Just made the huge decision to return home after an amazing adventure living around the world? Your preparing to return home and very aware of the experience wanderlusters and travelers go through when trying to integrate back into 'the real world.' Maybe you have been there before, experienced it first hand? Maybe your trying to preempt the come down by seemingly loading up your world with the next exciting project. I was certain this would work, I'm an optimist.
Perhaps your already living it, you know the feeling... you’ve crashed back down to earth after returning home from an epic adventure of a lifetime? 'The wanderlusters hangover,' that's what I'm calling it.
There I was, lying empty, motionless, what felt like soul-less in the musty smelling bedroom at my parents house. The room wasn't lived in any more (kind of what my body felt like right now), I left there when I was 22. What seemed like a shoe box held all of my (physical) life, bags of clothes that I hadn't opened for three and a half years, boxes wall to wall full of who know what. I couldn't believe all these things belonged to me and I didn't know where to start in trying to sort it all out. My insides truly felt empty as I reached for my phone to numb my mind. Only to find my Facebook news feed flooded with photos of the latest 17cm snowfall, a place that seemed so close but in an instant had now become my old life on the other side of the world.
If anything this 'returning to the real world' is strangely similar to setting off on a wanderlusters adventure. Both heading into unknown territory. Yet the feelings we conjurer up are almost at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Why do we feel this way? Firstly believe it or not, we choose our thoughts (in most cases they are on auto pilot if were not conscious about what were choosing). This leads to the creation of our feelings. So what are we thinking?
- What would I be doing if I was back in my old life?
- I wander what my friends are doing?
- I'd do anything to be back there right now.
- Why did I think coming home would be a good idea.
- Are things ever going to be as good as that adventure.
Its no wonder, where choosing those thoughts. After venturing away for so long, our mind has been blown wide open. There are so many things in our world that have expanded our souls. We've pushed ourselves to do things we would never thought possible, been in situations we would never have dreamed up if we tried (good and bad). We've gone well and truly beyond the comfort zone. Made new friends from every corner of this diverse world. Seen how apposing this crazy planet is and how simply people live, yet how happy people are. Some who have so little, yet give so much and we wonder about our abundant 'lucky' lives in the first world.
Are we even truly living? Or are majority suck in the rat race, as time ticks away to the weekend or their next holiday. When they can finally experience life, but only for an instant, and then their leave is up, and its time to go back to the race. That world that you forgot long ago. You want nothing to do with it anymore. Part of you is most definitely scared you will get sucked back into that crazy vortex.
One skill I sharpened was learning how to meet people, and if anything this helped me the most when returning home. Since nothing is every the same when we come back, not even the relationships we have/had, not matter how we left them. They will always be different after time and space has passed. Moving into my new home was exciting, signing up for that new course, a fresh start, a new town, new friends to be made. There seemed to be a glimmer of hope upon the horizon.
If I can give you one message, I promise it gets easier. Maybe it takes a year, even 2, but we do adjust into a new life, just like we did when we left for the road. Each small step in the right direction is character building and a foundation for your new life back home.
Just over two years have past since I returned. If I look at the journey honestly, it taught me just as much as the adventure did, and I can smile now I know I'm coming out the other end. But part of me knows Ill probably be here again someday. Change, the only thing that stays the same. You have to grow with it.
How to get over a wanderlusters hangover.
- Get present: as much as you want to remain in your old wanderlusting life, you made a decision to return home, its time to own that decision. Start creating rituals and habits that bring you into the present moment, inspire you and lift you up. Meditation, exercise, gratitude and journaling are a good start. Creating a morning routine to set up the foundations for your day.
- Take action on a new project: Sink your teeth in something your extremely passionate about. Maybe it seems outrageous and far fetched, whatever it is, make it happen. Find something that's so exciting that it will keep you up late at night and make you want to get up early every single day.
- Reconnect with old friends: This will not always be easy, some friends wont know how to re-connect, they wont understand you anymore. That's okay. Your probably already used to this now but be okay with a relationship that completely changes. Others will be so glad to see you and sometimes your friendships from the past will become deeper with new found common interests.
- Tell your stories: This wont happen all at once but share with your loved ones stories from your adventures when the time is right. You have so much to share, don't keep it locked up.
- Build your tribe: Its likely you have changed a lot, and the best thing to do is surround yourself with people who you want to be like, ones that create an environment where you will thrive. People who will lift you up. Choose carefully, this is so important.
- Don't go back to your old life, start your new life in your old home: You have changed so much. Don't be lazy and let old habits creep back in. If there are things that annoyed you before you left, make sure you eliminate them from your life. Bring everything you have learned into your life ahead.
- Explore places closer to home: Adventure is not lost, you will be amazed at the things you have never known so close to home. So much will have changed, explore the new cafes, tourist sites you may never have visited, you will have a new appreciation for your old home.
- Stay connected with your close friends: By now I'm guessing your closest friend lives in the UK or Canada or maybe their still traveling in South America. Do everything in you can to stay connected, it may only be once every 2 months make an effort to schedule the Skype date. Your close friends will want to stay in contact, they are always thinking about you.
- Plan to visit: Maybe it wont be for a while but work out a way you can return to some places you visited or met up with some friends, maybe their traveling to you. Make the effort to stay connected.
- Plan your next adventure: Lets be honest, once a wanderluster, forever a wanderluster, you never going to be able to shake your love for adventure so plan the next one. Maybe its five years from now. Who cares, make it happen.
Maybe your still in the daily slump, struggling because everything you love or dream about is a million miles away. You just want to feel grounded and know you’re in the right place. Trust me, your always in the right place. Don't doubt your decision to return home, even though it may seem like your faced with the mundane life you originally left. Have courage and let the light shine in. The post-travelling blues is real but its not forever.
Hey there Wanderlusters, Adventurers, Travellers and Soul seekers...are you enjoying my Journal? Don't want to miss my next entry or just want to stay up to date with the adventures and the lessons. Come along for the ride, join my tribe and I'll promise to put you on my VIP list. You will be the first to know of all the freebies, deals, challenges, goodies and adventures. So please join me. I'm waiting for YOU. xo