Can You See Too Much?

As I write this, I’m in Bora Bora gazing at the unrealistically beautiful ocean. The sun is shining but a few white puffy clouds shield me from its full harshness. A light breeze blows through my hair and bits of palm tree bark swirl around the deck and smack against my laptop. From my chair I can see dozens of the over-the-water bungalows Bora Bora is so famous for, countless palm trees, three boats, a few snorkelers, and a couple in a kayak. I hear people speaking in French, and a little bit of Tahitian. A few women have flowers in their hair, and almost everyone is in a bathing suit. I can smell a light scent of sunscreen and flowers I don’t know the names of.

Bora Bora

I’m in one of the most gorgeous places in the world.

But I don’t want to be here.

I used to get that excited feeling of disbelief whenever I landed somewhere new. That “I can’t believe I’m actually here!” feeling. But I lost that somewhere. I haven’t felt that feeling in months, despite all the new places I’ve been to in the past few months. Being here isn’t giving me the thrill I expected it to. I actually found myself thinking, I’d rather be in the Gili Islands, they were gorgeous too and I could have 10 dinners there for the price of one here. I could stay a month in a bungalow there for what it costs to stay one night here.

Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Amanda said maybe I’ve seen too much. I think, to be more exact, that I’ve seen too much in too short a period of time. I think my brain has hit travel overload and can’t process any more of these extraordinary travel moments. I’m tired of the constant motion, I’m tired of living out of a backpack, I’m tired of always having to get used to new beds, and I’m tired of being away from Andy.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I’m so happy that I was able to make this trip happen and fulfill a dream I’ve held onto for years. I know there are many people who will never get the chance to travel in their lifetime to some of the places I’ve been to in the past four months. But I’m ready to go home. I’ve been ready to go home for a while, and it’s taking a lot of effort to try to appreciate where I am and what I’m doing right now.

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I let this sit in my draft list for a few weeks before looking at it again. Amanda and I flew from Bora Bora back to Tahiti and then to Easter Island just minutes after I wrote the section above the break. Easter Island was absolutely amazing, and I did finally feel that wonder and awe again. (I’ll write about all of these places later, I promise.) I’m now in Atlanta visiting friends and family, a few days away from flying back to Europe to be back with Andy. For good this time. But I think what I wrote above still holds true. I think I saw too much in not enough time. Maybe fewer places in the same about of time would’ve been better. Maybe I would’ve appreciated certain places more if I hadn’t been missing Andy so desperately. Regardless, I have a different perspective on long term travel. It’s an amazing thing to experience, and so vastly different from a normal two or three week vacation. But the constant movement is not for me. I still want to see everything I possibly can in this world, but the experiences and places deserve time to truly be appreciated.

Do you think it’s possible to see too much?

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