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December 17th 2008
Published: June 21st 2017
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Geo: 42.3585, -71.0596

This is the part of my trip all the Vagabonding/World Traveler books I read a year ago warned me about. No one warned them that the return home was often times the time of the trip that results in the most culture shock.
You've been traveling the world, exposed to over-stimulation most every day for months on end. Learned so many different ways to see, feel, do things...are broadened, forever changed, evolved into a new version of yourself. Awake. Alive, and full of the desire to share all the amazing experiences and insights with those that represent where you came from. Here is the issue: they seem so different to you...and you to them. The books I read warned me, but it is still so incredibly jarring to experience the feeling of those closest to you as foreign...and for them to look at you with confusion and distance while you try to explain something profound that it changed you forever.
I am not who I was a year ago...and I can't explain all that has changed in me. It feels lonely and dissatisfying not to be able to share this with the people I love. I was warned that the road is something that has to be experienced first had, you can't explain what it feels like. I suppose it has to start with the wanderlust to understand things that are very different from the conventions and cultural definitions of one's own people. To be open to the uncomfortable feeling of the floor dropping out from beneath you as you challenge every single thing you were taught, saw, and believed in growing up. I think I'll always feel farther away from the mainstream New England conventionalities I learned growing up, even though it means being a bit farther away from the New Englanders themselves.


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