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Too Much Travel? Jetlag and Other Consequences of Going Too Much

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Tired doesn’t even begin to touch the reality of the state that I am in right now.  Physically empty, reserves depleted, running on autopilot.    I almost fell asleep while driving to work this morning and I feel even more flat and lifeless now.

Being completely and utterly exhausted and yet unable to sleep has to be one of the more frustrating conditions that a person can experience.  I have slept for a grand total of 4 hours in the last 2 days.

Someone that has never experienced significant jet lag before may have a hard time understanding the full scope of the problem.

The word itself doesn’t sound that bad.  What can be so hard about it?  You think that you might just be a little tired and off for a few days, and that if you just force yourself back on to the right schedule and everything should be fine, right?…

Except for the fact that despite your best efforts, your body flat out refuses to sleep at anything even close to the right time.  Right now, it is 2:30 pm in the afternoon, and I could close my eyes and fall asleep right now in about 20 seconds.  Later tonight, at 2:30 am I will be laying in bed awake for hours when I should be sleeping.

Last night, in an effort to assure adequate sleep, I drank half a bottle of cheap wine and a healthy shot of whisky just to be on the safe side.  The results?  I slept fitfully for four whole hours, then awoke at 1:00 am when my husband (who hadn’t been able to sleep, either) finally won his battle with the jet lag monster and came to bed.  There was just no more sleep to be had.

Beyond the short term reality of suffering from jet lag upon our return from Korea the earlier this week, the amount of travel that I have done in the last few months is taking its toll on my life in other ways.

I have been in 9 countries in the last 4 months.  This would be an impressive feat for a full time traveler, but even more so considering that I work full time.  I have been running so fast that I haven’t really even had time to stop and digest the places that I have been.

Peter and Paul Fortress, St Petersburg Russia
Peter and Paul Fortress, St Petersburg Russia

The amount that I have been traveling is starting to affect my health as between getting ready to go, going, and playing catch up upon return I have not had adequate time to work out or to cook healthy, nutritious foods.

Projects that need to get done at home are being put off because of my incessant need to “go”.  Even basic house cleaning tasks have fallen woefully behind.  The steadily increasing clutter and mess is leaving me feeling mentally exhausted and unproductive and it is zapping my creativity.

My non stop traveling for the last few months has taken a toll on this blog.  The blog posts that I had all lined up and ready to go have long since run out leaving me scrambling to put fresh stuff up (or worse, just not updating altogether).

My social media strategy has fallen apart and  I haven’t had time to jump back into it yet.  All of this means that my traffic is down, and it won’t come back up without some elbow grease.

In the grand scheme of things, this is all pretty petty when compared to the awe inspiring beauty of Norway or the unique cultural differences that we experienced in Korea, but for a petty thing, it is really kicking my butt.

One more trip left (Virginia next week for a workshop), then maybe I will be able to stay home for a month or three before the wanderlust hits again [sigh].


Have your travels ever left you feeling exhausted and in need of a non-vacation vacation?  Have you ever experienced the consequences of too much travel?

Shanna Schultz

Hello, my name is Shanna, and I am a detail obsessed travel addict on a mission to make planning your own family trips fun and easy! I offer tools, guides and resources to help you through all of the steps of planning meaningful, memorable family vacations. Come over and check out our Facebook community where I share real tools and resources to help you move the needle on your travel goals. Let's start making those travel dreams real, y'all! Life is too short to spend dreaming...let's start DOING!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Esther

    The dark side of travel 😉
    Travel has a romantic image, but it can make you and also break you. On my roadtrip to Umbria for the TBU conference I was all the time thinking about when and where to sleep next. Before where to eat, so that says a lot.
    To start and keep a travel blog alive takes a lot of time i noticed myself. Especially when you have lots of things to do beside travel.
    You have a great blog, so keep on traveling 🙂

    1. Shanna

      Yeah, a travel blog is more work than anyone realizes.

      We have been home from Korea for 2 weeks, and my sleep patterns are just starting to get back to normal.

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