It has been a mere three days since my return home from Europe, and although I was only gone for five weeks, it was enough to induce some serious post travel depression, which I assure you is real and frankly, it’s pretty horrible.
Before leaving for a trip, no matter how long you’ll be away for, there’s a lot of anticipation and lead-up to your departure. For me, my trip was a year in the making; a year of planning, working hard and thinking of nothing else other than my coming adventures.
Upon my departure I wasn’t sad to say good bye to my home, my job, or my city. In fact, just the idea of leaving my complacent life behind made me feel like I was ready to take on the world, and upon my arrival, that same feeling proved itself, and I realised exactly what I was capable of, and as it turned out, it was a lot.
During my time away I experienced more incredible things in one day than I do in a month at home. I made so many new friends and was introduced to the magic of new cities and explored as much of what these places had to offer.
When you travel, you’re introduced to a new lifestyle, and it’s one that you can adapt to very easily. It’s a routine of embracing the unknown, seeking adventure and actually finding it on a daily basis, and meeting new people who have so much to offer every where you go. Your mind is opened to an unexplainable amount of things that you may never have even considered a possibility back home. Your comfort zone becomes the concept of spontaneity, and nothing seems impossible because you know that you can achieve so much in one day.
Imagine feeling all of these things, imagine feeling the freedom of a nomad, having no strings attached for a certain period of time, and then all of a sudden, coming back to the place you’re supposed to call home, and suddenly those strings appear and tie you down to things that were once normal in your every day life, but now feel like a burden.
The novelty of experiencing new cultures, of walking down a street you’ve never been before and being amazed is no longer there. Instead, it’s combatted by a sense of reverse culture shock, a feeling of not being able to adapt back to or embrace your old life and it’s commodities.
Not only that, the impact that an escapade abroad has on you doesn’t impact anyone who wasn’t there with you, and therefore it’s a bit of a let down when it feels like no one cares about what you did, who you met, what you said, or what you saw on the night of June 30th on a night out in Brussels, when a night like that for example, has become a great memory.
On top of those emotions, I’ve spent the past five weeks in beautiful European summer weather, and was welcomed home to a cold Melbourne winter, which is depressing to everyone, let alone someone who became accustomed to constantly sunny days and no need to layer (and layer and layer and layer) their clothes.
You don’t realise how much you will miss the city that you were forced to say good bye to prematurely, and you don’t realise that you’ll miss the people that you met, or the routines which at the time seemed normal, but aren’t at home, like waking up in a new place, or going and doing something new every night, or even just having breakfast and talking to different people about the adventures of the previous day and becoming excited for what the current day holds.
At the moment I feel like I’m becoming hostile to my actual life because I know that there’s so much more I could be doing rather than going to uni and sitting in a boring class, and then going home and doing assignments for said class. This made the think that there is definitely a danger in believing that your mind has been opened to so much that you end up with a sense of entitlement, a belief that you deserve more than what an average life holds. With the wrong mind set it can make your ‘open mind’ shut too easily when it comes to the aspects of life that have always been there. It’s a concept that, truthfully, I’ve only realised now while writing this, because admittedly, my attitude since coming home has been like that.
I guess this revelation serves the purpose of realising that all good things must come to an end, and although it’s over, that doesn’t take the memories, life lessons or experiences away from you, instead these things are concepts which you should incorporate into your every day life; concepts that will enhance your quality of life, rather than depress you or make you resentful to reality.
Yes, I had an amazing time overseas, and I’m sure all of you travellers know what I mean when I say that nothing beats the lifestyle you adopt whilst abroad, however if it weren’t for your every day routines and experiences that you have at home, you never would have had the opportunity to leave in the first place.