post trip syndrome

This topic was created by tec
[1998 Thu 9 April, 13:51 Tasmanian Standard Time]

I was wondering if anyone out there who has travelled around
and then came back home only to realize away was better? I
am having after trip depression.Is this common? I just can't
be satisfied with my old life , you know? It 's hard when
you have been away and seen all the beautiful things and
then come back and try and pretend that all the things that
were beautiful to you before are beautiful still. That
probably made no sense but if you have been where I have
been and then left the place that you consider ultimat
beauty and peace- aw shit it is really hard.
Talk to me please.

[There are 82 posts - the latest was added on 1999 Wed 13 Oct, 4:53]



  1. Yes!!Culture Shock in Your Own Country. Added by: Marina
    [Timestamp: Thu 9 April, 14:40 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I too was very depressed after being in Europe for two years
    backpacking and hitchin' without a care in the world except
    where to get water and where to pitch my tent. I can truly
    sympathize and had wished there was a therapist waiting at
    the airport to receive me when I returned. It took me
    several weeks before I could enter a retail store and still
    have many fears of being here...my own country...I have
    every intention to immigrate in the near future. I hope
    this helps..if you would like to talk, feel free to email.
    I also have a website at
    See ya T...



  2. It Might Help Added by: Travel At Home
    [Timestamp: Thu 9 April, 15:10 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I think lots of people feel a bit lost when they get back after a trip. I've grown up as a bit of a traveller, born uk, then Tanzania, then Kenya, then back to UK, Ireland and now Australia. I'm settled in Oz, but have been on trips to the US and UK over the past couple of years and always find it hard to settle after a trip.
    One thing that makes it more bearable, I find, is to have a couple of "mini trips" back home. I regularly go & stay for just a weekend at hostels/backpackers quite close to home.....I think a lot of what I miss is the people that you meet.....this helps take care of that.
    Also, without wanting to sound like "Pollyanna", I find it useful to spend time around things I do find great at home. There must be somethings that you still find beautiful if you really think about it.
    Finally, if you REALLY want to go "back", then just start working towards that goal. There is always a way to do it if you want to. One thing a lot of travelling has taught me is that 'home" is where you feel yourself, not a geographic location.



  3. action! Added by: laura
    [Timestamp: Fri 10 April, 3:58 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    In reference to that last comment 'Home' is where you feel
    yourself not a geographical location.
    I returned from Oz 4 months ago, had the time of my life, I
    wanted to come home, but I found it so difficult to deal
    with life back here, Oz seemed like heaven on earth, nothing
    here could live up to it!
    I really felt myself in Oz, I really 'clicked' with the
    place, It did'nt confuse me as much as England does.
    After working hard and saving (again), nothing can keep me
    from what I want really deep inside!
    I'm off back to Oz in a few days, I feel as though I'm going
    home! will I return? who knows, I'm following my instincts!



  4. Reverse Culture Shock Added by: Kodie
    [Timestamp: Fri 10 April, 4:10 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Is there anything as terrible as returning home from your
    travels? I don't think that anyone can adequately describe
    the feelings people experience upon return. I have never
    talked to anyone who says they adjusted easily to old habits
    and patterns. Suddenly things that seemed so familiar feel
    foreign and strange. It's a whole new kind of culture shock
    but it is real and, unfortunately, the only cure for it is
    time. Eventually, you will settle in and get back into the
    groove of things. Just accept that it will be a bit painful
    and difficult for awhile. I have also found that the best
    cure for this ailment for myself is to immediately begin
    planning my next trip! It offers some light at the end of
    the tunnel.



  5. a normal thing Added by: Mauro
    [Timestamp: Fri 10 April, 9:18 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Yes!
    i understand what do you mean...
    get back in a shop and say "sorry" or "please" instead of
    scusi e grazie, give fiftythousand bath instead of liras,
    feel a bit shy when asking, or ...
    the worst...
    burp loudly in a restaurant after long time in India!
    The medicine for your disease?
    just think that's is your real life, your reality, when you
    travel is...
    is a better life, but is not the real life!
    In wich place have you been right now?
    I was in Lao during january, and -beleive it!- i start to
    feel sad as i cross the Mae-Kong going back to bangkok!
    for people going to Lao:
    please, be very respectfull of their culture, they are much
    more nice and honest of the neighbours ( thailand-vietnam)
    don't take advantage of their friendliness and hospitality,
    if someone is offering a beer or a coffe, don't give money,
    is not polite, just buy them sigarettes or something.
    MAURO



  6. There with you. Added by: lazara
    [Timestamp: Sat 11 April, 16:10 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I left "home" two years ago, saying "Be back in a year...if
    I last that long!".
    Ha.
    I haven't come to the most beautiful place in the world. And
    sometimes I miss my home. But I like missing it.
    So I'm staying "out here". And my "here" is changeable, my
    life is pretty messy most of the time. Friends "back there"
    have homes and stuff that, I guess, is very meaningful for
    them.
    But I have something. Big, big life.
    And so do you.
    You have to find the courage to love it, and do it well.



  7. Been there! Added by: heather
    [Timestamp: Sun 12 April, 16:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know what you mean I have been home this time for 6
    months and I always have the post trip depression! I am now
    35 and it seens to be getting worse the older I get. I run
    to the libary to get the vidio tapes on India or Indonessia
    and watch them trying to get my self back there again. I
    find this Westernized world very empty and lonely and the
    focus of the people is just all wrong and self centered.
    The thing I miss the most is meeting new people every day
    and forming intaimate relationships straight away It's
    approiprate to sit down with someone when your alone and
    just settle in! Not really exceptable to do that here.
    Also since none of my friends here travel they don't
    understand how your feeling! they ask How's the trip? and
    give you about 10 minutes to share one year and that is all
    they want to hear, it's just another world And i have to
    agree wisth the guy on Loas It was brillant! the most
    interesting and friendly people I have met so far I pray it
    dosen't get spoiled the people are so genuine anyway
    thanks for letting me babble and if anyone comes up with a
    way that I can stay over there let me know... short of
    marriage! by .



  8. dilemma? Added by: puilin
    [Timestamp: Sun 12 April, 18:39 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I got this post trip depression too. I came back from my
    4-month Europe trip last October and I felt good to be back
    home for the first couple days. Though words like "oui",
    "merci", "excuse moi" etc came out of my tongue just a
    reflex and my mind was captured by all those memories of the
    trip. I returned home coz I was kinda homesick but it's rare
    that when I finally got home I started to miss Europe. I
    felt the same way as if I woke up from a fabulous dream,
    back to reality was not a good feeling.
    Well, I exchanged letters and e-mails with the people I met
    in Europe to share after-trip feelings and future travel
    plans. It helps. As of one of the reponses said, think of
    your future trip will help. Or, you can think this way: with
    the dullness of your ordinary life back home, you can
    compare, appreciate and cherish the travelling experience
    much more. Just think that you're at home preparing for your
    next trip!
    puilin



  9. homecoming Added by: Orla
    [Timestamp: Mon 13 April, 14:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Coming home craziness....i think if your trip taught you
    anything, it has to happen. Last summer, I left India after
    4 mths there to fly to London, and I completely freaked out.
    It wasn't home (i'm canadian) but it was still the
    western world. It was so completely different. No one was
    staring at me anymore. I was completely anonymous for the
    first time in ages. I could wear shorts and a tank top
    again, and i felt so exposed. Everyone had such nice
    clothes and shoes and i felt like such a total bum. People
    stood in queues instead of shoving. I could get a cold
    glass of milk again. I could go on...but it was like
    another planet. I don't know where you are coming home
    from, but to live amongst another culture makes you see your
    own home with eyes you've never had before. It can be
    depressing to see things that are negative about your home,
    like materialism, or the alienation of people from nature
    and each other. But it also opens your eyes to see what you
    might have that the rest of the world doesn't. Like, I
    found I was in awe of the fact that if i had been born
    female in India, or most of the world for that matter, I
    would probably never have learned to read, i'd be married at
    14 and had 6 kids by now, and generally not have anything
    close to the freedom a woman has in the West. I'd never
    really realized that before. So, like everything else in
    this wild world, you get good things and bad things out of
    coming home. And before you know it you'll be settled back
    into a daily routine and maybe you'll even miss those days
    when you first came home and found everything so different
    than it was before you left. Hang in there.



  10. Don't Fret Pet Added by: Jesse
    [Timestamp: Tue 14 April, 2:23 Tasmanian Standard Time]


    I think the worst part about coming back home is that others
    lack a frame or reference to really understand what it is
    that you experienced, not that everything in which you
    partook was so exotic and unearthly, but you did experience
    it, and you felt the need to leave home to do so when most
    others feel no such urge to wander.
    You may so badly wanted to have told some amazing stories,
    from the humourous to the heart-breaking, but others may in
    the long run consider them to be just that--stories, and
    they don't understand why you are different. Your stories
    have had an impact on you, however small, and you may not
    see things, for better or worse, the same way anymore.
    For example, in NYCity where I'm from, a caustic, biting,
    sarcastic point of view is entirely acceptable, even
    indispensable for handling yourself around others if you
    want their respect. The verbal equivalent of a wrestling
    match. However outside those urban centers, such humor
    doesn't translate too well, even if you only hop across the
    river to New Jersey! In South Korea, where it took me a
    year and a half after my equally long stay there to learn
    and accept this, the people laugh at you, mostly, if you did
    something that pleased them--trying the language, choking on
    their food, singing badly in the Karaoke bar. I was present
    once when a South Korean baby said it's very first words, in
    English, to it's mother. "Bye-Bye!", he sang. The whole
    family froze, looked and pointed rather bluntly at him and
    started cracking up, followed by a chorus of what I
    interpreted as mocking imitations. "Bye-bye! Bye-Bye" they
    chanted, but smiling big. That was their way of showing
    approval, I realized far too late, because I scowled. I
    encountered that again and again, not only in S. Korea, but
    backpacking around South East Asia. Here I am, I'm
    thinking, trying out their language and eating their food
    like a respectful tourist and they think I'm the village
    idiot? No, they were actually encouraging me, and I was
    too self-concious to realize it. It sort of hit me recently
    what they were attempting to communicate, and now, a year
    after I've returned from Asia, I've finally internalized
    it. The unfortunate result is that my family is
    now disgusted with me because I won't join the
    insult-hurling which is supposed to pass for affection
    around the dinner table. They think I'm secretive, no fun,
    and unhappy, when in reality, I'm merely sick of being
    goaded, sick of having my private life exposed before the
    company for the sake of getting a laugh, and sick of how
    tense I feel going there for holiday dinners. And if I
    tried to explain all this to my well-educated,
    cosmipoltan, and politically-involved family, they would nod
    their heads, tell me what a wonderful experience I had, and
    then cut me down some more for being pretentious. I've
    stopped aruguing and I've given up. Take it from me,
    sometimes communication is not a means to an end.
    Another example: I've witnessed the downside of the economic
    miracle in Asia, and consequently not too impressed anymore
    with materialism. I saw a lot of greedy people who simply
    created a lot of garbage dumps, not to mention radically
    unfair work conditions, because they wanted to show off
    their latest status symbols. We all like to be comfortable,
    and we all like a good salary, but I have no inclination now
    to go get a better stereo, or any stereo, when I don't
    really need one. The same thing goes for TV. I'm happy for
    the multi-nationals that they've figured out how to access
    100 channels for my viewing pleasure, but when most of it is
    enterntainment and destroys my attention span, well, I hope
    I can stop compulsivley watching the few channels I have
    already long enough to pick up a book once in a while. I
    now believe that television, and acquistivness in general,
    is an addiction like any other, and if you don't keep the
    necessary hoarding to a minimum, it just creates more
    trouble than it is worth. This is an attitude a lot of
    people don't understand, and they act strangely around me,
    like they'll catch something. My mattress was on the floor
    for a long time because I just didn't feel the need for some
    simple structure that didn't do anything beyond lift my body
    a foot or two off the ground. Ya get it? I'm not the child
    of hippies, nor do I pretend to be one myself, though I can
    admire them for sticking to principles. I'm just another
    29-year old who has recieved a bit wider and a bit more
    intimate introduction to my planet than what I can see or
    read about in the news. Hey, even I feel pretentious for
    saying it, but that's my mindframe right now. And looking
    back, I've done a lot with my life and didn't need to insult
    anybody, nor spend a lot of money to reach my present goals.
    Hope that helps. I don't have an e-mail so please don't try
    to respond. That would get me in trouble at my company.
    Yours,
    Jesse.



  11. DISCOUNT FOR GROUPS Added by: MAURO
    [Timestamp: Wed 15 April, 10:51 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    SEEMS TO ME ALL OF US WRITING ON THIS BRANCH OF THE TREE
    SHOULD GET A CECK IN A MENTAL HOSPITAL....
    IF WE GET IT TOGHETER WE MAY GET A GOOD DISCOUNT
    AND HAVE MEALS ON ORDER...
    I WANT:
    -MUSHROOM SOUP(ANY KIND OF MUSHROOM IS A MAGIE!)
    -VEGETARIAN SPRING ROLL
    -RASMALAI
    -PIZZA CON LA MOZZARELLA DI BUFALA
    THEN, WE CAN GET A COMPUTER COURSE TOGHETER, SO WE CAN LEARN
    TO SEND NOTES ONLY ONE AT TIME (AFTER A LOMNG WORK I
    REALISED MY MESSAGE DIDN'T WENT THROUGH, YESTERDAY...)



  12. "Ingratitude" Added by: Erasmus
    [Timestamp: Wed 15 April, 18:48 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    When I came home the worst thing was that everybody
    reproached me of not being grateful for what I have in my
    country. I'd better not told them that it's a shock to come
    back. I can still hear those long sermons, all ending with
    the same conclusion: "You couldn't travel if you were born
    in that third world that you enjoyed so much. You can only
    travel because WE fulfill our duties for our society."



  13. Keep on keepin' on! Added by: Judith Starchild
    [Timestamp: Thu 16 April, 3:00 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I am presently "suffering" the same syndrome after returning
    from a trip last month that jolted me out of experiential
    inertia! While at a fist glance it seemed as though
    travelling was the "real life" and being home was the
    exception, it really isn't so bipolar. I prefer to translate
    the experience as one of profound orientation. My world just
    expanded from my contracted concept of "place" to a much
    broader horizon of experience. I was a suffocating person
    without a clue until I drew in the life giving breath of
    movement. Now I only hope to retain my new perspective and
    remain vigilant about this and, rather than struggle with
    being back "home" along with its own new brand of culture
    shock, I am reviving myself...my new self that is!...in
    planning my next trip now...and what better place to do that
    from than home? In other words, the inherent struggles of
    post travel shock can be kung-fu-ed to create a new and
    better order to one's life... Or maybe I am saying all this
    to make myself feel better! But its working for me.



  14. The Panacea of Your Worries Added by: A Fellow Victor Borge Fan
    [Timestamp: Sat 18 April, 3:39 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Dear Tec,
    After reading your letter I felt like I know who you
    are. I have felt how you are feeling and it is hard.
    There is a solution for your problems that I have cooked up
    for you. You must find a guy who has had similar problems.
    Ideally this guy would be a rather tall bloke and hopefully
    he doesn't live too far from you (within a few city blocks
    is choice). He should also share your passion for travel,
    experiencing new things, and Otis Redding (she rules).
    After you find such a guy, if you should ever be so
    fortunate, you should date him. Sounds weird huh? Trust
    me, all of your worries will dissapear as fast as a Welfare
    Cheque cashed at a bank directly across the street from an
    L.B.S.
    Good luck!



  15. missing travel Added by: pima
    [Timestamp: Wed 22 April, 19:16 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It's been 10 months since I came back from my 2.5 year journey in Asia.
    I wouldn't say I'm "depressed", but I feel like I'm falling
    back into my old ways; ways I didn't like.
    My best friend and I just had a falling out because I've
    become so different. I can't figure out America. There's nothing
    I wish to do here.
    So I'm thinking of leaving again. To live and work overseas.
    I like the challenge of communicating in a foreign country. I
    find that it's much easier to express myself to non-native speakers
    of English than to my own kind. It's strange. No one listens here.
    No one cares. People are so absorbed in meaningless things.
    We should organize a group: Post Travelers Blues Network or
    simply just go off on a trip again.



  16. post-travel blues Added by: skull
    [Timestamp: Fri 24 April, 13:20 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I spent six years travelling around the world. The day I returned (to London), I got caught up in the rush hour travel on the underground (subway). I thought "What the hell am I doing in this fucking jungle? Let me out, back to the green jungle." That was many years ago.Since then, I studied, got married, had a family, went to work, made friends, developed many interests. Travelling was wonderful, but being fixed can be wonderfu, too. People who travel or have travelled are no better or worse than the people who stay behind. And people who are fixed can develop just as much as people who travel. It all depends on the individual. So, if you can't go travelling again, get into something you enjoy, and do it with passion. The post-travel blues will soon clear.



  17. Thanks, Everybody Added by: Travelin Woman
    [Timestamp: Fri 24 April, 19:41 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Well that really helped me. I had given up on explaining what I was feeling to my family and friends. They have no clue of what I'm talking about. I was in Europe for one year and have been back for four months now. I've decided I am going back. Hopefully to live if I can find work. I'm afraid the longer I stay here the more I fall back into the old. I have changed so much I really don't have very much in common with my friends or family. All the things that were important to me before I left, mean nothing to me now. So I'm going to keep going. Thanks again everyone, it's nice to know I'm not alone.



  18. Bon to travel Added by: Daisy
    [Timestamp: Sat 25 April, 12:52 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Anyone who has experienced travel has also had to deal with the changes that take come from that travel experience .Celebrate your growth. What you are feeling is a sure sign that you were bon to travel ...use your energy to work,save, and plan your next adventure.
    . Twenty years ago I made my first trip to Europe. It was a dream come true. My husband stayed with the children and I had a month that changed my life forever. Like everyone else out there, upon my return, I found that everyone wants to hear all the details of your trip..as long as it only takes 10 minutes..unless they too were travelers. Even my husband seemed never to have any questions or engage me in the tales of my journey. Over the years I on occassion would tell him something that happened on that trip long ago, and he would say you never told me that before! He is right...but he never seemed interested either.But get this...over the last 4 years we have taken 3 trips to Europe together and NOW he is interested in where I went and what I did.
    I was always so hurt that he was so disinterested in my dream come true..it never occured to me that he had no point of reference, so formulating the questions was out of his realm. Now he is experiencing the same reactions from co workers and friends....and so we put money we use to use for special occasions into a travel fund..and share our next dream adventure with each other
    . We suround ourselves with friends that like to travel...and tell them of that wild drive down the Amalfi coast, of the hours we spent practicing the art of doing nothing in Italy, of the old lady that ran that little hotel in Austria..or the breakfast we had along the Mosel...you know the hotel with the shower that you had to turn sidways and suck in to get thru the door...yeah that one..the one with the three watt light bulb...best food I ever had!!! Lets go back there someday.
    You are I think experiencing a perfectly normal feeling. You have left something you loved and no one understands. But you will go back and you know what...it will be just as you left it.



  19. Just Keep on Travelling! Added by: julie
    [Timestamp: Sun 26 April, 7:07 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I can totally relate to the post-travel blues. I've been
    bit hard by the travel bug. I started travelling when I was
    18 (now I'm 33) and it seems like I've fallen into a natural
    rhythm... travel, post travel blues when I return, save for
    the next adventure, travel. It has turned into a two year
    cycle for me, but the smile never leaves my face because I
    just keep going in this pattern. As long as the world
    exists, I plan to keep on travelling. The best way to get
    over the blues is to start dreaming (and saving) for the
    next adventure. Right now, I'm planning my next adventure
    (known as "Julie's World Domination Tour" to the shock and
    dismay of my friends, family and coworkers). In 1999, I
    plan on leaving Portland Oregon once again and hitting
    Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, teach in Thailand for a
    year then continue on to Laos, Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar)
    China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria,
    Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Eritria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania,
    Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The happiest moments in life
    are making my dreams realities. Enjoy life while you can!
    Cheers, Julie



  20. me too Added by: 4:20
    [Timestamp: Sat 2 May, 12:58 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    i just got back today to calgary, canada, fucking cowboy
    redneck town after 7 months backpacking in japan, china,
    laos and hanging and smoking all the time. hard to imagine i
    was on an island in thailand just 4 weeks ago and partying
    in roppongi, tokyo about 48 hours ago. but guess what guys,
    i have the perfect solution to the blues. treeplant, yes,
    trepllanting in canada, it's fucking hard work but it's my
    fourth year and 3 months and ten grand in the bank later i'm
    off again to wherever i desire, so if you want to make some
    cashish real quick and you're really determined to do so by
    working really, really hard i.e. waking up at 7 am in
    northern saskatchewan and it's -5 degrees celsius and
    working your fingers to the bones for 12 hours a day,
    mosquitoes and horseflies eating away at you, waiting in the
    rain for the helicopter to take you back to camp, else you
    walk 20km in the mud. drop me a line and i'll try to help
    you out. sorry canadians and people with work permits in
    canada only.



  21. I know where your coming from Added by: Maxine
    [Timestamp: Thu 11 June, 1:53 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    At last some people that understand. It's true friends ask you how your trip was and 30 seconds later get that glazed look in their eyes. They don't understand they never will. I have been back 4 weeks from a 6 month trip round Asia. I started backpacking when I was 21 and am now 32. Had a seven year blip where I brought my house and spent all my money on it. I still have the house but have decided not to spend any more money on it and just save up and go travelling. My big dilema now is the biological clock ticking away like Big Ben in the back of my head. Do I have children and backpack with a kid (is it possible really) or do I just backpack for the rest of my life. To make things worse there is a bloody great cruise liner parked outside my office window on the Thames - I bet it's going somewhere nice. In the meantime I will do this boring meaningless job earm my money and get the hell out of here by Xmas hopefully and one thing is for sure when I put that pack on again I will appreciate the freedom it give me. Another thing I have noticed about the west nobody had time to do anything not even to talk.



  22. Real World Added by: Dini
    [Timestamp: Fri 31 July, 4:45 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I think the worst of it for me was not just the blues, which
    are still going, even though I've been back for over 3
    months, and still wanting to go traveling again, but people
    telling me that I had my fun and now it's time to get
    serious and get a job, career, family - oh my god!
    I refuse to believe that all my fun loving travel days are
    over!
    That's why, even though you have the blues, it's important
    to have travel goals and work towards them so that you know
    that soon you will be out there again.



  23. You're not alone Added by: K
    [Timestamp: Sun 23 August, 16:09 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    The thing about the travel bug is that it never goes away...it only gets worse! I was away for about 15 months and have been "home" for 8. It was a bit of a shock coming home but I had sort of prepared myself for the feelings I knew might come so that helped a little... although I wish I had practically prepared myself too (had some savings etc.). Coming home to no money, no job, having to live again with my parents for a while and in the dead of winter ( -30 degrees from the tropics!!!!!) was hard and it got me down a little. But live and learn...next time I will be more prepared. Another thing - I agree with "home is where you can be yourself and not a geographical location". It is really easy to blame a place when things are not going well for you there. It is important to get involvd with the community, meet people, work, play or whatever while you are in a place and try to make the most of your experience there. When I first got home I was so "high" from travelling that I wanted to keep that feeling - that feeling that you are living life to the full, you can pick up and go any where you want at any time, and generally that things seem so much easier and you feel so much more fearless than you do when you are "home" . I try to imagine that I am still "travelling" and in a sense I am - that where I am is only temporary and things can and do change so I might as well try to get the most out of where I am. Still - nothing beats travelling and I did not see my trip as a once in a lifetime trip but as just the begiining. I plan to travel more and throughout my life and I know I will. The worst thing someone said to me travelling was : "Travelling is great but sooner or later you have to go home and start your life" I thought: This IS my life.



  24. .. Added by: pigeon
    [Timestamp: Tue 1 Sept, 15:20 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    i came closer to my potential traveling cause i went alone
    and had an opportunity to meet myself. i developed a
    tolerance for every person and every person's opinions,
    well you know, you have to. and i fucking liked myself.
    when i went home i was sucked into being the same old
    person again, which would've been fine if i'd never learned
    how good a person i could be. and it's true, no one has any
    clue what you've just done. they're just stories and
    they're just pictures...but you were THERE and no one
    around you can relate. of course that sucks.



  25. hello tec and everybody else Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sat 12 Sept, 9:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Pfew! Makes me feel better already to know I'm not alone,
    which I thought for a long, long time. I posted a similar
    question on the Indian subcontinent section, called "Is
    there life after backpacking?". Had some fantastic respons
    too, might help you all? If only by knowing there's plenty
    more people like us out there. It helps me, that's for
    sure..



  26. Still longing Added by: Sammy
    [Timestamp: Wed 23 Sept, 8:17 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    What is it exactly? I have no idea, but as soon as i read the original posting i had to stop and read every single one. I spent last summer hitchiking across Canada. Not over sea's or anywhere to exotic, but i have the bug. I quit college and moved to the mountains to ski.
    unfortunatly i'm now back in the real world with a job. Yet all I ever do is dream of packing up my bag and heading off with nothing but me, my gear, and my thoughts. Hopefully one day i'll quit my job and make it out there. Thanks for keeping the dream alive............



  27. Life Abroad Added by: J
    [Timestamp: Mon 23 Nov, 7:57 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Actually living in another country is not the same as just
    travelling through it, and forming complex relationships
    with others that last years. There is this great sense of
    freedom that comes with travel, but all good things come to
    an end. Real life in a foreign country is probably every
    bit as sticky as the life that depresses you here.
    My advice to you is not to travel again for about a year.
    Give home a chance.



  28. thoughts on... Added by: leigh
    [Timestamp: Sun 29 Nov, 13:39 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I am american and spent last summer traveling Europe, the UK and Ireland. I fell in love (with that part of the world) and have not recovered since. I watch the Travel Channel like it is a religion and every time I see a show on a place i have been I get really upset. Not a day goes by that doesn't remind me of a particular day during my travels. Coming home is reacclimating yourself to the status quo...and its not fun. No one understands and no one wants to hear your stories because they either can't identify or are jealous. It is incredibly difficult to adjust to not being on the move, not hearing other languages, not meeting new people, not seeing incredible sights. Travel is a drug, and coming home is detox.



  29. Travel stories Added by: Amanda
    [Timestamp: Thu 17 Dec, 16:48 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I can relate to everything that everyone is saying in this
    branch. I just got back from travelling around Scandinavia
    and some of Russia and have travelled lots before. Over the
    last few years I have always had something to dream about
    and some trip to plan. Now I am back again and everyone is
    saying that it is time to settle down. All I want to do is
    start planning for the next trip. Why should we settle down
    if our dream is to travel. All I have is work at the
    moment, so if anyone would like to drop me a line, we could
    swap all those fantastic travel stories together



  30. Maybe being "home" is not the only problem . . . Added by: i
    [Timestamp: Sun 27 Dec, 17:09 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I agree with #27's posting. Perhaps this post-travel depression syndrome is also a result of having to get back to the "normal", where life becomes static again; it's not just a matter of readjusting to home, but rather of readjusting to no longer having to readjust. One of the great things about travelling is not just experiencing a completely new culture, but that everything is constantly changing - there is always a new stimulus in life, new things to see, new people to meet. But when you are travelling, there is often not time enough to stay in one place long enough for life to assume its real complexity. I spent a long summer travelling Europe for the first time a couple years ago, and was so enamoured of the place that I decided to go back and try living there. It was a pretty different experience. Life even there assumed its own sense of normality after a few months, and relationships had time to get complex and sometimes "sticky". But of course now that I'm back "home", I'm once again nostalgic about that other life. It'll probably just continue as an endless cycle. The grass is always greener on the other side. . .



  31. Returning Home Blues... Added by: ML
    [Timestamp: Thu 31 Dec, 14:41 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I think one of the hardest parts of returning home is the
    way that other people are just not interested in where
    you've been and what you've done ... I've been away several
    times, for extended periods of time, and each time I return
    family and friends have about a 5 minute limit on their
    attention to what I've been doing. I'm not saying that
    they should listen to me go on and on about me experiences,
    but a little interest would really help. Because of this,
    I find it really isolating when I come back. But, it
    usually doesn't last, so hope you are feeling better and
    more connected. And, hope you are planning your next big
    trip!



  32. Exactly! Added by: Katrina
    [Timestamp: Fri 15 Jan, 7:16 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I just got back from 6 months in Africa. Coming home has
    been the hardest part of all. I have come home to my
    boyfriend that I was longing for the whole time I was away
    but now everytime we have the slightest problem..and trust
    me there have been quite a few..i just want to take the next
    plane back. It's really hard to jump back into your own life
    when noone is listening and giving you the chance to work
    out the last 6 months of your life. If anyone out there
    wants to chat, I would love to hear from you.
    kat



  33. It's not just me? Added by: What could help
    [Timestamp: Wed 20 Jan, 18:43 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I went to Europe for a year when I was 17 and came home for my 19 birthday. It was so depressing. I'd grown so different from my best friend that I felt I hardly knew her. My mom had lost weight, my little sister grew up-- and I didn't even recognize her standing beside my mom! I wished I'd never come home.
    *
    By my next large trip, I'd forgotten how depressed I was when I returned and it took me a real long time to get over it.
    *
    Suggestion: When you return,
    DON'T put your life on hold (can't go to university, can't learn a new carreer, can't commit to a large purchase, can't commit to a relationship) because you MAY go away soon. You'll just get more depressed as you see others growing and you're stagnating on hold.
    DO DECIDE: do I take some short term term work and go travel within the year-or- do I commit to growing at home and going on lots of shorter travel trips.
    *
    I think if I had made a committment to do one or the other right at the beginning, it would have made my life much happier and richer (emotionally) much sooner.
    *
    I've finally got my shit together and am out of my slump now. I'd love to go on more long term trips, but now I finally have a job that I love. So, instead I'm going to go on lots of shorter (2 and 3 week trips).
    *
    Another hint: Keep in contact with all your travel buddies. Several friends I met travelling have come over to visit and it sure made my month!! And I love hearing from them by phone or mail.



  34. TOO OLD??? Added by: Marie
    [Timestamp: Wed 20 Jan, 21:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I'm turning 34 this week and have been travelling since I
    was 18, but only for 2-5 week trips. Am I too old now to
    chuck in my career and blow my savings to travel for a year
    or two???



  35. to marie: Added by: marlyss
    [Timestamp: Thu 21 Jan, 11:12 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    i'm 33 and i'm going to "chuck" my fairly comfortable
    university librarian job to go teach english in japan for a
    year or two. i figure, either i'll love teaching english so
    much that i'll want to completely change my career and keep
    going in that direction, or, i'll just find another job in my
    field. there's always another job out there. and who knows
    what wonderful thing might come out of chucking it?!?!?! the
    last time i chucked it, i came home & a MUCH better job than
    i had left came looking for me.



  36. If you hate it, then move away and stop complaining Added by: stay at home girl
    [Timestamp: Sat 23 Jan, 21:06 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    If you can afford to travel enough to get this sickness,
    you probably live in a country that lots of people in the
    world risk their life and give up everything to reach. If
    you like the third world so much, its probably because you
    were treated with the importance you couldn't get at home
    and everyone expect you to be superior than they are in the
    way of the "west."
    In that case, go ahead and move to a place where you get
    servants and where you can afford to tip the waiters extra
    (hehe, massaged a Hemingway phrase thru, read his work to
    relate) The last thing any society needs is a horde of
    neurotics who are too busy being prissy princesses to do
    anything productive or permanent.



  37. That's what I hear!! Added by: Heather
    [Timestamp: Sun 24 Jan, 13:19 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Unfortunatly, I have heard that this is a problem. Not only is away better, but people cannot relate as easily to someone who has seen things that they have only dreamt about. I am planning to take an extensive trip and I am concerned about this. I am going out there to find out about myself and the world, but then what!?? Plan another trip, or maybe Peace Corps or a job that allows you to travel would help...write a book?? Anyway, I hope you find happiness and feel free to write back.



  38. Happiness Added by: kyzy
    [Timestamp: Tue 26 Jan, 17:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    One chooses to travel on a trip by themself. You are by yourself, you do things by yourself, and you are very much ALONE. You might have people around you, people that listen, and people that care, but you are still by yourself. Returning to home you are still by yourself. Learn to be HAPPY with YOURSELF. HAPPINESS comes from within. Faulting your friends and/or family for "not understanding the thrills of your travels" isn't solving anything. If you want so much for them to understand then take them on your next trip. Did you go on your trip for YOURSELF or to add another feather in your hat? My travels have all been unforgettable and every experience has made my life what it is today. Yes, sometimes I would like to share all of the travel tails to a listening ear but my saddness comes and goes and I am with myself once again. The best part of ALL of my travels is coming HOME. I love my trips but my HOME cannot be any BETTER. My travels make my HOME a better place to be. Every moment is a new experience. It is how it is recieved within that makes it good or not so good. Smiling is a fun thing to do when you are in an area that does not have many smiling faces. Try it sometime. One returned smile drowns the frawns. Good words from #27 and #30. HAPPY TRAILS TO ALL!!



  39. your choice Added by: elina
    [Timestamp: Fri 29 Jan, 15:12 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    From what I've seen, everyone seems to have their personal
    preferences... some like "home" better while others prefer
    "away". (Personally,I have a hard time defining "home"
    myself, having grown up in three different countries.) Just
    do what suits you best!!



  40. BEEN THERE Added by: claudia
    [Timestamp: Fri 5 Feb, 3:23 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    After living in the UK for 3 years and travelling around New
    Zealand, OZ and Thailand I was actually looking forward to
    go back home (Berlin that is). I loved the first two weeks,
    it was great to spent more than only a couple of hours with
    my friends etc. Anyway, after these couple of weeks I grew
    impatient and was only thinking of leaving again.
    Unfortunately this was and still is (9 months later) not
    possible, first of all I need to save money again. Anyway, I
    try to do the odd weekend trip (in the past 4 months I've
    been to Bonn, London and Prague). I don't think I will never
    completely get rid of the post travel syndrome. I try to
    make the best out of it, try to meet new people, go to new
    places (there still so many areas in Berlin I don't know
    yet, even though I grew up here), have the odd weekend away
    and plan my next trip (even though it will only be for a
    month). It's working, I feel o.k. here, the only thing which
    gets on my nerves is that you're restricted so much, but I
    will have this everywhere - except when I'm off travelling.
    I know that moving to another country to work wont cure this
    itch, maybe for a little while, but then it will be the same
    again. So, I try to save my money for another trip and enjoy
    myself while I'm stuck here.



  41. Oh yeah... Added by: There with you
    [Timestamp: Mon 8 Feb, 14:15 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I think number 33 suggests the best therapy - keep in touch
    with those you met, because with them you can keep your
    memories alive. Don't let go and don't get despondent, just
    use this time to apply what you learned abroad - about
    yourself and about the world - and know that it all happens
    for some sort of reason and the circle continues, so you'll
    be happy again soon. It sucks sometimes, of course, but
    that's when you can visit the TT to share! ;^)



  42. be (your own) guide Added by: nina
    [Timestamp: Fri 5 March, 1:53 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Hello everybody and I will shake hands to all.
    Every time I came back from a trip I got this depressing
    feelings and indeed they become worse all the time.
    But..I try to see my country (Holland) as another culture
    I'm visiting on my trip.
    The thing is, I only want to leave when I feel at home
    again ( in my country), because only then you can return
    with positive feelings.
    Probably this summer I can start as a guide in Asia. Maybe
    some advise. Get some goals while travelling. By guiding
    tours you can travel and make some money as well.
    Anyway, when you come back, take time.......



  43. I never knew... Added by: Jennifer
    [Timestamp: Sat 6 March, 12:48 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I never knew that there were so many people in the world
    that felt like I do! I worked for 6 months last summer at a
    resort just 4 hrs from my home in the states and completely
    understand and am suffering from post trip syndrome! I'm
    planning a 3-4 month trip backpacking through Europe next
    the summer of 2000. I'm super excited about it, but I know
    when I returnn to the states I'm going to be very depressed.



  44. change is what your missing Added by: just jill
    [Timestamp: Sat 3 April, 2:48 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I have just returned to Canada after 6 years living in
    Kathmandu ... in total shock to find myself back here! But
    I realize that many of the issues being talked about here
    are about being able to make changes in your lives. That
    wonderful feeling of being able to pickup and go somewhere
    else! Travelling means change ... constantly moving (even
    if you are sitting still and watching a new culture) and
    seeing/exploring news things in other cultures. Constantly
    learning new things about yourself. Today, I am 5 weeks
    back in Canada and realizing that I am just as depressed
    about sitting around today as I would be if I was sitting
    in my flat in Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a lot more "exotic"
    but I experienced the same "self" when settled there.I am
    34 and for those of you talking about "chucking" careers
    and travelling ... find a way to combine it! I have worked
    and travelled for the last 10 years and my job has always
    paid for me to be somewhere interesting! and then after the
    work was done I would take off on my own to explore! It is
    possible to combine both ... every job I take has to
    include overseas travel ... even when I was living in
    Kathmandu ... if I didn't get the chance to work in China,
    Lao or Myanmar ... I didn't take the contract! Explore and
    be creative about your work!



  45. WE ARE ON THE SAME BOAT!!!!!!!! Added by: Zindara
    [Timestamp: Sat 1 May, 4:38 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Like everything in life, when you have no more new things or surprises you get bored - just the human nature.
    But it is only up to you to remain in the same direction or board on this boat of life!!



  46. It's not just me !! Added by: Sue
    [Timestamp: Thu 13 May, 20:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    And I thought I was the only one!! I have been back home for
    just over 8 years now and have been yearning for what was
    ever since. I have filled in the time getting a number of
    degrees, the goal being that the next time I leave, it will
    be for good. I wont have to return for anything, including a
    guilty sense of needing to do 'something useful' instead of
    being blissfully happy travelling about the globe. I am
    about to take off for a short trip to the South Pacific as a
    reward for being half way to finishing my PhD. After that,
    the world will be mine again, guilt free :) I look forward
    to meeting you all in my future travels. I'll know who you
    are by that self satisfied aura that surrounds those who
    have discovered the treasure that fulfills every dream and
    desire, travel.



  47. next trip...one week Added by: ag
    [Timestamp: Fri 21 May, 15:32 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    leaving on my next trip in a week. thanks for the company,
    the good spirits, the help and advice! i couldn't have made
    it through this past year without you all!
    ~
    happy trails, and hope to see some of you out there, in the
    world!
    ~~~~~



  48. home sucks Added by: old joe
    [Timestamp: Sat 5 June, 7:10 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Keep in mind most of the time you are on vacation your
    biggest worry is where you will eat or when to go to bed
    (and sometimes with whom). At home you have to deal with
    more serious things. I may be wrong but that is where my
    "back home blues" came from. They eventually pass when you
    start planning the next vacation.



  49. Travel Blues Added by: Katie
    [Timestamp: Sun 13 June, 9:49 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I started traveling 4 years ago when i was 34. I took a
    trip to europe by myself, now, every year I have gone back
    to Europe and everytime I come home I get that feeling of
    the blues. I have a totally different point of view now and
    a different perspective from traveling. I no longer have
    any prejudices (from meeting people from around the globe)
    and I am happiest when I am traveling. My family does not
    understand, they hate it when I go away but I will
    continue, I am happiest when I am doing. I definitely have
    the Travel Bug.




  50. keeps on going ;) Added by: energizer
    [Timestamp: Sat 10 July, 3:49 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    In some sense, you don't have to end your travel when you
    are back. You can keep on moving even in your own country.
    Then the travel in fact has never ended - it just takes on a
    special flavour. So there's no post-trip blues but there's
    a post-trip 9-5 blues. The problem is how we are going to
    handle our way of sustaining our everyday life here.
    Believe me there are actual alternatives to earning a living
    other than a 9-5 setting. Everyday is a travel in itself,
    depending how you arrange it to be :)



  51. don't want to be here Added by: andy
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 3:37 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    just returned from east africa. hate being back, long for a
    road filled with pot-holes and lined with smiling, waving
    african children. read earlier message about getting back
    into rountine after a while, but thats just what i don't
    want. miss the madness of africa, beginning to realise just
    how uniform and boring life is at home. thing is i've got
    three years of uni starting soon so getting away from it
    for any length of time will be impossible. i used to look
    forward to uni, but i know nothing in swansea will compare
    with rafting the source of the nile or listening to hippo
    eating outside my tent.



  52. Finally !!!! Added by: Flash
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 4:57 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It is good to know that people like me exist out there. I
    have travelled to more than 40 countries and feel miserable
    every time I come back. My last trip was to London. And
    though it was a business trip and only for a week it made me
    realize once again as to what I am missing.
    My thoughts were flooded with India, North Africa, Europe
    and South East Asia. And as many of you understand the
    worst part is that the people at home have no point of
    reference as to where you are coming from. The quick 10
    minute run down of your trip is what they want. And
    ofcourse to know if you had sex.
    Disgusting mentality!!!!!. I hate it when people tell me
    how much more I have in my life and how 90% of the planet
    will never see what I have. True but how does that relate
    to my passion for travel. I have been in Houston for one
    year and feel like I have been living in purgatory. I don't
    even know anyone in this place so coming back jere is so
    difficult. Sometimes I want to give it all up and go. But
    I need a lot more money than I have to support me for a one
    or two year stint.
    My only advice for tec is to get out of the place you are in
    . Not for good but for the weekend. Go to a friend or
    relative you get along with. I never spend the first
    weekend after I'm back in this city. I had once and spent
    the whole day in doors depressed. It was horrible.
    Finally, for your own sake don't listen to any music that
    reminds you of the places you have visited. It is such a
    sweet pain but it prolongs the agony.
    Hope you feel better.
    F



  53. tvlr-one Added by: tvlone
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 6:28 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    After many post-trip traumas, I've come to realize that we
    "travel" wherever we are; it's just a matter of perspective.
    It feels like we live in a parallel universe where each
    far-flung culture and place exists on its own. All manner
    of complex social relationships, politics and language
    systems already exist before we arrive. Then someone
    wearing a "Rambo" t-shirt or Michael Jordan basketball shoes
    pulls out a cell phone to take a call and we realize that
    some things aren't that different.
    Life at "home" is as complex for someone visiting us as our
    own travel elsewhere. It seems that a good cultural
    anthropology course could open up one's perspective and make
    the adjustment easier. There's plenty of cultural diversity
    within our own communities already - just as exotic and
    distant as in another country.
    Greater cultural awareness of the subtleties of social
    interaction, something Americans seem to be painfully
    lacking, would go far towards easing relations between
    people here in the US and abroad. I think any future travel
    experience can be appreciated more fully with that in mind.
    I feel closer to others both here and in faraway places
    because we share so many things already. We only need to be
    aware of it and be open to it first. That's how I manage to
    return without getting too depressed.



  54. Post Trip non-Blues Added by: Ron
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 7:31 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    To all of you who have written about post-trip depression--
    I know where you are all coming from--I lived in The
    people's republic of China as an English teacher in a
    remote coutryside village in the Hunan Province. I lived
    and studied and taught out there for what seemed like a
    lifetime!---At times , I almost lost the sense that I was
    an American---Such a strange feeling for an Air Force
    brat!! Anyways, coming home was really hard. Just about the
    most challenging thing I had to do was say goodbye to all
    my friends (students and teachers alike) and come back here.
    For the first three months back, I didn't work--just rode
    my mountain bike and occassionally hang out with friends---
    I wondered for a while what that whole experience really
    meant to me, my growth, and the development of my students
    and teachers in China---
    That was the history---now the morale of the story---I have
    come to a place in my life where I feel very few could have
    experienced what I did--most of you can say that about your
    own experiences....But don't forget the good times you
    had!! The poeple you met!! Smiles you put on the faces of
    fellow foreign friends and natives alike!! How about the
    stories you can bring back with you, to inspire a young
    mind to do the same thing? Travelling the world is now
    excessible to us all, and we should really work hard to
    place our emotions in perspective, see the experience as
    one of beauty--a veritable treasure to keep in your heart
    and share with others for a lifetime...You feel depressed?
    You just engaged yourself in an experience most in the
    world can't do, and many of those that have the money
    wouldn't even think to---you had the enthusiasm, the
    confidence, and the courage to go for it----now it's time
    to honor yourself for what you did and how you contributed
    to your spiritual growth...now it's time to inspire others
    to see the world...time to be strong, not only for the sake
    of yourself, but for the sake of those you could inspire to
    go halfway around the world to make a difference to someone
    or a group of people less fortunate!!!! if you become
    depressed, keep in mind that there are many out there less
    fortunate than you; you had the ability to travel the world
    see this, then come back home to the many great amenities
    of your own country---- peace



  55. I spent a great deal of time..... Added by: Scotty
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 7:35 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    ....with my grandfather on a little island about 40 miles
    off the north coast of Honduras. The place was pretty
    remote, and it was definitely "third world." I got to know
    many of the locals around him, and I spent most of my time
    wearing nothing but shorts and sandals. I was ther in the
    winter months, and the sun set most days around 5 pm. After
    dark I would sit on the beach and look at the stars - which
    were glorious - and was lulled to sleep by the sound of the
    surf breaking out on the reef. When I returned to Detroit
    (the city I was residing in at the time), I found that I
    couldn't fall to sleep without the sound of the waves. Work
    was woefully a inadequate surrogate, filled with white
    shirts, ties, suspenders, monotony and political
    correctness. Whenever I travel, I go through the same
    returning-home-blues. It was the same when I returned from
    the Highlands of Scotland.



  56. Travelling couple Added by: Pam & Dave
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 7:54 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    We were lucky - all our travel has been done as a couple,
    so we both have someone around who can relate to our own
    experiences. We highly recommend it. As for others relating
    to them, forget it. 4 months in Europe, and some friends
    and family could relate a bit. 6 months in Africa and it
    was only our former travelling companions. 12 months
    hitchhiking from London to Brisbane, and it was only the
    two us who had any idea of what we had gone through. But at
    least there was TWO of us.
    .
    Most recently, it was a couple of months cycling in Central
    Asia, with our two little children, and you can forget it
    if you expect ANYONE to be able to understand THAT! We are
    very grateful to have had all these SHARED experiences. We
    realise that single travellers have different experiences,
    but we wouldn't swap. (Then again, maybe single travellers
    won't relate to what I've just said, either:-)
    .
    Interestingly, while on our earlier travels, we didn't
    really have a real permanent home that we were leaving, but
    this most recent trip with the kids involved we were
    leaving our 'real' home that we had built with our own
    hands and we were actually happy to 'come home' to it.
    Perhaps, to help get over post-travel blues, it is a case
    of creating a life at home that you are happy with (house?
    family? career?), as well as having a travelling life. Put
    some effort into life 'at home' and then enjoy both aspects
    of your life, even if your 'at home' side exists solely for
    the purpose of preparing for your next trip.
    .
    We are very much looking forward to getting back out on the
    road again, but with a family, there is (a teeny bit) more
    to life than just travel. What can you add to your life? If
    nothing in particular, then hell, get back out there and
    travel! We all know it hardly costs any money, just
    commitment.



  57. Need to travel Added by: lago
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 12:40 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I'm a 43 year old man who's been hapily maried 20 years
    with two kids (12&16). If I didn't travel I'd go nut's, it
    helps me put my world in perspective. My friends go on
    hunting trips or golf excursions and I go to Haiti or
    Ecuador. I couldn't begin to explain to my friends who
    don't travel about all I have experienced. They think it's
    insane.
    Since I have a familly my trips are short,and sometimes the
    familly has gone but I'm lucky I have a wife who
    understands me and let's me go (she has no desire to go).
    I've been to 21 countries, most in the third world. The way
    I look at life is totaly different from those I know who
    haven't travelled. Sorry if I sound like im bragging.



  58. scared of home Added by: George Cerny
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 17:23 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Every time I arrive in a differnt country, I feel a little
    scared. I get over it quickly enough, but it is always
    there to some degree when I first land.
    When I go home, or rather to the land where I was born,
    since I do not know if I really have a home, I feel the
    same type of fear. It is all the more pronounced because I
    thought I knew this place.
    You cannot know a place until you leave it. I have come to
    look on my trepidation as agood thing, a way of being on my
    toes. A way of seeing things as though for the first time,
    even though I may have been around them all my life.
    Good luck,
    George Cerny



  59. It isn't the end of the world Added by: Liv
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 20:51 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Well Here I am reading every bodies messages and one thing
    comes to mind. You may all be home and quite depressed, as i
    am to say the least , but don't forget that it is still all
    out there. It isn't as if that now you have returned you
    will never go to the same places or meet like minded people
    again.
    I returned early from a years travelling, big mistake! I
    thought that it would be nice to surprise the family and
    was also mentally and physicaly exhausted. On arrival i got
    the distinct impression that everybody had been quite
    content without me. Yup worst thing to come home to - a
    family that have forgotten who you are and why you haven't
    been at home for the last year. Anyway this managed to
    depress me even more but then you have to realise that no
    one can possibly imagine what you have been through in the
    time you have been away. Yes home always seems shite
    compared to the places you have been residing in over your
    days, months or even years of travelling. But hey if that
    wasn't the case I am sure that the point of travelling
    wouldn't be as exciting or as fun.
    Anyways enough rabbiting on........Just remember that there
    are tonnes of us out here that feel the same way and yes
    home is always cruddy after sitting on deserted beaches and
    wondering through ruins or ancient civilisations. Oh well of
    to work!!!



  60. The pasture is always greener on the other side Added by: BLISS
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 21:03 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I, too suffered from a bout of culture shock after
    travelling a far away land. But since I have recovered
    though i'm still not as comfortable in my homeland as I
    had been before my travels. Maybe all of us have the
    tendency to think that other places are always better.If
    we really live as the locals do, maybe we'll think twice.



  61. funny.. Added by: erikasiegrist@mails.ch
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 22:15 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Funny to read all your stories of coming home, feeling
    depressed, not getting along with that western lifestyle. It
    has already been three years since we came home from our
    trip "around" the world. I actually thought I'm over it, but
    reading this makes me feel so sad again. Is it really the
    life i want to live? Is it really important to look for a
    bigger appartement? Is it really important to ....
    We are planing our next trip too, but the longer you are
    home, the more difficult it gets. But really friends, this
    helps. Somehow i start to look forward to my homecoming
    blues.... Erika



  62. The Obvious Answer Added by: Janie
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 22:56 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    OK, I haven't had time to read all the messages - but I
    can't beleive everyone hasn't cottoned on to the most
    obvious answer to this dilemma - get a job which involves
    travel and kill two birds with one stone! It's what I
    decided to do when I came home from my trip in December -
    ok, it hasn't been easy but I've done it and keeping busy
    looking for that job has helped keep my mind off being
    depressed about being home.
    And another tip is to travel in your own country - how many
    of us can truely say they've seen as much of the place
    which they consider home as the visitors to it have?



  63. joys to come Added by: sambo
    [Timestamp: Tue 20 July, 23:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Oh man, I was worried about this.
    I have been away from Home (OZ) for nigh on two years now and am supposed to head home in a coupla weeks.
    I was worried about Post-Trip Depression and now I know it'll hit hard.
    One suggestion I'll take on board is to do a trip as soon as I get home. Nothing huge, just a week in Byron or something to ease back into Australian life.
    Then the real fun begins. Find a house, move in, start work. Fight with accounts department to get paid quicker (no cash left you see, all in Europe). Get a car, see the pals, go to pub, tell some lies, et al.
    Gad. Maybe I should just stay in London........ or go to Damascus or Dushanbe or somewhere wierd.......
    Love to all
    SAMBO
    xox



  64. Consider this... Added by: Alex
    [Timestamp: Wed 21 July, 2:25 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Almost five years ago, my wife and I left our hometown, Miami (USA) and backpacked SE Asia for almost three months. It was, to say the least, a life-changing experience. We returned to our new "home", Charlotte, North Carolina. I had a major case of the blues. But looking back, I think the depressed feeling was stronger because we left Miami (not dull and very familiar), toured SE Asia (incredible) and came to roost in Charlotte (quite dull and unfamiliar)
    In fact, we never did "get" Charlotte, so we sold our house, took a 2 month trip through the American West (incredible), and moved back to Florida. I really didn't have too much post-trip blues this time. But being back in Florida has a lot to do with it I think. We are really discovering the area for the first time. I see why so many come here.
    Anyway, lots of good advice on these postings. Since we came back from the big Asia trip, we've been to BC in Canada, to see a friend we met in Malaysia. We've also camped alot in the States. And I'm planning a solo trip to Ecuador in the Spring of 2000. So, yeah, plan that next trip; keep on truckin'. And for my non-Yank friends out there-get hip to the Grateful Dead (live versions only). They are about freedom and alternative living, and they never let me stay down when I listen to a live set.



  65. yeah I know Added by: pernilla
    [Timestamp: Wed 21 July, 7:21 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    God, coming home can be the worst!! Iīve been there too. Just donīt give up- things will always get better. The blues come and go after a trip.. My only advice is to stay in touch with the friends made on your way, you wonīt regret that! I didnīt think I was gonna go back to a place in the UK where I spent last summer, but I did anyway and it was great!! Donīt be afraid that people and places change- so do you. Take it for what it is and live life.
    Peace to all..



  66. Wanderlust!!!!!! Added by: Laurie Ann
    [Timestamp: Wed 21 July, 7:41 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Hi everyone, can't believe there are SO many people who
    feel like I do, kind of a relief to hear everyone's stories
    as NOBODY here at home understands my travel blues. I was
    an exchange student to Finland at 16 and that experience
    changed my life. Studied abroad at a University in London
    and now what?! What I haven't figured out yet, is how can
    I find a job that allows me to travel and still make a
    living to support myself? Any suggestions...please email
    me at Asmylr2@aol.com Thanks and find a way, ANY way to
    keep travelling.....



  67. Come on you lot Added by: Suicidal sid
    [Timestamp: Wed 21 July, 9:23 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    FORGET how sad you are
    and REMEMBER how happy youve been.
    If you realise that life at īhomeī is not for you then get
    saving for the next trip (and enjoy the things that are good
    at home - pie and mash, sunday lunch, a pint etc).
    Dont be a cog in the machine.
    Free yourself.



  68. DON'T CRY... Added by: lins
    [Timestamp: Wed 21 July, 14:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]


    Anyone who has traveled far away from home and seen the
    world for themselves experiences "post-trip depression".
    I myself barely left my house for weeks after returning
    from a trip in Europe. But if you wanna get outta this
    funk, you have to set a new goal...perhaps another trip, a
    small one. My words of advice to you are "Don't cry
    because it's over...smile because it happened"



  69. A simpler explanation perhaps Added by: Rodney
    [Timestamp: Wed 21 July, 15:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Perhaps there is a simpler explanation. For me, it has
    some to do with being overseas, and a larger part of being
    on vacation. When I have vacationed out west or taken
    holiday in the south (of the USA), I find that a miss those
    places just as much. My advice is to take good pictures
    and always make lots of friends wherever you go so that you
    always have a connection back to where you visited.
    Peace.
    -RC-



  70. Who Wants Work? Added by: Johnno
    [Timestamp: Wed 21 July, 18:08 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Do you know the best way to get over not being able to travel..when you want to anyway?Give work to overseas backpackers and enjoy their company.Yes I was totally lost when I last returned to Australia from Asia in 1995.I loved my time travelling but felt I should be settling down for a while.I had done a lot of fruit work for different orchardists and really enjoyed the lifestyle.I approached several orchardists for work and after a few months found i needed extra help to complete orchard work contracts.The answer was to find several backpackers who were looking for short term work and wanted to work extra hard to earn good money.Now four years later I employ 100+ backpackers every year on my own orchard and several other neighbours orchards.If Young Whun,BaekaKiong ,Lucy,Ploy,Dave,Jung,Sandy from Kent or any one else who has worked for me is reading this I hope my note brings back fond memories of N.S.W. Australia.Any other friendly travellers out there if you need work for one week or six months drop me a line....John Reynolds"Brantwood"Nashdale via Orange 2800.N.S.W. Australia.I'll reply to all correspondence and also help to find other orchard work for you all over Australia.Oh but I still wish I was travelling again.......take care everyone.JR.



  71. what a bunch of moaners Added by: killjoy
    [Timestamp: Wed 21 July, 22:33 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Hey, what about all those people who can't afford to travel
    in the first place? My advice is stop moaning and
    appreciate the chances you've had - and will have again for
    the future, count your blessings that you've got friends
    and family back home who I'm sure do like you really even
    if they don't want to hear you rabbiting on and on and on
    about bungy jumping and trekking and diving etc etc
    etc....and just accept the fact that the payment for going
    away is coming back and having to live with it.
    By the way, all those people who talk about going back to
    the places they travelled to live - lifes a bummer wherever
    you are if you have to work - or why on earth would all
    those aussies be moaning about going home?



  72. soon going off again... Added by: mel
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 July, 1:38 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    in september '96 i went off to israel to a kibbutz, my mum
    had to nearly throw me out the house so i would leave. i
    had organised a job for when i would get back 6 months
    later, so off i went with 1000$ in my pocket, and i loved
    it so much i only came back home january this year. in the
    meantime i almost spent a year in israel, just loving
    jerusalem, where i fell in love so many times i can't even
    count it, i worked as a barmaid, cleaner, receptionist,
    pizzaiola, handed out flyers, picked peppers for 14 hours a
    day and generally saw the sun rise about 4 times a week. no
    responsabilities, no worries. i eventually found my
    soulmate on the streets of jerusalem, the snow was falling
    in the old city, i guess i have seen some magic... we lived
    on the beach in elat for a week, this was the best, we
    played guitar for a living, it was a dream, unfortunately
    everything was stolen on our last night, but it didn't
    manage to break our spirits... on we went to holland for
    three months, doing all sorts of illegal stuff to get some
    work, back to israel for three months, down to south
    africa, where we worked for the TRC, the truth commission.
    not knowing anything about the country, i was thrown right
    into the history of that magic place. i have seen mandela
    twice, have shaken hands with desmond tutu and got to know
    all the commissioners. i loved it so much, i was sucking it
    all up. i guess that i know much more about that country
    than about my own (switzerland). we travelled to zimbabwe,
    botswana, mocambique and my all time favorite namibia.
    there we threw our 30 year old landrover on its back,
    waited for days for help and eventually walked over
    mountains to find the rangers, we run around naked at three
    in the morning, looking at the stars, the morning wild
    springbuck would run around, as we wanted to cross the
    saltpans, the water pump broke, and we did find a bush
    mechanic that had a series 2a waterpump somewhere among
    these fifty old cars, swam in the indian ocean, ate fresh
    coconut, met a swiss couple that had sold everything and
    was travelling through africa for the past 4 years.
    together we raved about fondue, cheese and other goodies
    from switzerland.
    apart from that i have worked with homeless people in the
    johannesburg inner city, not always nice but certainly
    enriching. it was so sweet to see the children all dressed
    up in their clothes for the first mother and child meeting
    we had organised for two shelters.
    i will never forget that time. yesterday we broke up, there
    was no future in our relationship, the distance too great.
    we still love eachother, and will try to remain friends. so
    i had to make other plans. i am desperately trying to stay
    sane in this godforsaken country. i am working in a bank
    now, i hat every minute of it. how i wish i could once
    again put my feet into the warm namib sand and play guitar.
    so in november i will go to austraila for six months, and
    then to costa rica or bolivia for a year. eventually i will
    write a book and live off it, does sound like a good plan
    to me.
    if you need any infomation about the above mentioned
    countries write me. or if you could give me some about
    bolivia and costa rica.
    just everybody, keep these wonderful spirits withing you,
    and don't let yourself hang to low. the world needs people
    with a sense of interconnections and some real skills to
    work with.
    hang loose, mel



  73. Welcome to the real world Added by: suz
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 July, 2:11 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    That's what wanderlust is all about. You got the first
    part right, it's just that you have to realize home for
    what it is, not what it isn't. I came from a wanderlust
    family and 50 years ago took my first international air
    flight. Our kids began traveling in a backpack at 3
    months. I hit this page because I'm researching overland to
    Lhasa for Losar. There's nothing wrong or unusual about
    what you feel - just don't be so hard on home.



  74. Wow... I feel that way, too Added by: Kathy
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 July, 3:29 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I only have 5 minutes to type because I will soon be kicked
    off this free internet access at the Chinatown SF public
    library but here goes.
    I went traveling after finishing my master's degree last
    June and returned at the end of April this year. I spent 5
    months in Europe, mainly Germany, and saw Morocco, France &
    Spain. Then I spent 2 months between Thailand & Laos and 2
    months in Taiwan.
    All of a sudden, being home in San Diego felt really bland
    even though I loved swimming in the ocean and seeing my old
    friends. Then I moved to San Francisco after 6 weeks home
    and have had one of the worst times of my life up here. I
    couldn't find a job, couldn't find a good roommate situation
    and don't feel happy at all trying to resettle. Part of me
    wants to take off again for Latin America but is that
    running away? I feel scared that if I leave, I'll never want
    to come back. Then this other part of me thinks... I better
    just go home to San Diego, and wait for life to get better
    and try my best to readapt and stick to one spot.
    The one thing that keeps me from leaving is this post trip
    depression that seems to always linger on. I've been
    travelling on and off since I was 17 and now I'm 25 and at
    the age where there is a lot of pressure to get a real job,
    find a steady relationship, and get a normal life going.
    I can't wait to read all these postings, though...
    I guess I'll do that when I'm not at the public library. In
    the meantime, I'm most likely heading back to San Diego at
    the beginning of August where I can at least deal with all
    these issues in a more peaceful environment (i.e. beach! and
    warm water).
    If anyone out there has had similar experiences and is from
    San Diego, I'd love to talk.
    Kathy



  75. You're not alone Added by: Fairy Godmother
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 July, 4:52 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Don't cry you are not alone. I get the blues every time I
    visit Mexico and come home. I find that the pictures I take
    when travelling helps. When I feel nostalgic, I take them
    all out, looking at the pictures bring back great memories.
    I do this for as long as it takes, until the next trip.



  76. Do I know It Added by: bea
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 July, 6:47 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Travelling for a year or so that's my dream.
    However, saving a year just to get away for 5-6 weeks to
    beautiful, sunny countries gives me something to look
    forward to, especialy when its raining here.
    I'm fortunate that my job allows me to travel to countries
    which ordinary I would not have picked and meet the nicest
    people.

    I can image that when you come back after feeling relaxed,
    no stress at all and no worries, being dumped in our
    "modern" western hectic society that you feel lost and
    wonder 'what the hell you are doing back here'.
    But then I look on the worldmap picking my next
    destination. That keeps me going for another (half a) year
    and try to stay relaxed and not to think too far ahead in
    the future which is our western style. Tomorrow is far
    enough.



  77. I don't know..... Added by: sambo
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 July, 22:55 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    .....whether to laugh or cry.
    Off home in four weeks, AAAAAARRRRRRGGGHGHGHHGHH;
    at least I know i'm not the first to got through this.
    Thanx to all helpful hints, all duly noted and heeded.
    Love to all
    SAMBO
    xox



  78. THE URGE TO GO Added by: Zarna
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 July, 23:10 Tasmanian Standard Time]


    Are there any people out there like myself who are looking
    for advice on how to plan your trip around the world and
    who would like to get in contact with any other people
    planning to go away on their own. I find myself knowing I`m
    going on my own but I think it would be cool to have some
    other laid back travelling buddies along for the ride.
    Write soon people!!!!!!!



  79. optimistic blues Added by: barbara
    [Timestamp: Fri 23 July, 4:06 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Back home, one and a half year ago, from Europe + Israel +
    Egypt. I feel like it was yesterday...
    Lucky me I was born in the third world (lots of things to
    be done, so we can not get really bored down here...), it
    is an unique place: Brazil. Always a fantastic place for
    travelers... Difficult, as everywhere, is to face a city
    life, paying bills, having a nice place to live in a 18
    million inhabitantsī city, working hard with lots of
    bullshits to do. one exit is: travel internally. Expensive,
    but possible.
    Planning the next trip is another one: at the moment, I am
    earning money and trying to get sponsors for my next dream:
    a lonely expedition around south america by car (I have to
    find a way to drive through Colombia and its guerrilas).
    anyway, i believe the blues is part of the trip, as someone
    says: it is the price you pay. travel is a magic
    anthropological experience... when back home, you can
    easily notice your fellows prejudice and narrow point of
    views; you can notice when you are behaving exactly the
    same, when you are bastard as a reflex of your own culture
    and background.
    feeling a foreigner at home can be a bless. you can
    consider yourself as a world born person, as a truely
    cosmopolitan and free mind one. Isnīt it what globalisation
    should mean? (instead of just a better way to explain
    global exploitation?)
    We better try to get the best we can from the post-travel
    blues. i wish you all wonderful travels. a todos, boa
    viagem, B.



  80. Any travellers in Washington D.C.??? Added by: Greg
    [Timestamp: Fri 23 July, 8:39 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Any fellow traveller's in the D.C. area undergoing post-
    travel blues? So am I! I was hoping to get together with
    some travellers for some beer and conversation.
    I've been back for about 8 months after travelling
    Africa/Asia for 27 months. The suburbs are killin' me!
    Help!!!



  81. stuck in the middle Added by: tigger
    [Timestamp: Fri 27 August, 21:00 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    does anyone feel stuck in the middle of travel and home?
    i've just been away for a year and a half and towards the
    end (thanks to many things including guardia) i hated
    travelling , travellers , and was desperate to come home.
    After the 2 week honeymoon period (and antibiotics) , i felt
    terrible being home but did't really want to head straight
    back on the road again either. sometimes the travel bug
    just seems like a curse. you take all your problems with you
    wherever you go and as an escapist exercise travel isn,t
    exactly stress free. i've loved all the places that I have
    travelled over the years and will probably be off again by
    next summer. is anyone else out there panicing about their
    mid 2o's crisis and being constantly up in the air? t



  82. My Own Therapy Added by: Dr. Me
    [Timestamp: Wed 13 Oct, 4:53 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    This post is so far down the list, I doubt it will ever see
    the light of anyone's screen. So really, I guess, this is
    for me.
    My wife and I traveled for seven months around the world,
    skipping vast tracts, of course. It was both more and less
    than we expected it to be. Wonderful and boring and
    delicious and depressing. It was life without the couch. But
    by the end of seven months, we were done. We were ready to
    come home. Nothing impressed us anymore. It was all flat. So
    we rushed into the welcoming arms of home. My first feelings
    were total elation. It was home, after all. It took some
    time for things to seem too familiar to me. I actually
    enjoyed the familiarity.
    After a few months, however, the trip faded more and more
    quickly in the rearview mirror and I was left feeling
    directionless. Now what? Uprooting our entire lives every
    few years to travel just seems too painful, too destructive.
    Traveling every year in smaller doses seems nice, but
    somehow disappointing, too. We're considering teaching
    English somewhere to live for extended periods. Thailand or
    Indonesia. Any advice on that would be appreciated. But then
    again, nobody's reading this.
    The post-partum of travel seems to be a human experience,
    universal, judging by the 80-some posts on this topic. But
    it also feels so deeply persona


    Back to The Best of Thorn Tree | Back to my Travel page | Back to my Homepage