liverighttravelfar

Life is a Journey, Savor it.

Crowdsourcing: Cure for the Travel Doldrums?

4 Comments

I’m 2 ft away from the ocean. The tide is coming in and with each wave breaking on the shores, the water laps closer and closer to my lounger. A woman with a tray of pineapple and mangos on her head just walked by. Two local Khmer boys are playing in the surf.

It’s all pretty idyllic. A photo is attached of the little girl who sat with me for about a half hour trying to sell her bracelets. She looks how I feel, okay I still have a small smile on my face (it’s not so bad). If they’re not selling bracelets the girls rub my legs observing that I haven’t shaved in a couple days and offer to “thread” the hair off. It’s like plucking each hair, only more efficiently done with a tightly wound string. Hard to describe or envision until you see it. Yes it hurts, but only a little.

I’ve been on the roads nearly 9 months and all of a sudden that realization has gripped me with some emotional response I can’t pinpoint. I don’t think I’m homesick (where is home these days anyway?), I don’t believe it’s boredom or loneliness… I’m kind of at a loss to describe it. Maybe it’s travel fatigue, fatigue from all the constant new information and decisions. Tired of the price haggling and tight budget keeping. Temples run together, island hopping has lost some of its appeal, long bus journeys see, more grueling than adventurous. What’s a girl to do?

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I’m pretty satisfied with the notion of loafing around the beach for a little while (it’s comfortable and well, beachy) but then what? I think it’s that “then what” question that’s creeping into my psyche. Along with it are the sister questions “what to do now” and “where to go next?” More guidebooks to consult, travel websites and blogs to check out.

Me thinks that these travel doldrums are a symptom that its time to be somewhere again. Time to stop, unpack the bags a bit and invest (however transiently) in a place and its people. Find a community… Or are they signs to keep moving? Find some new and exciting piece of horizon just over the next horizon?

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I’d like to crowd source some wisdom here: What are your most difficult times traveling? When did you feel ready to pack the bags once and for all and get that giant plane back to familiar territory? What drove you to where you are now: loneliness, physical beauty of a place, new friends? What keeps you traveling onward and keeps the adventures fresh and appealing?

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Author: Lale Princey

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee I grew up weened on hot summer nights chasing fireflies and fall afternoons paddling creeks, climbing trees and kicking up leaves. The past ten(ish) years I called Oregon home and before that I dabbled in Asheville, North Carolina, Madagascar and plenty of places in between. In November, 2012 I broke loose of business suits & commutes for good. Now I test my meddle gallivanting through SE Asia and chasing down the uncommon. Follow my travels at LiveRightTravelFar.com

4 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing: Cure for the Travel Doldrums?

  1. Some of your recent health challenges remind me of some days in Ghana with your parents….all to similar for your mom and worshiping the porcelain throne; assisted her to get her to friends and recovery in Accra. Your questions are so age old and yet so today, the questions of a traveler, seldom understood by those who don’t have the wonder bug. It is the Ying/Yang, dialectic and balances of traveling and living an adventure; always an answer, but seldom is it a final answer. Stop when you need to, find community when you want one, and enjoy the solitude that comes your way; and know that we all find joy and satisfaction with different things at different times in our lives. If you don’t find it here, then look there; you know where you are welcome and home is where you hang your pack tonight (for today, this is home and therefore I am). Journey with joy.

    • This is perfectly apropos wisdom David, thank you. You’re so right that unless your a person who feels that itch to travel the idea of battling through sickness and loneliness seems utterly bonkers. However for those of us with an incurable version of the “travel bug” home is absolutely wherever the pack hangs–and rarely can a fixed address make us any happier than the freedom that comes with being on the road. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

  2. Whenever I’ve been sick are the times I’ve most longed for home. I’ve had giardia twice now. It’s really hard to have a good time anywhere when you’re afraid to go out of sight of a toilet, even if you’re some place really freaking cool. And in Asia all the normal bathroom comforts are especially missed. You know, toilet paper, a bathroom that’s not wet and/or grimy and/or smelly, and especially a hot shower. Whenever you start feeling better you’ll find your zest for life and travel again 🙂

    • You’re absolutely right Lindsay about longing for the comforts of something as simple as a the certainty of toilet paper and a dry bathroom! (People unaccustomed to squat toilets aren’t going to have a clue what we’re talking about, ha.)

      Say, what’s the best fruit for digestive health; I’ve heard papaya but what else am I missing?

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