It’s been a while since I last posted here. A lot (or not) has happened in the meantime. Ever since I left Guatemala heading towards Panama I started to feel really demotivated at times and I had been thinking about going home quite many times. Of course I can mainly speak for myself but this seems to be a common thing to happen to (motorcycle) overlanders while passing through that strectch of the Americas. For me there are various reasons why this happens.
First, there is the heat, the literal part of my travel burn out. Incredible heat. At times it is above 40°C and this is no fun on a motorcycle. Coming to Costa Rica was a relieve from that but only if you stick to the mountains. I ended up spending over two weeks in Costa Rica. And contrary to what everyone says I found it not to be overly expensive. Of course free camping, staying with local riders and not buying tours or tickets is a prerequisite to experience Costa Rica on the cheap. The heat was so bad that I even started to ride without my protective gear. Certainly not what I would usually do but I needed to do something to feel more refreshed on the bike.
Second, when I hit central america I have been about a year into my trip. For me it is when there wasn’t much contrast anymore. While the working folks at home escape their lives at home and at the desk to the beaches you get the full contrary and of course it’s like “wow this is nice to be on that beach”. But after having seen countless beaches I just felt more like “oh, another beach”. It’s just that you get used to the “same” things on the road as you would at home. Key is to change between different sceneries often, even though that feeling of not seeing much new persisted. I often felt like every mountain and every little village just looks the same. I couldn’t even tell a difference in the locals anymore, a thing I usually try to pay good attention to.
Third there is the food. Everybody says the food between Mexico and Colombia is not the same. The choice is less and the taste isn’t the same to be honest either. While I loved Mexican food and many foods in central america are quite similar it isn’t the same. Thenb again, being a long time away from home missing the good european food kicks in more and more. Where is my delicious bread with good cold cuts and spicy cheese? Yes, there are places that sell halfway decent bread. I even ended up buying imported cheese from France to top it up, but it’s just not the same quality and wide choice we have at home.
And last but not least I am a solo traveller. I enjoy the freedom of it and I believe it’s easier to meet people along the way when travelling solo. But even with all the people I get to know there are times when I feel lonely. Times where I would wish to have a travel partner, someone I’ve known for a long time and share a profound connection.
So no, long term travel isn’t always as great as everybody seems to convey, like everything else it has it’s downsides. But trying to mix things up help and I learned to deal with the bad times.