Why it is important for me to have a routine when I travel

It all starts with one cup of coffee in the morning.

The excitement in travelling for me is the freedom to indulge in spontaneous adventures and the exploring of unfamiliar environments. It gives me a great sense of fulfillment that not a lot of things can match. It’s why I love to travel so far and often.

But of course there are obstacles along the way.

One of them is what they call “traveller’s fatigue” and it commonly happens when you’ve dealt with long periods of unpredictabilities in your travel.

To describe it, it’s the amplified version of tiredness you get from the 2-3 week vacation where you’ve jam packed your days with sights and activities and to only end up returning home feeling more exhausted than rested.

What I’ve learned through my travelling experience is that the “ideal” long term travel experience that everyone yearns for, where you’re constantly on-the-go and doing exciting things, actually leads to the biggest burn out you’ll ever encounter.

It’s a real downer.

Burning out forced me return to countries where I’ve already visited, just to be in a familiar environment to recoup myself. Not needing to spend energy to research good places to eat or hang out made the entire recovery process easier.

After the third time, I sat down and thought about what is it that leads me to these episodes. What I came to realize was my body and mind missed having a routine in my life. To travel spontaneously still had its place, but pushing it aside for a while felt like a healthy thing to do.

At home in Canada, my usual routine is no different than the millions of others. Wake up, get ready for work, breakfast, coffee, and I’m out the door. Jump in the car, listen to the usual radio stations, and be at the office for 8 hours.

Halfway across the world in a completely different time zone with no routine and every day being different from where I eat to where I sleep, it’s a complete shock to the system. I’d push beyond my normal sleeping schedule and ignore my internal clock to go out exploring, simply because YOLO.

I yolo’d myself into misery and a lot of trying to keep awake with as much caffeine as possible, which snowballed into anxiety and pain.

So I started to develop a daily routine.

It was to start the day slow sitting down to enjoy one cup of coffee and in the evening do journalling as a way to release all my thoughts out before bed. If my day was to go any way, these two things had to remain constant.

The new routine worked. I was cured from the traveller’s fatigue.

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