Life after travel: My depression and learning to live day by day

Life after travel has been quite difficult for me. Being the control freak I am, feeling “trapped” in a world I no longer felt I belonged to drowned me back into the big black hole of depression. Yesterday, however, my partner helped me resurface with a conversation and sort of “ephiphany.” I can’t believe I was so paralyzed to see it until now…

1.5 years traveling and living abroad = one spoiled María

In 2008, I was part of a study abroad program in Egypt for a year on a full-ride scholarship to learn Arabic intensively. Also, I traveled the Middle East extensively, met amazing people from all walks of life, and heck, even got to salsa dance with Egyptians 7 days a week. The cultural and sensory stimuli were unbelievable. I thrived and I enjoyed myself, despite traveling with a broken heart and fighting depression back then for the second time. Yes, I felt abandoned by a love back home, yes. I struggled with chemical unbalances and clinical depression. However, my life-long dream of traveling and seeing amazing ancient temples and monuments greatly helped my recovery.

life after travel, Pyramid of Giza

me at the Great Pyramid of Giza

My Arab adventures didn’t end there. I moved to Ifrane, Morocco and studied Islamic Civilization and Modern Arabic for 4 months (a semester), again on a full-ride, and even got to teach colloquial American English to a group of Moroccan college students as part of my financial aid package. I befriended an American-Moroccan and 4 West Point cadets, we took road trips around Morocco almost every weekend. I had the time of my life. I even traveled Europe extensively, thanks to low-cost airlines. I saw Rome, the Vatican, I went to Madrid about 3 times, and London in about 4 stopovers. Closing that year was an epic week-long Couchsurfing trip to Iceland. How could I withstand life after travel? How could I “settle” and be “normal” upon graduation after experiencing all this?!

life after travel, Morocco

me in Essaouira, Morocco with one of the local kids we took in for lunch

life after travel, Vatican

me at the Vatican

I stayed in college for another year, with the “excuse” of starting (and finishing) a second bachelor’s degree. I love school, so it was the best of both worlds. On spring break I took a trip to Panama and went out dancing as much as I could. Then the inevitable happened: Graduation. I already had a cubicle job, translating and earning good money in a bad economy. Then my friends started to move away. Then I felt more and more alone. I grew to feel trapped in a job with no cultural stimuli beyond language, no exciting itineraries, barely time to travel.

life after travel, San Blas islands sailing

sailing San Blas islands – I saw many deserted islets like this one for 4 days

Life after travel = depression…with a boyfriend

I didn’t want a boyfriend, but I met someone special in Nov 2011. I was still managing OK back then, especially since I could take a great 5-day trip to Curacao. But as I received 2012, I felt the big black dog of depression approaching. It fully hit me around February and has not left me alone since.

My life after travel paralyzed me. I cried daily. I didn’t know how to live anymore.

All of a sudden, I was completely lost and was drowning in utter misery. No matter what my sweet boyfriend would do, it never seemed like enough. Naturally, he exploded yesterday:

“Need to do something about this. If you are miserable, DO SOMETHING!”

Right.

I felt so lost in a life after travel in Tampa, FL. To me, it is a city that could never live up to Cairo or Fez. No cultural stimuli, just a bunch of rich kids “living the life” — a life I could not afford on my salary, not when I was trying to save AND pay off debt at the same time. And no time to travel. It almost felt worse than prison. BUT WAS I DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT? Was I trying to see new things and attractions along beautiful Florida? Was I trying to escape on weekends, couchsurf locally, try to see my known surroundings in a new light?

NO.

Then it dawned on me: I was drowning in a glass of water. I wasn’t allowing myself to be happy unless I were abroad. The positive Maria who would always take the best out of any situation had been forgotten.

This life after travel had to change.

Yesterday, my boyfriend Blaine drew some plans in order to help me live my life after travel day by day, learning how to enjoy myself locally:

1. Each Wine Wednesday, we’ll have a picnic outside, watching the ocean, as we plan out what we’ll do the weekend ahead.

2. One weekend, we’ll have an event. Say, we have a day trip or weekend out of the city, but somewhere nearby. Maybe a 2-hour drive away on the east coast of FL? Maybe finally visit St. Augustine, one of the oldest cities in America? Yes!

3. The weekend after an “event” we’ll have a “try a new local restaurant” day. We’ll thrive to find quirky joints or try to recreate odd dishes in our own kitchens. Then maybe even visit a local park we’ve never been into.

4. Always be on the lookout for cool events in the area. Every Wine Wednesday, after our weekend plans are down, we’ll look up events happening in the coming weeks. If they involve money, we’ll then plan and save ahead so we can make it happen.

How did I not think of this before? In a life after travel, I was too busy thinking of the big future instead of thinking of the “small” present. “Small” doesn’t always have to be “boring.” Small means “I’m planning for something bigger, so I must rejoice on simpler things right now.” Besides, even the unknown foreign lands eventually become familiar, so we must learn to enjoy SIMPLE daily life regardless. Life, unfortunately, won’t be exciting 24/7, so…

life after travel, carpe diem

(C) Carolyn Sewell

I know this seems like common sense to many of you, but someone who has struggled with depression and even eating disorders in several occasions, it is quite easy for me to fall pray of helplessness. Specially when the chemical unbalances of your body aren’t helping. Not that I am seeking excuses, I just need to push myself harder in this life after travel. And that’s OK. Because we all have limitations — this simply happens to be mine. I must push a little harder and be ready to punch and kick depression right in the butt. Also, I must remind myself that my current situation is only temporary, that I’m simply gaining a lot of experience from this translation post. That my business trips start this summer and it’ll only get brighter from there. That God has amazing plans for me and I simply need to be patient. That I’m pretty damn lucky to simply have food, shelter, more than one job, and loving people around me who support me no matter what, while most of the world is suffering of hunger and loss. Shit, sometimes we can be pretty damn ungrateful. But it’s ok, so long I don’t stay in that damn mental hole for too long…

life after travel, drag queens

At least I got my Drag Queens in Tampa!

How do you deal with life after travel? What’s been your experience like?

63 thoughts on “Life after travel: My depression and learning to live day by day

  1. Thanks for writing about your personal experience. This topic is the exact reason I decided to create Native Foreigner. After returning from 1.5 years in Costa Rica, I had an incredibly difficult time adjusting to life at home. It’s hard to ever just go back to a “normal” life after having seen different parts of the world. I think you’re on the right track, though. Do little things to make each day better and always know that you can go abroad again in the future!

  2. Greatly encouraging post! I’ve always had the wanderlust bug and go crazy if I’m not on a plane somewhere often. Your honesty is amazing and greatly appreciated. I arrived back home after nearly two years working in Africa and have been going crazy while looking for the next job. Check out the book Peaks and Valleys by I don’t remember who. 😉 It’s a great read.

    – Nomad

    • Will do! Hope you find your way soon. Always remember though: You can become a digital nomad and have a location-independent career 😉

  3. So I just got back from an epic month of travelling through Canada and America just in time to volunteer at the paralympics and now I’m home. I have no money, my friends don’t live near me and I don’t have a job. I am soooo feeling the PTD right now 🙁

    • maybe you should start looking into working online. Right now, I freelance for a couple of online magazines and travel websites. Pay is okay, but at least I stay in that travel mode! Plus, it is an income stream I will be able to keep even if I move. Look into it! 😉

      • I just returned home from a year long trip traveling all over Central and S.East Asia. Volunteering and just having an amazing time like we travelers tend to have.

        I have already been battling clinical depression. for a while now. I had a really bad bout at during my trip which prompted me to return earlier than I wanted, but I felt I needed to be home to get healthy again.

        Boy, was that the wrong decision. As soon as stepped foot on the plane I felt horrible. Had a panic attack about an hour before touching down back in the states.

        I was just numb when I saw my friends and family. I love them and missed them dearly. But I literally had no emotion. It’s funny I hardly had any culture shock while traveling, I was loving all the new and exciting stuff, but when I got back, I was hit with a bad case of reverse culture shock. I was able to understand everyones conversations, most where the same old same old, complaining about a person, a job, or how wasted they got on the weekend.

        It made me sick. I wanted to turn back around immediately.

        Now I am here having just returned home 3 days ago sleeping on my moms couch, depressed, jobless, moneyless, carless. I feel like a foreinger in my own country, I feel jaded, because I saw so much suffering while volunteering and most people just don’t seem to give a shit.

        I am super hopeless.

        This post however has already hoped. It’s good to know there is a community of people that “get it”.

        Where do you find freelance writing gigs? I would love to pursue that as writing has been a passion of mine, paired with traveling and I think this would be a perfect remedy for my travel blues.

        Anyway, thanks again for this post.

        Ciaran

        • Ciaran,

          Definitely don’t lose hope. Try to focus on the good things that are going on in your life instead of the negative emotions. Also, take this time and opportunity to build the life you want, making decisions that will allow you to travel in the future.

          As for freelance writing, look online. They are hard to find though, full time that is. Thus, I would try to secure a different type of job while you build your portfolio/list of clients for your freelance practice.

          Good luck! We’re here to talk with you whenever you need us 🙂

  4. I just came back from hawaii two days ago. WHen i came back i cried for a few hours. WHy should I live in caliifornia when Hawaii had everything I want. I going through a lot of depression but i know I’m going to have to live on.

    • you can definitely change that reality, Nicole. Simply try to find a job and moved to Hawaii! We are in control of our lives, always remember that. Work hard and you can attain any goals you set yourself. Simply remember, the best things in life usually require a lot of effort, hard work, and persistence. Work for your dreams! Don’t settle, you don’t “have to live on” in a way you don’t want to.

      It is your choice

  5. Hi Maria,

    Thanks for writing such an honest, insightful post. I love how you were able to change your mindset and make the most out of your current situation and shift away from dwelling on wishing you were traveling, the lack of cultural stimuli, etc.

    Something that might also help you is practicing mindfulness, and the awareness of thoughts and feelings without allowing them to overwhelm you or compel you to immediate action. If you find yourself traveling again, a great place to visit is the New Life Foundation near Chiang Rai, Thailand. They help people who have suffered from addiction, depression, stress and burn out create sustainable, healthy lifestyles through mindfulness and the practice can apply to all areas of life. It’s a beautiful place and you can do yoga, tai chi, meditation, art creation, all kinds of great activities to help you achieve this new state of mind.

    Best of luck!

    • Thanks for the advice Casey. Haven’t made it to Chiang Rai yet, but will check the center out when I do. Sounds like good place 🙂

  6. Thanks for writing this blog post. I have been diagnose with depression 2 years ago and what keeps me from getting more into a hole is traveling. I just came back from 6 weeks of Africa and had an amazing time being surrounded by incredible people. Now that I’m home, I have no one to call for a drink. Although I’ve learned to effectively manage my postpartum travel depression pretty well, I feel that it’s creeping up to me because on loneliness. I’m not lonely due to the lack of friends, but to fact that no one understands the mind of traveler.

  7. Good read!

    Me alegro que haya encontrado una salida a sus problemas. Tiene un gran talento para la escritura y experiencias únicas que compartir que “twitteros” y “surfers” del internet.

    Mucho ánimo y éxito en su vida.

    Saludos desde Puerto Rico!

    Ricardo

    • Muchísimas gracias RJ. ¡Saludos a mi islita! Estuve allá hace pocas semanas, visitando a la familia y en un travel writing assignment.

      Se le agradecen los ánimos y espero siga leyendo mis historias 🙂

  8. I agree with you!! Ever since my study abroad trips, I have felt the same way. We should team up since we are in the same city now and do the trips together. What keeps me sane is the professional trips I make. I was able to go to China for an internship, Hungary for a week long seminar. Currently, I am thinking about doing a mission trip to DR. Little by little I give myself a travel oasis every year or so, otherwise I feel that I am not achieving much. Something that helps me greatly is working in a job where I am in constant contact with foreign languages, different cultures, etc. My conversations sometimes are around things that I could see when I go to my clients’ countries of origin. Pretty nice! I did stay away of the Travel channel or any travel blogs because I get that “travel junkie” or better said withdrawal feeling again. Also, I very seldomly look at pics of where I have been abroad for the same reason. I agree with you Maria, day trips doing adventurous things in USA does help some! Love you mama!

    • Oh, ¡ bienvenida a mi blog Laura! 😉 I feel that maybe a nomadic lifestyle will be the only option for me. Currently working toward building a client base of my own, then jet off! In the mean time, “domestic” trips should do 🙂

  9. María, there is an african say. “if there is a wish, there is a way”, so if you really want to have a travelling life, you will find the way. I myself decided to quit a sucesfull career as a marketing executive 12 years ago, to follow my dream and opened Vagamundos. Now my income is only 10% but I`m 10 times happier, so I never regret my decission, travelling you learn to appreciate simple things and to leave behind all the stones you`ve collecting in your emotional backpack!. Keep trying. Besos desde Madrid

    • That’s great Carlos. I have read many stories like yours, so I’m certain there is the way for me. In fact, I already found several ways and currently working on them (read my TBEX 2012 review for more details). Albeit insanely busy, I’m currently much happier than back when I wrote this post, thankfully 🙂

  10. Hello,

    Thank you for this post! I have had a very similar experience..I just came back from a semester abroad in Cairo and have come home now. I also did some traveling around Europe and Asia and the Middle East during that time, and have been gone for the first half of this year. I felt the onset of depression coming, and the things I used to love about home are no longer interesting as I fell in love with Cairo, and as I’m sure you know, it’s a very hard place to live up to. However, your post was really able to give me a new frame of thought for the time that I’ll be at home, especially the thought about enjoying the smaller things, since I’ll need to finish my degree before I can return abroad (insha’allah, back to Cairo to work). Thank you, and hope you are doing well still.

    • Wow Amber, you sound *so* much like me 3 years ago! I too had to come back home to finish my degree(s), then I had to stay as I found a good job that would allow me to pay off my student loans debt.

      I’m happy to hear this post has given you a new frame of thought, allowing you to enjoy the smaller things until you are able to move back to Cairo (or wherever life takes you–we never know! ;)). Best of luck and stay positive xo

  11. Hi

    Thanks for this blog. I suffered a breakdown over the weekend, depression and panic attacks like I’ve never experienced before. I was so shocked as life was going pretty well. I turned 32 this weekend and until february had been doing a job for three years involving a lot of travelling, a counsellor I saw this week put a lot of it down to my attempting to readjust to ‘real life’ after all that travelling.

    Anyway, just wanted to reach out and say thanks for writing this – its helping

    • I have gone though that: Random panic attacks when life seems to be going so well. Our subconscious can be so powerful–that I’ve learned well.

      I’m happy to hear that opening up has helped many of my readers. THANK YOU also because reading other stories somehow gives me strength, as it reminds me I’m not alone and have many people I could reach out to on my worst days. And not just loved ones, but people that actually get it because they’re going through the same.

      *hugs* Stay strong M!

  12. Pingback: I’m blogging because I need to be cured « Me&MyChucks

  13. I can relate on your post. I just came back from a 5 weeks travel. i know its not that long, and for all I know im just making a big fuzz out of it. But i also traveled with a broken heart, from a broken engagement and the least thing i need is to be in another relationship, but alas I met a traveler who made me feel so special beyond words. and again for all i know, it could just be “because we’re travelling” i think there is a certain force that makes traveler be more caring and sensitive when they are travelling with someone they met along the road. but what im undergoing now is a depression to get back to reality, suddenly travelling is my reality and the “mundane” world is now the break… i need to travel again…. but unfortunately I belong to a third world country that earns not much in terms of salary, I can only travel after long years of saving up… therefore at the back of my mind i know i need to pacify this yearning to travel….

    • I feel for you Katrina. Although you could create several streams of income online and save up enough (and somewhat quickly) to be able to travel throughout Southeast Asia — that could be an option, too! Traveling doesn’t have to be on the other side of the world 😉 I’m hoping this helps and if you need ideas about income generation or anything related to life after travel, please do let me know. I’m here for support 🙂

      ps – have you thought about translating? Could earn you a lot of money + you can work from anywhere! 🙂

      • hey,

        sorry for the late reply. yeah will definitely consider your suggestion. lately iv been focusing on writting my depression down after travelling. keeps my head busy,

        im interested in the online things you mentioned specially the translating. can you enlighten me more about it.

        thanks,

        • Did you go to university in English? Being bilingual doesn’t mean you can be a good translator. It takes more skills, so I advise you to take online translating tests in the pair you wish to work in and see how it goes. It is a very competitive career and one that is hard to start on, sp as a freelancer (which is why I decided to work for a company first, then try got started as a freelancer once I had some experience)

          • yes, English is my second language actually. Online translating test? It’s actually my first time to encounter such term? can you send me links to them so as I can check.

            thank you so much maria.

            by the way, everytime I go back to your blog I get to know you more. and I realized how much similarity we have. some people also call me Maria, that’s my first name. I also took my first solo backpacking trip because of a broken heart, a broken wedding engagement to my relationship of almost a year. i know some might think it’s too short of a relationship, but that time it really felt right… guess our own emotions can play tricks on as when we least expect it

            • Online translating test I took when applying for a job–so I guess that’s the only way? Google “online translation test” and see what comes up–remember to insert your language pair (i.e. mine would be “English-Spanish online translation test.” Good luck!

              Our own emotions can play tricks on us, but sometimes the emotions felt at the time were not tricks–they were real. People simply change throughout the years, specially when young (in their teens-20’s), so some people just grow apart. We realized we were not right for each other as life partners and separated–it’s just life. Be strong and know that there’s someone out there for you and that everything happens for a reason: You are exactly where you are supposed to be today! Stay strong xoxo

  14. Having had depression since the age of 13, I have struggled almost half my life and coming back from my first big trip paralysed me for six months so I can relate to how low you must have been feeling lately sweet.
    With regards to this post, I only have one word to say; beautiful. Just beautiful.
    And remember: It is not a weakness to admit that you are not always strong, it is a strength to admit you can sometimes be weak xx

  15. Unfortunately for us we have never done the whole BIG travel thing (partly because I own my own business) but instead we plan a new adventure as often as possible. We tend to try and go on at least two big trips each year and then during the year we have lots of little adventures locally and around the UK. So much fun can be had in these mini adventures.

    It sounds like you are getting through missing your travels and it does sound like you had some great times, but by looking forward to the little close things makes going somewhere big and special all the better!

    • Long-term travel is not for everyone, but if it is for you, it is like meth addiction. Your body aches for it so bad…as you could see on this post. Sometimes I wish I could be ok just taking two big trips each year and enjoying closer-to-home locales more…but I can barely help it! Living in the UK would make things easier for me…ahh low-cost airlines, cheap new country every weekend if I wanted to 😉 😛 haha.

  16. I get extremely depressed anytime I have to settle into the day-to-day activities of life, especially since, in the past year, 3 of my friends have passed away. I don’t want to waste a minute of life, but so understand how responsibilities keeps me from doing the things I want. I always feel alive when I am having a new adventure or at least planning one.

    I do love the idea of enjoying travel locally. I sometimes forget that I am just 45 minutes from San Francisco! There are so many places in my area that I have yet to experience and I need to get my butt in gear to go explore them!!

    Just lovin’ your local to do list 🙂

    • I wish I lived THAT close to a big city! My closest is Miami, but that’s about 4 hrs and too expensive for my frugal/debt-busting self at the moment. Enjoy Sanfran as much as you can, I am sure you will regret it if you don’t once you move away.

      I’m sorry about your friends *hugs* Most of my good ones have moved away or don’t talk to me anymore really, making daily routine even tougher. Hopefully my new ballroom dancing training, working even harder on my travel blogs, and local tourism will help me feel better. Thanks for the comment, somehow it is comforting to know others feel just like me, that I’m not a weirdo always drowning in a glass of water, and that if I ever need to talk to someone, I have many wonderful ppl like you just a tweet or email away. 🙂

  17. I can really relate to this! When I came back to my life in the US after being abroad for months (coincidentally in the Middle East), I was so depressed. I was driving myself crazy reading travel books and lists of “1000 places to go,” yet I wasn’t going out at all back in my home town. I finally started volunteering w/ the local hostel and working with the int’l community which helped a lot, but it took months and months to recover. The important thing to realize is that you don’t have to give up meeting new people and experiencing new things just because you aren’t traveling anymore. There are lots of things you can do to combat the post-travel blues.

    • Tampa is a smaller city, so it is a little tougher. But your plan is one I hope ti replicate somehow, with what I already outlined on this post. I hope you are doing better and I hope I recover faster! 🙂 thanks for sharing your story, it’s always good to see it gets better

  18. I guess my biggest post-travel depression moment is when I stayed in the UK for three months to be with my family. I didn’t enjoy it much there at first because I went on a winter (LOL), but I learned to love and embrace it when I met new people, went out often and in a way adjusted with the weather (I love the sunny Philippines, but it can get very hot at times!). It was already time for me to leave and I was dating someone there. I think we’re compatible, but the idea of having a commitment that time and the long distance thingy puzzled me (NBSB here!). When I went back to the Philippines, I had so many problems. Well, theyre not really about me, but I am affected. A friend was shot, my grandma got sick and a close friend got into deep depression and almost ended her life. As i lay on my bed at night, I sort of regret leaving the UK. Later on, things got better and I explored more parts of the Philippines (beaches ftw!). I am planning to go back to the UK again (hopefully for good) and maybe explore Europe too. The suggestion of your boyfriend is good. Go out and explore your hometown or nearby places. You will surely find something special from a nearby place 😀

    • It’s interesting how our perspective often takes a 180-degree turn right? Hope you going back to the UK for good is what your heart desires. If not, you can always go out and travel to find yourself again. That’s how we wanderers do it! 😉

  19. I’ve felt this even after month-long trips, but I’ve done the full transition back three times. It’s so awful! Just remember that you have this huge online support group who “gets it.” We’re here for you!!

    • Thank you Abby *hugs* one of the reasons why I’ve always loved blogging (since I was 13!), but adulthood pushed me to “hide” some private details of my life…but I feel that struggles like this one I should share because many of you not only get them, but can *help* me through them. I’ll start posting more from the heart, not so focused on destinations. It is *my* blog after all, right? 🙂 thanks again

  20. Hey Maria,
    I don’t consider myself a world traveler, but if you live in a country like Brazil, traveling around it sometimes feels like being abroad too… well, if you come from a small place like Belgium it sure does 🙂
    In my previous life, when I was doing the rat-race thing, sustaining a marriage, raising my two sons and acquiring some real estate, I never got to travel further than the south of France or Spain. After my divorce, I bought my first motorcycle and discovered life on the road… on the move… a fresh place every day, and that’s what made me decide to leave my well paid job and my well organized life in Belgium and move to Brazil to become a guide… I would be on the road almost all the time and Brazil is SO big that it would probably take a lifetime to explore all of it… Discovering new places has become a way of life for me now, and whenever I’m forced to spend time at home, I’m swimming or mountain biking just to be out there. From what I read in your post, it almost sounds like you feel that you’re never going to travel again, but I’m pretty sure that won’t be the case. If you have the wandering gene, you’ll take every opportunity to travel, even if it takes some time to save up the cash to make it happen. In the mean time, I guess what you’re doing now sounds great. Taking weekends off and exploring the place where you live. I’m sure if you look closely, you’ll be amazed about how much is going on in your immediate vicinity. For me, lots of physical activity (running, swimming, MTB…) and playing music (guitar, harmonica) were the things that kept me sane and pulled me through all kinds of difficult periods in my life. My guitar is always there for me, when I feel sad, I play a ballad, when I feel angry or aggressive, I play some heavy metal. There’s always a way to get lost in the music. NEVER let depression take over your life. Also, stay far away from drugs and alcohol (duh 🙂 ). Too many people have resorted to them, only to find out that their problems got bigger in the end.
    Wow, I never meant this to get so long… I guess what I’m trying to say is: enjoy what you have, rather than being sad about what you don’t have. You have already had amazing experiences in your life, probably a lot more than any normal person could expect to have, so cherish the precious memories and take good care of yourself so that you’re fit and ready at any time in your life when a traveling opportunity will present itself. It might come sooner than you think 🙂
    Abraço
    Raf

  21. Oh Maria, I totally get what you are feeling. I too am a sensory experience fiend and I live to travel. I live in Chicago and there’s lots of adventures here-I take a trapeze flying class soon but it’s not the same. I start feeling down if I haven’t traveled in over a month and it’s not fun. When I feel like this, I fill my week with fun and experiences and socializing as well as volunteer work. That always changes my perceptions.

    • Chicago! A BIG city! I actually think it would be much easier for me if I lived in a big city. Influx of travelers mean I could join gatherings, visit local hostels and at least keep the social component of travel alive, even without moving. That’s why Tampa depresses me greatly really…hehe. No scene like that. But hey! I was blessed with a great job here and got to be patient. Thanks for the tips btw, I should def. look into local volunteering opportunities.

  22. Hey Maria, I feel the same just two weeks after moving out of London where I have been studying for nearly 3 years. I think I understand how you feel now pretty well, as life after travel is not the same anymore because we have a ‘widened cultural horizon’ therefore we feel like we do not fit to this old surrounding anymore.

    Here is a bit about the ‘re-entry shock’ :
    http://www.munich-business-school.de/intercultural/index.php/Culture_shock,_Re-Integration_and_Re-Entry_culture_shock_-_Managing_Cultural_Differences

    I find particulary well explained of what I am coping with atm. The thing is, I just do not want to re-adjust back to polish culture, as for 3 years I tried to avoid it by learning new sets of attitudes and values. I have an impression that I got no common topics with people surrounding me, even though they speak my native language and I find more in common with people on the other part of the globe than ppl from my home country. I just can’t re-adjust.

    The solution for me is to go back to Ldn, and I will do so asap.

    Hope you will enjoy the weekend excursions and picnics by the ocean and appreciate the most amazing Florida sunsets, the ones I still dream to see myself…Be thankful for this sunshine 🙂

    You are always welcomed to Poland and remember that Regent’s Park in London misses your beautiful hair photographed on it’s grass!

    Good luck with your blogs, they are simply amazing! x
    Kami

    • Aww Kamila *hugs* people that I’ve met in my travels, like you, is one of the main reasons why I miss traveling so much! I hope we cross paths again and we should talk more on Skype whenever we feel blue about this or any other topic 😉 thanks love xoxo You are welcome in Florida anytime!

  23. Sounds like you have amazing support in your life. Love the ideas for ways to be happy when not traveling. I always feel better when I am moving, I think I have a nomadic soul.

    If you are struggling again at any point check out some Byron Katie videos – her stuff seems to turn my mind around.

    • I’ve been lucky to have amazing people around me whenever I struggle with my illnesses, yes. I am very grateful for that. Glad you liked the ideas, hoping many of us wanderers “stuck” somewhere still get to enjoy our daily lives! I’ll def. checkout Byron Katie, never heard about her. Thanks for that

    • I believe we get this feeling because as a species, we are nomadic. We used to migrate south with the seasonal change of Summer to Autumn. What you’re feeling is a genetic connection to our past. Good luck in trying to find your feet, my advice is to find two countries to live in and swap between them if you can.

      • Thanks for the cultural/historical note, Kamal. I definitely agree!

        Currently, I’m working toward my dream of becoming a full-time nomadic translator and travel writer, spending several months in a country until I get to visit all nations 😉

        Then and only then, if I find a country I particularly love, I’ll be spending most of my time between that place and Puerto Rico, where most of my family resides. That’s my humble plan of course… but life throws many surprises at us, so only time will tell where I’ll end up! 😉

        • How do you plan to be a nomadic writer/translator? This is absolutely my ideal lifestyle and maybe the only one I am capable of living happily. Thank you so much for writing this article, I was beginning to feel hopeless after returning home and I am so glad to know I have a community behind me

          • it takes a lot, a lot of work. You have to network, find databases or websites that work with freelancers (so you can find work or bid for projects posted), etc.

            I recommend you build a very good resume first with a very reputable company back in your home country before you go solo, though. That way, you’re going to have several professional references on your LinkedIn, which can help / lead to future work when you go on your own. Best of luck Alice!

  24. Personally, I hate it. I am like you I need to travel and be abroad. That is why I do my best to work overseas. When I quit working for awhile and do a little traveling I feel great. then I get back tot he States and I look at where will I work next so i can go and experience new places and people. I just accepted another job abroad and will be leaving soon off to another adventure. This will allow me to travel in the surrounding countries and also to the far away places.

    • That’s a strategy I’m thinking of, but while still here, I noticed that focusing too much on planning and trying to escape daily just somewhat added to my misery, specially with my depressive background. That’s why I wrote this post, I figured many other wanderers feel as I do and needed a little push and new perspective. Must learn so seize the day, no matter what life brings us..

    • Eventually, for one reason or another, we must stay put in a place. Must learn how to see the “mundane” to us with a different set of eyes

    • how aqre you doing with your depression? its been a month since i came back from travelling. but i to now i think im still under the daze of it. it’s really hard specially i know i wont be travelling anytime soon…

      • I’m doing better MK, thank you. It took a while to get used to being back, but going to international restaurants around my area has helped tremendously. Also, “domestic” weekend trips (within the USA) have kept me sane. Maybe seeing parts of your country or city that you haven’t experienced will help you?

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