Not Enough Time
Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people who are happy going to the same place for vacation every year. It would make things so much easier sometimes. Instead I’m constantly battling between someplace new and someplace I’ve already been to before and loved. Even with our new flexibility, there’s still only so much traveling we can do each year. I’ve ended up feeling like there’s not enough time for all the travel I want to do.
I want new places
Travel isn’t about checking places off a list. And yet, I do still enjoy the novelty of visiting a new country. Every year since 2008, I have traveled to at least one new country per year, most years many more than that. My list of countries I have no interest in visiting is much shorter than the list of countries I’d like to go to someday. So each time Andy and I talk about where we want to go next, my instinct is to mention countries I haven’t yet been to. Hungary, Romania, Iceland, Tunisia, Tanzania, almost any country in Latin America, Slovenia, Serbia, Japan… Like I said, too many to name.
But I want the repeats too
At the same time though, I’ve been to some amazing countries I’d love to return to. I loved Lisbon, so I want to go back and see more of the city and the areas surrounding it. I’d love to see more of Portugal. Our two weeks in Turkey were wonderful, but there are so many parts of the country we just didn’t have time for. Poznan really surprised me, and now I want to see more of Poland. I always want to explore more of Italy, Spain, and Greece. I only spent one day in Dubrovnik, so seeing more of Croatia interests me. Since I cut my time in Vietnam short, I really want to go back and see what I didn’t get to. This list goes on and on too.
>>Do you know what the smallest countries in Europe are?
The speedy side effect
This feeling of not having enough time is what spurs me on to travel quicker. Even though I know I enjoy slow travel so much better. And it always seems like such a reasonable argument. I want to see as much as possible and, even though I know better, it seems like the way to do that is to pick up the pace. It’s how I ended up going to Malta (another place I want to return to) for a friend’s wedding several years ago and tacking on a day in Dubrovnik, all in a six day time frame. It’s how, four years ago, I ended up going to Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Perth, Uluru, Cairns, and Sydney all on a two week trip. (I’m exhausted all over again just thinking about that one.) (That reminds me, I want to go back to Australia too. And Hong Kong.)
>>Hey look! We did go back to Hong Kong and Macau!
I realize my view on all of this is a bit warped. I’ll be 34 in June, so I do still have plenty of years to travel and see the places I want to see. Even if I don’t make it to all of them, it’s ok. My life won’t be any worse off if I never make it to Costa Rica or Namibia or Estonia. When I start thinking there’s not enough time, I have to just remind myself that there’s more time than I think, and what matters is enjoying exploring the world, not racing through it.
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May 29, 2014 @ 8:07 PM
I understand the feeling. Now that we’ve traveled more, I wonder how in the world I’m going to get back to all these places…AND go to new places.
By the way, any recommendations for Lisbon? We’re flying out of there and have a few days to spend. I didn’t love it the last time I was there in 2002, but I’m willing to give it another chance 🙂
June 2, 2014 @ 11:00 PM
Travel is a wonderful thing for opening up the world to us, but at times it’s frustrating because suddenly that list of places we want to see multiplies!
Andy and I really only had one night and morning in Lisbon, so I can’t say we did a ton of stuff, but we loved the vibe and the relaxed atmosphere and the feel of the ocean breeze while we sat outside at a cafe with a drink and talked. I doubt we’d ever be able to recreate that feeling on a return trip. Anyway, I will email you some things I know of in and around Lisbon that we researched but obviously never did.
May 31, 2014 @ 9:10 AM
“I’m constantly battling between someplace new and someplace I’ve already been to before and loved.” I am totally on the same page. While new destinations are of course super exciting, I have a few favorite cities (like London) that I just never seem to run out of things to do there. I’m also a huge fan of slow travel. I really enjoyed reading this, Ali!
Happy travels 🙂
June 2, 2014 @ 11:02 PM
Thanks Lauren, I’m glad you could relate! I love slow travel too, although it adds a whole other layer of frustration sometimes because it means the number of places I can travel to is more limited. But ultimately I know I enjoy travel so much better when I slow down, and it’s better to skip a few places and enjoy it instead of speeding through and being miserable.
May 31, 2014 @ 1:34 PM
My battle is a little different from yours. I want to get on the road and stay on the road…forever, moving from place to place like a digital nomad in the 21st century.
That is my dream. May your goal, which I guess is something in the middle of what you have outlined above, come true too.
June 2, 2014 @ 11:05 PM
Thanks Matthew! That lifestyle does have its appeal to me sometimes, but I don’t think I could handle it for more than a few months at a time. I like my own bed (and kitchen and bathroom and couch) too much! But if that’s something you really want, you can make it happen. It’s tough, and I know you, specifically, have your own hurdles, but I truly believe if you want that life, you can figure out a way to make it work. Although I’d love to see you just take a trip to New Zealand first! My offer to help you plan that still stands!
June 3, 2014 @ 5:05 AM
Thank you for your beautiful comment Ali 🙂 I still want to go to New Zealand but I have an additional hurdle to overcome first – the rapidly declining health of my 87 year old Nanna. She’s coming to the end of her life and she lives on the other side of the Australian continent in Perth. So I need to save my money so that when the time comes to say goodbye to her, I can fly there and do so in person.
I’m very grateful that your offer still stands to help with the planning for the New Zealand trip. I will need it and I’ll let you know when I’m ready to ask for help.
I must admit though, I am really itching to just get on that plane and fly there right now. It’s been too long since I’ve been on the road.
June 4, 2014 @ 10:25 PM
I understand where you’re coming from, that’s tough. Maybe once you have enough money put aside for the last minute flight to Perth, you can start saving for a New Zealand trip? And I can also understand itching to go somewhere ASAP! You’ll get there one of these days!