Am I an Expat Travel Burnout?

Am I an expat travel burnout?  I’m beginning to think I might be.  Tomorrow night I’m leaving Seoul to travel to Nanjing, Taipei, and Qingdao.  I’ll be taking 4 flights in 5 days.  What am I thinking?  What was I thinking booking circular flights for such a short period of time?

Christmas comes to Korea - 24 Hr. Whirlwind

I feel nervous because I haven’t planned anything.  I feel like I’m letting my friends down because I haven’t been able to participate in many of the essential parts of planning a trip (we’re all in different cities).  Plus, I’m traveling with two other travel bloggers, Expat and the City and Live Learn Venture, so we all feel a responsibility to share exciting adventures and essential information with our followings in very different markets (ps. thank you, thank you, thank you for reading…[Mom]).

Jindo Korea sunrise Toronto Seoulcialite
Toronto Seoulcialite in the waters of Jindo Korea

I think most people would feel incredibly liberated and fortunate.  I have felt lucky to be here almost every day of the past year and a half in Busan and in Seoul.  Now, I kind of feel scared.  I have daily work responsibilities and things about which a tourist doesn’t have to worry.  I’m not on a working holiday, I’m an expat abroad.

Khao Soi and Chiang Beer

I just returned from Thailand and have only given you snippets of my time in BangkokPhuket, Chiang Mai, and then back to Bangkok for a cooking class.  My responsibilities as an expat are much different than those of a professional traveler, which are different than those of a tourist.  While most of us are here to experience a different lifestyle, it’s also a much cheaper one (check out Sam’s tips for saving money in Korea), and I need to focus on saving.

Japan iii: Osaka in One Day

Last year my summer vacation was at the end of July, and I knew many of the places I wanted to see months in advance.  Japan was unexpectedly frustrating because of the “friends” with whom I had booked the trip.  I can’t imagine I’ll have a bad time with this crew, but there’s always a little worry in the back of my mind that something will go wrong.  That’s natural, isn’t it?

Shanghai 2: Jing'an Sculpture Park & Temple, Crystal Galleria

I traveled to Shanghai alone this time last year.  Before even setting foot in my hostel I met an American.  He had been studying Mandarin for 5 years in preparation for his trip to China.  He was thrilled that I had a rough itinerary, and acted as a translator while I navigated.  That was lucky!


All my trips from Korea have been very different.  It’s so exciting to be in the gateway to the East in a working environment.  Japan was a bit of a train-wreck traveling with friends.  Shanghai and Thailand were solo trips where I immediately made new travel companions.  This is the first time I’ve had anxiety about trip-related events completely unrelated to traveling alone.  I guess what I’m really trying to say is: sorry for all the ads and advertorials lately.  I’m trying to see it all with too many places on my bucket list and not enough time or cash.

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