GIRL ON FIRE:Pre trip Travel Burnout

In BLOG by Clelia Mattana2 Comments


I’m no Alicia Keys here. I was on fire, that’s right. But I burned Out 🙂

Sitting in my  bed  with my computer on the lap  and a blank page to fill in front of me…and I feel a bit like this page:  BLANK! There are so many ways to describe how I feel, but the ones that summarize it all are:

  • blank
  • confused
  • ridiculously silly




I find it almost impossible to put it down into words, but I’ll give it a try. I mean, I’m not really blank, there are a million words sitting on the back of my mind, but they are just floating there like little castaways searching for a shore that may not even exists.

Can a turmoil of emotions  leave you  speechless and with a totally confused mind? apparently it can.

I know that I should be writing really cheerful posts by now, and they will come I promise, but at the moment all I need is to clear my mind on how I really feel about my upcoming trip and finally spit the “Ugly truth” out of my chest!




I’ve been planning this dream trip  since early August, and it’s been quite a ride I can tell you! with every BIG decision in life, at first there is the enthusiasm phase: that very special moment in which something inside you just “clicks” and you know that there is no turning point after that.

You took your decision and nothing can change that.  And it doesn’t have to be necessarily a travel decision. It might apply when you decide to quit your job, moving to another country, getting married, having a child and so on.



I don’t know you but when I feel that “click”, it’s one of the most amazing/defining moment of my life! I live for moments like those. When you can feel the energy running inside your veins, restlessness and excitement become your best friends  and you truly feel that nothing can go wrong.

It’s such an empowering  sensation and it gives you the strength to face almost anything.It’s when you know that you are doing something RIGHT with your life.

I actually had similar moments in the past, generally  linked to a radical decision I made, mostly moving away from a country or completely changing my life in a way or another.

But the decision to leave everything behind me, including my job,moving out from London  and using all my savings to travel the world has been absolutely  #1 in terms of strong emotions.




Now, one month away from my departure, here’s how I feel. No polished truths:

I feel  bloody guilty for not being on top of the world!  Shouldn’t I suppose to be  excited and happy right now? damn YES  I should!After all I’m about to do what the 90% of population is only dreaming about doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubts about my decision. I know it’s the right one, and I’m not changing my mind in any way.

I simply don’t feel like I am supposed to feel in these circumstances (and my mother constantly storming into my room,complaining that I spend all of my time in front of this computer is not helping to lessen the guilty feeling.

In the past months I did a lot of blog/travel websites reading, and one of my favorite ones is  bootsnall, (if you don’t know it,  click on my link, it’s totally amazing!)  it’s been such an inspiration for me during the planning months and I don’t know how I would  have planned so much and with such enthusiasm without their helpful articles.

Anyway, in one of their posts they talk about a syndrome called “travel Burnout” . Back then I was quite surprised that such thing could even exist. I thought “this is just bullshit” how can you possibly be “burned out”  during an amazing trip that most people can only dream about?

Well I guess that my favorite website was right as usual!I now understand what they mean. Even during the most incredible experience, you can reach a point where you just “hit a wall”.  And what they describe in the article is EXACTLY how I feel right now:

You’re tired, discouraged, frustrated, and you wonder whether you should have just taken your brother-in-law’s job offer. You’ve been clotheslined by burnout. And it sucks”

With the difference that I’m experiencing this emotional status “pre-trip”, and I don’t think that this particular makes such a big difference after all. The burnout is a simple result of  pushing myself  too hard for too long.



OK, enough with ranting and complaining about my bad feelings, I know why I’m like that and I can take action to beat this!

My feelings at the moment are just due to the huge amount of stress I’ve been experiencing lately:


  • Leaving London after 6 amazingly intense years has drown me down a bit.
  • Being in Sardinia, with an awful flu and forced in bed with antibiotics doesn’t help either.


I now feel better as just being able to be honest and talk/write about it helps a lot. And for the records: I don’t feel like that all of the time!

There are moments in which I realize what I’m going to do and I can feel the adrenalin running into my veins again, my face turns red and hot for the emotion and happiness!

I’ve also been in touch with many travel bloggers lately, and they helped me in realize that what I’m experiencing is frequent and has to be expected on some extent. So I decided not to worry too much, go with the flow and see what happens next and where all this will take me.

Honestly, being a bit of a “Drama Queen”, I’m almost glad that I’m having such an internal turmoil. It means that what I’m going to do is  important and will change my life forever. And that’s exactly why I decided to take the chance and jump!

This is one of the consequences of making  some risky decisions after all..


What about you guys? did you feel a bit lost/discouraged/scared just before your trip/marriage or whatever big decision you took in your life? What’s the best way to deal with it?!

Let me know your thoughts!




  1. yeah you’re absolutely right….but hey…i can already feel the enthusiasm kicking in again! whooo hoo :))

  2. I think you are just stressed out a bit, it will all turn out fine as soon as you are done with the preparation! And yes it is normal to feel like that now, as this is indeed a “life changing” situation.
    I wish u all the best and will be awaiting for a new post with your usual positive attitude! 🙂

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