where are you from? Where are you going? How long have you been here? Ect…) That’s why it’s important to be able to call your friends from back home. The ones that you can talk to for an hour and just share silly stories with. The people that you can virtually hang out with while they go about their day. The ones that you don’t have to talk to, you can just exist with, and know that they are there. You know, your tribe.
- Treat Yourself – Most long term travelers are budget travelers, which means we forgo things like haircuts and pedicures in order to get that next plane ticket. But sometimes you need to stop and indulge a little. Just to remind yourself why you do this. If you’re used to staying in hostels, stay in a hotel for a few nights. If you are flying a lot, upgrade yourself to first class one of these times. Personally, I made sure I took FULL advantage of the $5 massages offered around Bali to keep my sanity in check.
People rarely talk about the difficult side of travel. The hours spent getting from place to place. The getting lost, and not having wi-fi, and not speaking the local language. The carrying your heavy backpack for hours on end. Nobody talks about running out of money, or your stomach turning on you when you aren’t used to the “local” foods, or getting something stolen at your hostel. Nobody talks about getting lonely and missing your friends from back home. Travel is glamorized, I’m guilty of it too…of course I want you to share in the fun that I’m having! And yes, it is absolutely one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. But it is also the most challenging thing you will ever do. To step outside of your comfort zone, to be tested by new people, and to go beyond your “social norms” to navigate in a new land. Travel is exhausting, exhilarating, AND challenging. But it is the best investment that you will ever make. Because these are the moments that change you.