Thoughts on Getting Stuck While Traveling

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Greetings,

I’m on a 14 hour night bus from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, Argentina. I’ve spent a good two weeks in Buenos Aires and I dare say, definitely got stuck there. When traveling for short periods, it’s hard to get stuck somewhere as you are short on time. A “down day” where you do very little is far and few between and if you have one, it’s wonderful. When traveling for long periods of time it is necessary to sometimes kick back and relax but it’s also important to realize when you’ve gotten stuck somewhere…

Think of the travel trail as a wild and ridiculous river that goes in all sorts of directions. When you get in the flow it brings you to amazing places, often times places you didn’t know much or anything about before you got there. Getting stuck is similar to being in an eddy in a river where you’re not in the flow anymore, you’re just there. They are great places to relax a bit and fish often do, yes? The thing is time can stand still while the dates on your calendar fly by in such said locations behind the rocks where the water is calm and the current is dead.

One day or one evening you’re going to look at yourself in the mirror and say “what am I still doing here?” You also know you’ve gotten stuck when the idea of moving is similar to having half your torso consumed by aggressive quicksand. You feel like it’s impossible to get out of the hole and everywhere seems like a mission. Sometimes you get stuck because you’re burnt out, other times because you can’t think of where to go next. As a long term traveler the issue of getting stuck isn’t one of if but when.

You must realize that you’re stuck and that the show must go on.

Ultimately, you can’t see the world or even the countries you’re in unless you, well, go out and do it. If you really like somewhere and wish to stay for awhile and rent an apartment, that is one thing. I’m talking about when you’re living in short term accommodation primarily. That said, it’s extra easy to get stuck somewhere for much longer periods of time if you do have an apartment.  I thought of an apartment in Buenos Aires and still like the idea, just so much to see and do.

This is a public service announcement to all you travelers out there; realize when you’re stuck and make that move. Once you get out from behind that rock and the safety of the eddy, you’re immediately back in the flow and the current will have its way with you. It’s in the current that you meet the other interesting fish and find your next grea adventure. That said, I can’t wait to return to Buenos Aires one day but already feel better as I watch the lights on the highway fly by.

Mendoza is wine country and I’m ready for it.

Tips hat,

P.S: If you find yourself living “ground hog day”, you’re stuck.

4 Comments

  1. SJH

    December 24, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Rob, very insightful post. And, it applies to more than just long-term travelers. I think I felt the same way before changing careers in the past. It’s easy to get stuck in a job too, and the thought process you lay out is a great way to view that situation.

    Merry Christmas and safe travels!

    • Rob

      December 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      You are right my friend, regardless of what you’re doing with your life; gotta stay in or get back in the flow of that river of dreams.

      Safe travels as always and a very Merry Xmas to you and yours, good sir!

  2. Sofie

    December 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I don’t know if it’s always a bad thing to get stuck while traveling.
    I guess it depends on your goal. If your goal is to travel the world and ‘see it all’, then yes, move on, but what if you find a place that you really like and that you could call home for a while?

    That sad: getting stuck in a job is a big no-no!

  3. Noeleen

    January 18, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I just love this post, love it – your public service announcement. Ah sigh. You know, I was $30K in debt last year but my son was 17 and we’d been through hell, so I extended my bank loan, and we went to Thailand … http://wordsfallfrommyeyes.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/the-escape-part-ix-youre-gunna-have-to-serve-somebody/ is just one post (a video by me) of our trip.

    When we got back to Australia & I realised he’d be leaving school in a year and I would be left with the debt which crept up on me, raising him unsupported, well, I went bankrupt. Yep. Did it. I can’t travel for 2 years, The Rules say, but once my son has left school, eventually home, there’s a whole world waiting for me. And hey, I’m not in debt.

    LOVE your spirit & soul here, Rob.

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