If you are thinking about dropping everything and travelling congratulations, you are about to make the best decision of your life. Everyone will warn you of the dangers abroad, the scary stories that happened to a friend of a friend in whatever country you're off to. But there’s one thing no one will warn you about, and it's by far the most dangerous consequence of what you’re about to do.
Once you drop everything and go, you are forever bound to consider it daily for the rest of your life. The first time is tough, you're nervous, you’re outside of your comfort zone, it seems like a huge deal! You’ll get through it though and it’ll be easier than you thought. You’ll realize those nerves were actually intoxicating anticipation and once it’s over you’ll crave it again and again.
After experiencing incredible, returning to normality is difficult. You're life becomes mundane. You're no longer surrounded with new experiences and challenges, you now know what to expect everyday. It’s like a come down. Everything seems dull, a bit lifeless. Those around you don’t understand, they’re used to this. Talking about it is nearly impossible, it comes across like you're insulting where people live. It’s not that you're unhappy to be where you are, it’s just that you are stuck perpetually wondering where you could be. This my friend, is the darker side of wanderlust. And let me be honest with you, make no mistake, you are now fucked.
Everyday life will never be the same. An office seems like a prison, routine like slavery. This is most difficult part of travelling, coming back. The average person will experience it mildly after their week holiday to the giant Americanized resort somewhere within a 5 hour flight. If you’ve travelled properly and for a long period of time, this is like comparing someone who smoked pot once and feels a little greened out to a lifetime heroine addict. Re-entering “normal” society seems impossible. Everything is exactly the same as the day you left, it’s eerie how places don’t seem to change especially when you feel like you've changed so much.
If you’re reading this and already know what I’m talking about, I know it’s not easy and it probably feels a bit like depression.
I wish I had a solution for you but I don’t. If I did, I wouldn't be browsing last minute flights to Bali while I draft the next paragraph here. So my advice to you is embrace it, maybe one day it will wear off and you’ll be content somewhere permanently but that day isn’t today. You're most likely where you are because the money is a little low and it was time to sort some stuff out. So you got a little work ahead of you, big deal, you know how fast time goes. Stay focused though, don’t get stuck in the rut of conformity and familiarity. Wanderlust is a gift and it’s not the easiest one to live with; but I feel sorry for those of us who just don’t have that spirit of adventure, it is the best thing to ever happen to me.
Find your sense of adventure in the meantime around your old digs, call old friends you haven’t seen in years. Look up what tourists do in your area, my bet is you haven’t done half those things. Learn something new. You have to satisfy that adventurous desire with miniature doses while that bank account builds back up and you’re ready to go again. Stay positive and don’t lose sight of that, don’t misplace that gift.
Somewhere someone is climbing off a flight, back from the trip of a lifetime, to struggle with assimilating back into their previous lives. Disembarking right behind them, on that same flight, is someone about to start the best trip of their life! Remember, its all relative, so appreciate where you are but keep your sights on where you are going. Before you know it, you’ll hear the intercom ding and the pilot will announce you're on approach and you’ll get goose bumps and that little smirk. Because thirty thousand feet from that moment you will once again have no idea whats in store for you.