Travel Withdrawal

I have had the rare and amazing opportunity to have spent nearly six months this year traveling the world. It’s hard to overstate just how grateful I am and how amazing and authentic my experience was. With that said, coming back home and experiencing day to day life can be quite stressful, mundane, and even depressing. Say you go to an amazing restaurant and have the best burger you’ve ever had in your life. If the next day you run out and get a burger from a fast food establishment, all your mind does is compare it to that amazing dinner you had the night before. Even if the food you’re eating the next day isn’t bad, comparatively, it’s nothing. The same thing has/is currently happening to met with coming back to normal life.

Even the worst days I had while traveling still measure up to the best days I have at home. Is it fair to compare them? Of course not, but it’s where your mind goes and it can be extremely difficult to change your perspective. While I am still struggling with this, there are some steps that I’m taking to help me adjust.

1. Understand and be appreciative of where you are

Even a week after returning home, I still have a traveler’s mindset. Everything I experience here, I think about how other places I’ve been are different or maybe in my opinion, better. But the truth is, I’m not there anymore and I do have to start my life back home again. I am working on accepting that I am home, I have to start working again, and I have to go back to college. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

While home, I have the opportunity to work. I will both make money and gain experiences over the next year that will help get me where I want to be in life. I will also be starting at a new college this upcoming semester. If there’s one thing I have learned over the past six months it is that you can find people anywhere and from any walks of life. I also have the incredible opportunity of going to school and getting my degree, which is something that not everyone has the privilege of doing. With a place to live, classes to take, and work to do; I likely won’t find myself bored or stressed about what to do next for the time being.

2. Learn to talk about other things aside from travel

This is the biggest one for me. While I am starting to accept and understand where I am right now, I can’t help but look back at all of the amazing experiences I’ve had the past year. I want to share them with people and tell them all the awesome times I have had. The thing is, not everyone wants to hear it. Some people may not be interested and for some people, it can make them feel jealous and maybe even resentful. This is totally understandable. Not everyone gets to do these things. Even though my goal of this website is to help people gain those experiences, it can still be difficult to hear.

Currently my entire personality is revolved around my travels and what I have learned. While I can use these lessons in my day to day life, I don’t want to alienate people. Constantly reminiscing on travel can also alienate yourself and make it hard to relate to people who don’t share the same mindset.

3. Find your next adventure

This one is a bit counteractive to the previous two but so what? You’ve been traveling for months and you come home to your daily life. As long as you learn to accept and proceed with where you are now, it can be helpful to look to the future instead of the past. When I came home, the first and only thing I wanted was to go back as soon as I could. While this is unreasonable, I have found it somewhat therapeutic to see what’s next. I will be working all semester to replenish my travel funds for the next trip. Since I am in my third year of college, I’m not necessarily looking for the same crazy and loud experience that I was three years ago. I know how to spend and save money now and I feel confident that I can plan for what’s next while still living in the moment.

4. Make something out of your experience

While straight up traveling is not a job or even a hobby that you can do that often, you can make something out of your experiences. For me, creating this website has been a fun outlet for my adventure. I learned so much that I want to share with others to help them gain the same experiences. Additionally, I am currently working on a possible group trip for this October where I will be guiding others on their adventures through new places. While it may not be the same traveling I’ve grown used to, it is another great way to travel and if I can give people that, it’s fulfilling enough for me.

In conclusion

While I may not be meeting the same type of people I have spent the last few months with, I can still make friends and gain new experiences in any environment anywhere in the world. In truth, isn’t that what the true definition of a traveler really is?