Hello from Boracay! It’s already the month of August, known as the “Ghost Month” (kaway-kaway sa mga Bea-Gerald-Julia followers jan… yeah, I’ve been following their drama too, lol!) and I just found some time to check my blog. We’ve been traveling from Cagayan de Oro to Oslob, then to Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo and Boracay, then Antique, then back to Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, then Oslob again. I thought of continuing the 3rd part of my Boracay Series since I am here once again on one of the world’s best islands but I feel like I must share with you first this topic that I’ve only experienced now.
Let us define first the word “BURNOUT”:
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demand (Reference: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm)
Don’t get me wrong. I love traveling! I’ve been doing this since I was 6 years old and I love the entire process of it — from planning our activities and itinerary, to listing down the clothes and accessories that I am going to wear (I like prepping 2-3 sets of clothes a day: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, one in the evening), to unpacking everything when we get to our destination and doing it all over again when we get home. Traveling is just one of my passions and I don’t think I will ever stop, not until I really have to due to old age. Teehee. So, it came as a surprise to me when all of a sudden I feel so burnt out from all the traveling we’ve been doing. Has this ever happened to you as well?
So, how do we avoid travel burnout when traveling with a group, especially with our extended family?
1. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
It is important to know what your end goal is, or where you are going, before you even begin packing for your trip.
You see, for this particular adventure, I really didn’t know where exactly we were going. Mahal and his sister didn’t have everything planned. All he knows is that we will be going on a road trip for a certain period of time and all the plans will just be done as we go along. What a nightmare for an OC person like me, I know! The thought of not knowing where to go first was already stressing me out from the beginning that I almost didn’t join this trip. But in my book, family should come first and it’s only once a year that Mahal’s eldest sister comes home to the Philippines to bond with the family so I blindly committed myself to this trip. I just had to pack half of my closet at home just to make sure I will have enough clothes and accessories for all the possible activities that we could be doing. I did the same with Tuz’s stuff. So, that’s double the stress already. When Mahal reacted why was I bringing so many clothes, I said that this is what happens when you don’t know where we are exactly going, where we are exactly staying and what we’ll exactly be doing. Stress!
2. HAVE ENOUGH TIME FOR BOTH REST AND RECREATION
It is important to find time to both rest and enjoy the places you’re visiting.
For this particular trip, we were going from one place to the next as if we were on an amazing race!
Maybe because Mahal’s sister only has a limited time of vacation in the Philippines before she gets back to Belgium again that she wanted to visit as many places as she can, foregoing having time for all of us to rest.
Or maybe they didn’t consider that I’m also taking care of a toddler whose body clock is haywire like mine, meaning, when everybody else is already asleep, Tuz and I are still so awake and by the time we sleep, it’s time for everybody to wake up again and do the day’s activities. I’m the type of person who doesn’t want to be the cause of delay so it’s either I forego rest and join the group’s tour activities or I tell them to just go ahead (even if I hate missing the tours), so Tuz and I can sleep some more. Either way, the pressure is stressing me out as well.
3. DO THE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO, OTHERWISE, LEARN TO BE FLEXIBLE AND ADJUST YOUR MINDSET
For this particular trip, I am not the boss. I am merely on a joy ride of a sponsored trip, which I appreciate, but at the same time, I miss the simple comforts traveling gives me, like trying out different food places.
It was heartbreaking for me deep down inside to be in Bacolod and not try the many food places I love there or even try the new ones sprouting around. Mahal’s sister is frugal like him and is always on a tight budget, which I understand, considering the number of people she has to take care of financially on this trip. We are also on a tight budget since we’ve just bought that new motorcycle for the farm and I had to take care of some stuff for my annulment (with my ex) so I really can’t complain either. But I do have a little extra money to splurge on food places, but I just didn’t want to step on Mahal’s sister’s generosity and diskarte.
She loves to cook which is why the accommodations she has been renting for our group must have a kitchen in it.
She likes going to the market, buying food and cooking them for all of us to enjoy. She’s a great cook and I eat a lot of everything she has cooked for us. I am just out of my comfort zone because I prefer trying out food places instead. So one time at The Lacson Ruins, I offered to treat everyone at their Cafe (The Ruins Gazebo Restaurant) just so I can satisfy the #foodie in me.
I eat, not to fill a hunger, but to fill my soul… charot! Sa maka-relate na lang. ^_^
4. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PRIVACY
I liked the fully furnished apartments Mahal’s sister rented for us all in Dumaguete and Bacolod because Mahal and I get to have our own room (although we let Mahal’s brother stay on the extra bed… kawawa naman if we let him sleep on the sofa in the living room).
Back in Estancia, Iloilo, we were only able to get a big room with 2 big beds and 2 extra mattresses on the floor for all of us which was really stressful for me to the point that I really had this huge tampo at Mahal. We also didn’t get to sleep beside each other. Mahal was on one of the big beds with his niece, while Tuz and I were on one small mattress on the floor beside Mahal’s brother’s mattress. I didn’t have enough room for our stuff and we all shared one bathroom.
I insisted that I will get another room which I will pay for, but Mahal’s sister insisted that since we will only be staying for a few hours before we headed to Gigantes, that I don’t waste money getting a separate room. Mahal was just quiet the whole time which was what irritated me the most because he didn’t even fight for what I want. I told him weeks before this trip happened that should his sister not get a separate room for us, I will get a separate room even if I have to pay for it. My comfort is important to me. I work so hard that I feel like I deserve to treat myself to certain comforts in life, even if it means splurging on a room for only a few hours. I slept with a heavy heart that night. Stress!
5. LET GO AND APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE
If you’re on the same boat as I am and you couldn’t do anything about it anymore, just let go and start appreciating what you do have at the moment. This is why I am writing it all down here. My chest is literally already getting heavy from the accumulation of these little stresses and it’s not good for my heart considering that something is really not right with my heart (as per my doctor’s diagnosis last January). I appreciate the fact that I am on this sponsored trip with Mahal’s family. I get to know his sister a little better each time and I get to go out of my comfort zone (because I am an introvert) by interacting with her Belgian boyfriend as well.
I like the fact that we were able to get our own room in Boracay. I love it that Tuz is enjoying himself and that he’s healthy.
So I’ll just let go of these little inconveniences and enjoy the rest of our trip. I’ll probably do some shopping. Shopping therapy is the key! Haha!
So there… I hope I made sense even if I was just ranting half the time. I hope I was able to impart to you some key learnings when traveling with a group and feeling burnt out as well.
Cheers to more travels for all travel junkies out there!
TODAY’S HOT TIP!
“Great things never came from comfort zones.”
See you tomorrow!