Travel planning is definitely an all-consuming pastime, and there are plenty of people who get burnt out on it. Personally, I never get sick of the research side of things – travel planning is honestly one of my favorite things to do – but I experienced a different kind of ennui.
A few serendipitous turns have put my savings account in a much healthier state than I thought it would be, so fortunately, I can move my trip up from 2018 to this year. (Yay! And also yikes!)
But before that fell into place, I had years stretching in front of me with no vacations or big trips in sight. I tried seeking out another job, where I wouldn’t feel that urge to escape, but I’m too honest for my own good and also live in a small American town where career breaks are completely unheard of so every potential employer I’ve spoken to has balked at the thought of a new hire not being in for the next five-plus years. Even travel companies. Even with the possibility of that time away being a true sabbatical.
So how do I keep from getting super frustrated with my RTW planning process? Mini-breaks.
Instead of taking two weeks away from work to go on a grand international adventure, I’ve been taking one day off here and there to enjoy shorter periods of domestic travel.
In fall of 2014, I spent a long weekend in New York to attend a Meet, Plan, Go conference. The following March, I took another day off to attend my cousin’s wedding in Long Island. Last Labor Day weekend, I road tripped through West Virginia with my boyfriend. And most recently, we spent a couple nights in Colonial Williamsburg for his birthday. This spring, I’ll take another long weekend to celebrate my sister’s graduation from college.
Spending a couple hundred dollars every once in a while has kept me from dropping a few thousand dollars on bigger vacations each year, which is ultimately better for my commitment to one day take a RTW trip. And of course it’s been critical for my overall sanity. Having any travel to look forward to in the near future makes my current job much easier to bear, and having an extra day off here and there helps me recharge just enough to make it to the next milestone.
For most of us, picking up and leaving for a RTW trip just isn’t feasible. When it’s going to take years to save up enough money to make long-term travel a reality, it’s easy to get overly mired in the details of your budget. But not allowing yourself the flexibility to splurge a bit on small trips once or twice a year is penny wise and pound foolish.