Feeling Depressed After A Trip Ends and Why Nobody Understands My Travel Bug
When I have traveled within the United States I have always looked forward to returning to my comforts of home. Maybe it’s because no matter where I went inside my own country I’m not far removed from my culture. Sure, there are some variances as you travel from coast to coast, but you really aren’t outside of your comfort zone. When you travel abroad you are taking a leap outside your comfort zone and your living the life in the unknown. You are outside the walls that bound you. Excitement and mystery is around every corner. However, (at least for me) I can’t help but to feel a little depressed when my trip has come to an end and I must return home. I have been stricken (or blessed?) with the travel bug and traveling is when I feel truly alive. Why is it that when I return home it seems that nobody understands me and I suddenly feel disconnected?
Why Do I Feel Disconnected?
For me, traveling abroad is almost like an out of body experience. You are truly living the life that you only had prior experience with through a television screen or a book. When you are traveling solo the experience can be even more intense. You can become a little frightened at times. You may find that you are relying on your instincts and wits to pull yourself out of some confusing situations. When your in a culture your unfamiliar with you can’t just do what comes natural all the time. But, after you make it through all of the confusion and fear there is a triumphant joy that is truly hard to explain. Only other’s who have been through these life changing experiences themselves can relate.
From my very first experience abroad, my trip back to the airport to begin my journey home made me feel sad inside. My heart wanted to stay.. It had been a month since I had seen anyone I knew.. I missed my family and friends. I missed my cat and the comfort of my own bed.. I missed all of those things.. The sadness still remained. I was leaving a world that fascinated me and I didn’t know when I was going to be able to come back. Memories of the prior 4 weeks flooded over me. In the taxi, I gazed out the window and watched people engaging in their culture that is so different than mine. It brought a tear to my eye as if I was saying goodbye to a friend who I may not see again for a very long time.
Nobody Understands Me Anymore!!
When I have returned home from my (two) trips abroad I was really excited to tell my friends and family all about it. However, It disappointed me when I didn’t get the reaction that I anticipated.. Yes, they were interested about my travels, but there was a certain disconnect to it all. They didn’t understand what I was saying… They couldn’t related to the excitement… They couldn’t feel what I felt. I wanted to find someone who I could relate to but all of my friends were just reliving the same lives as they were before I left. It was as if nothing had changed.. Yet, I had changed in a very monumental way!
I would still go out with friends and have a decent time.. We would talk about sports, local events, American issues, you name it.. It was just like old times, yet it didn’t seem like old times. I would find my mind drifting away from the conversations and yearning to be back to the places that made my heart sing. I miss talking to fellow travelers who totally “got” me.. Fellow, kindred spirits who had embraced the travel bug like I. Only they can truly know me now. I have a new family of strangers from a far off land. I miss them, and think about them often. A backpacker the UK… An Australian business owner in the Philippines… Hanging out with a Swedish guy, a British couple, and a fellow American all drinking beers at a Sports bar in Southeast Asia. All strangers, but we all understood each other on a deeper level than anyone else that I know.
Counting the days until a new adventure begins.
Please comment if you can related to this travel bug affliction that I have 🙂