Reasons Coming Home Sucks
Coming home from a trip sucks. Sure, it’s nice to climb into your own bed, and have the creature comforts of home. Reuniting with loved ones after an extended vacation is also a welcomed moment. Then reality sets in. I’m sure you’ve experienced similar feelings, but I want to explore exactly what those of us with the “travel bug” experience each time we come off an adventure. Here are the reasons coming home sucks!
Reasons Coming Home Sucks #1: Fatigue
Perhaps I’m part of the minority, but whenever I’m on the road, I tend to pack my time with as much as possible. Early alarms and late bedtimes are the norm. Additionally, I’m usually on my feet, walking between 10 and 15 miles each day as I explore wherever I find myself. Add in a healthy dose of jet lag and you’ve got one thrashed Christopher.
Please don’t think for a second that I’m complaining. While I’m on vacation, I tap into a magical reservoir of energy called “I have no idea how I’m doing this.” Coincidentally, when the fun stops, that energy tends to run out and I crash, HARD. Recovery can take a few weeks. Trust me, being ridiculously tired all the time is no party, but it’s a price we road warriors pay for the experiences we reap.
Reasons Coming Home Sucks #2: Confusion
Anybody who knows me, knows that I am a strong advocate of others getting out and exploring the world as I have. Something about traveling changes you. You see the world in a new light. You learn a greater appreciation for what you have. The people you meet, and the places you see leave a lasting impression.
Endowed with this new changes, you return home, only to find that things are just as you left them. Those around you have not seen the same growth that you’ve experienced. You may find you have a hard time relating what you’ve seen, learned, heard simply because you had to be there to fully appreciate the moment.
Often I find myself pondering my trip a few days later, only to ask myself “was that a dream? Did I really leave, or was it all in my head?” There is a huge mental and emotional struggle that occurs inside of me as I try to adapt and fit back into “real life.” Honestly, it isn’t easy.
Reasons Coming Home Sucks #3: You Leave A Part of Yourself Behind
As cheesy and cliche as it may sound, you really do leave a part of yourself behind. I swear some of what you see of me in person must be a ghost because of the various parts I’ve left behind in places like Italy, Germany, France, and England. Thank goodness our hearts continue to grow to have more love, because I love just about everywhere I’ve been. I don’t love Ghana, because my passport was reportedly stolen there, but that’s a story for another time.
When you return home, you realize that there is something missing, and for a while you can’t figure out exactly what it may be. Then it hits you, and you realize the only way to find that lost bit is to return to wherever you’ve been.
Reasons Coming Home Sucks #4: Saying Goodbye
I thrive on having emotional connections with people. Whether I’ve known them for years, am reconnecting with them after an extended absence, or have met them for the first time, I love getting to know them. I try to understand what makes them who they are, how they think, what they’re working on in life, and what their goals may be. Everybody has a unique story.
On my most recent trip to Europe, I stopped in to visit a friend of nearly 15 years. We were sitting at the table over dinner and catching up on our lives. Halfway through her story, she stopped and apologized for “rambling on,” as if what she had to say didn’t matter. I urged her to continue. Regardless of how exciting or mundane our lives may seem, every person deserves to tell their story. I love to hear every single one of them.
Then, just like that, it’s time to go. I woke up on Tuesday morning, boarded a train, and headed off to the airport. Those personal connections we forge are stretched with every passing mile that we travel to return home. I absolutely hate goodbyes, which is why I try to avoid the word altogether. Instead I offer up a hearty “until next time,” or “see you later.”
I am a firm believer that the relationships that we forge here in this life will carry with us to the hereafter. That’s why I invest so much time with PEOPLE when I travel, not in THINGS or PLACES.
Return to “Normal”
That header is a load of crap. You’ll never be “normal.” With time, these pains subside, but the fact of the matter is that you are a different individual, and must learn to adapt. I must learn to adapt. Here I find myself at the tail end of yet ANOTHER trip (yes, two trips in three weeks), with a couple of hours to burn before I return to Sacramento. I’m sitting alone in an airport, staring down the barrel of some major life changes that begin next week. “Normal” for me is an ever-fluid concept, but I’ve discovered one thing. “Normal”, for those of us with the wanderlust bug, is right here. On an adventure. So long as that can continue, I think I’ll be alright.
Now get out there and discover your world! I’ll be there to join you soon.