When we began thinking about this adventure, some 15 months ago, I dreamed of travelling the world, seeing lots of new locations and visiting sites I’d only ever imagined I might get to. I love airports, I love planes, I love hotels, and I love moving around. But after just one month of travelling around Europe, we’ve come to a realisation: travel isn’t always fun!
While sitting in Kuala Lumpur Airport the other day, I did some quick calculations. In just 29 days, we’ve visited 10 different countries and been exposed to 11 different languages. We’ve changed time zones 10 times and have slept in 11 different “homes”.
What’s so bad about that?
I should preface all of this by saying that we’ve had a ball in the last month! We’ve seen and done so many things, and we achieved exactly what we set out to do… BUT, it came at a cost. We are exhausted. Yes, I know, poor us. We’re living the dream, and getting a bit tired, boo hoo! We’ve travelled before. We knew we’d get tired. What we didn’t realise is just how big an impact it would have!
It’s been a bit quiet on our Facebook, Instagram and Blog lately. You know why? Because I’ve been asleep! 36 hours of sleep in the past 72 hours. And that is from someone who usually averages only 5-6 hours per night!
The thing is, in the past month we moved around A LOT! We averaged just 2.5 nights in each location, which meant a lot of moving from one spot to another, a lot of late nights and early mornings and a lot of very sleepless hours in the air.
And that leads to 4 very grumpy people…
- * 4 grumpy people that get on each other’s nerves
- * 4 grumpy people who are sick of tourist attractions
- * 4 grumpy people who just want to sleep all day
- * 4 grumpy people who were sick
Why fast travel didn’t work.
Our travel over the past month has been “fast travel”; constant moving, staying in a single location for no more than a few days. For many people, this is the way to go. If I were in my 20’s and had no kids, I’d probably travel this way, but we do have kids, and sadly, I’m no longer in my 20’s!
Fast travel with kids, is just not sustainable.
Kid’s need substantially more sleep. They need some routine, and they need down time. People with kids need all of this too! Travel is tiring enough when you only have yourself to care for; add a full-time parenting gig and everything needs more time!
On top of that, it’s substantially harder to eat well when you are constantly on the go (without spending a fortune). We ate plenty of yummy food, but it certainly wasn’t a fantastic diet! And that takes it’s toll too! By the time we arrived to stay with friends in Oslo, a beautiful home cooked meal was very much appreciated!
So why share this with you?
Because while we had a ball, our trip could have been better! And by sharing that with you, it may just help you avoid the problems we had.
Travel is always a compromise; a real-life “choose your own adventure” book, where, as with any choice in life, there will always be consequences!
We could have chosen Path 1 – a nice slow trip through Europe, staying a week or 2 in each location, but the result would have been seeing and doing far less than we did. Path 2, the “fast travel” option allowed us to see and do an incredible amount, but at times, it was less enjoyable.
So what will we do different from here on in?
Well, that’s not an easy question to answer! Every situation is different. But the last month has certainly made us realise that we need to allow more down time!
Our initial plan was for “slow travel” – staying in a single destination for at least a month at a time. This extra time will give us the chance to explore AND time to relax, a happy balance, which will ultimately result in a happier family.
But of course, it’s a personal choice! Personally, we’re not ruling out “fast travel” completely… we just won’t be doing it for an extended period of time!