I have officially been traveling for 3 months. I have only ever been away from home this long once, and it was when I was traveling around Europe for 3 months. It’ll be a full 5 months of travel by the time I’m finished and back in Hanoi to start my TEFL course.
People love to glorify traveling, and even I am guilty of that, but I’m not going to lie and tell you it isn’t absolutely exhausting sometimes. When I had reached the 90-day mark of my first and only big trip in 2017, I was beyond ready to go home. I don’t feel that way this time, but I do have a strong desire to just stay put.
Waiting in lines, waiting for flights, sitting on buses that drive on unpaved roads that make you nauseous in any seat, getting anxious about visas, getting anxious about transportation in general, planning your next move, planning your next night, planning a month ahead, planning a week ahead, figuring out where to go in a country, what to do in a city; your mind never really rests when you’re constantly on the move. There’s almost always something to be planning, something to be thinking about, something to be doing. It’s hard to actually turn your brain off when you travel for so long, especially when you’re alone and calling all the shots. None of this is to be glorified. Sometimes, it’s stressful as hell and all you want to do is sit in bed all day and watch Netflix and ignore the world around you. And I do that when I want to because otherwise, I would probably go insane. I don’t stay out as late anymore, I’ll have a beer by myself in my AirBnb before I go to sleep and call it a day.
Even the social aspect of traveling gets tiring; always having to restart your conversations with people on a daily basis gets old. Sometimes, you just want to be around people who already know you. It’s why I, after a certain point, stopped booking hostels all the time and got myself private accommodation instead because I don’t feel the need and desire to socialize. I have grown comfortable being alone, maybe too comfortable, but I’m ok with that.
I have to keep reminding myself that my life isn’t going to be like this for much longer; soon, I’ll be doing my 4-week course, then I’ll be looking for an apartment and a job and my life will be starting. I know I keep saying that, but I mean my real adult life with responsibilities again. I haven’t “just” worked since I was 18 years old and fresh out of high school. Soon, I won’t have the luxury to jet off to a different country on a whim. I’ll be forced to settle down, and in some weird ways, I’m looking forward to that.
Such is the paradox of routine and travel; you always want the opposite of what you have.
Until next time,