Experiencing Traveler Fatigue

When traveling long term, or while living as an expat, you might experience traveler fatigue from time to time. This goes beyond just the simple cravings of things like bagels, certain cereals, etc.

Traveler fatigue

Transportation fatigue

I don’t mind long train rides. When I look at a schedule and see a 10-hour ride I think “That’s no big deal.” Put me on a bus for that long, and I will do almost anything possible to avoid it. Even deciding to not travel to a place because of it.

Not so thrilled with a 10-hour plane ride either.

I like being able to get up and move around. On a train, I can stretch out, go for a bit of a walk, use the toilet without a big ordeal, don’t have to deal with surly flight attendants and all the restrictions of air travel, and I don’t get socked with all the ridiculous extra fees.

Plus there is often beautiful country scenery I wouldn’t see otherwise..

Buses are too cramped, especially in countries where the locals tend to be shorter than Westerners. And they often don’t have toilets that are functioning or usable. I hate having to dehydrate myself for a long bus ride. Especially considering how many kidney stones I’ve given birth to, and the #1 prevention for my type of stones is adequate hydration.

After 3 years of travel, I cringe at the idea of any bus ride going over 3 hours. After doing so many of them in Latin America, I’m over it.

I know people who can handle a long bus ride like it’s nothing. I tip my nonexistent hat to them. It’s almost like torture to me.



Some places make it easy on visitors, especially if you have a US passport. Georgia is one of the European countries that REALLY makes things easy—360 days without a visa. Hello!

And then there is the Schengen Zone. Ugh.

As a US citizen, I can stay anywhere in the zone for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. It makes travel within the zone quite easy, especially if you’re traveling overland or by boat. Even air travel is fairly painless as it seems most immigration officers see the navy blue cover with “United States of America” stamped on it and barely give it another glance.

But that 90-day limit just makes things complicated! So many times I’ve seen great house sits we couldn’t apply for because they want people there for more than 90 days.

Then there are countries like Thailand that give you 30 days. Sometimes you can renew them (at a cost), but that involves forms, photos, money, time at the immigration office, and border runs.


By the time we left the Americas, Tigger was completely over visiting ruins. Now that we’ve been in Europe for about 6 months so far, he’s completely over castles and churches.

Surprisingly, these still have a big wow factor for me, but there are definitely other things that I find myself just shrugging about. Especially if they’re on someone’s “must see” list. Just telling me I “have” to see or do something at this point is enough to put me off.

So many times I’ve gone somewhere because we just “had” to see it, and I was thoroughly underwhelmed.

Food fatigue

Food fatigue

Obviously, I’m not going to get tired of food, but sometimes the local cuisine is just . . . not that exciting. Sometimes we find ourselves cooking, buying, and searching for more American-type foods simply from food boredom or burnout.

It’s funny how a simple thing such as bacon can make you a total food snob. Countries have a different version of bacon, and if you’re used to the American kind, you may find yourself saying, “Yeah, it’s bacon, but it isn’t GOOD bacon.”

And as much as I love Europe, their cereals are boring as hell when you’re used to going into a grocery store that has both sides of an entire aisle packed full of variety.

Europe doesn’t really do pies either. I never realized just how American pies really are before we began traveling extensively. Sure there are some phenomenal pastries and such, but when you want something like an apple, pecan, or peach pie, yeah, well, good luck.

Even worse if you’re like me and don’t care for cakes but adore pies.

Some cuisines are just boring after a while. We were dying in rural Morocco after a month of tajine, couscous, and rotisserie chicken. Our current home in the Czech Republic has a more diversified selection of dishes, but they’re all pretty heavy, and many of the dishes only differ from each other by a little bit.

Thankfully, some cities, like Prague, offer more international choices and that’s quite helpful.

Travel fatigue


We’ve enjoyed being in the parts of Europe that have four seasons. It’s been wonderful! Especially after SE Asia where the only diversity is a few degrees of heat. We really enjoyed SE Asia, but constant heat just gets old after a while.

Shifting from hell hot to “only” oven heat just isn’t much of a change.

I prefer to get excited about the days being longer, the weather warmer, and flowers beginning to bloom after winter instead of “Oh wow, so instead of sweating out 5 liters today, it will only be four!”

I need my weather diversity.

Traveler fatigue


We’ve had some great apartments and such, but every so often I find myself yearning for a place that is decorated with MY stuff. I sometimes want to see MY photos and art work on the wall, with my selection for furnishings, and I want a fully equipped kitchen.

And we REALLY miss having pets. We have a couple of house sits coming up that have quite the menagerie, and we’re really looking forward to that. Still, we miss having our own cat and/or dog. One that we aren’t constantly leaving behind and who has been raised with us and feels a stronger connection.

Sometimes you just want to know that stain on the couch came from you.

Have you ever experienced traveler fatigue? What was it like for you?

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  1. Glad to hear you keeping it real Talon-it prevents total envy!

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  2. I felt a little travel fatigue when I was in Brazil, started to crave certain types of foods and started to really look forward to being back in my own bed. So many different types of travel fatigue, do you have any tips on dealing with it? If you’re craving something or just can’t stand something how do you get past it when you know you’re not leaving for a while?

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    • For me when I have those cravings, I just try to focus on the things I like and not put too much energy into it. But it is hard. Thankfully, I haven’t been in a place that I wasn’t going to be “stuck” in for a while.

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  3. After Asia, I had temple and cave fatigue. After Europe, I had church and museum fatique. But now I’m back home, I miss those places!! I do also get food fatigue. When I was Asia there were some days that I just didn’t want to eat rice (and I’m Asian!). I remember in Vietnam I found a pizza place and I ate there every day for a week because I knew I wouldn’t find a decent pizza for a while.

    When I clicked your link I thought you were actually talking about true fatigue/exhaustion.

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    • We went through a phase in Morocco where we were eating a lot of frozen lasagna because we just couldn’t face anymore of the local foods. We still laugh about how excited we got when we spotted them in a store. We went out of our way to go to that store to buy them every week.

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  4. You neglected to mention “templed out” in Asia. Don’t mean no disrespect mind you, but if I NEVER see another Bhudda, it will be too soon. 😉

    That said, this long-term travel thing is definitely an evolution. 2+ years in, and I still vacillate between “nesting” and “itchy feet”. But I must say – Ecuador is feeling mighty good these days. Like landing on another PLANET after Asia. And the weather here at 8,000 ft. could be more perfect.

    Then again, talk to me in 6 months – I’ll likely be booking air to Ethiopia. 😉

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    • Templed out indeed. Although I’m still interested in all those things, I can totally understand why he’s over them.

      South America is definitely a different world from SE Asia! LOL Glad you’re enjoying it. We really liked Cuenca.

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  5. I hear you loud and clear on the pie front! We spent Christmas in Prague and I was so heartbroken when we were unable to find pie for dessert or hashbrowns for Christmas breakfast (we made our own which were great but not when I felt like the crappy ones from home with my favorite hot sauce on them). I think it made being away during the holidays that much more difficult. The funny thing is that after craving certain foods for so long, now that we’re home I’m all nonchalant about them, like now that I can have them whenever I want it’s no big deal – except pie, I could eat an entire pie anywhere, anytime 🙂

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    • Yes, being able to easily get whatever you want sure seems to cut the cravings. Not being able to find them when you want something can almost make you obsessed!

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  6. Right on, brother Talon. We hit most of these types of travel fatigue about 9 1/2 months into our 11-month trip. Which is how we spent a month in Peru without going to Machu Picchu. But I honestly have no regrets about that. I get your point about the weather diversity, but I must say this long snowy winter at home feels pretty oppressive after we essentially skipped winter last year. I didn’t miss it. Just missed the holidays at home, but not the cold weather.

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    • It’s easier to enjoy winter when you aren’t freezing your tushy off for 3 months.

      I had already seen Machu, but when we went to Peru neither Tigger nor I could face a 20-hour bus ride after we had just been on one for 27 hours to get to Lima, so he hasn’t seen it either, and I’m OK with that.

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  7. Oh, I hate it when people tell me I ‘have to’ see such and such a sight; it makes me want to see it even less! And yet again, I’m reminded how grateful I am to have an EU passport (though if the UK does in fact have a referendum on staying in the EU and ends up leaving, that’ll suck!) – thanks for that. And this cracked me up: “Sometimes you just want to know that stain on the couch came from you.”

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    • I take it you’ve seen some of those couches. LOL

      It’s a crap shoot with those recommendations. I’ve had so many people tell me to see something, I’ve gone and absolutely loved it. However, I’d say the experiences have most often been on the side of major disappointment, so the more I’m told to go somewhere, the less likely I am to go there.

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  8. I totally agree about trains, best way to travel. And I partly agree about food not being very diverse in some countries. We were bored with tajines after a few days in Morocco.

    But pies? Northern Britain is the home of the pie – it’s actually national pie week this week and you can even get deep fried savoury pies in Scotland. You might not live long after eating one, but they’re worth the risk. There’s also a charming little football (soccer) song dedicated to pie eating called ‘who ate all the pies?’

    You’ll be sorted in the pie department once you get to York 🙂

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    • Lovely to hear the pie situation will be vastly improved in the UK! Australia had good meat pies, but I’m a big lover of fruit pies.

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  9. I’m with you on the bus journeys – no way – unless it’s maybe less than 1 hour. I hate to fly but of course it’s a necessary evil to cross an ocean. I love trains and was so excited when we took the bullet train out of Paris to visit the champagne country, so much fun. Trains are cool and I’d choose train travel every time.

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  10. Great post! Enjoyed the read. I always get homesick after about 6 weeks traveling. I love traveling but I also love coming home. I’ve thought of selling everything and going off indefinitely but it always comes back to I love my home, my things, my garden, my pets too much to give it all up. So I travel in little spurts.

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    • Long-term travel definitely isn’t for everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with loving your home, your bed, your pillow, and so on. There are times I miss having a structural home.

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  11. Wow Talon, new design, have I really missed so much over those few weeks of bust travel and baby sittings ha ha ha
    Looks great!

    As for fatigue, I can only speak for myself and I’m nowhere close to be such a long term traveller as you and Tiger, but I do experience fatigue from time to time.

    Usually when I’m totally exhausted, and as I travel myself I have nobody to moan about being tired and than it gets me. Tired and hungry, I do not like to be in neither stage 🙂

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    • Yes! It’s still relatively new. I did it 2-3 weeks back I think. Glad you like it.

      Tired and hungry are definitely not a good combination! I used to feel bad when we basically stayed in our place for a whole day. Now I just acknowledge that’s part of our life. If we were living a normal life back home, we’d have days where we just stayed home, too. No different now that we’re on the road full time.

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      • I still feel a bit guilty about staying in the hotel or at friends house whole day, ‘doing nothing’. But more and more I start to accepting it…. but as i said I’m not even close to the lifestyle you Boys have. Even if I’m of for 5-6 months I always eventually go home.

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