Can you ever really settle down into 'normal' life once you've travelled?
It's more than 18 months since I was back from a long travel in Asia and Australasia, and yet I still think about travelling every day with nostalgia and yearning, and have plans to travel more as soon as it's practical to do it again. I don't feel I've been able to fully adjust back into day-to-day life without feeling like something's missing - this isn't to denigrate day-to-day life at all, and it's a practicality most of us have to do whether we like doing it or not, but for me, I feel something's been opened now that can't close down again. I miss the constant new experiences, the wonder, and the freedom. It could be an 'escapism' mentality that I'm in now, who knows, but I think I'd be quite happy to travel most of the time. In a lot of ways I actually felt more comfortable and secure being away and spending time in new countries and cultures, than I do at home.
What do other people feel about their perspective on 'normal' (sorry can't think of a better word) life, having had a taste of travelling? Reply to this
When I return from a trip I find myself planning and dreaming of the next one almost immediately - sometimes even before my plane touches down in Sydney! It may seem crazy but I cannot help scanning the air ticket specials on a regular basis, which fuels my dreams even further. Plus, reading other peoples travel blogs does the same.
I agree with Deb about missing the new experiences, etc. and often when I return to work I find myself asking "what am I doing here?" - even though the answer is simple - "earning money to pay the bills, etc".
I love my home and my home country, but I do find myself constantly yearning for travel and new experiences. I also get the feeling that I could travel most of the time but the necessities of life keep reminding me that this is not possible. Luckily, back here at home I have a lot to keep me busy until the next trip. Reply to this
I think the two most challenging adjustments are not being overly cheap and finding new adventures. I'm finally getting out of the mindset of a backpacker budget and have been able to find enough things to keep me entertained...so I'm surviving both challenges. Reply to this
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BTW - I don't consider my non-traveling life to be mundane.
Yes, Marc - I did hesitate to use that word when I wrote it (!) because life is life whatever you're doing - it's because I question myself sometimes about this, and wonder if I just lust after having big new experiences all the time because I haven't learnt to live life to the full in other circumstances. For me I sometimes suspect there is a 'running away' aspect to wanting to travel (not that that's all of the drive to doing it, but part of it) and being able to live the kind of existence where I can move on as soon as a bit of dissatisfaction starts to creep in, instead of accepting the reality that life is a mix of ups and downs. Or as my boyfriend says, life is sh*t only because we make it sh*t and it's up to us to make it otherwise. Ok I'll leave it here as I'm getting too philosophical now! ;) Reply to this
D'you think we feel that need more, to connect with the world and its people, because we are connected and aware of it through the media?
Yeah, I feel a need to go to the places and find out what it feels like to be there. There is a unique feeling to being in each country that I could not possibly feel without going there. And as regards what is going on in the various countries, I feel a need to see people faces and hear the way they talk about it, to pick up on the general feelings about certain things and the athmosphere surrounding them. I can see what is happening on the media, but my intuition doesnt travel so well accross electronics.
...it was only the handful of explorers who ventured out, or whether they were just busy surviving,..
Well yeah, when people dont have enough food, safety.... they are greatly concerned with these things and dont really think much about things such as quality of their lives in other areas. But, judging by how so many poor people or people in troubled countries stare at me and ask me so many question, I think they may be feeling some need to connect with those from the other side of the world.
....and it was only the handful of explorers who ventured out, ..
Some greediness might also have been involved here. Many of them went out to gain more materially. If they were busy murdering and robbing, would they take the time for things such as feeling their connection with those in other countries. I think they briefly felt the connection and then quickly dismissed it. They did things like decide that those who were not of the ''right'' religion, the ''right'' skin colour... are subhuman and therefore dismissed their human desire to connect with these human beings and exploited them instead.
...whereas in the past we would just have explored the next village, or go and see what's beyond the hill?
Maybe in the old days things were more uncertain and risky for women travellers, so they only travelled far, if circumstances where they lived were a lot less than ideal.
....All this deep thinking might tire me out...
It might, but sometimes it might not and instead you might come up with very certain reasons for why you love travel so much. I seem to alternate between both states. Reply to this
New is something thats hard to experience at home because its so easy to fall into a daily/weekly routine Reply to this
the thing I love about traveling, it feels right, I feel like I'm good at it, and it comes so naturally once your in the thick of it. Reply to this
...I feel like I'm good at it...
I remember being thrilled by that, when I first started travelling. I was so happy that I was able to get a job, save up and do something so cool as travel with my savings. :) Reply to this
I agree with some of the other posts though, like Mels comment about stability - fortunately that's what I'd built before this journey - and getting it 'all' certainly on a material front was the most wonderful empty feeling ever! It provided a great spring board for this trip though! And of course Marcs comment about normal life not having to be boring is true ... but does real life really give us as many wonderful opportunities to meet people as your travelling life?
Apologies, I'm rambling too ... looking for an outlet for the whirring cogs of my mind methinks!
If all else fails though hit the road again ... maybe your reality should just be moving! Reply to this
Hope I don't sound hopelessly pretentious with my above comments, but the bottom line is: I don't think travel has to be escapism at all. Reply to this
I feel that work is the key to this dilemma. If you are happy doing whatever it is that earns the money I feel you are far more likely to be happy "at home" if not that dissatisfaction with what is the majority of the waking time you spend in a week, will undoubtedly mean you are unhappy and yearn for something more.
We have both spent time trying to come up with "the idea" that will allow us more time to travel or just enjoy life on our return. Career change, start your own business etc etc I'm sure everybody has these thoughts whether travelling or not. The biggest change is the feeling that anything is acheivable because after all if you are travelling you are doing!
Debbie - being a proofreader are you not able to travel whilst working? Is this not something you can do purely online/ with a laptop and printer? Given the number of people who we have seen working whilst travelling I feel this sort of life may well be the answer I am looking for.
I am also one of the breed that doesn't miss family or friends, yet the wife misses hers a lot. This is something that prevents us moving away from home or staying away for a longer trip far more than any job or money issue.
I guess I too haven't answered anything but merely added thoughts to this topic, but it is reassuring to read that we are not alone in feeling that change is something that we all yearn, either in life generally or by travelling again. Reply to this
We have a group of friends who enjoy travel and we spend time with them sharing past experiences. Blogging helps. Surprisingly, a weekend away in a town nearby that you have never explored can be great medicine.
While at home work in a positive direction to create an environment, world and career that will allow your feet to move about the world more often.
Plus-- it depends on who you are talking with how "normal" will be defined.
Stick with those of us on this web site and your travels are "our normal"
Be grateful for your enjoyment of traveling and new things. Reply to this