So you’re away from home, traveling the world. You’re supposed to living the dream, having the time of your life, yet all you can think about is sleep. You my friend have a classic case of travelers fatigue!
Don’t despair you are not alone. Sooner or later every road warrior wears themself out and needs a little recharge time. It’s inevitable. Travel is a tiring endeavour. All those sleepless night buses, airport layovers and bumpy tuk tuk rides take their toll.
Fortunately there are a few things you can do to improve your odds of staying well rested when wandering the world. Read on below and I’ll let you in on a few tried and tested techniques that will put a bit of pep back in your step….
People, travel is not a race you can win, or even a game you can complete. The world is an awfully big place and you are never going to see even a hundredth of it. Once you get your head around this inalienable fact, the sooner you will start to realise that true travel is about the experience and not just ticking sights of an imaginary list.
Slow it all down. Instead of rushing between towns and sights in a quixotic attempt to see it all, why not spend longer in fewer places?
Not only will you feel well-rested but you will also have a much deeper experience. By spending a month in a town instead of two or three days you will get to know the hidden nooks and crannies, find the best places to eat and hang out. You will find that you will have meaningful connections with local people that go beyond transactions with shopkeepers. This, my friends, is what true travel is all about.
Night buses are the devil. Avoid them like the plague. But they save you a night’s accommodation I hear you cry! So what? Big whoop! You might save $10 but you ruin the following day, and probably the day after that too.
Sleep deprivation leads to poor decision making, poor cognitive performance, poor everything in fact. The team at the Sleep Advisor discusses it on their site all the time. Lack of sleep increases our cravings and our appetite. What this all means is that after a night rattling around on rickety crickety bus all you’re going to be good for the following day is eating junk food.
If you do have to catch a demon night bus then at the very least be kind to yourself the following day. Don’t plan any mad excursions because you simply won’t enjoy them. Take it steady. Treat yourself even. And then when well-rested go out and explore the following day.
Human beings are creatures of routine. The body and mind crave regularity. Which is bad news if you’re traveling. You often don’t know if you are coming or going. After all the unpredictability and randomness of life on the road is half of the joy.
If you are suffering from travelers fatigue, or just general tiredness, the easiest way to get back on track is to try and get into a healthy sleep routine. That means going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every single day, weekends included.
Even after a few days of routine you body and brain will start to recognise bedtime approaching and your will begin to find it far easier to fall asleep, and importantly stay asleep.
Nothing feels nicer after months of sleeping in grotty dorm rooms than slipping between the freshly laundered sheets in a nice hotel. Just one night in a nice place will recharge your travel batteries by 200%. I swear!
I know, I know, you want to travel for as long as possible, the prospect of heading home to ‘real life’ right now is frankly not an option. So you’ve got to stretch those dollars and cents out for as long as possible. I hear you. I’ve been there. So how are you gonna afford a nice hotel room?
Easy. Save up for it. Track your travel spending for a week. At the end of those seven days have a quick look at how much you are spending on the two main sources of sustenance, that’s alcohol and caffeine. I’ll hazard a guess it’s probably a third of your weekly budget. Cut those two out for the next week and you’ll more than have enough for a plush room.
Not only that, a week off the booze and coffee will do wonders for you sleep. Win-win!
Well, there you have it my weary wanderer, four easy ways to re-energise yourself for another few months on the trail. Treat your body with respect, show it a little TLC every once in a while, and it will support you through many more adventures yet!