More of an issue, though, is that we abruptly hit ‘travel burnout’ at the beginning of July.
When Too Much Of A Good Thing Is Too Much
We arrived in the Adirondacks with the plan of staying four nights and doing a lot of exploring, as we usually do. And then we’d head over to Montreal for three nights to begin our exciting summer adventures in Canada.
We got set up in our peaceful, private, wooded campsite. And suddenly, all I wanted to do was sit in my chair and stare at the trees.
I looked at Eric and said, “What do you think about staying here for a week and bailing on Montreal?” He didn’t even have to answer. His look of relief said it all.
At that moment, I wanted to stay at that campsite the entire summer, or maybe for the rest of my life. (It was a nice campsite, but it wasn’t THAT nice.) But that’s simply because we needed a break from traveling: the continual movement, the planning, and living in the perpetual unknown of new experiences and locales.
Oddly enough, all of those things are the exact same things we usually enjoy about this lifestyle.
Despite traveling fulltime for six-and-a-half years, there’s still so much we want to see and do. When we’re close to places that interest us, we want to go there. When we’re in a locale and there’s a beautiful hike, bike trail, lake to kayak, cool town, interesting museum or intriguing restaurant, we want to experience it.
Short and Sweet Adirondack Hikes: Click on any photo for a larger image
But sometimes, too much of a good thing can really be too much.
A Different Year For Us
We’ve made a conscious effort over the years to slow down our travels. Three years ago, I wrote a post about slowing down. Rereading that post, I’m happy to see that we’ve learned from our experiences. We stay places longer, we travel fewer miles, and we allow for spaciousness in our days instead of staying on the go constantly.
But this summer we found ourselves faced with a new challenge. For the past six summers of our fulltime journey, we’ve headed back to the west coast for our volunteer position on Lopez Island, followed by a month or more in our hometown in southern Oregon. That has provided us with a place to land, to regroup, and to enjoy the ease of familiar places and long-time friends.
This year, staying on the east coast, we were looking at nine solid months of travel—mostly in brand new territory—staying nowhere for more than a week, and in many places, less. Adding to it all was the daily task of dealing with my parents’ situation. When I look back on it, I’m not surprised we were feeling burned out.
Signs Of Travel Burnout
There are three clear signs that we’re overextending ourselves: 1) One or both of us is unreasonably crabby. 2) There are mountains of travel brochures and maps that we haven’t had time to sort through and recycle. 3) Underwear is in short supply. We each have two weeks of underwear on board…if we run out and haven’t had time to do laundry, we’re doing too much.
Other signs of travel burnout: Feeling exhausted instead of excited by the task of planning our travels and making reservations. Having trouble motivating to get out of my pajamas, even in the most beautiful locale and on the most perfect day. Feeling annoyed by circling in yet another unknown grocery store, trying to find the damned red curry paste. And then discovering the store doesn’t carry red curry paste.
The grateful part of me always knows that this opportunity that we have to travel is an incredible gift.
The Answer For Us: Plan A ‘Normal Life’ Vacation
I have one more thing to add to my list for happily thriving in a lifestyle of fulltime travel. We need to plan ‘vacations’ in the midst of our travels. That means staying somewhere, once or twice a year, where we can relax and live a ‘normal’ life for a couple of weeks or a month. It’s remarkably soul-soothing to be in a place where the grocery store is familiar, and you can find the red curry paste. You may not care about this in the first year or two of traveling, but everyone I know who is in this lifestyle for the long haul eventually comes to the same conclusion.
Short and Sweet Adirondack Kayak Trips: Click on any photo for a larger image
Exploring A Smidgen Of The Adirondacks
So, we bailed on visiting Montreal, with the hope that we’ll make it back this way again in our travels. (Oh, how it pains me to think that we might NOT be back this way…but that’s the price of sanity.)
We kept our explorations of the Adirondacks simple and close to home. We hiked a couple of beautiful short trails, did a couple of short relaxing kayak trips, visited a nearby wildlife refuge, and explored nearby small towns. This is a lovely area, and it looks exactly like what I imagined the Adirondacks should look like, stuffed moose and all.
About the RV Park
We settled into the North Pole Resorts for a relaxing week-long stay. It’s not inexpensive, but at that point, we probably would have paid twice the amount for the opportunity to just chill out for a week. There are two sections at the resort: We opted for the ‘100 Acre Woods Area,’ a beautiful, forested, state park-like campground area, far from the miniature golf RV area. We loved it and would happily stay there again. After a relaxing week, we were excited about moving on to our summer adventures in Canada.