22 September 2015

The down side of traveling...

Hiya, I've seen a few articles about this very context and decided to write my personal thoughts on it as a school project. Hope you enjoy it!


You see the world, try new foods, make new friends, learn new languages, visit incredible places and then it’s all over. People seem to always talk about leaving, but what about coming home?

You face difficulties while you’re away, that’s for sure. But you get through them. They seem to be the hardest things to come across, but in the end it’s all in your head.  Everything is new and you feel lost. You miss your friends and family more or less everyday. You feel like you’ve hit the rock bottom but then you remember all the incredible moments with your new friends and family. All the lows are erased with the highs you experience. You know about the hard goodbyes you have to face at some point, and they do come sooner than you expect. Once you’ve purchased your flights back home it all starts to come down to that one moment at the airport gates. You cry, you smile but you’ll cherish the memories you got forever.

Leaving might feel like the end of the world but it’s just the beginning.

Then you return home and the first few weeks are the best. You have your reunions, meet friends you haven’t seen in a long time, catch up with the latest gossip, tell stories of your adventure and feel like a celebrity. Everyone wants to see you again and hear about your experiences. And then it all just goes away. You’re not the shiny new object anymore, you’re the normal student you used to be. Everyone gets used to you being home but you don’t. People start asking questions: So what are you studying? What are your future plans? Are you in a relationship? Do you have a job?

This is when the sad part comes in. You’ve done your compulsory visits to your grandparents’ and you’ve started school again. Everything seems to be back to normal, nothing has changed. Except you. And you feel like no one understands how you feel, no one can relate to you and no one realises how much you’ve changed. Not physically but inside your mind.  The way you think about others, the way your dreams and plans have changed, the new things that are important to you or the way you think about the world. Your friends’ problems seem like the smallest first world problems in the world. Why? Because you’ve been there. You’ve seen how things are done in different country.  You want to discuss some of the things you’ve faced during your time away but how are you going to do that if no one knows what you’re talking about? You’ve experienced so much more than those who decided to take the easy way out and not leave their comfort zone.

You feel lost in your own home country. You feel sad and happy at the same time. You feel like nothing has changed but at the same time you feel like your time away changed everything.  Eventually you start thinking, did I actually ever leave?

And this is exactly why once you’ve seen the unknown for the first time all you want to do is adventure more and more. It’s not the travel bug everyone’s talking about, it’s the burning passion to return to that one place where you’re surrounded by people speaking the same language. Not verbally, but physically and mentally. It’s the language of traveling. The language where you can leave, dance, enjoy, think, laugh, eat, learn, feel, grow, experience and then go home and feel more lost than you’ve ever felt before. Even more lost than in the most foreign place you’ve visited.

This is the hardest part of traveling and the very reason why we decide to leave again, time after time. And it’s all worth it.