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Travel fatigue
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), June 15th 2009

Approximately a month ago, we have met a friendly Russian – American couple. Already eight months on the road and full of enthusiastic stories about the things they have done in this period. They had still two more months to go before they had to go back home. They almost couldn’t wait. Despairing, we asked why they were so anxious to go home again. Both were suffering from travel fatigue. Tired to keep on travelling from place to place, tired of not having a real “home” and tired to be always a stranger in the environment where you are travelling around. Everywhere where you are, you never know exactly how things work and everywhere you have to adjust yourself to the local customs.

In a few days, it is exactly two years ago since we started our journey. Today, we have this feeling in a mild way for the first time. Don’t get us wrong, we are not planning to go home, but we are a bit fed up with the side effects from travelling. We are still enjoying the beautiful things that we see, like the beautiful Birds of Paradise in Papua last weeks. However, the days of travelling to get to those places and the hassle surrounding getting a hotel room for a reasonable price annoys us a bit at this moment. When we just started our journey, everything was new. To travel from place to place was just as much an adventure and gave just as much fun as the places that we visited and the people we met. After travelling for a few years in Asia, days filled with travelling seldom give new surprises. A ride on the local bus, bemo, rickshaw or Jeepney (regular visitors of this site know these means of transport) is after a while just as normal for us as for the local people surrounding us. Life without luxury on budget hotel rooms, still isn’t a problem for us except on some days when we “have to” work. Today we have electricity for the first time in a week and this means that the website asks our attention. We want to share our adventures in the Arfak with the Birds of Paradise as soon as possible with our readers, but this implies quite some hours work. Normally, we love doing this work but not today! Today, the walls of the hotel room come up towards us and today we are longing for a stuffed fridge with all kinds of nice food from home. We know that this feeling is just temporary; we just have to get over it. We start with some western food at Mc Donalds. While a Mc Flurry can’t compete with a nice piece of whole-wheat bread with old cheese or a salade with smoked chicken and raspberries, it certainly gives some comfort. Afterwards, we go to the park to do some writing for the website. We just use a notebook and a pencil, so it still has to be typed into the computer but at least our thoughts are already put into words. The typing still has to be done on our hotel room, but a park where the birds are whistling inspires a lot more than the concrete cell where we sleep. By changing these kinds of little things, we try to get over our travel fatigue. We have made three good intentions. Firstly, we are going to spend as less time as possible on our hotel room. Everything that we can do outside, we will do outside. Secondly, we are going to pick the places that we want to visit even more precisely to limit the number of travelling days and increase the density of truly special highlights. Attractions that can only keep us occupied for a few hours are at this moment not interesting for us. We want to visit places that keep us busy for at least a couple of full days. Our third intention is to have really nice food in the coming weeks. The Eastern provinces in Indonesia couldn’t impress us in a culinary way, but we love the food in Malaysia. A salad with smoked chicken and raspberries won’t be on the menu, but a satisfying Indian meal certainly can stop our lust for some bread with old cheese.

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