Rest is also a part of a journey
The three questions every backpacker gets asked is on their travels is; where are you from? Where are you going? Where have you been? And then you sometimes get the last one – how long have you been traveling for?
My experience in long-term road trips
When I started journeying, the world was a big place, and I had never been further than Southern Asia (living in Australia, this isn’t very far, especially when it was a family trip). So when I asked that same question, I marveled at those who had been on the road for 6, 12 or even up to 24 months. The stories that had and the places they’d been were inspiring.
After I’d walked, hitch-hiked, bused and trained half way around the world going to every major city and landmark that was happened to fall in my path, I was exhausted. I’ve done all the drinking games and met more people – and said goodbye to more people – in 6 months than I have in the rest of my adult years. This just gets exhausting after a while, usually around the 2-3 month mark.
Experience of the other travelers
The people who I meet that have traveled for years always have the same story. Their time, just like mine, is divided up into traveling just as any backpacker would – moving from city to town to city, seeing the major attractions, drinking and then moving on. After a few months of this, the inevitable travel fatigue sets in and most people find themselves settling down for a few months to work and relax. They’re two wildly different forms of travel – but are both as equally rewarding.
Conclusion – Trips might be fun, but rest is necessary
Now I’m not saying the 7 months of backpacking is a long time, but people do often ask how it feels to have travelled for over half a year straight. Once the trip reaches two months, the will to keep on traveling slowly fades out. That is the benchmark for most of the people who take on the road, but some like traveling more than others and they can enjoy in journeying for a long time.
Some of my trips lasted for more than a year and to be honest; I got tired after some of the longer trips. My advice for all travelers is to stay on the journey as long as they enjoy it and to abandon it when joy vanishes.
It’s stupid to travel if you don’t enjoy it. Rest for at least three months after every trip, and you will be rejuvenated and ready for the next journey. Rest well, and you will be happy to set your feet on the road again.