Taking A Vacation From The Long-Term Vacation

There’s a wave of nostalgia that is running through my body. On Friday, in exactly 32 hours and 36 minutes from now, I am officially taking an indefinite vacation from my long-term vacation. In layman’s term, I am going back to the corporate world of employment.

The past two years has been surreal. It felt too long and yet it went by too fast. I didn’t even realize that it will come to an indefinite break.

The infinite set of possibilities allowed me to visit places that I didn’t even know existed, to experience adventures I never even dreamed of, and to meet people who proved that indeed, the world is filled with genuine beauty and kindness.

When I first dreamed of “long-term travel” back in 2012, I envisioned myself backpacking in Europe for 3 months. Life happened and it wasn’t until 2015 that I actually had the opportunity to travel without time-restrictions. By then, 3 months seemed to short and I found myself going for 1 year–only to realize that I could go for second.

Life happened even when I was traveling. Not just for me but for the people that I love. As much as I wanted to stay on the road continuously, I couldn’t fathom the idea of missing out important family occasions anymore. I missed a lot when I was living in Dubai. This is why I tried to grab every opportunity to be at home even if it meant cutting my trip short. It even got harder to leave when my sister gave birth to a handsome, bouncy baby boy. I wanted to be there. Always.

The biggest personal struggle that I had faced was the lack of self-motivation that came up from time to time. It sounds hilarious for some people. But the truth is, constant traveling is tiring. No matter how many places you desired to see, there are times when you just want to take a break from all of it:

  • the continuous planning (itinerary, transfers-bus, train, ferry, flights, accommodations)
  • the constant movement
  • the constant packing and unpacking
  • the constant conscious “budgeting”
  • the endless goodbyes and hellos

It happens all too fast, taking place every 1 to 5 days. It can get pretty overwhelming to the point of exhaustion.

The worst part for me was the point where I had to search for the purpose of my travels. There was a time when I felt a bit lost and confused. That feeling wherein I desired to see the world but couldn’t find my bearings (metaphorically) because at some point, traveling did not feel enough anymore. Coincidentally, I came across the book “Three Cups of Tea” that got me really inspired and yet, it made my so-called desire lack some meaning.

I wanted, needed to make an impact. I wanted to change the world. I wanted all of it to be the reason why I travel. But somehow, I didn’t know how and when to begin. I wanted to do something big and felt too small to do it. Exploring and experiencing was not enough.

I don’t really know how I got past that struggle. Honestly, I am still unsure with a lot of things: some things that I thought I’d get figured out during my long-term holiday.

All I know is, I got on with life and allowed the universe to guide me even with all the uncertainties. More people came to my life and the flashbacks that I’m having right now is a testimony that every single detail is something to be grateful for. Do you know the book, “The Alchemist”?

Everything: Maktoob.

A few months before today, I felt it. The desire for rootedness. The desire for stability.

Perhaps, I was in need for a “different kind of constant” this time. A new beginning, a new purpose, a new wave of excitement.

And, guess what? The universe paved a way for me to have this opportunity.Β I will never know if I’m ready or when I would be ready. But even with all the hesitation of my fickle mind and heart (with respect to taking a vacation from the long-term vacation), a huge part of me says that it is time. The reality is, sometimes you need to stop overthinking and you just have to do it. Let life unfold. Because every single thing will fall into place. You just need to make the first move. (It’s the exact same feeling I had when I first started this journey. Curious? Read more here: Finding My Treasure: Leaving and Living)

Traveling will always be a part of me and while I might have limited time off, I will still make it work to discover and explore the world. I will still share my stories.

I am anxious, nervous, worried, excited, and overwhelmed of this new chapter of my life.

But then again, this universe knows exactly what each of us needs–what I need. Which is why I believe that all these emotions are worth it.

Disclaimer: I am really anxious with the future and I am really curious as to what will happen. But setting that aside, I also just wanted to “officially” declare my “coming back” to the “full-time employee” world/”vacation from the vacation.”


Curious about my adventures? Read more about the Year Round-Up:

2017 and Counting: How Life Has Been

The Year That Was: 2016 in Love and Love of Travel

The Year That Was: 2015 in Life and Wander

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16 thoughts on “Taking A Vacation From The Long-Term Vacation

  1. Emily

    I totally agree with this. Long term traveling can be exhausting. Glad you are taking a break.

  2. Alina

    Happy for you that you have found your path! Long term travel wouldn’t be something for me exactly because of the exhausting travel and constant movement. Event when I take a 3 week trip, actively moving around, I feel that last places I visit don’t seem so impressive anymore, I feel saturated with experience already. But I always plan such a heavy itinerary, as I want to see more, that there is never enough time for rest. Even next week, I am going for a spa break and just realized I have planned to much to see in the other time, that the spa will just be in the evenings and when I have time πŸ˜€

    1. Sometimes, I take breaks in between where I mostly find a nice place to sit down and observe people. And sometimes, I take so much time in 1 city. But I think I reached the point where I feel the need to really do something else to excite myself and be inspired even more for the future. A spa break sounds sooo amazing though. I’m sure you will have a great time! Enjoy! πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve never done long term travel, I’ve always felt it might not be for me. I am keen to try a three month stint perhaps around South America, just depends when. You are all on a journey and perhaps going back into the working world will reveal alot to you just as much as travelling does.

    1. I have strong faith that it would. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your kind words of positivity, I could really use that. One thing I learned was to take one day at a time. When I was first starting my travel, I felt like I had so much (which was true then). As days go by, it was almost over. South America sounds like an amazing place to do it! Long term, short term, I could imagine it to be amazing! Thank you for reading and I am curious as to how each of our travels would unfold. πŸ™‚

  4. All the best girl.. Am in the traveling phase now and can relate to a lot of what you have written. Hope you enjoy this phase as well..

    1. Thank you! Enjoy your travels too — every bit of it (although I am pretty sure you are doing it already). Thank you for the kind words and optimism. All the best πŸ™‚ x

  5. I can definitely understand this feeling. Personally, I don’t think I could ever travel long term for the same reasons. I get tired of the find a hotel, figure out what I’m going to do tomorrow, etc routine. I hope your new corporate life is to your enjoyment, but that you still get the opportunity to travel every now and then!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I am still a bit anxious, but somehow, it makes me curious and excited on how this re-integration to the environment would look like. It has been a while. And at the same time, I’m excited to plan for future short trips/week-long trips. This time, I will have a definite answer rather than “I’m not sure, depends on where my path leads me.” Enjoy your future travels too and thanks again for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  6. Welcome back to the corporate world!! I find myself going back and forth between which one I want, not able to decide on one. Life is funny these days with so much opportunity and the ability to make a living doing so many different things, huh? Hope you enjoy your new routine!

  7. I actually think it’s perfectly normal to desire that “rootedness” once you’ve been without it for a while. As people we’re always growing, learning, and changing – and that’s a good thing! But it does mean that what seemed perfect in the past may not always remain so. Best of luck in this new shift!

  8. Sarah

    Long term travel can be hard and tiring and confusing! But β€œnormal” life can be too! It sounds like you’re in a good place where you know what you need right now. Good luck!

  9. Thank you for providing this perspective. Sometimes the thought of dropping everything to travel full-time sounds so fun and glamorous and you don’t really think about the downsides. It’s nice to see that a person might eventually want to go back to a “normal” schedule at home and at work.

  10. Aga

    Good luck! Sounds like a new exciting chapter πŸ™‚

  11. I relate to your story so much! Particularly the part about being abroad and wanting to be there for family when a new bub is in the picture <3

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