POST-VACATION DREAM: WHY IS IT SO HARMFUL TO COME HOME?
My first trip around the globe was before. I was driving along with Boston with Mike. I was talking about how excited and looking forward to my next trip.
What would life be like without my friends? What would their lives have been like if they had changed? What job would they have? New hobbies? Are you looking for new relationships? How would you describe the city?
There were endless possibilities.
He said, “Matt. Everything will be exactly as you left it.” “Look, that’s what I thought when I was studying abroad. In truth, you will find that nothing will change when you return home. Everyone and everything will be the exact same.”
Mike, there is a lot that can happen in one year.
Matt continued, “I’m telling ya, Matt,” “life will be the same as you left it.” You’ll see.”
Eighteen months later, when I returned home, I realized he was right. Although I had experienced some changes, my home was the same. As they entered their twenties, my friends still had jobs and went to the same bars. They were doing the same things. They were the same people that I left. Boston felt the same. It still had the same vibe it had before. It was still under construction, but the restaurants were the same.
Mike was right. While I had grown, my home had remained frozen in the time.
While I loved my family, friends, and the city, I realized I wasn’t a good fit for Boston. It felt small to me. It was a place I no longer wanted to live in.
The worst thing was that I had this burning desire that I couldn’t share with anyone. I wanted to do new things, see new places, and meet new people. My friends didn’t get it. They were not interested in hearing about my trip or the amazing things I did during my work commute.
It felt like I was confusing my birthplace with my parents. My friends felt like I was “too cool” to be around them.
Benjamin Button once said that “It’s funny about comin’ home.” It looks the same, smells the same, and feels the same. It will be obvious that you are the only thing that has changed.
I was tired of the excitement of returning home after my first visit. I had post-travel depression.
It’s hard to return home after a life-changing experience.
After a year of amazing adventures, you are back at the beginning — sitting on a couch in your apartment or old bedroom, feeling bored, anxious and jittery. Your friends don’t understand you or want to hear about your experiences. They don’t understand why you feel so uneasy.
“What? They’ll ask, “What?
It’s not because you don’t enjoy it.
You simply moved from 100 to zero faster than your brain can process.
It’s as if you have returned to the exact place you left. You have gone from backpacking around the world to trekking through jungles to sitting in a cubicle. You may be the person you dream of being, but the next thing you know, you are the one stuck in an office where you long to be free. You feel like you’ve never truly escaped from your old life.
This is what anyone who has traveled around the globe has experienced.
When you return home, after the initial hugs and stories are shared (to those who will hear them), many of us discover that our true home lies in being surrounded by the unknown.
When they return from vacation, I always ask my friends how they deal with post-travel depression?
Post-trip blues are not something you can cure. You can only get over post-trip blues by staying busy. Talk to people online, meet-ups and plan your next trip. You can keep the energy you gained on the road going. Get out and see your local area, go on road trips, or find a hobby. You will feel more depressed if you sit still.
It only fades with time. Time is the only cure. It’s similar to ending a relationship. You can be busy, but you will eventually find the time to let go of your past.
Every moment was an adventure when you were on the road. Your life at home should be viewed as an adventure. Keep busy. Keep active. Explore new opportunities. Have a positive attitude.