It’s been interesting observing how we have felt at different points in the
journey over the last 2 1/2 months. There’s no question we have had a
fantastic time and really enjoyed the journey but the last week could be
described by both of us as ‘a bit over it’. To those who are slogging away
in a hard job each day that might sound bizarre – that you could be on
holidays with 3 1/2 months to go and be a bit tired of it.
We are a little puzzled by it, and it was only when we both verbalized it to
one another that we realized we were feeling similar things.
I’ve been pondering why it is that we are feeling this way and I’m guessing
it’s a few factors.
– When we started everything was new and it was a huge challenge to figure
out how to do camping well. I think we have got it pretty well sorted now
and the ‘learning curve’ has plateaued. Now it’s a bit more routine and hum
drum. Not bad – just a little less interesting. Been there done that…
– Then there’s the absence of good friends. Both of us have at times longed
to just sit down with good friends and enjoy an evening of conversation and
laughter, but everyone we meet on the road is a ‘first time’ acquaintance
and we find ourselves going thru the same routine Q & A each time we bump
into people. This is all well and good, but there are times when I have
avoided people because I just can’t be bothered answering the same questions
over and over. It’s been good to get on the phone to friends occasionally
but it is still different.
– The colder weather has changed the vibe a little also. As much as I love
cooler weather I think the optimal temperature for camping is around the 32
mark. It’s warm enough to go swimming, not chilly at nights and in the
morning, but not so hot you feel stifled. We are currently having 23 – 25
degree days and swimming has dropped off the radar. I miss lazing around the
beach and have been tempted to pass up driving home across the Nullabor and
simply turn around and head back to NT and northern WA! Far north Queensland
is definitely cooler than northern WA and as nice as it is we have noticed
that change in climate.
– I am also someone who has a strong sense of accomplishment and I like to
be doing things and achieving things. That is not really the purpose of a
holiday… I definitely get the whole thing about resting well, but there
have been days when I have been genuinely bored and in need of something
more to do. Usually its been when we have stopped at a caravan park for a
while and haven’t got heaps to do in the town – and when the book I am
reading is a bit crap. (ie Mercy by Jodi Picoult)
I tend to think this feeling will pass, but if it doesn’t we won’t be
changing anything. I did contemplate coming home sooner and taking another 3
months next year over winter, but it’s just not that easy…
It has surprised me that we might get actually tired of the travelling life,
and I imagine some of my friends will be shaking their heads in disbelief,
but there you go – that’s been my experience of things…
Having done the 11 month ‘circuit’ around the island I am relating to what you are saying. Christine and I went through that very feeling a few times and in the end I guess we gave in to it and came home a month before we were due. But we did find that staying put for an extended period (as you seem to be doing now) helped a bit, we made deeper (albeit short) relationships with others camping around and felt connected even for a week or 2 or 12 as it was for us in Airly Beach!
As for getting past small talk, a friend of mine sometimes simply skips it and blunders straight into broader topics. It doesn’t always work and people might get turned away, but it surprises me how often it does work. You get interesting connection and conversation, then go away sometimes without even knowing which town someone is from (: which I’m sure is one of the cliche questions you usually endure.
 I wonder if a lot of people feel the same way as you do.