I started this post a few days ago thinking it would be an easy topic as I was still in the throws of The Post Travel Blues but boy was I wrong. I’ve traveled a lot (I mean I’ve hit up 21 unique countries in 5 years) so I am no newbie to the feelings that follow the return home but this trip hit me with something different. Usually the feelings last a few days, missing the fun of travel, the location, the people, the adventure. The blues quickly subside as daily life resumes and planning for the next adventure takes hold but a week later and I still can’t shake it.
A week ago I returned from Austin and New Orleans and have been feeling ‘meh’ since I started the journey home. This time the sadness of return has been different and deeper. I realized quite quickly that there are many reasons why this time is different than the rest, but they are quite personal involve a lot of backstory so I will give the cliff-notes version. I have moved a few times in my life, I have made friends from all over the world, and most of them have gone to move home or elsewhere therefore there is not one place on this planet that truly has a larger concentration of my good friends than another (even my sister lives in another country!). I know the most people in NYC and Portland but if we are talking good friends they are everywhere and this lies a big reason this trip has left me more blue than most.
I took this trip to meet up with one of my dear friends I had worked with and became great friends with in my first year in NYC, she moved ‘home-ish’ (to Australia, she is from New Zealand) at the end of my second year in NYC. Those first two years in NYC were some of the most fun I had, because of her, because of a plethora of other friends I made prior (who all moved back home around the world), and just the intensity of living and succeeding in the Big Apple. Those first two years were the embodiment of the dream I had through out college and a good chunk of High School. It was only after those first two years that the joy began to fade. Work was now just stressful more than fun and stressful, my first job had already burnt me out on the industry I was working in (Fashion) and I was only a few years in feeling pretty grumpy. I hung on to NYC for another 4 1/2 years before I called it quits last June and moved back to California for a break of sorts. Things have been pretty good, I’ve been traveling more, making money as a photographer while doing other fun work related to my years in NYC. I was feeling on the up and up with my choices on my way to Austin.
I had a fantastic time on the trip with the crew I was traveling with and the people I met. It was a return to the good ol’ days of NYC just in different places. It made me super nostalgic for a point in time that no longer exists and can not exist again. It illuminated how much I have and haven’t changed through travels (I only started traveling seriously my 3rd year in NYC). What was a overarching-ly amazing-ly fun trip has left me with a very different but major case of the post travel blues. Its taking deliberate work to pick up the steam I had post trip but with everyday it becomes a bit easier, physical activity helps, enjoying the sun now that it is back helps, and working hard on passion projects is great too.
What surprises me the most is that after 5 years of travel I can still be surprised at my reaction to the end of a trip. The fact that there are still new things to be discovered about one’s self on every trip is a reason enough to keep going and keep exploring. I am going to make more time to explore my own backyard here in the beautiful California while I plan dates for my next trip up to see friends in Portland Oregon, because what is life with out another trip on the horizon!