I Don’t Want To Be A Traveller Anymore

Nomad/Traveller; the one glamorized word which gives people the imagination (thanks to social media) that we float around, frolicking carefree on sandy beaches. With perfect tans, awesome dress sense and perfect timing. Sunrises are our wake up call and we are always in the most incredible view-point for sunset. Our tents look out to the most beautiful views. Hiking is done in dresses and no one breaks a sweat or is ever stressed. We have perfect skin, don’t gain weight and Fall in love but continue to roam with a constant smile. Answering to no one, the days become nameless and time isn’t a worry. – Oh, how I wish it was like this all the time.

‘You’re living the dream, I wish I could live like you do’, Is the go to words of praise whenever I talk to people back ‘home’.

But the gods honest truth is, I wish I could live like you do. Sometimes.

Travel is more than my dream, it is pretty much my calling. Itchy feet isn’t a saying, it’s definitely built into my DNA. I can’t stay anywhere for a prolonged period of time without beginning to feel the pull of somewhere else. It’s an impossible pull, one which will start faintly showing the smallest sparks before it catches. It may catch onto a fixation of a specific place, or just the dying need and urge to leave.

Signs of the impossible pull are what all wanderers will recognise:

  1. The appearance of being uninterested/not present but really there is a plan/battle happening inside my head. – the battle of staying where I am vs leaving to whatever is calling me.
  2. Skyscanner is constantly open on my laptop with the ‘everywhere’ and ‘one-way’ option selected.
  3. Looking at GoogleMaps and planning insane journeys. Putting together all means of itineraries before becoming full fixated on the one captivating idea. Nothing excites me more than sitting down and planning it.
  4. It’s all I can talk aboutI’m sorrybut it’s always changing, there is never a fixed plan. – and I’m sure, my friends just want me to stop talking about it and make up my F*cking mind. 

It’s both exhausting and exhilarating.

Don’t get me wrong, I undoubtedly, unquestionably love travel and my life as – what people are starting to describe me as – a wandering nomad. But sometimes I yearn for a place to call ‘home’.

I have found little pieces of ‘home’ in unfamiliar places all over the world. Leaving little pieces of my heart there to prove it. I know I would be welcomed back with open arms but equally it was never enough to make me stay.

If you want to trade you can have my backpack, and I’ll have your keys. But just for today.

I yearn for a place I can go back to, dump my stuff, flop on the bed and smell the familiar smell of home (you know what this means). To wake up and not have the desire to leave. To feel comfortable and enjoy where I am knowing that this is where I’ll be for – at least a long period of time to know what’s around the corner – a long time.


As much as you think my life is the dream, sometimes I think you’re the one holding the Golden Ticket. 

Sometimes I crave your career, stability and credit card balance.

I am independent, I’ve had to be for so long – not just in the travelling sense – and I’m (finally) at a place where I can say I enjoy my own company. This doesn’t mean I don’t miss you all. The endless stream of ‘temporary friends’ is exhausting. The same conversations, ice breakers and travel chat is becoming dull but what’s worse are the Goodbyes.

‘Why do you still get sad at goodbyes, surely this is normal for you’. Would you ever get used to saying goodbye to people who meant a lot to you?

I’ve met incredible people and bonded with them as though I had known them for years after just a couple of days. So some goodbyes are hard because, realistically, I will probably never see this person again. For me, it’s a little heart bruising each time. Which makes reintroducing yourself to the possibility of more incredible temporary friends even harder because of the Goodbye.

Sometimes you just need one person who you can say ‘catch you later’ than give the awkward, i’m-never-going-to-see-you-again Goodbye Hug.

Some days I want to be able to answer the question of where I will be in 5 years time. – I’m pretty sure a few job interviews have been sabotaged because my honest answer of ‘I don’t know, I don’t really have a plan’ doesn’t cut it. – I want to be chasing a passion, making some money, getting myself out of debt and having a place to call home.

But most days I wake up, not even thinking about what’s happening tomorrow. Most days I’m thankful that I have the freedom to lift up everything I own (literally) and move to (pretty much) wherever I want and live this way for a while. That I have absolutely no ties to where I am. I’m travelling Solo and have no compromises to make and no responsibilities to leave behind.

I can chase my ever-changing dreams as much or as little as I like.

But some days I will wake up, maybe one day I will really, truly wake up and say; I don’t want to be a traveller anymore.

When these days happen, please don’t think of me as ‘spoilt’ or ‘unappreciative’. Just imagine me saying those words from your shoes, craving a life which may be one in which I will never lead.


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26 thoughts on “I Don’t Want To Be A Traveller Anymore”

  1. Hi Janey, thank you for sharing this. Both me and my partner have now been traveling for years. I (Cynthia) have been on the road for 6 years and my partner for 10. During that time I often wondered about what the ‘hell’ I was doing. Especially during my solo years of travel. Sometimes I wonder if I will be roaming around the world forever. But sometimes I’m also in need of a (temporary) home. I don’t think I’ll ever stop with traveling. I wouldn’t say it is in my DNA, I would call it more a passion and a curiosity for new things, to break the routine and to keep me on the edge of my toes. I need that. I also want to keep learning, about myself and about other people; near and far away 🙂 A life on the road isn’t always easy, despite what people think. But you know, life in general isn’t always easy. No matter what we do or where we are, there will always be challenges. If there would be no challenges, there would be no invitations to grow. You know what I mean? We happen to choose a nomadic life because that is what makes us happy. But maybe, one day, it won’t make us happy anymore. And then it is time to go on a different path and create a different lifestyle. So I would say, enjoy what you are doing now and as long as you’re happy with waking up every morning and dreaming about the next place you want to wake up in, do so! I feel you :)Enjoy your travels!!

    1. Hey Cynthia, thank you for the incredible words 🙂
      I don’t think i’ll ever stop travelling and i am like, like you are so curious about the rest of the world and i love every aspect that travelling brings. Sometimes the What The Hell moments are slightly overwhelming but its passion and curiosity that keeps me going!
      I am definitely still happy at the moment I do love travelling around and would’t change it at all for anything i think sometimes i just crave the best of both worlds haha!

      Glad you understood where i’m coming from, it’s awesome! 🙂 <3

    1. Thanks lovely! I’m glad you relate 🙂 It’s one of those feelings I wish I did’t feel sometimes! 🙂

  2. Thanks for your honesty, Janey. While I can’t say I completely understand, I can sympathize with the idea of wanting a place to call home. The shoe is on the other foot for me; I work FT, blog PT, have a son, a mortgage, bills, a long commute every day, etc. and I have to say I often feel trapped. I love my family and my job, etc. but this life certainly doesn’t allow for the feeling of freedom and independence that I long for and need. I think both of us can find a balance, and that’s what it is all about for me. Finding balance and joy.

    1. I love that you are looking at this post from the non nomadic side and that you can relate to it a little bit. I totally see where you are coming from and I hope you are able to find balance to squeeze the sense of freedom into your life somewhere, maybe just one day a week doing whatever you want? <3 thank you for reading

  3. I totally understand this, I have been travelling the past 4 years and it does get tiring, I never seem to stop and relax, am just trying to see as much of the world as possible. I think it would be nice to stay in a place a little longer and go a bit slower but when I have to commit to buying furniture, even if it’s just a bed side lamp or extension cable I freak out and want to leave. I find it so hard when I do go home, because to me it does not feel like home, its where my family lives and I love seeing them, but I can’t imagine having that life again. Like you I think I will be on the road forever, but I hope someday I will find a place I want to call home even if I don’t spend 12 months a year there 🙂

    1. I can relate to every word you said there. I am travelling NZ at the moment and have been in the country for the last 9 months almost but I move around a lot and change my scenery. I can’t think of stopping for long enough to buy furniture that also freaks me out! Maybe one day we will both find a place we would like to call home, at least for a little while. But i know i am already getting the feeling of wanting to leave and explore somewhere new.

  4. Great post! Travel burnout is definitely a thing, however temporary, and whenever the grass is not greener on the othe side you’ve just got to keep moving forward. You are not alone in feeling the way you do and I could relate on so many levels. Fabulously thought out post.

    1. Yeah i totally agree with you there. Thank you so much for reading and commenting it means a lot to hear other people can relate 🙂

    1. haha I’m glad that made you giggle, it made me giggle a little too when i read it back!
      I think working in education is a great thing, you guys get so many holidays!! I’ll check out your post now 🙂 thank you so much for commenting and reading <3

  5. This is wonderful. For quite a while I had a dream job that I adored that required me to be on the road. From hotels, to AirBnB, to room shares, living out of my suitcase. I loved it but after a while it was tiring. Between the job travels and my personal travels I was exhausted all the time! I had to leave it behind so that I could have my space, my bed, my community. So that I could travel and come home and know that home was mine and not borrowed. This is so valid. Now, when I travel and come home, I know I can truly be comfortable and “at home”.

    1. Wow this is so interesting to read because i bet when you told people about your job and travelling they said how lucky you must be?
      I can imagine it must be exhausted, i love that you have managed to find a balance and you are now happy.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting <3

  6. I feel you on this one. Now that I’m in my mid-30s, my partner and I feel a bit more of the need to set up roots in our community and be present and involved here. We still like to travel (and probably still travel more than most), but it’s been nice to have a home and sleep in our own bed again.

    1. I love that you can relate to this, it’s interesting to hear that too. I love that you have found some balance – and your own bed ha!

  7. Great article. I feel the same way. I LOVE having a good home base and a place for my cat to feel at home (I love her too much to become a nomad). I think having a good home base is its own form of traveling since it enables to explore your own city!

    1. Aw I had to give away my two cats before I left to travel, it was heartbreaking but ultimately the right thing for me to do, because i didn’t (and still don’t) know if i’ll be back!
      I love the exploring your own city idea, most people forget about what is around them! 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting it means a lot <3

  8. Really well written, I can almost feel like what it’s like to be in your shoes. But being a part time traveller I sometimes yern for the nomad life and always being on the move. I guess it what fits your soul!

    1. It definitely is what fits your soul and I fully believe you don’t know until you try, even for a little while.

      I love my life and I do long for a base sometimes, but I just don’t know where it will be yet 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, it means a lot <3

  9. Great post!! I only travel part time and even that is sooo exhausting sometimes so I feel ya. Can’t imagine what it would be like to travel for so long (like the comment above mentioning 10 years! OMG!)

    1. Thank you so much for reading! Glad you can relate, i know 10 years is incredible ha! I guess i’ll find my base one day, but until then i’ll keep moving 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting it means a lot <3

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