Since the start of 2016, I had a goal to travel as much as I could. At first, I started with a lofty goal of once a month. Over time, my work commitments kept me to traveling 1-2 times a month. I loved the idea of being in one place in the morning and another when the sun sets. The joy of meeting new people, trying new foods and getting lost like a local was a thrill. Even a long layover was another opportunity to escape and discover.
AND ALONG CAME THE CRASH.
Finally, around mid-2018 I started to feel a little different about traveling. I preferred being grounded. Any small mishap took me on a Twitter rant. I preferred sleeping in and staying in my hotel room instead of exploring. I wasn’t looking forward to trips. I even gave up a ticket to visit Iceland, which I had dreamed about all year. I stopped loving traveling because I was feeling so mentally and physically exhausted from it all. Apparently, travel burnout is REAL.
I came to the realization that I needed to slow down. If I had to travel for work, no more over-over extending my work trips. I would limit personal travel this year, and whenever I booked a trip, I’d book it with purpose. In addition to traveling more mindfully, here’s a few things I’ve been doing when I come back from a trip to alleviate travel burnout:
1. JOURNAL ON THE EXPERIENCE
Something that I used to do every trip is take a small notebook with me to journal about how I felt while on the trip. Over time, I stopped using the journal because I never stopped in the moment to pull it out and write something down. I’m more of a visual storyteller when I travel. So, I’ve been taking the flight back, or the evening of, to journal on my experience. What did I love? What could I improve? Who were some interesting people I met? Truly helps me with being more present in my travels.
2. DISCONNECTED DAY OFF
Taking a day off after traveling is a major burnout saver. One of the worst things I could do to my body is to keep business-as-usual despite the fact that I was flying on frequent red-eye trips from the West Coast. It took a huge toll on my body and I ended up losing sleep for days. If you are able to travel in the morning and take the rest of the day off, that works too. It’ll also give you a day to do the things you love and keep you happy following a trip.
3. GROUNDING MYSELF OUTDOORS
I heard that a cure for jet lag was spending time near “the ground.” Running outside, playing in the park, walking barefoot in the backyard, etc. I definitely use this advice when it comes to healing myself after a trip. If the weather is nice, I’ll take a stroll outside or spend my entire day off outdoors. Even if you can just open a window and find some fresh air that isn’t at 10,000 feet, it will definitely help. Turning on grounding smells via candles or essential oils may help if you have to stay indoors due to weather.
4. SELF-SPA TIME
I’m a big skincare person and giving myself some love with face masks and beauty routines brings me joy. (Please don’t send Marie Kondo to clean my skincare pantry!) One thing that really keeps me from feeling “off” after a trip is giving myself this at-home spa experience. It also helps to avoid feeling tired through the rest of the week when you’re back. I recently tried the Olay Fresh Reset Pink Mineral Complex Clay Face Mask Stick, which is a super fun no-mess face mask that works in stick form. The pink one micro-exfoliated in a breeze. Turn on a favorite playlist and you’re ready to go!
5. FINDING INSPIRATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Hey, we will live in a digital world. After I’m done with all my disconnecting, I spend some time the next few days after a trip pinning and searching travel bloggers on Instagram to inspire my next location (check out Filipa Jackson or Chasing Carpe Diem). Plus, you can connect with people who’ve gone to – or live in – places on your wishlist and get more authentic recommendations. It really gets me excited for the next trip I am able to book and reminds me of why I do what I do in the first place.