One day, like most travellers, you’ll think it’s time to go back to your home country, because you think you have to, or you think it’s time. So, you’ll pack all your memories in your backpack, then book a one-way ticket to that place you call home. On the plane, you’ll picture the reunion with your family and friends in slow motion. You couldn’t be more excited. Until you realize what it means. The trip is OVER. Back to real-life.
10 AFFECTS YOU WILL EXPERIENCE AFTER LONG-TERM TRAVEL
1. YOU’LL GET USED TO A VERY DIFFERENT ROUTINE, AND IT WILL BE HARD TO REVERSE
On the road, your routine is kind of non-existent. If you have one it consists of sunrise photoshoots, laying on the beach and commutes to see the most beautiful landscapes. The most stressful situation in your day is when your fav’ beach bar is closed. And if you get bored with your awesome routine, you can just pack and go. Anywhere. How can you possibly imagine being back on the nine to five working routine anymore?
2. ADVENTURE AND CHALLENGES WILL BE THE ONLY THINGS THAT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL ALIVE
You’ve caught the travel bug. The amazing feeling of freedom while driving your scooter along the beach or on the road with the scenery of palm trees. The smell of spices mingling together at the local market. The sensation when you finally reach the peak of the tallest mountain in Thailand. You wanted to see the world. Through your travels, you’ve realized how big and amazing this planet is -and how tiny you are. You realized the world is too big to stay in one place. As much as you love your friends and family at home, you’ll miss the excitement of meeting new people every single day. You can’t imagine being back to a nine to five lifestyle. You’re back with really big dreams and goals. Anything that involves adventure and a bit of a challenge.
3. SOME WON’T UNDERSTAND YOUR NEW DREAMS
Your relatives will keep asking you questions such as: When are you going to settle down? Do you think you can live your life travelling all the time? When are you going to start a family? When are you going to buy your first house? When what where and when? Blah blah blah.. While they whip you with all their (stupid) questions, you just don’t know what to say. The truth is that you can’t predict the future. You don’t know where you’ll be tomorrow -and you don’t want to know. However, you know where you’d love to be. Probably somewhere in New Zealand, exploring new places or living out of a van loving every single minute. You don’t want plans. You want DREAMS. You want to go with the flow. Without having to prove that your dreams are actually a large collection of ambitions…
4. YOU WILL NEVER THINK OF MONEY IN THE SAME WAY AGAIN
Your material life is history. You’re craving experiences, not things. You excel in the art of appreciating small pleasures of life. You are addicted to novelty. Obsessed with the world, in love with life. You can’t spend hundreds of dollars in designer clothes without the guilt feeling anymore. Because you’ve learned to collect moments, not things. Therefore, you count every penny for your travel jar.
5. THE SETTLE DOWN LIFE WILL SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU
A settled down life? Why? to have kids. Who said you need to settle down to have kids? And who said you have to have kids? And to own lots of useless crap, Work in a big company, stay there for five to fifteen years, time to get some seniority and evolve. Who says you have to be reasonable, after all. Why should you? To be like people are expecting you to be. Again, WHY? We all want different things for our lives and that’s ok. You are meant to live your life, not someone else’s.
6. YOU WILL REDEFINE ‘NORMAL’
Admit it, when you left for your trip, you felt like a real adventurer, someone bold, someone who knows how to live out her dreams. Or at least, your family thought so, right? Then on the road, you meet the real daring people. Like that family travelling the world with 5 kids. That photographer who lives incredible experiences in order to get the perfect shot and lives on the perfect island full time doing what he loves. The real heroes. These people will make you feel smaller and dream bigger. And rethink your definition of normal.
7. YOU’LL COME BACK WITH THE AWFUL HABIT TO TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR PLATE EVERY MEAL
Eating is SO exciting when travelling -always discovering, sometimes even trying to guess what’s on your plate, tasting new flavours and ALL the new spices. Food just seems more fun and exotic while travelling so you take pictures to try and remember the crazy things you have eaten. But Believe me, you have to lose the habit of taking food pictures before getting back home.
8. NO ONE WILL REALLY BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE EXPERIENCES YOU’VE JUST LIVED -AND THAT WILL GET REALLY, REALLY FRUSTRATING
No matter how much you try to explain it, if they haven’t lived the same kind of experiences, they won’t be able to understand you. They just can’t relate to you. How can they, when you can’t stop talking about the amazing daily adventures you had in Thailand or your karaoke parties in China or that day you met tribes in Indonesia? You’ve turned into that annoying person who starts all his sentences with “When I was travelling in…You’ll soon realize you have to keep these memories for yourself and no, not everyone will want to hear about your amazing adventures.
9. YOU WILL HAVE TO TRAVEL IN DIFFERENTS CORNERS OF THE WORLD IN ORDER TO SEE YOUR NEW FRIENDS
I know, having to travel, that’s a shame. I told you travelling will ruin your life! Now you’ve met amazing people, you have little pieces of your heart scattered across the globe, each piece held by the ones that have come into your life and made a big impact. You will have to travel the world to see them again. After 3 years of travel, I have friends expecting me to visit them in Finland, France, England, the US, Vietnam, Cech Slovakia, Germany and Scotland. Life gets SOOO complicated sometimes, and its hard to think that I may never see my friends again.
10. YOU WILL NEVER FEEL AT HOME AGAIN.
You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart always will be somewhere else. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. As soon as you set your foot in the door to your home, you will soon realize that everything feels different. That comfort might even seem a bit strange. Despite certain gratitude about being home, you will constantly have one side of you burning to see new places in the world, experience new cultures and make new friends. You won’t have just one home anymore, you will have so many places that feel like home all around the world.