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Seattle and how I combat travel burnout

Seattle was just what I needed after 2+ months of travel at the end of 2017. After New Zealand and L.A. a dose of rain, cosy cafes, a bookshop tour of the city, and catching up with long distance friends were the perfect antidote to a hectic travel itinerary. I also loved knowing that I didn’t have to leave my things in a dorm with other people because I was staying at my friends house so I could just go out with a small bag and and my camera.

After my hostel provided breakfast I headed to my first stop Pike Place Market, where I spent my time moving slowly from stall to stall. This took longer than I initially thought because this place is huge, also if your like me and you miss the map that explains how to get around you will get lost… When I finished exploring (read being lost) I bought a hot mulled cider and a vegan snickerdoodle cookie that was about the size of my face and took the rest of the day for me to eat.

November in Seattle isn’t exactly what I would call warm but I really enjoyed sitting outside with my cider and cookie and just people watching. On a side note the queue for the first Starbucks location was wild to watch, especially as there are so many other Starbucks locations in the city.

Once I finished my mulled cider I headed out to collect my bags from the hostel before I went to my friends place but me being me I got distracted by a violinist playing outside a little bookshop like 200m from Pike Place.. After spending some time listening to her play and about 30mins looking at the zines section of the bookstore. I also did buy little zine because I’ve never seen a section dedicated to them in a store and as someone who studied publishing as part of her BA I find them and the self publishing side of it super interesting.

I spent the evening playing Exploding kittens and relaxing with my friends in the city and their housemates. As I write this over a year after the fact I realise how lucky I am to have friends around the world that will let me stay at their places if I am in the area and that can give me recommendations that you wouldn’t always find in the guide book.

I took a slow start to my morning and made myself a cup of tea and a small bowl of oats before I left the house. My first port of call was to the Starbuck Reserve Roastery where I enjoyed a small french press full of their 2017 Christmas blend while I did some journalling to write out some of my experiences and thoughts from the previous couple of months.

Then I had two options one was to go to the Museum of Pop Culture and the other was to go to a few locally run bookstores. And I decided on the later because I needed some time out doing something that relaxes me. So I spent pretty much a whole damn day in bookstores and their respective cafes reading, drinking coffee and discussing books with strangers.

Seattle and my next location Vancouver were where I learnt that you can get tired of travelling and moving around all the time with a hectic itinerary like mine was. So I have complied a few tips that I find help me when traveling gets a bit much.

  • Do something mundane. And by this I mean do something that is super day to day that you could easily do in your home city. For me this is going to either a familiar brand name cafe, or spending time out in bookstores, or even just relaxing and watching youtube videos/Netflix in your hostel dorm room.
  • Go on a non purposeful walk, make no plans other than just to walk around the city or local area. I love exploring by foot and it takes the pressure off having to know where you are going to be able to get around.
  • Sleep in. I found that I was putting pressure on myself to get up early (well early-ish) so I could explore and do as many things as possible in a day. But really that pressure was self imposed and didn’t need to be there, because as the saying goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ So why the heck should I expect to see a whole damn city and its offerings in 1-4days thats crazy.
  • Journal. Journalling is a part of my life anyway but being able to document some of the smaller parts of my travels in a little notebook was great. When you don’t know anyone in a new place it can give you a place to get out all your thoughts and feeling that somewhere new give you.

Hopefully some of these tips can help some you with sometimes overwhelming travel plans that feel like you never stop.

Mim xx

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