Blogging Burnout in Austin

Abby Tegnelia

Austin isn’t Austin without margaritas.

I’ve been quiet lately, too quiet. As my life turned into a whirlwind of work engagements that swiftly and deftly led to bigtime burnout, my poor little blog suffered radio silence. As I write this, I am in lovely Costa Rica, where in the history of my blog is where I can always count on to rejuvenate, as it is where I lived the “good life” of expat living filled with jaunts to Nicaragua for visa runs,Β orΒ maybe a weekend at the cloud forest, for one wonderful year. A few short weeks ago, I went to Austin for the weekend, so excited to run around and visit all of my favorite places, snapping photos of all of the mom and pop bars and shops that make the town unique. I lived in that hot, sticky Texan city for one year and always love visiting. This time, however, I landed at my friend Kristen’s house exhausted. We did indeed run around to some favorite restaurants and some new hot spots. I had a blast! Luckily, Kristen snapped this one very happy photo of me with a yummy margarita, because I took out my camera exactly one time:

to take a photo ofΒ a vat of comfort food with that touch of magic that only Austin can conjure up. (If you’re ever in Austin, you must, must, must make the queso an absolute priority, with margaritas a close second. This particular pot of goodness comes courtesy of Torchy’s Tacos.) While yes, queso pretty much does say it all in a certain artsy sort of way when it comes to a quick Austin getaway, the fact that I took not a single other photo is so sadly indicative of how burnt-out I was. When you’re exhausted, do you stay in for the weekend, or take a getaway? I actually find that I don’t sleep well until I’m AWAY from my stress. After weeks of insomnia and short nights of sleep, at Kristen’s adorable little house, I couldn’t seem to get enough shut-eye! I left so rested!

I took one photo in Austin: of a vat of queso.

Since I took only one sad little photo, I will tell you what I did:

I slept. A lot.

I laughed a lot with my friend Kristen, who so generously let me stay at her house and was the best hostess ever. A fellow journalist who has spent years living in Paris, she is a kindred spirit for sure.

I had beers with Erica and Shaun, the folks from OverYonderlust, who had just returned from their big Latin American journey. They did take a photo of all of us. Someday, I hope to see it! I remember when they stopped through Las Vegas about a month or so before their big trip. Time flies!

I had brunch at Perla’s, which is darling.

I watched Mad Men not alone for the first time ever — and there were even three of us, as Kristen invited a friend!


Austin was the perfect restful little weekend away with friends that I needed! That got me through the next busy few weeks… and now I’m in Coco, Costa Rica for a wonderful week off. It’s good to be back. I’ve missed you guys!

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. I hear you on the burn out! I also find it true that when I’m away I feel more rested. Maybe it’s because you are allowing yourself to do so as opposed to reaching for the laptop or iphone pre and post sleep. I’m glad you had a wonderful time!

  2. Your vat of queso is from Torchy’s! (Or so it looks like.)

    Yeah… I’ve been so busy with work/weddings/post production on paid gigs I haven’t even looked at most of the pics I’ve taken in the past month. Sorry lady! I WILL send it to you when I get it! <3

  3. Ah, we’ve missed you too!

    Glad to know you’re okay and that you had at least one evening with margaritas and queso.

    No more dropping off the grid – we need you all up in here πŸ™‚

  4. My goodness, that tray of cheese looks dangerously too good!

    Cathy Trails

  5. It was sooo good — and worth every calorie! Erica, thanks, I’m adding it in. I couldn’t remember the name, but that’s totally it!

  6. No worries about dropping off the grid. Good for you for taking a break! Enjoy Costa Rica!

  7. Have the BEST TIME EVER on your vacation!! Radio silence is SO worth some “you” time!!

  8. You do look very happy with your margarita! When I’m stressed, I recharge by reducing the chaos, which means staying home and dealing with the piles of clothes/dishes/mail/random crap that I accumulate thanks to not having time to deal with anything beyond the bare minimum. But your weekend sounds very relaxing!

  9. Gawd, I miss Austin!

    When I need to recoup I like to stay home — in fact, when I’m super exhausted I need at least two whole days where I don’t have to leave the house AT ALL. Not even to get the mail. Even that takes too much energy, lol, so I just stay inside and read or watch shows and sleep like 12 hours a night. It’s delightful. πŸ™‚

  10. Two days at home to do absolutely nothing/catch up with laundry sounds like a dream. I seem to need to be out of town to get out of certain work commitments… Someday I’ll get a staycation!!

  11. I can totally relate to this. I’ve suffered from blogger burnout a couple of times. Travelling is exhausting and blogging is a lot of work. I find it really tough to ‘switch off’ from blogging but you’ve got to do it sometimes to get your motivation back!

  12. Welcome back, Abby πŸ™‚

  13. Missed you and glad to hear that you’re back. Hope you come back completely refreshed!

  14. This makes me want to get away that much more. Luckily I’m only a few days away from doing so!

  15. You look so gorgeous in that pic! Wish I could be in CR with you now. Enjoy babe!!!

  16. Thank you, ladies! Craig, you’re going to have an awesome trip. Andi, I do look well-rested, right? Miss you!

  17. Oh how I love Austin!! I have visited a friend there twice and when I came home, I begged my husband to move there. Best queso I ever had was in Austin! And my favorite bar was Deep Eddy’s. πŸ™‚

  18. Glad you’re getting some time off to relax! Everyone needs to get away every now and then — and eat some great food!

  19. Ellen, it was great! Jen, I totally moved there on a whim a long time ago lol. It turned out not to be the best financial decision — but I still loved it!

  20. Glad you’re back and more importantly, well rested!! Hope you’re having a blast in CR πŸ™‚

  21. Sometimes all we need is a little break πŸ˜‰

  22. When Mary and I are burnt out (which happens often, given our current workload), we head for the lake. One of the benefits of living outside Atlanta’s perimeter is that we’re only 20 minutes from Lake Allatoona, where we keep our pontoon boat docked. A day there is like a mini vacation, and gets us back on track. I love Austin though– went there for SXSW one year and would definitely go back in a heartbeat!

  23. I grew up in Florida and love being around water. A day on the lake sounds perfect!

  24. That queso looks so good! I’m glad to hear you got some rest. I find that I do my best resting when I’m at home, but sometimes a getaway does the trick as well.

  25. first off, totally jealous that you’re in CR again!!! i need to get back there!!

    been dying to get out to Austin, too!!! Will i finally get to meet you at TBEX?

  26. I can’t wait to meet you ladies at TBEX!!

  27. Mmm…. beers in Austin. Erica seems to be quite the expert on craft beer from that area, so I hope you got to try some great ones.

  28. It’s part of the reason I decided to stop blogging on weekends, I was burning out too much. I think we need to shut off at least 2 days a week so we don’t get to the point of burnout.

  29. Weekends are the only time I can catch up, thanks to my ridiculously busy work schedule! So when I’m busy all weekend, too, my blog has no hope. πŸ™

  30. Will I get to meet you at TBEX too? πŸ™‚

  31. Chill, relax, recover πŸ˜€ Have fun!

  32. Austin is still one of my favorite U.S. cities. Jealous you just got to go back for a visit!

  33. Ah, I hear you too. Tell us about the burn out. We’re feeling it now. Doing too many trips that destroy the writing time and then need to work like crazy to catch up on writing. If only we could clone ourselves πŸ™

  34. Again, I’m glad I’m not the only one! Not really sure what to do. I used to get up at like 5 in the mornings to write, but I haven’t found that drive in weeks!

  35. I totally hear you. Sometimes I get burned out and it’s hard to write or get inspired. That is so great that you had a chance to rest and get the sleep you had been needing! πŸ™‚

  36. Just when I’m starting to feel a bit of burnout, I go to an amazing event like this weekend’s TBEX and I’m refreshed again! It was so great to finally meet you in person there, and I hope to see you in Vegas when I go to redeem my prize stay!

  37. Wow, love your blog, as I’ve learned to enjoy LV in such a way that people don’t get. I don’t gamble, but love all that the city has to offer. I’ve also stayed in Costa Rica and lived in Peru last year. I hear ya about burn out and the unusual tendency to want to “LEAVE” in order to become stress-free. I used to think I was odd, that I should just stick out the fatigue and emotions, or even the staycation, but there’s something about being somewhere ELSE, someone else’s home or city, or a new city that pushes the burn-out and stress demons out of your system πŸ™‚

    Best! Mind my silly blog right now, I’ve just created it and have only one post and no bio, lol!

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