Travel Colombia

I’m Tired of Traveling

I’m tired of traveling.

I never ever thought I’d hear myself say that.

I certainly never dreamed I’d ever put it in writing and share it with all of you.

But that’s the beauty of writing.

Sometimes our thoughts bleed out of us before we even know they’re ours. We don’t realize it until they stare back at us on the screen in a cold, hard, undeniable truth.

A highway in Central Oregon.

After attending TBEX (the travel blogger conference I went to in Bangkok) I felt flush with thoughts on travel and blogging, on what it all means and what I want. And one morning in Thailand, as I was getting out of the shower, those words hit me like a brick. Not one that took the breathe out of me, because I think I felt them lurking when I was in Cuba, but I shoved them down and buried them with the excuse that I was just exhausted from graduate school. Rather, they hit me like the weight of a brick can wear a person down if forced to carry it.

I had started an online career, for the purpose of allowing me to continue to travel. And now that I was taking advantage of my freedom to do so, I wanted to go home. What was wrong with me?

I sat down on my dorm bed, opened my computer and let it sink in. Am I really tired of traveling?

This blog began as a space for me to write about teaching English in Thailand and morphed into a documentation of my life abroad, when Thailand took me to the rest of Southeast Asia and then China and India. I wrote about beautiful beaches and temples and solo travel. I wrote about how I loved each place I went for the people, the culture, the immersion experiences I felt lucky to have had.

Baracoa Cuba

The best beach in Cuba!

I still love all of those things. And I will forever cherish the memories I’ve made.

But travel changed me, as it will you.

And this blog has changed, too.

I no longer live abroad. I swapped teaching abroad for running a TEFL agency and helping others get started. I’ve realized on my last two adventures that I’m done with the tropics, at least for now, and I thus traded in the beaches for the mountains. I’m even eager to change my travel pack into a wilderness pack…

…at least temporarily. We all know I haven’t totally given up the travel pack. In fact, I’m planning for an extended trip in April now, which before Thailand sounded like ages away. Now, I realize it’s only 4.5 months and I keep asking myself if I’ll be ready. The truth is: I’m quite enjoying my home base.

hiking south sister

My new home (or close enough). The view from the top of South Sister, 10,358 feet.

Of course it helps that the home I’ve chosen (for now) is utterly gorgeous, with mountains that still make me gasp at their beauty and then tell my dog to look “because it’s just so beautiful, isn’t it?” (What do you mean you don’t have conversations with your dog?) I can drive 20-60 minutes in any direction and be in some of nature’s most jaw-dropping scenery. I think it would take me years to explore all the lakes, rivers, mountains and rock climbs in this area.

I might be here that long. And I might not.

Some things remain the same.

I plan to be here for at least a year, to give this business a go, but who knows what comes next. I love the beauty of not knowing, and my freedom to choose.

I still love travel, and writing and adrenaline rushes, so in this space I will continue to document my outdoor escapades and adventure travel. I will continue to write about things like a motorcycle tour in Colombia (read about the crash here), rock climbing and hiking mountains.

I just don’t think I’ll be moving abroad anytime soon. Or traveling to the heat. No more heat, please!

As you’ve probably noticed, there are weeks when I get too busy juggling work and outdoor play, and updating this blog passes me by. In those times, I hope you’ll follow me on Instagram, where I’ll bring you with me virtually and visually.


Have you ever felt burnt out on travel, or like you needed a home base, or just a different direction? Leave me a comment below!

9 Comments

  1. Frank says:

    Interesting post Jessica. We can all be a little burnt out – by anything in life – no matter how good. And I can see how the heat of SE Asia can be too much. We spent 6 months there last year and come March we could not wait to go back to Europe. Now we’re in South Africa for the winter…I still get pangs for Thai food but I think we had enough, at least for a little while. And I’m sure its the same for you.
    The other thing is the way people travel. We are slow travellers so we’ll stay somewhere a month or two, rent an apartment and live like locals. We love that. But most people are continuous travellers and I can only imagine that it must be exhausting. We did it for a 3 week stretch in the spring and we’re at each others throats. The trick, as you get older, is to slow down.
    I’ve had the same feeling as you in the past and I think it was burn out. It might be that for you. Or you may decide you’ve had enough. That’s ok too, we all evolve and find ourselves interested in other things as we get older. This brings me back to the old “quit your job and travel the world” argument. Don’t burn all your bridges because you may think something at 25 but think completely different at 45…Good to see you’ve built yourself a business and haven’t decided, like many out there, to just leave it all behind for a life of travel (and the dream of making millions on a travel blog 🙂 )
    Frank (bbqboy)
    Frank recently posted…The Incredible Colors of Bo Kaap, Cape TownMy Profile

    • jessicajhill says:

      Hi, Frank!

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I think I am still working through some of my feelings, and debating if it’s just burnout or not. I do prefer to slow travel, though I haven’t been able to do that for the past two years since I was squeezing travels in between grad school obligations, and perhaps that’s my problem. I do still dream of all the places I have yet to go, but I think I’m also craving a few roots in one place for a change 🙂 Who knows. Maybe my next trip will be my answer/cure 🙂

      Where are you guys now?

  2. It’s good to slow down sometimes. Right now I want to fast forward everything and just do as much as I can.

    I like having a home base, there is too much comfort in it. And I know we must jump out of our comfort zone, which is exactly why I DREAM of my next adventure and doings thing I wouldn’t normally do. I get to live both kind of lives…it’s a nice balance.

    Goodluck on whatever you do next!
    Shayan Naveed recently posted…Kaizen Coffee Co Gives us Coffee LoveMy Profile

    • jessicajhill says:

      I think slowing down is good as long as you enjoy every moment of where you’re at! It is nice to have a home base for those comforts we all love. It sounds like you’ve made a nice little home base in Bangkok, and I’m excited to hear about your upcoming trip to Chiang Mai!

  3. Leah says:

    Hi Jessica, I just came across this. I am in a constant battle of wanting to settle down and wanting to go on new adventure. I have dabbled in seasonal employment (for 5 seasons, so more than dabbled) and am currently teaching abroad in Korea. There is nothing I love more than adventure and travel, but being able to hang pictures up on a wall and unpack sounds great too. Great post and if you find the balance, let me know the secret!

    Also- where did you settle into with the beautiful mountains?
    Leah recently posted…Let’s Go Running in Daegu!My Profile

    • jessicajhill says:

      Hi, Leah! I’m sorry you’re feeling torn right now, and I can totally relate. I think after posting this I realized that part of my ambivalence is simply that I’m tired of traveling alone, but also that I hadn’t quite felt settled into my current home in Central Oregon, USA. When I went to Thailand, things here were still new and I wanted to explore them. Now that I’m feeling settled (and I have all my pictures on the wall!), I feel ready to hit the road again…though only for 2-3 months at a time, and then it will be so nice to have a home base to return to. So, that’s how I’m finding balance, at least for now. I have a home base that I take off from every few months, and I can leave all my things in one place. Best of luck finding your balance! I hope you’ll keep us updated. Love your blog name (one of the biggest things I learned while traveling solo was to trust my gut).

  4. Leah says:

    Thanks so much! I feel like having a home base with an option to travel is really the key! I travel alone as well, and I do love it but I wonder what it would be like to travel on a team. Thank you for the thoughtful reply. Gut trusting is one of my best lessons from solo travel that I carry with me in everyday life!

  5. Luis Sanser says:

    We only travel when you have passion on the heart!

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