This weekend has been particularly tough for me. I realized I’m not enjoying my full time job, and I would like to do something else that will allow me to explore and travel the world. I can’t particularly quit, not just yet, as I am still learning the ins and the outs of making enough income from various means instead of maintaining a desk job. And so, I wrote this post about travel depression & coping with it… in the hopes that I’ll be able to help other people who are going through the same thing that I am.
It’s odd though, if you are an adrenaline junkie, you crave the rush that you feel when you jump off a cliff or airplane, and so you do it again. It felt so much like that for me, but for travel. Simply put, I am craving for new experiences and adventures. It does not have to be in a different state or country, but I find that even at home, when I try out “new” things I’ve never done before is a great “travel” experience for me.
And so, the question: What is travel depression.. and how do you cope with it?
For me, it is the craving of wanting more from an exploration and adventure context. The fear of missing out. The fear of waking up on Monday morning and dreading sitting in your workstation doing things you’re not passionate about while looking out the window and imagining driving or taking off to some exotic new adventure. You know you’re depressed when nothing excites you at home anymore. Where you mope and wonder what else is out there. Where you try to look for airfare deals and just get very disappointed when you find one because you can’t take that flight, be it because you have no vacation days left from your job, or your wallet has no money in it.
You know you should leave and try new things but something might be holding you back: a full time job, someone you should be looking out for, commitments at home or your community. You know it’s not the time yet, and yet, you just can’t wait for that time for you to leave. You don’t know when it will happen but you’re already sure you’re going to make it happen. It’s that feeling in the middle and you just see a light at the end of the tunnel yet the darkness seems so far away.
That feeling that no matter what books you read, be it non-fiction or fiction, you revert back to being sad because you’re not as successful as them, nor are you out doing adventures. That feeling of envy of travel bloggers proclaiming to quit your job and travel the world and making it big by blogging – but the sad fact is, not all travel bloggers make money or are popular enough.
So, how do you get through this rut of travel depression & coping with it? A few tips:
- Write about your previous travels – there is nothing more amazing than looking back and realizing you did so and so, and you went here, there, and everywhere. If you haven’t traveled before, take the time to plan a mini staycation or pick up a book or type what your plans are. What did you do today that makes it wonderful and new to you?
- Unfollow travel bloggers – until you haven’t gotten over the depression and that dark cloud hanging over your head, avoid reading travel blogs where they say: “I’ve been here! Oh, and it was sponsored by so and so, and it was free!” I normally tend to follow fellow travel bloggers who provide inspirational articles and not just lists of where they’ve been and which luxury hotels they have stayed in. It also helps if you find a travel blogger who breaks down the costs of travel for you: how much they paid for it, how they managed to do it if it was for “free” and how exactly they make money on the road.
- Always set time to think and plan. Remember: it is all about YOU. It is your life, don’t live through other people’s. You have a dream to travel? Chase it! Make specific, measurable, attainable, time bound goals that you can stick to. You can’t just say, “Oh, someday I’ll visit Singapore” – WHEN will that someday be? I really hate the someday word. You’ll have to have a focus timeline on when you want to accomplish things! And you can’t just say I want to visit ALL the countries in the world when you haven’t even set foot on one. Make your dreams big, but not so big it will overwhelm you and you’ll end up being disappointed.
- Once you are done with steps 1-3, it is time to write your action plan. HOW will I fund my adventures? Do I need additional income? Do I need to cut back on spending? Write them all down and keep track of your expenses!
And there you have it. Few people write about these sort of topics so hopefully this opens up your eyes to what travel (envy) depression is and how you can overcome it. Post in the comments below if you have any other tips you’d like to share!
We’re all going to do this together, just keep dreaming, planning, and doing!