Coming back home from a long trip doesn’t mean only taking your plane back home and looking for a job. It’ll mean reintegration into your environment, into a routine. But how do you return from the trip of your life? How do you reintegrate after such a trip?
During the reintegration process there are moments in which one feels lost, out of the place, with contradictory feelings and it’s very important for you to understand what’s going on and accept as normal and temporary.
Step by step what most of long term travelers feel when returning home:
- The rediscovery
If you believe the things will be the same after a long term trip, you’ll be surprised. If you believe nothing it’s going to be the same after a long term trip, you’ll be surprised. You are the one who is not the same, and will may not like the same things, even you miss them, you may not find the same interests with your friends, or with the society you left behind when you left traveling. Just give yourself the time and space, open your heart and mind rediscover the new YOU and what this new person likes, wants, enjoys.
- You are not the same – the acceptance
It takes time to come back for real from a trip. You may physically returned home, but you may not be the same. I got makeup and hills, after about 7 months of hiking boots and without seeing myself in a big mirror, I didn’t recognise myself, I felt I’m in another skin. Then I learn I’m not the same and I have to give time to myself to accept it.
- Your place is not at home any more
It’s normal that after a long trip your image about the ideal place to live in is changing slightly and you start having false expectations about the place you live in, or looking for things you may like, but the place you live in doesn’t have them. For example when I came back from my fist long term trip, I left suffocated in my hometown because it was too small and quite and I couldn’t find my place there any more.
- And now what?
It takes just some days to see everybody, to meet everybody, to go explore the places you missed. It takes just few days for your friends to meet you, to put you to date with their lives. And then everybody goes back to their daily life, their routines, they include you into their routines ones in a while, but since you don’t have a routine, you are left alone with yourself most of the time. So after a long time of excitement, meeting new people with great stories at every step you were making, suddenly is just you. So you wonder: and now what?
This is the moment when the depression takes over, and you wonder where are you heading?
- Excited but sad
You’re excited to see your family and friends, the places you love, to eat your favorite food from home, to know the news, but you’re also sad that the time has passed by, the trip is over, the friends you made on the way are far and you kind of want but resist the idea of getting back to what they call it “reality”. Like your trip wouldn’t have been part of your daily reality for all this time you’ve been away.
- Follow yourself
The need of traveling again is normal. The desire to be on the road at least to visit friends, is perfectly understandable. Listen to yourself and if you feel like hitting the road again, do it, if you feel like just going for a short trip, do it, if you want to work on your personal projects or idea, instead of getting a new job, go for it.
- You found your path.
After some time (can be read as months) after your trip has ended, your life will take its own course – you’ll get new friends, new routines, another job, or another trip maybe, but all those questions will be answered. Just give time to yourself.