I knew something was up the second I landed in the country. 6 months ago I would have been skipping through the airport singing “zippedy-doo-da” all the way to the exit. I would have sat in awe, looking out the taxi window at my new surroundings being so grateful to be in a new fascinating country and planning all the wonderful things I would do. That’s how it usually works. That’s the feeling we all yearn for when we travel. That feeling of something new, something exciting, something to make your mind say “wow”
But as with regular life, things start to become routine. And I fear that my traveling lifestyle has fallen into that trap. Travel fatigue they call it. How strange that somewhat of a luxury can turn into a fatigue. It’s like when you choose a room with an ocean view. At first the view amazes you, and maybe for a few more days after that. But weeks go by and you lose that initial appreciation. You keep the windows closed. You don’t make the effort to sit on the balcony. The view is just a view. Traveling is just traveling.
What one must understand is that while travel is a luxury, long-term travel isn’t easy. You give up your comforts, you miss familiar things, you live out of a bag, and you move every three days. You meet people and then they leave you or you leave them. You can’t do the things you would normally do at home because they aren’t where you are, so instead you find the closest thing to comfort and try to take in whatever familiarities you can that will treat your temporary nostalgia. Long-term travel is a hard gig and while everything always paints a rainbow picture of it there are times when that picture is far from rainbow-coloured. For me that time is now.
It’s been 8 wonderful months and I’m now heading into my 9th. I’ve had a good run filled with so many experiences that I could have only ever once dreamed about. But I need to stop. I need to put away my laptop, implant myself into the most familiar surroundings I can get my hands on, and rest. Revitalise my mind so that the next time I land I will be “zippedy-doo-daa”ing my way through the airport filled with the same enthusiasm I had back when I first started. Not only for my sake but also for the sake of the places I visit, so their wonders are as wonderful to me as they could possibly be, and so I can share those wonders with the world.
So my dear Sri Lanka, I am sorry that my fatigue has decided to afflict me right when we were just getting started. I could keep pushing on but the fatigue has taken my inspiration and stolen my enthusiasm. It wouldn’t be right for me to keep exploring with this weight holding me down.