Long Term Travel Is Over Rated & I Am Done With It

We have all heard of the fancy digital nomad life which seems to be plastered all over our social media. Though does it really live up to the hype?

Well, for me it doesn’t and perhaps you will feel the same way as well.

There’s a large presence these days on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and all those other social media platforms of these beautiful boho millennials living the dream of long term travel.

They breathe the modern-day of traveling the world for extended periods with seemingly minimal constraints.

We see them constantly popping up on our feeds, their lives quickly inspiring with each like.

The turquoise tropical water, lush green jungles and mouth-watering foodporn grams certainly had me convinced, and that’s when I started saving for my first long-term travel adventure.

tasha amy and elephants at elephant freedom project elephant nature park

I planned to spend 6 months overseas exploring all around Asia, unfortunately this idealistic lifestyle I had dreamed about leading up to the trip did not last long. Instead of going out for a casual drink, laying on the beach reading a book or finding a delicious hole in the wall restaurant to eat at, I was on booking.com every other night finding accommodation, figuring out how to cost effectively travel between towns and searching ‘cheap eats’ on trip advisor to prevent the suspicious meals people tried to feed us earlier on in the trip.

I was no longer enjoying the freedom of the road, but instead cooped up in a room researching.

ha long bay view tasha

Being spontaneous is not something I possess and I probably never will. Rather, I enjoy knowing what will happen tomorrow. Ensuring I have a place to sleep, will at some point during the day eat a decent meal and not get completely ripped off; even though tourist tax is inevitable. Sure, I would love to be carefree, but that is just not who I am. Even many of those bloggers we see posting the perfect wanderlust grams are on sponsored trips. Companies plan everything for them, making life much easier.

sunsets thailand

Eventually life on the road gets exhausting and you become worn out, it’s inevitable. Ideally the solution for this would be to slow down your travel pace, stay a week or two in the same location, instead of three nights. This way you will get to know the area a bit more and have a chance to build relationships with the locals.

Unfortunately, when I tried slowing down my travel pace I was not able to reset my passion. I found myself bored and even less inspired to go out and explore. I was exhausted; the only place I wanted to be was one which I paid $500 to fly away from 5 months prior.

swing land suns of beaches

When traveling South East Asia you will hear the term ‘templed out’ said a lot. Whether it is your first week or you have been there 4 months; it’s a phrase you will love to hate. Essentially the idea behind it is that once you have seen so many of these beautifully designed temples that all start becoming the same and you start to lose interest until you don’t even bother visiting them anymore. A ‘seen one, seen them all’ ideology. Well, this was soon me with each new town I visited. Even when there were beautiful beaches a short walk away.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying people shouldn’t travel for extended periods of time. I am just explaining it is lifestyle choice that was not for me. Now I have changed my mindset and have decided nothing is wrong with going away for a couple weeks or a few months. You can still experience a new culture and try some different experiences, just within a shorter time frame.

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64 thoughts on “Long Term Travel Is Over Rated & I Am Done With It

  1. Avatar for Melody Valene
    Melody Valene says:

    Tasha, hello from a ‘girl love travel’ member and fellow blogger. I love your blog, it’s well presented and really well written. Inspiring to be as good some day. As for this article I definitely agree. I like knowing that I have a place and a job to come back to and it makes me appreciate my travels because I make them every 2 month or so. So happy to connect. Xo Mel

  2. Avatar for Tessa
    Tessa says:

    Wow I totally agree with the post! Traveling can be so overwhelming at times. I can’t see how someone could do it full time, even if I was filthy rich it would get old.

  3. Avatar for Laure | A Journey Away
    Laure | A Journey Away says:

    I totally understand what you felt. We travelled full-time for six months last year (we had initially planned for 10 months). I catch myself missing this life sometimes but I know I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it if we had kept going!

  4. Avatar for Judy Cheong
    Judy Cheong says:

    Totally understand the feeling! Long term travel (anything more than 6 months I guess?) would wear me out, only because I’m constantly feeling untethered and unproductive. It’s different for everyone but I know the feeling of restlessness creeps up on me way too quickly if I’m just travelling or spending all my time researching to do the next leg.

  5. Avatar for Enikő Krix
    Enikő Krix says:

    Yes, I can see what you mean. I never really travelled long term in the sense you did, but I spent 6 months in Australia, 3 months in Russia and 2 months in Ireland as an au pair. This way I had accommodation and food sorted, lots of free time to explore and a few weeks off to go on holiday to places like Indonesia, Singapore and Makaysia. This worked out well for me as I enjoyed being an au pair and didn’t have to do research all the time for hotels etc. I’m not really spontaneous either, I love planning a trip and then feel excited about the future! :)

  6. Avatar for Marie Eloise Enriquez
    Marie Eloise Enriquez says:

    I’ve been convincing myself to start saving up (and eventually giving up my office job) for a long term travel until I read this post. I realized that I’m pretty much like you who’s not the spontaneous type. And now, I want to reevaluate if I still want the long term travel that I dream of. Thank you for this post.

  7. Avatar for jacklyn.
    jacklyn. says:

    Oh I can TOTALLY relate to this. I have done a few 6 week trips where I plan out everything to its full extent before leaving and that’s about the best I can do.. I did one trip once where I left for 8 weeks with only the first three solidified and I ended up cutting the trip short by two weeks because I simply couldn’t deal with the stress of having to figure it all out so last minute. I enjoy having a schedule a little, or at least knowing where I’m staying, and then being spontaneous about my daily itineraries and tours, etc.

  8. Avatar for Ana Rozanova
    Ana Rozanova says:

    I think this is one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time. Thank you! I can relate to that so much!

  9. Avatar for Em
    Em says:

    I hear ya. I’m not a long term traveler either. I’m not sure if I’d ever want to be because I enjoy being at home surrounded by my books, records, big dogs, and my hubs as much as I like being on the road.

  10. Avatar for Julie
    Julie says:

    I definitely can relate to ‘templed out’ here. I was in.Thailand for only two weeks and got visual fatigue at Grand Palace. I went to Chiang Mai and was not interested in visiting temples at all.I also feel long-term travel is intense so my take is to slow down and relax. It is exhausting and poor us have this travel blogging job. I have six-month S America trip coming up. Dont know if i can finish it as well,and have to figure out balancing travel and blogging thing. Regardless,I hope you enjoyed your time in Asia and happy travels.

  11. Avatar for hapa roving
    hapa roving says:

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts and totally get you. While the idea of being on the road for months sounds super awesome and glamorous because of the -fake- shots we see every day on IG, traveling is exhausting. I much prefer to be away for a few weeks at a time and get home for a little rest (and fresh laundry). All joke aside it is so important to be able to step back and reflect on what we learned during our travels! P.S. you’re gorgeous

  12. Avatar for Rosie Fluskey
    Rosie Fluskey says:

    When I went on my first long trip, internet cafes existed but free wifi was a far off dream (wow, I am old) and so planning ahead wasn’t as easy, and all consuming as now. I can see how it could easily suck the joy out of the experience. I notice that I have less fun when I am in a country with data service, as I am often on TripAdvisor scoping out restaurants rather than taking in the surrounding. At least if you are only holidaying, you can enjoy the planning process at home as part of the build up to the trip.

  13. Avatar for Meghna Malhotra
    Meghna Malhotra says:

    Kudos for the honesty and breaking the ‘stereotypes’ associated with long term travel. Though I am yet to discover which type of lifestyle would I be best suited to, I am definitely going to give long term travel a shot and feel what it’s like. By the way, the photo of you swinging away at the beach with that lovely backdrop is soo beautiful!!

  14. Avatar for Alaine Handa
    Alaine Handa says:

    Long term travel only works through slow travel. Keep the wanderlust dream alive by taking some breaks in between in a familiar place to recuperate, blog, research, and plan your next trip. Thats how I do it :-)

  15. Avatar for Isadora Koller
    Isadora Koller says:

    I totally know this feeling, in the beginning my dream was to make a tip like this, but I started realising it was not something for me, I learnt that Im not such a spontaneous person as I thought I was and the idea of not being sure about tomorrow is just something that I cant stand

  16. Avatar for Roman
    Roman says:

    I can definitely relate to that. Researching is hard on the road. But I never research where to sleep or eat, I found that’s super easy all the time no matter where I am. For me the most complex thing is to find spot, places where not all the tourists go. Adventures which are not super common in a region. Stuff like that keeps me in front of the screen when I actually should enjoy being abroad…

    • Avatar for Tasha @backpackerswanderlust
      Tasha @backpackerswanderlust says:

      Yeah if I am backpacking solo I don’t mind leaving things last minute, but when I travel with my friends or partner I like to have things organised. The last thing I want after a 8 hour bus ride is wandering around an unfamiliar town with language barriers, dragging along my backpack trying to find a place to rest. I would never turn up to a location without booking in advance, no matter the circumstances. But, I totally agree its important to find those secret spots, especially in SEA where it can be so overrun with tourists. The secret places are what will make a place special for you.

  17. Avatar for Jojo
    Jojo says:

    I can understand the felling. The more I travel, the more I realize I may not want to do this 100% traveling schedule. I like having a home base to come home to and, like you, I would not want to be planning my next accommodation while I’m on a trip. I’d want to relax and not worry about anything.

    I think traveling for two weeks in a month whether local, domestic or international would be so ideal.

    • Avatar for Tasha @backpackerswanderlust
      Tasha @backpackerswanderlust says:

      Yeah definitely, otherwise you spend too much time planning and not enough time enjoying yourself. Oh yes having a balance of home life and travel would be perfect!

  18. Avatar for Abbi
    Abbi says:

    I loved this post. I find that whenever I’m settled and working, I long for a nomadic life on the road. Whenever I’m travelling long-term, after a few weeks I long for stability and familiarity. Funny how our brains work! I agree that everyone has their own preference depending on who they are.

    • Avatar for Tasha @backpackerswanderlust
      Tasha @backpackerswanderlust says:

      Thanks chic! I feel the exact same way, I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

  19. Avatar for PinayFlyingHigh
    PinayFlyingHigh says:

    Yes! I agree with you, I’m also not built to last a long term travel. The longest that I’ve been on a holiday is 3 weeks and by the second week, I was longing for my own shower and bed in my own apartment. I’ve never done anything longer than that since then.

    We all have different personalities and we all have different travel styles. We’re not supposed to look the same things otherwise, the world will be boring. :) Good to know someone else like me. :)

    • Avatar for Tasha @backpackerswanderlust
      Tasha @backpackerswanderlust says:

      Yeah nothing beats home. No matter how many fancy beds I have stayed in with the fluffiest pillows and the softest blankets, nothing beats whats at home.

  20. Avatar for Clare
    Clare says:

    In June it was 5 years since I quit my job to travel full time and now I can’t imagine anything different. I have been home in this time too frequently as my niece was born but only for short periods of time. I love being on the road though I do agree it gets exhausting and you do get templed out. I know that every month though I need a few days out to just chill and sit in my room and watch tv and not feel guilty that I am not out exploring. I would like to settle somewhere soon, though I don’t feel the UK is that place for me anymore. I go home and love seeing my friends and family but the life I had before I couldn’t do again. We are all different and I always find it fascinating hearing everyone’s story whether they are travelling for a few days or a few years.

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Yeah totally, sometimes you just need ‘me’ time to blob out and do nothing, take a break from life. Yeah the road can change you, well not change you, but more like you finally find yourself and often times that new self doesn’t fit in with your old life. Just keep doing you :)

  21. Avatar for Addie Gray
    Addie Gray says:

    I love this post. While I haven’t tried long term travel yet (the longest I’ve ever travelled was 3 weeks at a time) I have a pretty decent feeling that I won’t love it. I’m too much of a homebody, to be honest! I still think I’d like to try it one day, but I like knowing that it’s okay to try it, not love it, but still love to travel!

  22. Avatar for jana
    jana says:

    Totally agree! I’ve moved to a different country twice so far, but always for a few months to stay in one place… or to have one “base camp” from where I went on short trips. I can’t really see myself doing the “living out of a suitcase” lifestyle for too long, although going to Asia for two-three months is something I’d really like to do. We’ll see :) Anyway, good luck on your travels, I appreciate an article like this one because I’m honestly a bit tired of everybody acting like living on the road is for every single millenial!

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Yeah I have yet to move to a different country for a set amount of time, I think the longest I have spent in one city, not being my hometown would be about 2 weeks in Chiang Mai. Yeah it gets exhausting packing up and moving every few days, but SEA provides a great backpacking lifestyle, just remember to get off the beaten path every now and then. Thanks for your support and that statement is so true!

  23. Avatar for Victoria
    Victoria says:

    I’ve never travelled long-term but I think I’d feel exactly the same as you about it, especially if lots of things didn’t go to plan along the way. I did a three week trip to Australia earlier this year which was quite stressful in parts, and to be honest by the end I was just ready to come home. I love the idea of living on the road like some people promote, but personally I think it’s nice to come back and appreciate what you have before jetting off again somewhere new :)

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Yeah it was tough, but I have learned some valuable lessons for next time I take off on an adventure. Well I hoped you enjoyed Australia, I haven’t explored too much there, only Melbourne, but I have enough trip booked for there which I am looking forward to. Yeah I totally agree with you. Home is where the heart is <3

  24. Avatar for Erin
    Erin says:

    I have never traveled for an extended period of time. I’m not sure if I’d enjoy it or end up feeling like you did. It’s nice to hear how someone honestly felt, because I’m sure you’re not the only one. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Avatar for Mina Kotlárova Sousa
    Mina Kotlárova Sousa says:

    I do relate to this blog post so much, however for different reasons. I admire people who can be always on the go, but I personally, need a base camp – a place to come back every now and then (which for me is not that long period of time). I’m a homey and even though I’ve changed homes and cities quite often, I need to know where I belong.
    Thanks for sharing your point of view. Now I know I’m not the only one :-)

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Yeah, we all need different things out of travel and adventures and its about knowing whats best for you :)

  26. Avatar for Kathi Kamleitner
    Kathi Kamleitner says:

    I totally understand where you’re coming from! It’s almost like the travel community ‘forces’ you to travel long-term, because that’s the only ‘real’ way to travel… I feel similar to you – I prefer traveling from a home base, doing short trips that I can plan in advance, and then coming back home for some relaxation and routine. That said, I’d love to one day just get in my car (and buy a car first) and start driving without having to think about an end date :)

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Oh yes especially these days, theres so many people traveling long term and just showing this fake representation of it! long term travel is like the hottest new trend which everyone seems to either be doing or saving towards. Oh I have a 4WD and my dream is to do it up with a bed and everything, but living in New Zealand a road trip would only take a month max. Wish my home base was in a different country where road tripping could be a long term adventure!

  27. Avatar for Nicola Neilson
    Nicola Neilson says:

    I understand your perspective. I’ve currently been traveling SE Asia for 3 months, with only a couple of weeks left. “Templed out” – 100% yes. I’ve also found that I’m craving more meaningful travel, as you can only play “tourist” for so long. I seek out places further afield and try to do things that I wouldn’t normally do (i.e. I learned to dive even though I’m terrified of it!) I think what’s most important is knowing what’s right for you. This isn’t a limitation, it’s just maximizing your own happiness.

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Oh I definitely understand that! Especially in SEA where so many places are overly touristy and absolutely packed with people. Have you tried to get off the regular backpacker trail over there? My favorite spots were Koh Phagan (outside of the party dates) and Ko Lanta. Even though I was afraid to hire scooters due to all the horror stories, but when I did I often found I enjoyed a place more, being able to get out of the main areas and explore at my own pace :)
      Enjoy your last weeks and make them memorable <3

  28. Avatar for Ticket to Adventures
    Ticket to Adventures says:

    I love your post! Sometimes I feel the same when travelling, takes so much energy and time to constantly search for accommodation and things to see and do. What I have learned on my travels is that I don’t want to travel from place to place every 2-3 days, I rather stay in one place for a bit longer to avoid all the stress and to relax and meet locals.

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Thanks :) It definately takes a lot of engery, and thats not what I was expecting, which was probably quiet nieve of me. Yeah at the start of my trip I was staying 4-6 nights in one location, then it speed up to 3 nights, then when I was in Nepal trekking we changed beds every single night. After Nepal anything longer than 1 night seemed like a long time haha

  29. Avatar for Maegan white
    Maegan white says:

    I love your viewpoint. I, too, am not very spontaneous and like to have a plan. We will trying our hand at the whole long term travel next year. If we don’t like it, well, we always have home. Cheers!

  30. Avatar for Elise
    Elise says:

    That’s such an interesting perspective! I’m the total opposite, I can’t go on short trips anymore because I am just counting down the days until I have to go home – I get the post travelling blues before I’ve even left! Argh. Good for you that you’ve identified that, maybe having a few more hotels etc booked in advance might help? Do you solo travel or go with friends usually?

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Yeah, I guess everyone is different and enjoys traveling different ways. I will definitely be heading out on the road for a decent amount of time again, and within a day I had already booked flights out of the country. I would have loved to plan more and we had a loose schedule, booking accommodation country by country. But, when you’re traveling for 5+ months you are always having to book for the next month otherwise you will get way behind on planning. I started solo and then my partner met me over there. My solo parts I regret booking in advance because people I met were often traveling in a different direction/on a different day. With my partner we wanted to book in advance so we could research location and check reviews as we wanted to have an enjoyable night with no issues.

  31. Avatar for Miranda
    Miranda says:

    Ohh my goodness girl, you are not alone and you are not crazy!

    First of all, I totally agree that the nomadic travel hippy life is way too over-glamorized on social media and blogs. Truth is, while it can be a life-changing experience, sometimes it sucks. My first long term trip (3 months in LA, then 3 months backpacking the Philippines) I was a wreck by the end of it! The last couple months, I was beyond homesick and ready to ditch. But now, I’m used to being away and I’m addicted to travelling long-term.

    That being said, that’s just my experience! I’d encourage you to try it again! (Maybe for around a month or two, with accomodations pre-planned for some sanity!). Sometimes it’s just the first go that’s the hardest. But also, if long-term travel is definitely not for you, then all power to ya! Do what works for you, and what you enjoy :)

    Keep up the honesty, it’s so refreshing :) <3

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Its good I am not alone, when I was on the road so many people did not understand why I was cutting my trip short and going home.
      Yeah I will definitely give it another go in the future, maybe 3 or 4 months just staying within one group of countries rather than all over.
      Im glad to know you enjoyed reading it :)

  32. Avatar for Nana Hm
    Nana Hm says:

    I am in Asia right now and have been here 1 weeks and we still have 2 months left. Already yesterday I had a mental break down because of all the planning (booking.com, reading blogs etc) because I just Got more and more confused, things are way more expensive then I thought (I wanted to climb mt kinabalu in Malaysia – 500 USD Per person!!!) and we need to book things in advance and so. I am the opposite of you – I hate planning and it stresses me out! But we kind of need to because of Else flight tickets are more expensive, we get expensive accomodation left, tours are sold out etc. I Got stressed about that things I really wanted I can’t because things are not that cheap amd then I have to change the ideas we had. But yesterday my husband said: we are going to relax more about this and if the money runs out we buy a ticket back. And thats it. So I am trying to relax more now. But I think for the next time – 1 month is enough for me ?? hugs Nana

    • Avatar for genieve
      genieve says:

      Just a note on your mention of mount kinabalu – I did it with a friend last January and we were recommended to do it through Jungle Jack’s – It was around £140 (I don’t know how much in USD!) but definitely less than $500 I think. His FB page is here: https://www.facebook.com/junglejackbackpacker/ I really enjoyed climing mt. kinabalu so I hope you get the chance to do it! :) If you have any questions let me know!

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      It can definitely get overwhelming sometimes with all the planning. Especially booking last minute accommodation can get expensive, we ended up booking places about 2 weeks in advance which gave us enough freedom. Plus reserving rooms on booking.com with free cancellation was handy when our plans changed with little notice. Just remember not to get too stressed out that it takes over your enjoyment of your holiday. And I think you husband made a good decision, that’ll allow you to enjoy the time you have left and if you start getting low on money head home. At least that way you’ll leave with good memories than stressful moments <3

  33. Avatar for Casey Colesworthy
    Casey Colesworthy says:

    Girl, I feel you! I’m in exactly the same place right now and what’s funny is that I’ve met many travelers who feel the same way. You’re not alone my friend, and guess what? It’s ok that we feel this way! Thanks for sharing your point of view in this post. :)

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Yeah its amazing how many other people also feel this way, and I was not really aware of it until I published my story. Even while I was overseas my friends had difficulty understanding why I was cutting my trip short, so its good you have people with you that you can relate to.

  34. Avatar for Sandy Papas
    Sandy Papas says:

    Very frank point of view and refreshing to read. Don’t worry I think a lot of people will agree with you and all those glossy photos and dreamy articles are often staged and were no doubt not relaxing to produce.
    At least now you know !

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Thanks, I had to be honest about my feelings on the road, the expectations I set and how those expectations weren’t really realistic.

  35. Avatar for Leigh
    Leigh says:

    Interesting perspective! I just gave notice at my job yesterday and will be traveling for up to 6 months (US Road trip) and I am insanely curious how it’s all going to work out! I may last 3 months, or may extend to a year! It’s good to know your limits and not be ashamed to admit it’s not for you!

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Oh that’s super exciting for you! I am sure you’ll have a great time on your American road trip. Also with a car/campervan that will help you feel settled, being able to sleep in the same bed each night. A home on wheels :)

  36. Avatar for Surya Murali
    Surya Murali says:

    I feel exactly the same way when I travel! Too much of research. Restless and always wondering where can I go the next day. Am I covering everything? The next time I go somewhere I am going to try to live in the moment. Good post:)

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Yeah it can be all be a little overwhelming, especially when you spend everyday out exploring and that night researching everything for the next day. Yeah we tried to live in the moment, but arriving in a place where we don’t speak the language and having to find somewhere to sleep while carrying around our packs was a bit of a hassle.

  37. Avatar for Joleisa Creed
    Joleisa Creed says:

    I get you. And it’s nice to be honest and just accept reality. What’s the point of lying to ones self anyway.
    On another note, my son goes off to travel the world in September! It would be interesting to show him this post and get his views before he goes and also when he comes back. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Exactly, you have got to follow how you feel, you know whats better for you than anyone else.
      Oh that’s super exciting for your son, I am sure he will have a wonderful time. Where around the world will he be heading to?

  38. Avatar for kuskat
    kuskat says:

    Templed out, I can imagine. I’ve had the luck, or bad luck, to arrive worn out in Bangkok and escape to a little island without tourist and lots of people and start travelling like that. In all these months I was there, only visited Angkor Wat :-) . I think I probably missed on a lots of things to ‘see’. Still, I’ve lived a lot and met so much beautiful local people. I do so miss the time being there, now life is one runway. I think travelling is all about the mindset you put yourself in before you leave and what is your goal.

    • Avatar for Tasha Amy
      Tasha Amy says:

      Yeah some areas, especially over SEA can become overwhelmed with tourist. I loved those quiet beach islands around Thailand, with minimal tourist, great food and beautiful sights, those are the special places you’ll remember in the future.

  39. Avatar for Cindy
    Cindy says:

    It’s good to listen to yourself and see what you want ! Doing something just because others do it, won’t bring you happiness ! So it’s good that you’ve realised that it’s not what you’re looking for :)

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