This post is a direct reply to the post written by Kellie Donnelly
I initially got sent this post by a friend who I met on my own travels adventures and straight away it resinated with me instantly, almost everything that Kellie had mentioned I had experienced in some capacity.
Kellie highlights the changes travel has on you as an individual with your perceptions on the world drastically changing. When returning home and the novelty factor of your return has worn off you get this overwhelming feeling of futility.
“You have moments where you feel like it wasn’t worth it because nothing has changed but then you feel like it’s the only thing you’ve done that is important because it changed everything.” – Kellie Donnelly.
While I have never felt like my travel adventure “wasn’t worth it” I can appreciate where Kellie is coming from but I completely agree with a long travel adventure changing everything.
She describes this feeling as ‘the travel bug’. A feeling of being surrounded by like-minded people, people that speak your language and understand the experiences you are going through. Only to return home and feel more lost than ever in your own town and just wanting to return to that adventure you were on.
This single paragraph ignites a range of emotions.
“But the sad part is once you’ve done your obligatory visits for being away for a year; you’re sitting in your childhood bedroom and realize nothing has changed. You’re glad everyone is happy and healthy and yes, people have gotten new jobs, boyfriends, engagements, etc., but part of you is screaming don’t you understand how much I have changed? And I don’t mean hair, weight, dress or anything else that has to do with appearance. I mean what’s going on inside of your head. The way your dreams have changed, they way you perceive people differently, the habits you’re happy you lost, the new things that are important to you. You want everyone to recognize this and you want to share and discuss it, but there’s no way to describe the way your spirit evolves when you leave everything you know behind and force yourself to use your brain in a real capacity, not on a written test in school. You know you’re thinking differently because you experience it every second of every day inside your head, but how do you communicate that to others?” – Kellie Donnelly
There is absolutely no doubt that I have sat on my bed and reflected on my journey and how being away for 4 months I came home and picked up exactly where I left off. Not much had changed at all. However I had changed dramatically, I had a whole new group of friends that I constantly compared to the friends I had back at home, I had grown in all aspects of life, physically, mentally and emotionally. I had this urge to continue exploring and continue my adventure but I felt like I was stuck, my goals had changed and I had a new direction in life that I wanted to explore.
Kellie is exactly right, unless someone else has experienced this sensation it is impossible to communicate and it’s like you are talking a foreign language. There are so many emotions involved that words just don’t do it justice.
However we must remember that there are other people that speak that language. That understand what you have been through and they have been through the exact same thing themselves.
The problem with changing so much and getting home and feeling like nothing has changed at all is that we haven’t changed enough to want to implement that change back into our everyday lives. Our actions need to speak louder than our words and thoughts.
The reason we feel nothing has changed when the novelty of returning has worn off is because it’s true. Nothing has changed. You end up back in the job you left before you travelled; you have the same routine and find yourself constantly thinking about the adventures now passed and you hang out with the same people. It all starts to feel like nothing has changed at all.
It’s not up to our friends and family to recognise these psychological changes that we have gone through. It is through our changed actions, changed routines, changed motivations, changed workloads, changed morals and changed priorities that people will start to take note of how you have really changed.
There are ways to emulate your travel experiences to an extent where ever you are. But often you don’t associate your home town as having these capabilities. Organise a camping trip with friends, go out to a place you’ve never been before, find a high ropes course nearby. I have even been to the backpackers 45 minutes from my house and had an amazing time and met some new people. The choices are endless you just have to explore them just as you would if you were thousands of miles from home.
Don’t let the fact you have returned from your travels be an excuse to go straight back to the way things were while you save up for that next escape. Start making the changes today to get more involved in your own life and live it the way you want to. There will always be another time for a travel adventure but it’s time to start loving the life you live day to day. Make every day worth remembering.
What have been your experiences after returning back home from an incredible adventure? Comment below.