Re-Evaluate and Adjust: Fighting the Travel Blues. The Places We Live

Re-Evaluate and Adjust

Moving is never easy, especially when moving to a new country that is so vastly different from my own. It is not fun to admit, but the last few days as a full-time traveler have been hard… Really hard. We are over budget, cold, out of routine, Josh is sick, and we’re down one working computer. That is on top of all the craziness that is China. We fell asleep in our Guilin hostel on Friday feeling overwhelmed and helpless.

Maybe it was the fact that we both finally slept the entire night through, but we both woke up the next day feeling inspired. I woke up with a clear head and positive attitude. It was time to re-evaluate and adjust my life to fit the needs of the world around me.

Today, I choose to be happy! Inspirational quote

Re-Evaluate The Situation

First, we needed to figure out exactly what was bringing us down. We sat down and had an honest conversation. We discussed how we felt and made a list of what we thought might be causing our issues.

  • We’re too cold to leave our heater blankets
  • We feel guilty for being less than one month in and already over budget
  • Josh’s computer is broken
  • I feel responsible for our situation and therefore our unhappiness
  • Josh is catching a cold
  • We’re lonely

Fight the Travel Blues by re-evaluating your situation: You can't solve your problems until you start asking the right questions.

Find Solutions and Adjust

With the list in hand, we were able to break down the issues and solve each one individually.

  • We’re too cold to leave our heater blankets

Our first order of business was to buy coats. We are already over budget due to the early departure from Guangzhou, but it had to be done. We purchased $15 heavy coats from across the street and felt an immediate lift to our spirits.

Jen and Josh from The Places We Live pose with their new coats in Guilin, China.

  • We feel guilty for being less than one month in and already over budget

Guilt is a difficult feeling to overcome. We agreed to learn from our mistake and simply adjust. Josh will temporarily shifting his priorities from writing to working to overcome our deficit. Unfortunately, he needs a working computer and word processor to do that.

  • Josh’s computer is broken

With our new coats to protect us from the cold, we hit the local shops to solve our next problem. We remembered walking past a few electronics stores when we were out the other day. So, we took Josh’s computer and the broken cord to each one and played the “point and shrug” game. We didn’t have any luck. This was not going to be an easy fix. We needed re-evaluate and come up with a Plan B.

Plan B wasn’t as appealing, but it got the job done. We decided that we would share my computer. It lacked some of the necessary software to do the work Josh needed, so we dipped again to our ever decreasing savings to buy the necessary software. Josh now had a working computer, that would allow him to get jobs and make money.

  • I feel responsible for our situation and therefore our unhappiness

Although Josh insisted that none of this was my fault, I needed a way to show him that this adventure wasn’t going to be all hard work. So, I planned a fun adventure for us. Feeling physically better with the warm coats and mentally better with a resolution to the computer/budget problem, we set out for a casual walk. We visited the Sun and Moon Pagodas which were just pagodas, but the surrounding park was very peaceful.

Two pagodas stand side by side along the shores of a lake. Surrounding the lake is a green park in Guilin, China. Jen poses in the foreground.

On our way home we tried a new neighborhood for lunch and had an amazing meal. We ate a big bowl of pork dumpling soup and our favorite style of fried rice for about $1.80.

  • Josh is catching a cold

Josh had the sniffles all day, but really started to feel sick as the day progressed. Again, there isn’t a whole lot we could do about this problem, but we were determined to give it 100%. We went back to the hotel, bundled up, and took a nap. We only left the hostel again for dinner, which included a hot meal, soup, and some orange juice.

Two bowls of rice, orange juice, and a collection of sizzling seafood and veggies.
  • We’re lonely

Our last remaining problem was that we were incredibly lonely and homesick. Once we were rested up, we decided to use the last bit of the day and our energy to make some new friends. We planted ourselves in the common room and started playing a game. We didn’t get any bites, but when a group needed to use our table, they kindly invited us to join their game instead.

It ended up being a super fun night of chatting and Taboo with two different groups of travelers, two women from Israel and a couple from New Zealand. The women just wrapped up their term in the military and were taking a few months off to travel around China, SE Asia, and India. The couple are ex-pats who met in New Zealand. She is a French woman who is a Spanish teacher and he is a civil engineer from Mexico. We stopped keeping score in Taboo, but I think my team won. Although I am sure Josh would debate that.


Keep Pushing

We ended the day on a really positive note. Josh is still sick, we are still over budget, and I am still getting my feet wet every time I brush my teeth (more on that later). BUT, we made the choice to put 100% effort into fixing everything that was holding us back today. We got a lot of stuff done and were able to move forward. I’m feeling a lot more confident about the next couple of months and am looking forward to our next adventures.

Always give 100%. Unless you're donating blood. Inspirational quote over an image of Jen posing in front of a large heart sculpture.

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Black and white pin. Traveling Full-Time Isn't Easy. Problem Solving by The Places We Live  Inspirational quote overlaying a photo of a narrow path surrounded by trees. "The Path Isn't Easy. Re-Evaluate and Adjust"


  1. Yay! you are staying on the positive side of things. Good luck on the computer problem and get well, Josh!

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