Traveling Isn’t Always Glamorous

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thanks for all your kind comments and support for me posting about going to the nude beach! it’s now one of my top viewed posts because maybe people were hoping to get my top viewed with a bikini off (see what i did there)!

if you’ve been reading this here blog over the past month (thank you) then you know that we’ve had a whirlwind of a time in mexico, australia, and hong kong! just reading that sentence makes me feel confused because sometimes it’s hard to believe that it’s the life i’m living or that i could ever visit three countries in the span of 23 days.

it’s also hard to believe that we are leaving for england and morocco on saturday to tick two more continents off of our BIG dream!

traveling isn't always glamorous

i’ve had a few emails and comments around  “how fun! you’re so lucky” (we are!) and “wow, how did you feel after it all?!” (lots of things) and i mentioned in my hong kong post that i started to fade towards the end of our trip. i want this space to be uplifting, positive and encouraging but i also want to be honest and authentic, which is why i’m sharing some of the harder parts of our travels.

overall we absolutely had a truly fantastic time in all places, got to meet phenomenal people and add to our memories but our last trip was also very draining by the end for me.

traveling isn’t always glamorous, especially when you are an introvert. we had an action packed schedule and my husband and i gave an hour long presentation together for the first time in australia. i’ve noticed that when my husband (an extrovert) gets done speaking, he’s on a sort of “speaker’s high” and suddenly has even more energy, at least for a while.

as an introvert, i feel like i’ve exerted every last ounce of energy on stage since typically introverts get recharged by alone time (too true for me). this was how i felt after both of our speeches in australia and hong kong but because other things were scheduled, i didn’t get that time to decompress and recharge after exerting all of my social energy. we were part of an amazing conference so we continued to participate and talk with others, but i could feel myself getting incredibly drained. it’s a strange thing because i was still having fun but my internal energy was dwindling.

chelsea avery and ryan avery australia

a day later we had our first “the map to dreaming big” webinar and although it was virtual, we were still participating live with our members and i did sort of feel a “speaker’s high” after we got done with it. thank goodness because i went straight from there to giving a speech about empowering women (yay!) and using our voices to make a difference, specifically through vocal women.

that’s my look of determination for equality for women.

thanks for the capture of this mark richards!

thanks for the capture of this mark richards!

by the time we crawled into bed each night, we did our 4 love questions, kissed goodnight and i passed out.

as you may have seen, our adventures from perth to hong kong involved getting trapped in the singapore airport and sleeping for 3 uncomfortable hours on a bench before our early flight. here’s a fun fact about me, if i don’t get at least 6 (but preferably 8) hours of solid sleep, i find it very difficult to function and regulate my emotions.

the next day proved to be at least in the top 5 of my most exhausting days ever.

we were ultimately relieved because we made it to hong kong 3 hours before our presentation so we were at least able to shower and eat (thank goodness because curly hair gets all sort of crazy when sleep occurs). i stayed in the teeny tiny shower for 30 minutes just so i could have some time to myself. during that time i had to pep-talk myself about giving it my all for that presentation even though i was exhausted. i also had to try to forget that my chicken sandwich from earlier had three bites of cartilage and bone in it.

i am happy to report that i pulled that energy out and we did rock our presentation! afterwards we were invited to be guests at a dinner celebration and that was when i started to super fade. i am always flattered and a little baffled when people want to take our photo (i’m married to the world champion of public speaking and coached him…yes, it’s a real thing) and after some time there, my smile was getting harder to hold as were the tears of sheer exhaustion.

avery hong kong

to top it off, i had another live webinar from 11pm-12:15am for the vocal women webinar (it’s at a more appropriate time in the rest of the world) so i knew i needed to be back by at least 9:45pm. we left the dinner sooner than was polite and a confused looking taxi-driver kept looking in the rearview mirror as tired tears tumbled down my face.

thankfully i had some chocolate from australia so i munched on that, which did not make me feel good but did give me a sugary rush, and logged in to facilitate the webinar. thank goodness i do it with the fabulous olivia so she chimed in when my brain stopped working.

you know when you get so tired you are nauseous and you feel like maybe you’ll never feel normal again? that’s where i was at and i didn’t really recover fully from it until we returned home 4 days later. i’m not so friendly, i’m not so lovey and i’m not so fun when i get this way but sometimes there is nothing to do but wait it out.

i am grateful for a patient husband who offers to do everything in his power to help me get to a better place and who also knows when i just need to be left alone.

i am simply sharing all of this because sometimes it’s easy to see fun photos or only share the highlights of our life but i always relate more to people who share their ups AND their downs. i absolutely love traveling and i’m grateful i get to do it but sometimes it’s not always that glamorous.

have you had a trip like this where it eventually zapped you of your energy?
how do you take care of yourself when traveling?
where’s your next destination?


  1. Kathy Crowley

    July 22, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Great post! I feel this is about life as well as travels…we post all of our cool photos of the fun times on social media and it gets easy to forget that it’s not always glamorous! It’s important to remember that we are all human and experience things differently. I strive to be the type of friend, partner, sister, daughter, and co-worker that helps the people in my life during the “non-glam” times!!

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 10:51 am

      thanks for your comment kathy and i agree, it is about life in general too! great point that we all experience things differently (even if we are doing the exact same thing at the exact same time) i love that you are striving to be the person there for so many during the “non-glam” times too. you’re awesome!

  2. Sarah

    July 22, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I can completely empathise with you over needing to recharge. I love being around people, even being the centre of attention sometimes, but after a night out or even sometimes a day at work where I’m constantly interacting with people, I feel like I need to hibernate an equal amount of time. Occasionally this can get the best of me; there have been times when my husband wants me to meet friends/coworkers/relatives for the first time and I panic because I don’t feel like being “social”. It makes me look and feel selfish, and like I only am willing to do things when I feel like it, on my time. When I’m in the “recharge and be alone” mode, however, I panic that I won’t be able to put my best foot forward and make a good first impression. Does that make sense?

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 10:54 am

      thanks for your comment sarah and i have been in those same shoes when my own husbands to go out and be social but i cannot emotionally handle or we go and i’m in the worst mood. it is hard to juggle that but hopefully you are able to talk to him about it and he tries to understand where you’re coming from, even if it’s not always fair to him.

      totally makes sense too about you being a certain mode and fearful that you won’t make a good first impression. i’ve been there too and i think we can only try to be the best we can be at the exact moment 🙂

  3. Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties

    July 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I love this. I get super overwhelmed and exhausted in our travels, and those are just by car and fairly close to home! I can’t imagine adding flights and different countries and speaking engagements to the mix! You are amazing for sharing this side of travel 🙂

    I have no doubt that you and Ryan will continue speaking in many locations so you can use this as a learning point that you NEED to schedule in time for yourself during these trips and especially right after speaking! (okay, I know it’s probably not always possible and sometimes you run into unavoidable situations that don’t allow it) Even if it means turning down an activity or two, it’s more important for you to take care of yourself so that you can have the best experience possible!

    It’s kinda like how celebs have a “rider” or whatever it’s called that detail all the things they need for their performance… you have your own rider that requires a certain amount of down time after each of your speeches!
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties recently posted…4 Tendencies

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

      yes you are right about needing to schedule time and usually we can but whew this last trip it was from one thing to the next and not good for me towards the end. you are right about wanting to have the best experience so often that means for me to chill out. i think sometimes it’s hard because sometimes in unavoidable but other times i fear that i’ll miss out on exploring a new country but my own sanity must come first.

      i have never heard of “the rider” but i like it and you’re right! thanks for your thoughts ashley, you made me feel better!

  4. Lindsay

    July 22, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Awww friend I have been there too! It’s so normal to feel that way. But major kudos to you for powering through when it’s so easy to let that exhaustion take over and give you a bad attitude. I hope you guys have THE BEST BEST BEST TIME in England and Morocco!

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 10:57 am

      thanks lindsay! totally a first world problem but still an issue i face ha 🙂 i am SUPER excited about our next two trips and thanks for all of your insights!

  5. Paula Howley

    July 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Having a business of my own, starting a new business venture, Toastmasters and and home schooling my daughter often exhausts me.

    I do foolish things like look at my calendar and see that I only have one or two things on it for a certain day and then say to the person asking me “yeah I can do that! I only have two other things to do that day and there’s half an hour between the last one and what you’re asking.”

    I don’t know why I continually do this to myself because I know how much I can handle. Ever hopeful I guess.

    For example on Monday I took my daughter to a suspension bridge and provincial park before taking her to a friend’s house in Vancouver so we could be at the airport early the next day to take her to Ontario. I also squeezed in a virtual Toastmasters meeting during this time and agreed to watch my friend’s grandson during said Toastmasters meeting. What an idiot. Of course I didn’t get the sleep till 1230 that night and my daughter and I were up at 4:45 AM the next morning

    I took her to the airport, saw her off, cried, drove like a maniac to get to the ferry on time- (that’s a 2.5 hour drive) all the way to a cleaning gig that I had to do that day and here’s the funny thing. I thought I was gonna go home and clean the house afterwords and make a beautiful steak dinner for my husband and I. Ha ha ha! Again. What an idiot. I came home and collapsed.

    I am always overscheduling myself, always forgetting that I need downtime to recharge too. Hopefully one of these days I’ll learn. I know this has nothing to do with traveling but in our way it does. My traveling is usually by car up and down the sunshine coast and into Vancouver and on ferries. So I travel probably as much as or more than you I just do it in a smaller area. My next destination is Vancouver this Friday for a James Bond meeting where I’m gonna dress up like a sex pot vixen. LOL
    Paula Howley recently posted…Year End Speeches From Awesome Kids!

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 11:07 am

      ohhh new business venture, paula?! YAY but holy smokes you are so so busy. it sounds like you are aware you are overscheduling yourself (we usually are) but maybe you should put in your calendar “PAULA TIME” or “DOWNTIME” and those count just as much as other appointments would so you can’t book anything over it!

      you have been traveling a ton and add catching a ferry at a certain time, super stressful! safe travels to vancouver and please tell me there will be pictures of this james bond meeting and your outfit!

  6. Elyse

    July 22, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Awesome post! Sometimes even the most “exciting” things can make us introverts NEED some time to recharge, it’s totally normal!
    Elyse recently posted…5 Must Read Blogs for Married People

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 10:57 am

      thanks for your comment, elyse it’s appreciated! you are right that it’s normal and needed so it’s alllll good!

  7. Kayla

    July 22, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I ttaveled with my husband for about a year and a half when he was still traveling for work and I totally understand. It is exhausting and I was thankful for the opportunity to go but always glad to be home.

    I’m sure you’ve talked about this before but what do you mean by 4 love questions? I’m curious because we do low point/high point every night and I was wondering if it’s something like that 🙂

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 10:59 am

      wow traveling for a year and half sounds intense, kayla! i’m sure you got to see and do so much but you’re right, it can be so exhausting!

      i totally meant to link to it and forgot- sorry! thanks for asking! each night we ask each other…
      1) what was your favorite thing about me today?
      2) what was your favorite thing about yourself today?
      3) how did you give back?
      4) what are you thankful for?

      we’ve been doing it for a few years and absolutely has increased the level of happiness as we fall asleep together! love that you do your highs/lows at night kayla!

  8. Audrey

    July 23, 2015 at 6:21 am

    I love traveling but the struggles of being an introvert are SO REAL. Just reading about your schedule makes me all anxious and stressed! I hope London and Morocco are a little more spaced out… plus, YOU’RE GOING TO HOGWARTS so I don’t know how you could have a bad time! 😀
    Audrey recently posted…Age is But A Number…

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

      haha sorry to stress you out audrey 🙂 you are right though, the struggles of an introvert are real and i usually navigate it well but sometimes things just get too intense! and yes…ALL THINGS HARRY POTTER. i have literally squealed multiple times over this!

      sadly we won’t have time to take the 5 hour train ride to where they filmed part of the movie at a castle (same one used for downton abbey!) next time!

  9. Nina

    July 23, 2015 at 6:48 am

    I am definitely an extrovert, I am discovering, because when I sit at my desk all day with minimal interaction I am exhausted when I get home. The best days of work are when I do a talk/tour of the school to an excited family and I go home on a speaker’s high. However, when I am go go go all day long for several days in a row, I get whiny and introverted and I just want to lay like a zombie in my bed and have the boyfriend play with my hair and give me a footrub (I am spoiled). I’ll be traveling through FL, GA, and NC for my job in a couple months and I’m excited but I’m definitely going to need to introvert a lot and extrovert a lot. I want to watch your webinars!! Also, the chicken bone and cartilage is enough to make me not want to eat the rest of the day. The other day I was eating mac&cheese and tuna and there was cartilage in my tuna and I haven’t been able to even think about it since without gagging. Needless to say I’m not eating tuna anytime soon. What are your 4 love questions? Those sound like a good idea to do before bed!
    Nina recently posted…What the Sheet Happened. . .

    • chelsea

      July 23, 2015 at 11:04 am

      yeah it’s really interesting to see how our needs shift over time or situations when it comes to social energy, nina! loved all of your examples and i think the most important thing we can do is try to meet our needs the best we can at the time!

      have so much fun traveling on the east coast…woohoo! also. OMG EW i already can’t handle tuna but throw some cartilage in there and EW.

      totally spaced linking to the 4 questions but we’ve been asking these to each other every night for the past few years and it has made a HUGE difference in our relationship!

      1) what was your favorite thing about me today?
      2) what was your favorite thing about yourself today?
      3) how did you give back?
      4) what are you thankful for?

  10. Pingback: 9 Musts for International Travel • the new wifestyle

  11. Amanda

    July 24, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Traveling is so draining, and then add on engagements and packed schedules on top of that, and yeah…I’d be in the same boat. Good call on the long shower though. Take what you can get!

    • chelsea

      July 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      right you are about taking what you can get, amanda! i love travel a lot but sometimes i forget it isn’t always so dreamy as i think sometimes