Life After Travel: When Daydreams > Reality

*Bear with me, we’re about to get all deep and meaningful up in here*

Travelling is such an interesting concept.
It’s funny how even the idea of being anywhere in the world except for where you are right now, can excite you like nothing else in this world can. The promise of happiness, adventure, and most importantly freedom. The thought of an escape from the everyday routine of school, work, or simply from people or situations that you’d rather avoid.

From the minute it becomes a reality, the thought of travelling far away consumes you. It’s suddenly something you can look forward to, it makes you work that little bit harder. You find yourself planning and reading, doing all you can to prepare yourself for this trip. It’s all you can talk and think about. And before you know it, the day arrives. It’s finally time for you to leave.

The moment that plane takes off, you know it’s really happening. You’re leaving everyone behind, your adventure begins. And for two weeks, two months or even a year, nothing back home seems that important anymore. Your job, money, your home are all completely irrelevant to you now. Leaving is the easiest thing in the world, but what happens when you come home?

In the back of your mind, even on the other side of the world, there’s always the unanswered question of “What exactly am I going to do with my life?” Whether that is finding a job, starting a family or moving out of home, we’re able to talk about these things so freely, when we’re sipping cocktails at the bar with foreign strangers we’ll probably never see again, but it’s not until you return home that you realise you actually need to initiate a plan and make something happen for yourself, before it’s too late.

It’s all fun and games when you’re overseas, the highs will always outweigh the lows, and enjoying the little time you have in a new city is far more important than thinking about life after travel. Inevitably, you will have to return home sooner or later and be slapped in the face by reality.

At first the thought of coming home isn’t so bad. You’ve actually started to miss your family and friends a little bit, and everyone will want to hear about your adventures, until you’re at the point where you’re getting bored of telling the same stories over and over. Give it a few weeks and it’ll all be over, and then it’ll hit you. No matter how much time you’ve spent in blissful ignorance, you’ll realise on returning home, that not a lot has actually changed.

Although you feel like you’ve come home a new person, with different perspective, new dreams and a new lease on life, these changes will almost always only be apparent to you. There is no way to describe how travelling, and the experiences that come with it, change you, especially to people who were not there to see and experience it with you. There is no way to convey this to other people, in a way that will make them understand how different you are now.

Again, it’s just you alone with your thoughts. So many important decisions to be made about your future. Yet the only thing you’re certain of is that you want to leave again, further postponing this decision making process. You have forever to plan the rest of your life, right?

Some people call it the travel bug, but I don’t think that’s what it is at all. It’s more so a longing to be in another place with people who think these same thoughts.

Humans will always have the urge to escape from reality, maybe that is why we travel.

-K

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