It’s no secret that long-term travel can not only burn you out but can also start to feel quite repetitive (especially if you’re spending lots of time in one region like we are). We have so far escaped the burn out on this trip because we have committed to spending more time in each place. This slower form of travel has been really good for us! However, we’ve been travelling through Latin America for about 5 months now and things are all starting to look the same. The people change a bit from country to country and we’ve noticed little changes in culture from place to place; but for the most part the scenery and the cathedrals are all beginning to look alike. It sounds kind of bad to admit this but realistically when we begin to become bored with our surroundings (since we apparently have a compulsive urge to always emerse ourselves in something new), we have to actively try to keep the spark alive.
Here are the three things we do to keep travel exciting:
Go somewhere 100% new
The best way for us to re-ignite our love for travel is to find something we have never ever seen or done! Right now that means filling our last couple of weeks in Colombia with days on uncomfortable buses and poorly maintained roads to get out of the way and see or do something not many people venture to (such as riding brujilla’s through the jungle). The harder it is to get there, the more potential for reward (for us anyway).
Take another look
If seeing something new isn’t an option, return to a familiar place/sight/region with fresh eyes. The other day we were on a bus talking about how all the hills look the same – they all have trees, they are all green, blah blah. But this conversation took a turning point when we looked again and noticed the peaks definitely looked different. As the bus passed through tunnels in the mountains, the hills changed from very dry to super lush and back again. No matter where you are, there is always something new to see – sometimes you just have to look closer.
Pretend the internet doesn’t exist
Don’t research where you’re going next, don’t check Google images to see what it will look like…. ask the owner of your hotel or a fellow traveller at your hostel what they recommend, then go. Worst case scenario you get absolutely lost, can’t find a place to stay and end up with an interesting story and a new appreciation for technology. Best case scenario you end up in a new place with no idea what to expect and take it all in completely organically. We’ve personally been using this method quite a bit on this trip and it keeps our days full of suprises. Having absolutely no idea what to expect is a bit scary but a whole lot amazing.
How do you keep your travel spark alive? We’re always looking for new ideas so feel free to share!