How We Balance Down Time and Tourism

Have you ever felt more tired after a vacation? We sure have!

Being on the road we are constantly in new places with new sights to see and it is easy to fall into the habit of constantly go-go-going. We have found that it is important to balance the continual urge to see it all with the need for down time. Much like being at home, we sometimes need breaks during the day, relaxing evening, a good night sleep, and “weekends” to unwind from a week of doing.  

 Relaxing on the Black Sand Beach, Vík, Iclenad, 2016
Relaxing on the Black Sand Beach, Vík, Iclenad, 2016

We have learned how significant regular breaks during the day can be. Not only do we get to rest our feet, but we get to rest our minds. An easy way for us to do this is to find a café, have a cup of coffee, and people watch. Sitting in silence and letting our mind slow down gives us a second wind for more sight-seeing. 

 Coffee Date. Oslo, Norway, 2016
Coffee Date. Oslo, Norway, 2016

Every night cannot be a night on the town.  Sometimes the best remedy for a long day is a relaxing evening. Dive into a good book, relax in a park, binge watch a tv show, or even nodding off into an early sleep. 

 Kevin relaxing while listening to a good book. Ålä, Sweden, 2016
Kevin relaxing while listening to a good book. Ålä, Sweden, 2016

Another way we have learned to balance our downtime with our tourism is by allowing ourselves to not set wakeup alarms and simply sleeping in. Before traveling the world, we always heard how not getting enough sleep can effect many aspects of your life and it is very true. A good night’s sleep is essential for a good day of sight-seeing.

 Seeing the sights after a good night sleep. Iceland, 2016
Seeing the sights after a good night sleep. Iceland, 2016

Too many consecutive days of being on the go can lead to getting burnt out. After a few weeks of not having a day off from traveling and sight seeing it was time for us to take a weekend. Two consecutive days of hanging around with nothing planned was pure bliss. It reinvigorated us. From that point on we decided that allowing ourselves to have weekends was one of the most important ways of balancing downtime with our tourism. 

 Enjoying a weekend with nothing planned. Copenhagen, Denmark
Enjoying a weekend with nothing planned. Copenhagen, Denmark

We had to let go of being on a schedule to see everything, rather, experience the place we are visiting. A good way to do this is to balance being a tourist with simple being someone living on the move.     

We are two en route for balanced travel.

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Defining our American Dream

After spending the better part of a decade working towards the American Dream we decided to step back and rethink what that really meant to us. Ultimately we decided that taking a no regrets leap out of our comfort zone and into a nomadic backpacking journey across the globe was the right thing for us. Ready. Set. Leap!

 Paris, France, 2012
Paris, France, 2012

We started traveling internationally for run of the mill tourist type sightseeing in 2012 and ended up falling in love with encountering new cultures, cities, ways of life, flavors of food, and everything else in between. Travel to us has becoming about opening our minds to how amazingly huge and diverse this world really is.  Each place we visit changes a little something about what makes us who we are, both individually and as a couple.

Growing up we learned about the previous generation’s definition of the American Dream.  Picket fences, ambrosia salad at the neighborhood potluck, and two and a half children are just a few things that come to mind. For us though, the American Dream has become one with fewer pickets in the fence and lot more wanderlust in the heart, fewer marshmallows in the ambrosia salad and a lot more culinary experiences on the street-side, and the same two and a half children in our home just a few more years down the road.

We are two en route to achieve our American Dream.