When we first started this blog, we had big plans – frequent updates with what we’ve been doing, foodie stories, maybe even character sketches of the awesome, or at least interesting people we meet along the way (there’s been a few) and of course our postcards to George. And we started out well – for the first couple of months we were largely on track – maybe a week or so behind. But then that week behind turned into a month behind and now we haven’t posted in three months and are four months from actual stories.
So what happened?
Travelling. Travelling happened. Or to be precise, the actual planning as you go, somewhat intense, exhausted at the end of the day sort of travelling.
See when we first started, all this adventure was new and exciting and we had plenty of energy to write a blog post after a few days. It also helped that we had our first two and a half months pretty much planned out. Sure, we had to book a few internal buses and a few hotels, but our itinerary was mostly already organised from London. After a day touring a city or some other great activity, we had time to work on the blog writing while enjoying a local beverage.
That changed at the beginning of January when we got to Buenos Aires and had nothing else planned, except to meet up with family at the end of the month and a flight booked to New Zealand at the end of February. Planning travel (particularly on a budget) takes time and that time ate into our blog stuff. It is during those last two months in South America (and Antarctica – but more on that in a future post) where the delay of posts went from a week behind to over a month behind.
But during that time, whilst planning our travels, we were still posting, however slowly and since leaving South America, we have barely posted. So what happened again?
Two things – even more intense travel and (probably as a result), exhaustion.
So first the intense travel. . .
In New Zealand we did a road trip – an awesome five week path from Auckland to Christchurch, touring both islands, hitting the northern most tip of the North Island and the southernmost tip of the South Island, and trying to see as much as possible in between. We had an amazing car (named BB – Badass Barbie for short – more on her in a future post) and had a short list of must dos and a long list of everything else.
Yet as we learned more about this amazing country, both lists kept getting longer and longer. And with the freedom of having your own car, it was difficult for us to turn down activities or places. Thus, we would pack our days full of amazingness and since it was still summer light, this would mean until 8pm – when we would finally find our place to stay and food for dinner before crashing shortly after 10pm in order to get some rest and do it all over again the next day. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
After our awesome road trip came our three weeks in Australia, which was a different kind of intense. While we would have loved to do a road trip like in New Zealand, with the country being the size of the continental US, we would need several months, if not a year. Instead we set out to do all our bucket list items and in three weeks, this was still a task – Melbourne, drive the Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide (just a hotel and the airport actually), Alice Springs, camp in the Outback, Cairns, spend three days on a boat, diving and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney and finally a day in Perth. When we tell this itinerary to Aussies, they usually comment on how we’ve seen more of Oz than they have.
So yeah, intense.
After the bits of planning we would have to do, any remaining time wasn’t going to blog writing (or even photo organising/back up), it was now going to recuperation, and relaxation. For instance, one evening in Alice Springs, instead of going out, we took advantage of our Airbnb host’s Netflix and just binge watched The Crown. It doesn’t sound exciting, but we still remember that evening with fondness. There were even a few nights in there, where we would just have dinner in and then watch dumb tv (reality shows, sheer time wasters, and the like) – for those of you who know Jen, you know this is odd – very odd. On those evenings, the last thing we would want to do was have to think and write a blog post.
So yeah, exhaustion.
Exhaustion from travelling is a thing. We have met other long term travellers who have confirmed this by experiencing the same – there particularly seems to be a break point around the 3-4 month point.
We mention the exhaustion, not to gain sympathy – no violins should play for us. And we’d still rather have travel exhaustion than stressed from work / bored with our lives exhaustion. But it’s a reality and it’s why some of big plans for projects (this blog only being the most obvious) have not turned out how we originally thought.
And we’re now ok with that. This last sentence took awhile for Jen to accept. As the backlog of post ideas grew in South America, there were a few sleepless nights for her as she tried to catch up (and stay on top of photo organising). Yet that stress and “to do”-ness was just making the travel less fun. Do we really want to miss today’s fun activity so that we can catch up on a blog? No. This year of travel for us is about experiencing the world, having adventure and enjoying life while we still have it. Documenting it can be delayed. And at the very least, we will always have our memories.
Don’t get us wrong, we’ll still try to update the blog (there’s a long list of post ideas). However future posts might come from Jen’s lunch break while back at work in London than actually on the road.
Oh and don’t worry about our original premise of the blog in order to stay in touch with George. He’s on WhatsApp and still gets updates. Here’s his activities from a week ago of him navigating a ladder. . . And yes, we realise that only his mama finds this adorable and watches the video all the way through. . .