Montpellier, tu m’as manqué!

= I missed you, Montpellier!

As soon as we opened the door into our new apartment and settled onto one of our two armchairs that make us feel like Carl and Ellie in UP, I immediately felt a sense of comfortable euphoria sweep over me.

Carl & Ellie in Up
Carl & Ellie in Up

We’d spent six weeks on the road over December and January but by the end of it I was pretty much done with this whole trains, planes and automobiles business.

It’s kind of ironic considering my last post about my first adventure which had me itching to travel more. But since that first time we’ve travelled a lot and, while adventures still make my heart do a little happy dance, we’ve also learnt that there can be too much of a good thing.  Travel fatigue is real, and it’s a pain in the derrière.

At the beginning of our trip I was so excited by everything that I was running from Christmas market to Christmas market glugging down gluwhein after gluwhein, sausage after sausage, and inhaling history.

happy christmas face
German markets have this effect

By the end though I would stare at churches, pick things up in shops, put them down, and feel nothing.  It was sad. I wanted my excitement back. I’d tried with all my might to muster up the joy but my ooh’s and ahh’s were a pitiful version of their former selves.  Eat, see, do just wanted to be eat, unpack, sleep – note: I never tire of eating, although maybe I was a little sausage-d out post Germany and Poland.

So, while we were in a new apartment which was of course, you know, new, it was still a familiar town.  We shot out to our familiar bakery to buy our familiar bread, headed to our familiar café for familiar coffee and showed Jono’s mum proudly around our familiar little home town.  He’s written his own lovely little post on how we missed Montpellier on his blog.

trois graces montpellier
Place de la Comedie, Montpellier

I’ve realised these last couple of weeks walking around town, how very much I will miss France and more specifically Montpellier when we eventually leave. Maybe we needed to get away to realise just how much we love it here. It’s still an adventure – it’s still got that newness to it that makes it exciting – but it’s an adventure we can have in between doing normal day to day familiar things.

Going to the flea markets on weekends and making random excursions to the beach to fly kites and pop over to an ancient cathedral which just happens to have a bunch of peacocks hanging out outside are just some of the ways you can spend a weekend here.

flea market
Weekend flea markets
the beach montpellier
Maguelone beach in winter

Being back also made me realise how much I liked having somewhere to come back to. I’d never understood how people tired of travelling before, the idea of being a digital nomad appealed to me a lot but now I’ve realised it’s harder than it seems. I like a certain amount of routine and familiarity and I think we’ve both realised that the idea of settling down is maybe not so bad. Maybe.

On a separate note, I keep trying to write apartment with two p’s. I think French is bastardising my English.  Still, at least I’m getting my own back by trying to bastardise French and often throwing in English words with a French accent. Half the time it works. Half the time I just have French people looking at me going: “Le quoi?”  Yesterday at my first blogger event in Montpellier I discovered that insentif (incentive with a French twist) is just not a word. Bugger.

So, have you ever experienced travel fatigue?

26 Responses to Montpellier, tu m’as manqué!

  1. I have definitely experienced travel fatigue! We did a 6 week trip over Europe and it was exhausting, two to three days in each city cramming in as much as possible! I felt quite like you just staring at churches and beautiful buildings but not really absorbing it like I should. There really is no place like home, so nice to come back after a long trip.

    • So so nice. And so upsetting to not really be able to appreciate things that in other circumstances would have you really excited! Lessons learnt though!

  2. I can definitely relate to your sentiment here Anna! There really is no place like home, and sometimes it takes travelling half way around the world (or sometimes not even that far!) to realise that and appreciate your own backyard. And also to actually have a place to call home, where everything is familiar and where friends and family are close is so important to me!
    Carly x
    http://www.letuswanderlust.blogspot.com

    • Yes definitely. It took a while for Montpellier to feel like home but now it does I don’t want to leave again. I know our next destination will take a while to settle in and I think we’re planning to stay longer wherever it is we go! x

    • haha nooo it doesn’t! Although I love the way they use English words like ‘hyper’ and ‘top’ and ‘cool’ so much. Tres cute.

  3. I have heard so many good things lately about Montpelier and even though I have visited many areas of France (I lived there for a year) this is somewhere I haven’t been but it’s on my list! The beach looks lovley even in winter too. I am passionate about travelling but you are right that it often makes you appreciate home.

    • It’s blooming brilliant! There are many parts of France I haven’t visited yet though and I can guarantee we won’t see them all before we leave. Yes, I don’t think it’s quashed my travel bug but just made me realise I need to work in smaller doses!

    • It’s hard not to be though – it’s great in smaller doses like we’ve loved weekends away in nearby French towns and the first two weeks in Germany were honestly fantastic. You can’t live everywhere but it’s good to be able to base yourself somewhere and then go from there…

  4. I love Up! I understand what you’re saying because, although not travelling at the moment, we are not ‘settled’ either. I want to be settled in Italy or the UK, we aren’t one or the other yet.

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

    • Oh that’s definitely tough Louisa. It’d be really hard to feel settled when you’re in two places I imagine but then I guess both would have that home familiarity and excitement at the same time? Maybe….

  5. Ummm, yes. Yes, I do. And much quicker than you do, apparently. I pretty much max out at a week away from home. No one wants to be around me after that. I could never be a permanent traveler because I love having a home too much, even if my home is a shoebox apartment in a country I have no real ties to. Still counts as a home and I miss it when I’m away. So much so that I sometimes end up calling our hotels “home”. ;o)

    • Well that makes me feel patient :) I felt pretty guilty being a grumpy sack towards the end but the speed at which I got over that once I had my home back was unbelievable. Such a relief. Definitely going to spend less time on the road in such long chunks, there’s an art to doing travel right I think!

  6. I agree, I definitely need a place to come back to, a “home base” you could say. Although I love travelling and exploring new places, but I like to have a place I can return to, a place I’m familiar with and that I have friends and family around. Having said that, I’d quite happily give that up (for a little while) to come and visit Montpellier! It looks beautiful and I’ve heard so many good things I’d really like to visit sometime. I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing list of places to visit.

    • Haha you should! It’s a fantastic place, even now, but in a couple of months it’ll be sunnier and even better! And It’s so easy and cheap to get to from London. I’m ‘popping’ back to London this weekend in fact. But yes, you should! (And let me know if you do – I have a ridiculous amounts of suggestions !)

  7. Sadly, I don’t get travel fatigue because I am the laziest expat, ever. I rarely leave Ile-de-France. What a shame, right? Your post inspired me to get some damn travel fatigue because we won’t be in France forever.

    And how pretty are you? Love that German market photo. Quelle beauté!

    • Aww thank you :) I DO want a chic short haircut though. It feels like it needs to happen. The only thing I feel like I want to explore more of at the moment in Europe is France… and I’m never done with Paris so I can understand not leaving!

  8. My English (American English) has become completely bastardized! Between the six years in Dublin and now the four in France, I’m fully expecting to be made fun of when I get back to the States in a couple of weeks :)
    Enjoy every single second of your time in Montpellier that you can, it’s such a wonderful city! x

Leave a reply