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In September I decided to challenge myself and push my limits. I was determined to travel to 6 different countries (Germany, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Italy, France and Sweden) and at the same time handle my PhD and doing my second job. You guess it right! I went through a burnout.

I realised that when describing Paris to a friend I said the following things:

‘It all looks the same. It’s so overrated. Nothing special! People, shops, monuments and some more cathedrals.’ 

I paused and wished I had never said those words. This was Paris that I was describing after all. The city of light and definitely not a bore in any way shape or form. I think at this point I was just sick of packing yet another suitcase, queuing up and disembarking on yet another plane. I just wanted my bed. 

I should have seen this coming, I saw the red flags by my third trip but I ignored them. I definitely overdid it by travelling so much in short space of time.

Below I’ve listed the things to lookout for before you burn yourself out:

5 signs of going through a burnout:

  1. You don’t enjoy your holiday: I mean come on! It’s a holiday and everything about it should get you excited and add a spring in your step. If you feel no joy or excitement about your coming trip you are definitely experiencing a burnout.
  2. You would rather spend time in the hotel than go exploring: whilst in Paris, a friend called me at 3pm and was shocked to find me napping. ‘Who naps when they are in Paris’ were her exact words. I tried to justify my actions by saying ‘I was on a holiday after all and isn’t relaxation the very point of holiday?’ but honestly I was just tired of staring at another monument and during touristy things.
  3. You stop searching for bargains: As an African, this should have been the biggest red flag for me lol but again I chose to ignore it. After a long day of exploring it would have been normal for me to still find the most pocket friendly way to get back home which would usually be a train or a bus, so when I started to consider the option of spending $35 to get back to my hotel so that I can get into bed, something was definitely wrong.
  4. Meeting locals and interacting comes with so much effort, striking up a conversation is something that comes so naturally to me especially since travelling so often. At the point when interacting with locals became a chore, it certainly was a red flag. Just the simple act of asking for directions was tiring so I relied on google maps ( which sometime was a terrible idea)
  5. Experiences in various different countries begin to merge into one. I suffered this a lot during my burn out. I could not separate one experience from the other, all I knew was that I was travelling. Everything else seemed to have a filter on it.


3 ways I recovered from it 

  1. Slowed down my travelling – I went from 6 countries in one month to only going to one country the following month. I slowed it right down to spend more time catching up with myself and the important things I need to do. 
  2. Spend quality time with my family -Something about spending time with family heals and restores. I was able to get some home cooking which I terribly missed, whilst travelling I mostly indulged in eating junk food and take out. This quality time was simply used to relax and unplug from it all. 
  3. Remember why you started travelling in the first place – I reintroduced myself to my why you can catch the blog post here. I reminded myself that this travelling experience was a marathon and not a sprint and that I should never allow myself to fall into the trap of having everything done right this second in fear of missing out on opportunities. Time spent recovering from a burn out is always more than the time you think your saving by trying to save by doing it all at once.

I hope this blog helps you understand the importance of balance and please leave a comment if you have found any other technique to recover from a travel burn out or general life burn out.

I leave you with this quote 

‘Slow and steady wins the race.’

 Stay Blessed!x


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