It’s an odd phenomenon. When you travel for a length of time your life changes, you learn to stay the course but it’s a very different course than your home course. Moving from one place to the next becomes the task at hand. What to do, where to go, where to stay, booking reservations, catching the bus, the train, the plane and so on, those are the decisions that guide your days.
We’ve all taken the one week, two week vacation. There’s so much anticipation and so many expectations placed on those one or two weeks it can – sometimes – prove to be more stressful than fun. Hopefully, not. But I think everyone has had at least one of those vacations. You cram in as much fun as you can and in a blink, you’re back home again doing the laundry and gearing up for Monday morning. Been there. Done that. Haven’t we all? When you travel at length though, the anticipation and expectations slowly fade and travel becomes the norm.
Coming Home Was Bittersweet
Ten days ago we arrived at Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C. after a good, albeit somewhat long, flight (if you know me you know it takes a lot for me to categorize a flight as good) out of Geneva. We were on the road for 13 weeks, the longest stretch we’ve traveled. Coming home was bittersweet. We were ready, but at the same time we could have kept going.
Since landing ten days ago I’ve had a bad case of I don’t want to do one single thing. I’m calling it travel withdrawal – just because. It’s a case of being back home again doing the laundry and gearing up for Monday morning to the extreme.
Stay the Course
Whether you’re gone for one week, or one month, or one year, what we don’t think about as we travel is that life, and everyone we know at home, stays the course. When we travel, we remove ourselves from the status quo. There are no Monday mornings. And when the travel ends we have to step back in. It’s like jumping in to the double dutch jump ropes. Jump! And don’t let the ropes (status quo) trip you up. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
The Precise Moment
Our friends, a traveling small family, at Travel Junkies are jumping in after being on the road for over two years! I so admire their seemingly smooth transition. I’m struggling after just 13 weeks; although I think I’m slowly coming out of the fog by taking baby steps to get back in sync with my life. I even had a mini confrontation with a miserable women in Trader Joe’s. I knew at that precise moment reality was taking hold.
Ten days later and I’m getting on with life. The laundry is done, the groceries are bought and we’re even working on planting ourselves permanently. I’m starting to sift through 15 pages of notes from our 3 weeks in Iran so I can begin to share the journey. It’s time to get on with the status quo, it’s time to jump!
Amen. Just got home last night from 5 weeks in Europe. So happy to be home, but I’m already thinking of what next. Yes, I watered my flowers and said hello to my much missed husband and pups, but what next?
Books to edit and write. Research to do. Dinners to cook for my much neglected hubby.
Right now, the list of emails is daunting. We come up for air slowly and relish the new place we are. Home. New again. Treasured.
Machu Pichu and Galapagos. Hummmm sounds like fun.
After my last 3 month of travels in South Africa I definitely returned with RCS, then only two weeks and was back to work for the summer. I’m sure everybody around me was tired of hearing about my journey and adventures, especially those that don’t travel. But much like you, I immediately start planing for the next travels.
Gaelyn recently posted…Foto Friday Fun 116
From South Africa back to the U.S. would be a huge transitions! Question is, would it keep you from not going again? I’m guessing, no! 😉
I packed my bags to travel the world many years ago, but my plans changed and I forgot all about that feeling of freedom. Now I do the usual 2 weeks holiday and coming home is always hard, it takes me few days to get back on track. So for you after about 3 months on the road it must feel like 100 Mondays all rolled into one? But there is nothing stopping you planning and going again and I am sure you will. I am looking forward to hear more about your recent adventure and in particularly about Iran.
Gilda Baxter recently posted…An Anglo-Brazilian Wedding (Take 2) in Canela, Brazil
Nope, nothing stopping us. I almost always have something in the works. I start thinking about the next adventure before the one we’re on is complete! 😉
Thanks for the mention. We have been back in the states for 5 months now. Kerri is working, our daughter Sydney is back in school, my photography business is taking off, and we are even buying a house in a nice neighborhood. Sounds “normal” right? Ha! We are still in a fog and everyday we ask ourselves (I mean we actually discuss this daily) how can we get back out there exploring the world. There is so much of the world to explore and after 803 days and 27 countries, we barely made a scratch. After our around the world trip, life will NEVER be the same. So, heed my warning: Long-term travel changes you! But it was the best change we ever made and we want more!!!! We aren’t called “Travel Junkies” for nothing 🙂
Three days ago I asked Abi if he wanted to put everything in storage, pack the car and take off for a year. I don’t think he took me seriously. From where I sit, the three of you are doing great and what an incredible gift you gave your daughter… you gave her the world!
Maybe what your brain/body is telling you is that you need to keep traveling. Why do you have to settle down at this point? What is stopping you from just being a vagabond…until.
Remember: “It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” ~Rumi
…. until?! 😉
When we return from a trip, I include these kinds of moments as an extension of the trip: I don’t know what I should be doing / I don’t know what day it is / I don’t even want to unpack. I think if the trip was at all successful, I should have several of these and I just enjoy them. Slamming back into a routine or regular life just isn’t that important after a great trip.
After a few days of forcing myself to get up and off of the sofa, I decided to just throw in the towel until I came around. It’s definitely a work in progress.
I haven’t had an extended trip like that in years – but I have done a few four week stints and I find moving back to reality VERY difficult. Good luck.
Leigh recently posted…Jackson Hole & Grand Teton National Park in 10 Photos
Yes, Leigh, it is very difficult. Kind of a drag! 😉
I think they call it Reverse Culture Shock – RCS!!
Look it up LOL
Linda ~ Journey Jottings recently posted…A Travelling Tale… or, How I Finally Got to Whistler
Yes! I suffer from RCS. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it!
I can imagine how you feel. After just a 3 week trip, I wake up wanting to know where we’re going tomorrow and then realize we’re back in our real life. When I had a full time day job I think it was easier to get back into the flow. I’m looking forward to reading more about your experiences in Iran.
Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…The Macedonian Grill – A Boomeresque Brigantine, New Jersey Restaurant Review
A couple of mornings – since we’ve been back – I’ve woken up in the morning and for just a split second I think, where are we, and then I remember and roll over.
The down after the holiday – not nice – but the new adventure of choosing your next road is stretching in front of you – new home, new blogs and new life! Enjoy!!
christine taylor recently posted…It definitely feels like June
No, it’s not nice! And yes, I’m trying to shake it off and get motivated. I have so many stories to share.
I totally get you Patti and I love your jump-rope analogy! After an intensive period of travel I find it difficult to switch out of travel mode; I often deal with this by planning for new adventures!
Amy recently posted…Hello Thailand! Holidaying on Koh Chang
You and me both, Amy. Before we even left France I was coming up with what’s next?! Abi just looks at me and shakes his head. 🙂