We have all met someone who has just been out on the road for too long, you know that person who doesn’t have a story that is not about a famous landmark, has let their personal hygiene drop to an alarming level and considers their pathological cheapness to be standard practice among enlightened beings. The challenge is realising when you are that person! Nah couldn’t be, you think but you would be surprised at how quickly you can go from ‘I have the world at my feet’ to be a travel boor and burn out. Here are 25 signs that you have been travelling too long. If you have found yourself saying more than five of these statements in the last month you might want to consider slowing down and staying in one place for a while.
You say you are "going home", and you mean the hotel.
You think 2 meals a day is standard practice.
You know how to say “hello”, “thank you” in more than 3 languages.
You count doing laundry as your productive activity for the day.
You can’t get into your room, then you realise you are trying to get into the room number you were staying at 2 city’s ago.
You get on a flight with movies and realize you’ve seen all the movies they have on previous flights.
You spend 20 minutes bartering for something you don’t even want, just to save ten cents.
You consider getting Subway, McDonalds or Burger King a special event.
You start every conversation with “so, where are you from?”
You are a connoisseur of hotel toiletries and haven’t brought your own in years.
You can’t remember the last time you did any ironing.
You choose restaurants based on the flyer mileage programs.
You celebrate when you find an internet café with both Skype and working earphones.
You decide to take a trip just to put you over the threshold to the next level of frequent flyer status.
You start every story with “When I was in..”.
You count an overnight bus for 12 hours as a night’s accommodation.
You are always trying to figure out what is the best time to post online, as all of your friends are in different time zones.
You have developed a strange accent when you talk to people with little English.
You fall asleep before the plane takes off.
You have SIM cards from different countries saved in your wallet.
You know how to say thank you in so many languages, but get confused with all the languages in your head.
You own more miniatures than full-size items.
You have multiple time zones and weather settings on your phone.
You get embarrassed when it takes you more than five minutes to go through airport security.
So what do you think? Are you guilty of being too long on the road? Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you buy a ticket home. When we travel for a long period of time, the extraordinary becomes every day and you can settle into a lifestyle that your earlier self would have been aghast at. Though you may not be ready to take a break from travel it is sometimes a good idea to slow down a bit, to spend a longer period of time in one place. Slow travel gives your brain a rest from stress and overstimulation, it lets you explore new locations in more depth and even saves you money, which will give you a new appreciation of your trip.
Maybe it’s time to find a nice WOFF or a job for a month or two, to build up your mental and financial reserves. Chances are you made a huge sacrifice to achieve the freedom of the travelling lifestyle, don’t start taking it for granted. Wander, explore and make the most of every day.