Sunday, 15 August 2010

Those Old Town Blues

So here I am, back in old Blighty, and even though it was only a two-week trip I took this time, those post-traveling blues hit me pretty hard. It has been just over two weeks since my return and I’m still struggling! Regardless of the brief nature of my travels to India, I think because it was so far removed from what I’d ever experienced before and I’d started to get used to that, it was still just as strange coming home as it was when I returned from my trip to Europe last year after two months. Even just seeing actual lanes on a road was bizarre on the drive home from the airport, as we got so used to the ruthless rickshaw and taxi drivers swerving all over place. I guess the fact I felt like a zombie due to severe jet lag probably didn’t help me adjust either.

Luckily a friend of mine from Australia happened to be in England to entertain me the next day, and we started to talk about that feeling you get once you get home from a stint of traveling. She was away from home for about a year, and I actually met her in the middle of her trip in Budapest. We both agreed that there’s nothing worse than coming back home, realising nothing’s changed. Everyone you left before is probably in the same job; your parents, family and friends are still plodding along with their daily routine. There’s that daunting prospect of having to go back to work, back to reality, back to actually finding a job. You can’t wake up and think ‘Today I’m going to experience something new, meet some more people from all over the world, hop on a train to another county.’

There’s something to remember in this, in that you are not alone! Just to see what everyone else thought, I typed ‘post-traveling blues’ into Google, and up popped endless blogs giving tips, advice and survival guides on how to beat this horrible feeling. Wikipedia even has a page on ‘PTD’ or ‘post travel depression’ (although of course the credibility of Wikipedia should always be questioned!) There’s the fairly obvious solutions like create a detailed photo album, catch up with old friends and show them said photo album, put said photos on Facebook and reminisce about the times had with people you met along the way. I actually could hardly bring myself to look at my photos from Europe as my vivid imagination took me back to those moments and my longing to return was too overwhelming!

I myself have one way of coping with being back home when it’s the last place I want to be. I’ve lately been thinking about how I believe to continually set myself goals, and this doesn’t necessarily just apply to beating home town blues; I don’t think I could get through most days without knowing I’m standing at work doing nothing productive (I work in a clothes shop, inactivity and boredom are occupational hazards) for a very good reason. Since I returned from Europe, my target for November 2010 has always been to go the Canada for a few months. India was a nice little ambition to keep me going in the middle but now I’ve returned from this, it’s not long until I should be hopping over the pond and kicking back in Vancouver for a while, at last! Every second I find myself losing the will to live at work, I look ahead to pay day and work out how much I can save for my eagerly anticipated trip, and the fact I’m financially right on track fills me with the positive attitude I need to know that it’ll all be worth it once I’m out there. Until then, you’ll just have to read about my fairly mundane life at home, I’ll try to make it as interesting as possible I promise!

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