Am I a Lazy Traveller?

If you asked me whether I’m a lazy person the answer would probably be yes. I’ve always seen work as a bit of an inconvenience and my life’s goal is to find a way to pretty much not work.  At the moment I’m working hard (if you can call teaching around 22 hours a week hard) to save enough to travel for around 3 years and sometimes people ask me why. I usually give the same answer: it’s a socially acceptable way to not have a job. If I stayed in New Zealand for 3 years and just sat around and watched TV people would abuse me for it, but since I’m travelling I’m suddenly doing something worthwhile and respectable. Of course that isn’t the only reason I want to travel, in fact it’s pretty far down the list, but not working for 3 years really does excite me.

I should probably come up with a better answer for that “Why do you travel?” question. I’ve read a few interviews with bloggers and most of them state that they travel to meet people, learn about new cultures and become a better person. These are all admirable answers, and mine looks pretty unfashionable next to them, but is it just the company line? I like all the culture, the new people, the food and the adventure, but what I love most is the freedom, the feeling I can do whatever I want, even if that means watching almost a whole series of Game of Thrones back to back while on a beautiful island in Cambodia.

So, what am I like when I’m on the road? Well you will have seen that I’ve done 3 posts (and another couple planned) about the best places to relax in Southeast Asia, so that should give you a bit of a clue.  I do like to do things and am usually pretty active, but sometimes I just like to find a nice guesthouse, get a few movies ready on the laptop and chill out for a few days.  I was in Saigon for a week and after a couple of months in Malaysia and the Philippines, staying in very basic guesthouses, I was so excited to finally have Wi-Fi, cable TV and aircon that I did almost nothing for the whole time I was there. I did go on a few excursions, but I could have done a lot more and I didn’t socialise too much either, as I just wanted some time to myself.

I guess I’m kind of an introvert, which people may mistake for laziness. I’m not always up for socialising and being around other people, I really need that alone time. For every 3 or 4 days spent in full-time company I usually need 1 for myself, which I think is reasonable! I think my kind of personality is perfect for solo travel as I’m equally at home with people or by myself.

So then, am I a lazy traveller? The all action traveller with an overflowing itinerary might think so, but I think I have the perfect balance. For me, travel should be about doing what you want, not what you feel you should do.  Sure, I want to learn, to meet people and maybe even grow as a person (actually that one’s not true, as personal growth usually equals insufferable smugness), but most of all I want to be free (and not work)!


What are you like when you are on the road? Are you a lazy traveller as well? Let me know!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.

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  1. January 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm — Reply

    I think all travelers just end up being a mix of everything on long trips. Sometimes you want to be lazy and sit around. Other times, you want to be out and social. It depends.

    • January 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm — Reply

      Yeah, I guess it’s important to have that balance, some people are all go all the time though!

  2. Jessi
    May 14, 2014 at 11:52 am — Reply

    I’m very similar – an introverted traveler. Some days I go, go, go and am very sociable, and some days I just want to do my own thing — whether I take time off from the sights or just kind of chill.

    It’s a big myth that travelers are always in the move. In a way, we are, but you can’t keep doing loads of stuff everyday. If you’re staying somewhere for a while — or teaching and traveling, like me — you’ll run out of things to do and you’ll have seen it all too quickly. How much I do depends on how long I’m in one place. Plus, burnout is bad and, Iike you, I have to recharge every few days.

    And sometimes we all just need time to watch shows. When I was preparing to leave my job in Russia, except for going to St. Petersburg my last week, all I did was go to work, pack, and watch shows on netflix. I’d seen what I wanted to of Russia — well, at least of the area I was in– and decided that I was “done”

    • May 14, 2014 at 10:46 pm — Reply

      I know the feeling! I’d love to hear more about your experience teaching in Russia, you should write a post for me about it!

  3. June 23, 2014 at 12:01 am — Reply

    Great and honest post Jon! And I can really relate to what you wrote. I think (especially if you travel long-term) that it’s perfectly normal (just being human) to have non-travel days. Basically taking a break in your break and doing what you love to do at that moment :)!

    • June 26, 2014 at 11:19 pm — Reply

      Thanks! Yeah, I think you’d go a bit crazy if you were on the go all the time.

  4. June 24, 2014 at 6:34 pm — Reply

    Not lazy!! We call it “Sunday” – even if it’s a Tuesday, like today, that we choose to lie around the guesthouse and do nothing. After 420 days on the road we’ve learned to give in to at least one “Sunday” every 7-10 days. You’d have a weekend day or two to yourself if you worked a regular 9:5, and travel is sometimes just as mentally/physically demanding as a regular 9:5…

    • June 26, 2014 at 11:21 pm — Reply

      That’s a good plan, I think you’re right about it being as demanding as a job, especially if you are in a place that you don’t know well/ don’t speak the language.

  5. July 18, 2014 at 11:53 am — Reply

    You hit it right on the nail, freedom. Not the illusion of freedom but actually freedom, and traveling really does that for me

  6. April 12, 2015 at 9:17 am — Reply

    Great post. I can relate very much to it. I took a year away from work to travel and live abroad. I’m about 2 months in and feeling a bit burnt out so I’m settling down in Chiang Mai for a bit. I initially felt like I “had” to see and do as much as possible but I just woke up one day and realized that I can do absolutely nothing if I don’t want to. And it’s OK to do nothing. I’m also a bit of an introvert and like the moments to myself. Keep on truckin’. Happy travels!

    • April 19, 2015 at 5:43 am — Reply

      Cheers Wayne, you definitely need to take breaks when you travel long term!

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