Has anyone experienced nomad burnout?

Have any other nomads dealt with burnout while on the road? I’m unsure whether it’s because of being on the road for so long, or work, or whatever. But the usual advice (talk it out with close friends, go somewhere to get away from it all for a while) is a lot more difficult to follow than if I were sticking in one place.

Anyone have any experience or advice on this?

How often do you move around? I get burnt out when I am moving around too much.

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Find out what makes you happy and then pursue your deams. If you love what you do burnout is not a problem. Sounds mushy, but this is really the core of the issue.

Is it more work? Or are you burnt out from traveling so much? So stick in one place. :slight_smile: I don’t think that to be a nomad, you must be packing up every few weeks or month. I prefer to stay in a place for 2-4 months (depending on visa or if it’s state side) and I always tell myself, if you wanna leave earlier than planned - go. If you like a place and want to stay longer and stick to a routine more, stay! There’s no rules to how you wanna live your life so create your own or go with your gut and whims!

I was burned out before I started to travel, but I didn’t work while travelling. When I felt I would reach my limits, I would take a few steps back, but I’ve pushed myself like crazy.

Burnout is very serous but also very personal, we can tell you whatever but your situation is very specific to you or whatever ‘usual advice’ is. Only you know the details. I would suggest to study mindfulness to find more inner peace (I liked the book ‘search inside yourself’ from chade meng tan, designed the mindfulness courses for google) and if you really need specific things to talk about you can try an online therapy (skype). Pieter knows more about this this.

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Thanks for all the great advice everyone :smile:

@flowen: I look into mindfulness every so often and am usually pretty good at it (at least I think I am). That’s helped a lot actually.

@amy: I think it’s a mix of work and human contact. Work is a bit slow at the moment, and human contact on the road can (sometimes) be shallow and kind of short-term, especially since I’ve been a few weeks at most in any one place (quite often I need to travel for work-related events and hang around wherever that is until I need to move on again)

Perhaps having some kind of longer-term homebase I can return to would be good :smile:

@MatthiasEZeitler: I do love what I do, namely travel and working to get humanity of this lump of rock called Earth. It’s just that the travel bit isn’t compatible with some other nice aspects of life, like hanging with old friends or stability. Guess I need to find a balance!

@wanderingdev I think it could be that I’m moving about too much. 5 countries just in 2015 might be a little excessive. I’ve slowed it down a bit and have been in Prague for a few weeks which might be helping

Once again, major thanks to everyone who responded (or even just read the post). Even knowing there’s a community out there who can relate to what I’m going through (both with burnout and nomadism) helps a lot.

yea, maybe a little bit longer-term home base (even 2-3 months) might be good. If you can give it a shot, I say try it. Can’t hurt. :smile:

I know most people say that human contact on the road (especially for short term) can sometimes be shallow but I’ve been very lucky and met some nomads on here and it isn’t (or doesn’t) seem shallow to me. Some are gone and I still keep in touch w/them via the slack chat or FB. Some, I don’t talk to as much but I know that we have a bond and if/when I see them again, it’ll just pick up where it left off.

There’s something to be said just sitting next to someone and working with them in complete silence for hours that just builds connectedness. At least for me - maybe it kills some of that loneliness that goes along with being on the road?

I agree, a few weeks is pretty short. If you can measure in months rather than weeks. It helps to settle in a bit.

Keep in mind that there is substantial overhead to travel. This could be making you less productive (depending what you’re doing; my productivity is higher in some areas on the road, less in others). So, if you’re scrambling to get your work done and working longer hours than usual, this could easily lead to feeling burned out. You’re working twice as hard! It’s best to settle down somewhere for awhile where you can fall into a good rhythm with work/life balance.

For me, burnout is not really an issue, because I stop myself from getting there. However, I can feel the burnout coming when I work too hard or when I more around too often (or both).
A good help is both not moving around too much, in order to be efficient at work, and having a healthy amount of human contact.

In any case, working too much just because is a bad idea if one is burnout-prone.
For me, a key part of being a nomad is to discover the world, enjoy the moments, learn, make friends, etc. If that’s getting eclipsed by tons of work, something is not right.

Yup, I experience two types of burnout: work and travel.

On work, @Diginomad said it, +1

I tend to swing like a pendulum between two extremes: long almost sedentary periods of 4-18 months, to 6-12 months of constant movement.

A few years ago though I ditched traditional backpacking entirely and began moving slowly by bicycle and foot. I find I can keep moving much longer when moving slowly. Seeing all the inbetween places of the world keeps things fascinating and fresh.