Your legs are cramped and you're tired of sitting. You're starting to realize you've seen more of the inside of a bus or a plane than you've seen of your destination.
Instead of feeling relaxed, you're stiff. Instead of enlightened, you're scatterbrained. Instead of hanging out at the beach or chatting with locals, you are yet again stuck in another vehicle on a sunny day.
The good news is, you're on vacation. The bad news is, you're spending it getting places rather than enjoying the place itself.
It's a common problem for travelers.
You get super excited that you're on vacation and you have a whole two weeks. You have everything planned, and you're going to get as much as you can out of the destination. You're living by the motto, "I'll sleep when I'm dead."
Living and traveling abroad gives me insight to the lives of many travelers. I've seen this many times. Travelers are rushing about and hardly seeing anything but a glimpse of the country.
They talk about seeing Chiang Mai for two days, making the stomach-turning three-hour ride to Pai just for a day, then making it to the Full Moon party the next day, which is nearly 2,000 kilometers away. Some are striving to shove seeing most of Europe into less than one month, while others are exploring Nicaragua and Costa Rica in ten days total.
I'm not saying there's a right way to travel, and I'm not saying these people are wrong. They can do what they want. But are they really experiencing a country this way? Are they getting to enjoy themselves? Is it really worth it to rush around everywhere rather than appreciate just a few places? As it is, it's tough to get to know a country in a few short weeks.
Honestly, I think shoving 10 destinations into a two week vacation is about as smart as juggling five dates at a wedding. You'll run around like a chicken without its head, and you won't enjoy the party. And at the end, you'll likely be left with a headache, empty pockets and maybe a slap or two.
The same happens when you try to travel everywhere in one vacation (minus the slaps...maybe?). I understand the temptation, but I'd encourage you to rethink this method.
Why stress yourself out like that on vacation? This detrimental mistake is going to screw up your plans to relax on a beach, understand cultural points of interest, and actually take in everything.
What if I told you that you could still enjoy a destination fully without jamming every island, temple, activity and party all in one?
So what's the solution to this travelers conundrum?
You'll get a lot more out of your travels by chilling out and seeing a few things in depth.
Not to mention, slow travel will end up saving you some cash. How? Well, the more buses, planes and trains you take, the more you're spending on transportation. Which means less money can be spent on other things that don't involve you being on four wheels.
Don't think you have to see every main attraction in a country to get the most out of your vacation. You'll get way more out of your time at the destination by enjoying what's around you and actually seeing a place or an area for more than 24 hours.
After all, you're not on vacation to see the country's transportation system. Chill and enjoy your time!
It's OK if you go to India without seeing the Taj Mahal, the country is massive and offers tons of other things to see and do. Maybe you should just focus your time in the south.
Is it really worth spending tons of cash on a flight and visa just to see Angkor Wat in Cambodia if you only have two weeks to spend in Thailand? Why squash that in there? Two weeks in Thailand is already not enough time.
There are no musts in travel, and you shouldn't feel pressure to see a particular place if you don't have the time to.
Travel slow and take the time to really see where you are. Enjoy where you are in the moment.