Travel Depression: Boredom, Depression, and a Nomad

travel depression

Travel Depression: Yep, it happens to the best of us.

She asked if I’d ever tried to write about my boredom. No, I replied, for I could only write when I was in writing mode. To write when I didn’t feel it – well, it would come out as junk. Though, to be fair, I suppose I could write for myself and not post to this blog. Somehow that seems empty to me. Maybe it’s worth a shot anyway, though.

Who the fuck was she? My therapist. My newfound therapist that took three god damn bloody months to get in to see, but my therapist nonetheless. We’ve had one session. No, I have had no giant realizations, short of the fact that I am indeed a nomad. I know what the goal is; to get back on the road. But this goal is empty without the rest, for I could be on the road at this very moment if I chose to be. How absurd! The very thing I wish for most is both obtainable and unobtainable at once. I am too mentally unwell to hit the road, to take care of myself, financially and otherwise. Yet a great boredom, a blah-ness, overcomes me as I sit in this room, afraid to venture to the cold outdoors. A walk would be nice, but was I even going for walks prior to the cold that set in so recently? No, for though I love walking with my headphones, it seems I need a goal, a place to get to, in order to motivate myself out of the house. The irony of my life being that I thrive far more when I’m pushed out of my comfort zone. But to push myself out of it when I could just sit around… it feels impossible.

And so I sit at my grandfather’s place. I am taken care of; there is food. There is a room. There is someone to pay for my meds should I not be able to afford them (let us hope those days are over and my health coverage comes in soon). But what happens when I am well enough to leave again? Access to my meds will be limited, and even when I can find them, the price of one of them is outrageous. Will I have to stop them altogether? Will the blah-ness be replaced by utter despair once again?

My therapist asked me to paint a picture of what a day in the life is. It was quite simple to explain: wake up, have a smoke. See if I have any work to do. I probably don’t. If I do, it will last half an hour, an hour at most. Stare at computer screen. Hope someone interesting comes online. My lack of concentration, likely due to my depression and anxiety, makes it impossible to so much as watch a TV series – no matter how interesting – let alone read or do anything of the sort.

And so I sit, day in day out, staring. Some days I go positively mad. I wonder what other people do. What the fuck do you people do?! Sometimes I start crying, not from the travel depression, but from the boredom. I curl up in a ball. I stare at the ceiling.

What do I do? I travel. That’s what I do. And when I get bored with one place, I move on. It’s like reverse culture shock for me – having gone from a life of utter turbulence, uncertainty, movement, for nearly four years, to a safe environment in which I should be getting better. But I’m not.

It’s a battle that sometimes I feel I can win, while other times I feel is completely hopeless. How does one overcome the boredom, the feeling of loneliness, the everything, while in an atmosphere completely not conducive to one’s recovery? I am not a sedentary being, nor am I one to stay in cold climates (I detest the cold). So how do I get better enough to hit the road again, while here?

God help me, give us Skype psychiatrists and therapists soon, for this is not the land in which I belong. But I am sick. I am terribly ill, and I need help. I feel trapped between – to use a complete cliché, yet an accurate one – a rock and a hard place.

What do you do?

travel depression


Danie is a lovable and insane digital nomad of sorts. If you ever wondered what's a nomad, you've come to the right place. She enjoys oversharing, telling every detail of her life, and chilling on the beach, among other things. Danie is rather odd, and she likes it that way. Be sure to subscribe to hear more of her ramblings, and find out when Danie finally gets to fulfill her biggest dream: cuddling a platypus.


  1. Hey Danie, definitely not a easy place to be in one’s life. I get so bored ometimes too and have to ask wtf other people do too to stay busy. For me i need something that has some sort of meaning for me to really want to do it otherwise Im easily convinved to do nothing and just sit and think…sometimes of really nothing sad to say.
    But anyway, I hope you recover out of this slump and find a new fuel to drive you. It isn’t easy Im sure but I’m also sure that you will get our life back on track when the time is right.

    Take care n be safe!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Patrick 🙂 It’s nice to find people who can actually relate to this – sometimes I just feel insane like I’m the only one, though I know that’s not the case deep inside. So comments like this give me a smile!

  2. This is such a powerful article that it is hard to find words to say. I It resonated with me although I am supposedly not depressed. But still feel like this more often than I like to admit.
    The writing is strange…I have so many ideas and drafts in my head when I am out, on the road or in the mountains, but then the days I should work on them I just sit, stare at the monitor, chat with people about meaningless stuff and stay awake all night without doing anything in the end. I envy people who can stay focused and do what they decided to do.

    • Perhaps our lack of focus is partially a good thing, though. I mean, when I’m in writing mode my writing comes out great. When I’m not? It’s terrible. I hear that many artists of different sorts deal with this, it’s just that we never see the crap, just like you won’t see it in my writing (and probably yours too!)

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