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Suffering from Beauty Burnout

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Can you really get too much of a good thing? How much travel is too much travel?

Can you really get too much of a good thing? How much travel is too much travel?

“It  seems very hard to impress you,” the owner of the hotel that was graciously hosting me said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“It seems to me that the extraordinary has become your ordinary”, she said.

Her words really affected me. She was going out of her way to show me a local point of interest, but I must have appeared bored, unfazed. And that’s never how I want to appear to someone trying to share something with me.

Could I have been distracted? Tired? Hungry even? It’s possible. But as her words bounced around my head for the next few days, I realized what the problem was.

I was suffering from Beauty Burnout.

After completing back to back trips to the Azores of Portugal and then Iceland, each lasting two weeks, Beauty Burnout really described how I felt.

I had barely had time to process some of the scenery I had experienced in the Azores before setting off for Iceland, a country equally as beautiful but in a completely different way.

The Azores are islands formed by volcanic eruptions. The sea crashing onto the almost black cliffs created some dramatic scenes:

Suffering from Beauty Burnout

But Iceland has its own stunning scenery:

Suffering from Beauty Burnout

Both islands have phenomenal, interesting wildlife. I was able to witness whales during my time on the Portuguese islands.

Suffering from Beauty Burnout

And on the tiny Nordic nation, I snuck up on puffins hanging off cliffsides.

Suffering from Beauty Burnout

In the Azores, I hiked to the bottom of a caldera, a crater left after an eruption that lead to the collapse of the volcano mouth.

Suffering from Beauty Burnout

In Iceland, we hiked some of the greenest fields I’ve ever seen and drank pure glacier water straight from rivers and streams.

Suffering from Beauty Burnout

After these back to back experiences, both amazing and different and beautiful beyond words in their own ways, I was a bit burnt out. I needed a break, from nature trips anyway.

I should have booked a museum trip or perhaps done some city walks, something different than seeing more incredible nature, because the last thing I’d ever want to seem is bored, uninterested, or even worse–rude.

But this isn’t the first time I’ve burned out. I remember sitting with a friend on a beach in Goa, India, watching the sun go down. “Isn’t it gorgeous here?” he asked. “Eh, I’ve seen better beaches,” I said, without thinking how awful it sounded.

But it was true–having just spent so much time in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, the beaches of Goa can’t really compare. But that doesn’t mean they’re not gorgeous in their own way.

At times, I’ve thought that if I can’t be in the moment and truly enjoy where I’m at and recognize how fortunate I am, then maybe it’s time to pack it up and head home. I’ve been on the road for more than three years– burn out is a real possibility.

But I don’t feel burnt out out on traveling. The only thought that sounds worse than seeing more of the same is returning home and finding an office job.

So I’ll switch it up. I’ll alternate nature trips with downtime and find new inspiration on history and architecture trips. I’ll make an effort to vary my types of trips so someone will never have to make a remark similar to the one the guesthouse owner laid on me that day.

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Can you really get too much of a good thing? How much travel is too much travel?

 


Is Beauty Burnout a real thing? Can you have too much of a good thing? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

 

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Dealman

Sunday 11th of June 2017

Very interesting post share. I think it’s really just within you and for you to continue being amazed by what’s there before you, right now. Enjoy weekend.

Steve

Wednesday 31st of May 2017

I discovered 'burnout" many years ago when camping in the Lake District UK. .... after a few days I would turn to partner and say " you know, I am all laked out". Just chill. Get down the pub, and as you say - be in the moment. Not looking actively is the best way to see the unexpected gem.....

Sandy N Vyjay

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

I get your point sometimes traveling to different spaces give you this Beauty Burnout feeling. Each place that we visit has its own charm and beauty. But sometimes we can’t help to compare each place to one another. Like for example “who’s got the best sunset?” . Some people might say sunset on the beach is the best others would say sunset in the mountains is the greatest. So, in other words, each place and scenery have it’s now unique charm.

Nathan

Saturday 6th of May 2017

Yes, I agree for sure. For me, it was just doing back to back nature trips that provided the burnout. I needed to switch it up a bit.

Megan Jerrard

Monday 1st of May 2017

Thanks for being so honest - this is definitely a thing, when too much travel dims your senses to the beauty because that waterfall is just another waterfall. We did a 6 month trip throughout South America and Europe last year and took in the Amazon, Machu Piccu, the Galapagos, Easter Island, and Iceland, all of which are bucketlist destination and once in a lifetime trips in their own right. But having one after another in such quick succession makes me wonder if we truly appreciated each trip or if we were crippled by burnout and comparisons by not having time to reflect and fully process the last.

Nathan

Saturday 6th of May 2017

For sure- I can see that when traveling those areas. They do all sound bucket list worthy. For me, now I'm going to try to incorporate more variety. If I do a trip focused on nature the next one will be on history or museums etc. The only constant will be they will be centered around food lol.

Anneklien Meanne

Monday 1st of May 2017

Im only a part time traveller and i understand your sentiments, when visiting new place we tried to cram up all sightseeing and we ending up not enjoying it coz we are too tired at the end of the day.

Nathan

Saturday 6th of May 2017

Yes, exactly. You end up being torn between wanting to see/do as much as possible and also have time to process/enjoy/be in the moment.

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