Personal, Travel Motivation / September 26, 2011

Does Too Much Travel Make You Jaded?

One can only become jaded through experiencing life. But isn't that what traveling is about? We seek, with a thirst for excitement and the rawness of new encounters.

By this very concept, then, with travel must come disillusionment.

Consider the stereotypical straight-from-the-movies hopeless romantic who no longer believes they will ever find their true love; that type who, due to experience, has lost hope and forever lives with cynicism (until, at the very end of the movie they find their match and live happily ever after…thanks, Hollywood).

Think of travel as a drug in which we're constantly trying to relive that first incredible experience, hunting and searching for new ways to get there. At a certain point, we become travel junkies, having done it all but still thirsting for more.

At what point have we had enough? When have we had too much travel? Is there actually a point when things cease to amaze as much as they once did? Does travel ever become…routine?

Yes, I would be talking about long-term travel, although the same question could be asked of someone who travels short-term on a regular basis. Consider the backpacker versus the businessman who racks up 17 million frequent-flyer miles every year. Both travel (albeit in very different ways) and are thus actually quite similar.

I bring this up because, in just two days, I'm meant to be boarding a plane. I'm very much looking forward to what will happen after the plane lands, but I'm not at all feeling excited to be traveling again. And I'm not NOT excited. It's just not as exciting as it once was. The thrill of travel is gone. Once upon a time I would be giddy with enthusiasm, overflowing with sensation. I recall previous domestic flights to Los Angeles, Daytona Beach, North Carolina, Washington DC…they were always so thrilling! Now, years later, a domestic flight in a completely different country? Yeah, you know, it's cool.

My eyes don't widen in the same way they used to.

So I ask you: Does travel make you jaded?


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