• 7 ways to beat travel fatigue

    Have you ever felt like every city begins to look alike? 

    Have you ever felt like you have lost the wanderlust after travelling for so long? Have you ever felt like you needed a few days off your travel itinerary and just some time to chill and lie in bed? 

    That my friend, is what we call travel fatigue

    After a few months of frequently traveling, we began to experience travel fatigue, but we found ways to tackle it to maximise our travel experiences. We hope this would help others on exchange to keep the mood up and fully enjoy your time abroad! 

    Disclaimer: I know how incredibly lucky we are to be studying abroad and to have the opportunity to travel so much but in a bid to make this blog as informative as possible, we frankly and honestly share our travel experiences and feelings through it all, without the façade of social media to artificially hype it up. 

    Barcelona, Spain

    1. Invest in your rest

    The biggest cause for travel fatigue is insufficient rest. Having to rush around from city to city and country to country, with an aim to see and do as much, fatigue will inevitably set in.  While we do promote and share how we get around European cities on a small budget, one thing we have come to appreciate is sufficient rest for the night.

    Like we have always advocated, every dollar saved could go a long way in buying another ticket to another city! The easiest way to save big is to save on accommodation. Yet for all those nights spent camping out at airports or train stations, stubbornly insisting to save a night of accommodation, one fine day it will all begin to catch up to you my friend, as it did for us.

    Staying in friend’s hostels or apartments always sounds attractive – I mean that is about 20EUR saved a night, but it does come with conditions. Often this means more effort in socializing not only with the said friend, but with other hostel/flat mates. This can take up valuable time you could spend resting and recharging for the next day. So choose wisely if you can afford this sometimes costly social expenditure.

    2. Vacate your mind

    Take a day or two, in your base country to cleanse your mind of all your thoughts, make it a blank page, a blank canvas ready to absorb all the vibrant colours of the world. If you can’t afford a day or two, sparing a couple of hours in the midst of your travels can do you much good for the days ahead.

    I’m not about to use this space to recommend all the shows I watch but go ahead, even go and do useless things for a couple of hours like watch Netflix, Youtube, read a book to take you to place far away for a while.

    3. Exercise your system

    Try out a new sport, and this not only helps you vacate your mind, it also releases endorphins like everyone says, but in layman terms that’s happy hormones. For me, I did bouldering in Sweden in a hotel once and it was intensive but so so good. I like to think after a workout, you never ever really regret exercising.

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    4. Notes for your soul

    At the end of every city, come up with 10 things you like about the city. They can be as small as the lady who sold you a pair of shoes or as big as a certain attraction. As you come up with this list you begin to appreciate the surroundings and appreciate everything around you to look further into what the city can bring for you.

    The same goes for when you are tired or annoyed, or when things didn’t go as planned in a certain city, for example Barcelona where parking was particularly stressful for us. Write it out. Once you have this, go back up and read the to 10 things you liked, and I guarantee you this will outweigh the small insignificancies.

    5. Find the unique beauty

    Peñíscola, Spain

    Every new city you visit, stop comparing it to other cities. Tell yourself each city is different. There are different elements of beauty each city brings you, as the beauty of a place is defined as the summation of its people, environment, atmosphere, and the relationships forged and every new experience.

    So even though you might find this as yet another old town, you must tell yourself and understand that it is within you to find the beauty in this city and discover the intrinsic beauty that you can only experience as you set off. That my friend, is where the essence of a memorable journey begins.

    6. Shop to your heart's content

    If you are girls like us who finds joy and the relief of hunger in shopping, then just shop away. Also be sure to shop like the locals do, that means public markets, thrift shops and the works!

    Peñíscola, Spain

    7. Change in environment

    If like you, you have been travelling a certain part of a continent for a particularly long time, mix it up and jazz up your travels! Like us, who looked forward to Spain so much after being in Eastern and Central Europe for so long.

    We are all incredibly lucky and put many people in envy for our privileged position to spend half a year abroad, so never forget that. Returning back home will carry with it severe withdrawal symptoms, trust me on that. The constant reminder that it is ending and the impending doom of returning back home and the rigour of school - I’m sure that makes all of us appreciate our travels even more.

    Jointly penned by Divya and Melrose
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