I have just come back from travelling for 4 months on what I and most of friends would call a “life changing” trip and I cant help feeling down about it. Yes, I should be thankful I have had the opportunities to see the things I have and everyone is obviously really pleased to see me and say how well I look –fitter and healthier but inside I am aching and heartbroken. In short I’m grieving.
I have that awful aching deep in the pit of my stomach, I get teary eyed every time I hear a song which reminds me of my trip, I constantly talking about people I have met trying to keep them alive, always looking at photos and shutting myself away under the pretences I am still tired from my trip. It is like I have lost someone. A dear friend, except this friend is called adventure.
Before I left on on my trip I had an idea I would feel small and a little lost and the bubble that I had surrounded myself in would burst, but I had no idea I would feel the loss quite as much as I have done. Friends said not to worry everything would be exactly as you left it and they were right nothing has really changed, it is me who has. The things I once found exciting are now tarnished and do not interest me anymore. I am looking at things through different eyes, eyes that have seen so many wonders, that whilst I was away I had to pinch myself to make sure they were real.
I am constantly being asked by friends and family (hence the title, thanks Matchbox 20) who just don’t understand, what are you going to do with your life now you have that out of your system? maybe you should settle down? But in truth I don’t want to stop. There I have said it. I want to travel more I want to experience what the world has to offer, discover new cultures, go bungee jumping, skydiving and all the other crazy pursuits I am still yet to do. I want to see the world before I’m too old. I have never been so happy, relaxed and healthy as I was on this last trip. I lost 2 and half stone, people have asked how I have done it. In truth it is not that I ate less or moved more, it was because I was happy and content with my life. I have never laughed so much and been put out of my comfort zone as I was on this trip. It has made me a stronger, happier more confident person. I know it is a cliché to say but I found myself.
Looking at other travellers blogs on the internet I am not the only one who is feeling the same – phrases like “restlessness”, “outgrown home” ,“travel sick” stick out. It is nice to know that I am not the only one, that I will recover in time, that it will become easier the more times I go away and come back again but for now I am wallowing in loss and self pity.
So how am I trying to get over this “Post Travel Depression”? I have booked another trip of course, something to focus on. I am re-evaluating what I want from life. What job I want to do, Where I want to live? No decisions have been firmly made but all I do know is that from now on travel is going to be an integral part of it.