post-asia blues

This topic was created by pologirl
[Wed 18 Nov, 1:23 Tasmanian Standard Time]

Have just returned from a 3 month holiday in asia; am now
back to work and feeling extremely Blah! Cohorts and peers
at my job don't understand and think I'm crazy; am already
planning and researching our next one to the middle east
for next year. Every time I come home from travelling I
feel different like I don't belong and have nothing in
common with others. They listen to a few travel tales and
have a perfunctory glance at our photos and then they have
had enough. (too bad the whole world does not revolve
around travelling!). Anyone else feel as I do? Interested
in hearing how others cope after returning from a journey.

[There are 53 posts - the latest was added on Sat 9 Jan, 21:24]


  1. Totally Added by: Rob )
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 2:01 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know EXACTLY what you mean! I have just got back from the Middle East - people don't know what to make of my exploits. But don't worry - just remember you have seen things that they will never see, and inspite of the usual ' I wish I had done some travelling' line, the juice is actally getting out there and doing it.
    Rob (UK)



  2. Know exactly how you feel Added by: Jim
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 5:08 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know exactly how you feel, things seem so plain and
    boring when you get home and no one can relate to what
    you've experienced. Reading posts and helping others
    on the Thorn Tree has helped me make the transistion
    back. Another idea- have you considered doing some
    freelance travel writing to tell your story to an
    interested audience. There's a large travel publication
    market looking for unique travel stories and experiences.
    And you can make a little money doing it.
    But the best cure for all of this is planning the next
    trip out.
    Cheers



  3. Yeah, it's hard... Added by: David
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 5:29 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Especially if you've been away for a long time. I've been
    traveling since 1981. The first time, I was away for 9
    months. At the end I was ready to come home --- no "reverse
    culture shock". The second time was for 6 months...and
    again I was OK coming home. But there have been about 12
    more trips since then each time, and each time, the
    "readjustment process" has gotten harder and harder. These
    days I usually travel for 2 months and after getting home it
    takes me about 1 month to get back into the rhythm of
    western working life.
    ~
    So true about co-workers and friends. They'll play along
    for a little while but they really don't get at all, do
    they? "Oh, you're so lucky." (yawn) "Isn't is awfully
    dirty over there?" (yawn) "For our vacation Frank and I
    are going on a cruise next month..." (yawn)
    ~
    Coping strategies: Books about Asia. The few friends who
    have actually been there. Asian events at home, museums,
    music. Writing. Planning the next trip. This site.
    ~
    Also, I remind myself that I really AM fortunate to live in
    a place and time that enables me to freely visit far away
    places for long periods. It's a modern day phenomenon,
    really. Our parents never had the chance to do it. And
    travel spoils a person I think. It's an amazing thing to
    have total freedom, so many options, so few responsibilities
    for a long chunk of time! It's intoxicating and addictive
    --- coming back to "normal" life afterwards is hard!
    ~
    Well hang in there Pologirl. Enjoy your memories, enjoy the
    photos and all the goodies you brought back, and get ready
    for your next trip. Maybe it'll be even better than the
    last one --- there are so many amazing places to see in this
    world!
    ~



  4. the myth Added by: tomaj
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 5:35 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    one of the largest myths is that traveling is the cure for
    wanderlust. it's not; it's usually the cause. i got back
    from asia four months ago and it's still all i think about.
    i thought i would want a pizza and some red wine when i
    returned and i find myself still eating stir-fry and
    drinking tea all the time. i want to get up and 6:00 am and
    watch some people do t'ai chi. i want to take long walks at
    night through the back alleys. i live in new york; i can do
    neither.
    it's hard to remember and to understand why your trip is
    more important to you than to anyone else around you. i
    find that when other non-wanderlust people come back from a
    trip i'm often more eager to talk about it than they are.
    there's no way to realy cope, all you can do is to
    incorporate your new discoveries and interests into your
    daily life as much as possible. this isn't so much to
    escape your home routine, it's to make it better.



  5. back into reality..... Added by: Gasman
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 6:23 Tasmanian Standard Time]


    Yep
    You guys are so right.When you've been away for a long
    time,the real "culture shock" I find is getting back to
    Perth International Airport.Usually by the time I'm
    boarding the plane to come home,I am already planning next
    trip back.By about a week into work,ie by the time have
    seen all my mates here again etc,I've had a real gutsfull
    and am ready to pull the pin and piss off again.To cope,I
    usually hang out with my other mates that travel,they
    usually understand,scan the papers for cheap airfares,look
    at things like this,keep in touch with all my mates
    floating around SEA,and most importantly COUNT the days
    down till I take off again.I think the best thing about
    travelling like this (long trips,open ticket) once you get
    there,you have ZERO responsibilities,if you don't wanna get
    out of bed,fine etc.Like I tried to explain to my friends
    here,my life in thailand consists basically of primal
    urges.When I am hungry,I eat,when I am thirsty I drink,when
    I am tired,I sleep,and when I am horny,I .....No alarm
    clocks,schedules etc,unlike this shit of an existance back
    here.I really do feel sorry for a lot of the guys (and
    women of course) back here that have done that,get
    married,mortgage,2 kids,9-5 routine,and never have
    travelled,except for the odd 10 day package tour type shit
    once every 2 or 3 years,but then again,they all think I am
    completely insane and irresponsible,because every time I
    build a nest egg,I take off and spend it.Well,to each his
    own....
    Gasman



  6. coping Added by: Maria
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 7:37 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Agree with most all of the above. It's best not
    to focus on whether people want to hear your
    stories -- they don't -- and to focus on keeping
    present in your daily life the lessons you learned,
    and things that came into your life, while travelling.
    Cook stir-fry a lot. Buy a Thai cookbook. Follow
    Cambodian politics. Dress in long skirts. Seek
    out a Buddhist temple and meditate. In other words,
    you were exposed to things that you CAN keep in your
    life a little bit, and rather than tell people how
    your perceptions were changed, you can just live it
    yourself. Or--accept the post-travel blues. Be
    okay with it. Burrow inside your house and read
    books about Asia and only return phone calls to
    friends who also love Asia (well, don't go overboard.)
    Chances are, eventually it will fade, you'll
    plan your next groovy trip like ot the Middle East,
    come back, feel blue, and go through a phase
    where you just eat hummus and wear a veil.



  7. know what you mean Added by: Robert
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 11:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    With me it was the relatives. I was in Hawaii 3 years and
    then in China 3 years. Had dinner with my Aunt and cousins
    and,,,, nobody asked any questions. Zero interest for
    anything outside of their live-in-the-same-place-for-30-
    years existance.
    How to cope? Easy. Don't go back.
    I've been in Thailand two years now, and have no plans.
    If I go somewhere else my virtual office is still out in
    cyberspace. Why should I go back?
    Robert



  8. same old, same old Added by: Marie
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 12:29 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Yea, I can relate alot to what the other posts say. I left
    my home 5 years ago, spending 3 1/2 years in London, then
    another 2 1/2 in Asia. I'm now back in domicicity, bought a
    house, TV etc and have a job. It's kinda nice at times, but
    other times I feel guilty and bad for making this last
    choice.
    like others, I too read this site quite frequently to
    remember, and to help others.
    These postings came at an interesting time, as I now have
    been 'home?' for almost a year, but I still feel close to my
    experiences is Asia. I read books about Asia, and spend
    time with friends who were there also.
    Thanks for the space.



  9. Why go home? Added by: Ryan
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 12:36 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I hope it makes everyone reading these feel better about
    their own experience with the post-travel blues.
    The first time I went to Europe (the usual 'Grand Tour')
    all i could think about was getting back to Canada and
    telling all my buds about the wild things I saw and did,
    show them some pictures, erc. I also thought about the
    places back home that i could not wait to revisit (pubs,
    etc).
    The reality was that my friends did not seem to
    understand (or care) about my experiences, everything had
    moved so SLOWLY since I had left, and the old things quickly
    (very) became boring again.
    I quickly planned my next trip to counter this. I
    picked up a working-holiday visa for Oz, and tripped off for
    a year. This time I could have cared less about back home,
    and what was happening. After my visa expired, i definitely
    did NOT want to go home...but I had a plan.
    I decided the only way to stop feeling the post-travel-
    blues and to counter the wanderlust was to ALWAYS travel. I
    have just finished my B.Ed and I am off next month to a
    private school in UK. I never plan on coming home, only on
    hopping from one place to the next every few years.
    Of course, this is not the best for everyone, but I
    guess what i am saying is that a person can make a decision
    these days whereas they can have an international career.
    Good luck travellers, and always, *ALWAYS*, take the
    high road...
    ryan.
    .



  10. solidarity Added by: marlee
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 13:07 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    ah pologirl,
    i know the feeling very well...the previous posts have kinda
    said it all.....at least we know there are a few of us out
    here feeling the same way.
    Just one thing to add....if anyone knows of an internet
    *chat* site that is about travel talk..please let me
    know....ive searched chat sites all over the net looking for
    a place to talk to fellow travellers..shame that the *thorn
    tree* doesnt have a live chat area.
    marlee



  11. Cycling Added by: Matt
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 14:11 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I'm not sure how to cope with "wanderlust" when forced to be
    stationary either! I just rode my bicycle coast to coast
    here in the U.S., camping all the way. Now I'm back at work
    and I cant wait for weekends to do little 60 mile jaunts on
    the bike!
    Dealing with a limited budget, most of my travel has
    been confined to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, but if
    someone were to show me the way, this single white male
    would gladly do NOTHING BUT TRAVEL the face of this planet
    for the rest of my life!



  12. Sufferage Added by: Froggy
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 14:20 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Me too - Oh god its awful. Much like someone above, I just
    pretend I am still there while saving up for the next trip.
    I live in a multicultural city so that makes it easy - I eat
    and cook Asian foods constantly, live in an Asian enclave,
    go to temples, am studying Asian culture etc. etc. I also
    waste hours on the Thorn Tree and spend ages planning my
    next trip. I try to go every year - so that gives me
    something to look forward to.



  13. kick it this way... Added by: KIKI
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 14:21 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    You do this too, right, look at that one picture and know
    the WHOLE story completely in your head and that picture is
    worth 10,000 words and 1,000,000 memories and when you got
    10 words into the story back home you've already been
    interupted about what dress was on special at the gap
    yesterday. When I travel I read more, write more, pay more
    attention to the world politacally, economically, and to
    that beautiful flower that was just there near my window so
    perfect one morning. Just bursting with ideas to share
    with everyone you meet and thirsty to hear everything that
    you are being told - and then you board the plane - and
    then the airport back home await with the same top 10 music
    that was playing 2 months ago when you left, like time
    stood still, and all of the excitement and inertia come to
    such a startling halt that you hit your head on reality -
    and that's when I fall down. Like the rest of you, I
    recently returned from my latest S.E. asian excursion and I
    miss it so - I miss everything, not excluding the bad and
    the ugly (standing in the pouring rain w/ a 50 pound pack
    on my back waiting to enter, soaked, onto a sub freezing
    air-con bus to the next destination). Who would love that
    the next day? Only a select few I think - so as I shake
    off the "blues" and plan my next trip, I wish you all luck
    in the recovery process and hope to see you out there
    sometime soon!



  14. learn from where you are Added by: Jada
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 17:45 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    agreed, it sucks to return from some where (where ever that
    may be), and have to face the same ole' hum drum
    crap...having to go back to work and return to that satgnant
    feeling that any traveler gets when they come home...
    but i'm tired of whinning about it, and sick of hearing
    friends bich and moan (my bestest buds just returned from
    and extended journey in india). Now all they do is moan
    about the weather (i live in canada, it's november...). So
    theese friends(in my opinion)are wasting precious energy on
    being miserable. instead of aproaching theyre return with a
    positive state of mind. you cant travel all the time,
    everybody needs a home base. Take it for what it's worth,
    enjoy the things you can count on that you cant when
    traveling use your return to build strengths that will be an
    asset once you return to touring. just because it's
    familiar doesnt mean you cant learn from it.



  15. And some just never come home... Added by: David
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 17:46 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Gee Pologirl, all the great responses your posting inspired!
    A pleasure to read as I sit here (three weeks back now) on a
    gray damp California night, still mighty unsettled by the
    cold weather, and by how unbelievably quiet it is here.
    ~
    I was thinking of the people who just never stopped. I mean
    people who decided to cut the big umbilical cord; they
    travel, live, and work all at the same time. They work for
    NGO's, they teach, they crew on boats, they are in sales,
    they are bums, import export, photography, relief work,
    archeological digs, whatever. They exchange roots at home
    for a continuous life on the road. It definitely takes
    balls and a certain mindset, and obviously you give up a
    lot, but then in return, you could spend your whole life
    traveling...
    ~
    It's like a hidden phenomenon. Our nontraveling friends
    don't know this kind of life exists, the very concept would
    probably scare them. And at home we never meet them,
    BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL SOMEWHERE ELSE. I'm don't know if I'd
    ever do it but you know what, I've met a lot of happy people
    who do, and it's one solution to the post Asia blues.
    ~



  16. learn from where you are Added by: Jada
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 17:57 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    agreed, it sucks to return from some where (where ever that
    may be), and have to face the same ole' hum drum
    crap...having to go back to work and return to that satgnant
    feeling that any traveler gets when they come home...
    but i'm tired of whinning about it, and sick of hearing
    friends bich and moan (my bestest buds just returned from
    and extended journey in india). Now all they do is moan
    about the weather (i live in canada, it's november...). So
    theese friends(in my opinion)are wasting precious energy on
    being miserable. instead of aproaching theyre return with a
    positive state of mind. you cant travel all the time,
    everybody needs a home base. Take it for what it's worth,
    enjoy the things you can count on that you cant when
    traveling use your return to build strengths that will be an
    asset once you return to touring. just because it's
    familiar doesnt mean you cant learn from it.



  17. It's weird.... Added by: Tomas
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 22:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It's weird reading all the above postings. I'm an Asian
    DYING for my next trip back to the west. After studying in
    California for 5yrs and UK for 4yrs, it was refreshing
    being back home in the east (Singapore), for a while. My
    friends simply have no idea what I have went throught, I am
    not being able to relate my feelings to my surrounding.
    Like what Pologirl describe, I feel like I don't belong and
    have nothing in common with others. I too also just
    pretending I'm here just for the sake of saving enough
    money for my next trip. I'm lost. I have no idea where I
    belong to. I do know that I belongs to anywhere except in
    Asia. Any advise?



  18. keep travelling Added by: Sue
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 22:03 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Before we married in 1983 I travelled a lot with friends.
    Mortgages, careers, child and health problems limited the
    next 10 years. Then I hit 40, and we headed off to
    Thailand. I've been twice with friends, and 4 times with
    the family (husband and daughter). We've also been to Bali,
    Sumatra and Malaysia. We plan 2 ahead and travel about
    every 6 months or 9 months for 1 - 3 weeks - depending on
    finances and other demands. I did a travel writing course
    and last Friday for the first time won a big prize for an
    article on - guess where- Thailand! (It wasn't the first
    prize and it was only 150 words but hey! I'm still
    thrilled.) We also have a favourite Thai restaurant come
    cafe, and I have taken up learning Thai and this seems to
    keep my feet on the ground for the spaces in bewteen trips!
    so there are ways of surviving even after 45 when the
    travel bug has come back from its remission!



  19. LIVE IT! Added by: HOTTIE)
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 23:31 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I sympathise with you, Pologirl, and I agree with most of
    the comments here. I have found that each time I travel to
    somewhere new the urge to continue grows greater. It's not
    the place so much, even if you love the places you visit. I
    think it's the high you get from the new experiences, the
    challenge of fitting in, of feeling different and being
    treated with interest by new people. I dealt with one return
    from overseas by bringing back with me a wife and dengue
    fever!
    One way to deal with your problem - a little bit radical,
    maybe - is to volunteer to work oversees. Depends on where
    you are, but many countries have programmes that are crying
    out for people who will work in developing countries for a
    local wage. Australian Volunteers Abroad, American Peace
    Corps, etc, etc. I've taught in the Pacific for four years
    and found it wonderful. As a result I have less money and
    lost promotion opportunities in Tasmania, but I have wealth
    that I cannot measure! I was accepted in my host country,
    met other volunteers and had opportunities every day that
    'tourists' only dream of.
    One life - live it!
    Best of luck.



  20. I know how it is... Added by: Malin
    [Timestamp: Wed 18 Nov, 23:33 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I´ve recently got back from a youthprogram i Thailand so
    that´s exactly how I feel at this moment. I miss
    everything, the food, the climate, the people, my
    counterpart, the family, the village...And I konw how it is
    to want to tell everybody about your new experiences and
    nobody wants to listen, they only want to talk about what
    they have been doing while you have been away.
    I´ve had a hard time to accept that I´m home and that my
    society sucks. What I mean is that when you´re living in a
    different society you change your values and you start to
    think in a differnet way. Well, I did. And when you get back
    home and everybody expect you to be the same and you´re
    bored with the life living in your country.
    There´s so many things, but here are some examples.



  21. To true......... Added by: Dave
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 1:14 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I think we all feel the same way, life at home lacks so
    much, to what we all have when away. I've been home now
    (apart from quick breaks of a week or two )for about
    eighteen months. I long for distnat shores and a tatase of
    the life, however what hasn't yet been covered on this
    topic yet is that we have the knowledge and vision to know
    that there is a whole planet out there that we know exists
    and is there for all of us, we can do it, we can make the
    break from the clinging societies we all get so easilly
    absorbed into and travel, we areblessed or cursed sometimes
    i don't know which!!!
    Until the next time people, keep the vision, see ya at the
    airport!!!



  22. How do you guys do it? Added by: Jun
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 3:29 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    God, reading all of these posts about your travels makes me
    so jealous! I'd love so much to be able to do the things
    you all are talking about; venturing off to asia or the
    middle east. How do you do it? Most of you sound like you
    are able to take off from work for weeks or even months at a
    time, which is something I'm unable to do. Is it just a
    matter of making travel the number one priority in your life
    and letting the chips fall where they may? And how about
    money? Any advice for a desperately jealous traveler
    want-to-be?



  23. 1 year to go! Added by: Cyberbub
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 3:45 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Yes, Pologirl, it's the same for everyone. I spent 2 years
    travelling and working around Europe, Australia and Africa
    in 1991-3, and it took me a year to get my head back
    together when I got home. Other people I spoke to after
    extended trips said that it took them just as long. So be
    patient.
    Paradoxically, one thing I learnt while travelling is that
    it's not necessary to physically travel in order to
    mentally 'grow'. You can grow simply by taking up new
    challenges in your life at home or at work, and your travel
    experiences will help you in the sense that if you have the
    independence to go off and travel alone for months or even
    years then you should be able to rise to the challenges you
    set yourself.
    On the other hand, 'physical' travelling is a lot of fun!
    I must say that even though it is 5 years since I got back
    from travelling (I can't believe it's that long!) I can
    still remember the great experiences very well. I have
    tried to keep travelling, but have only done one cycle tour
    to Ireland and a month in Egypt since then. But I'm going
    on a cycling tour to Cuba for seven weeks very soon!
    I find it difficult to decide whether to blow 2 years'
    worth of leave from work, and about $3,000, for a 7-week
    journey to Cuba, or whether to save my money for 2 or 3
    years and then take off again for a full year or more.
    It's a bit of a dilemma.... what do the contributors to
    this thread think?



  24. agreeing with jada Added by: dane'
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 6:00 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    \ Ihave just returned from a trip to malaysia and do feel alittle blue about being back, but,,, I have the best job I've
    ever had in a great city,Vancouver, and I know that this
    enables me to continue to travel where ever,whenever.
    So, buckup and just relish all the great memories and look forward to the next great trip, and remember every trip is a
    good trip.



  25. Work sucks and THE TRUTH OF LIFE ! Added by: Buffalo
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 6:05 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Travel offers an unprecedented amount of freedom : to shed
    one's responsibilities for a few days/weeks/months/years
    allows us humans to feed our souls. The daily boring
    perpetual grind of
    ?sleep?/shower/eat/travel/work/eat/work/travel/eat/or
    sports/eat/?sleep? (replace ? with personal nocturnal
    habits !) is toxic to our spirits and souls, and to shed
    these daily chores, that are there only for income
    purposes, is like once more breathing a truly fresh breath
    of oxygen, and all one's worries fall away !
    Travellers are a breed apart : the ultimate traveller will
    have seen the truth of life, for the truth does exist out
    there. For the unenlightened, the truth is this :
    We must work to pay for food/accommodation/living
    expenses/wife's habits/children's schoolfees etc...,
    HOWEVER it is not in the nature of 'Yin Yang' balance of
    life to do too much of any one thing. For example, working
    all year long with only 4 or 5 weeks holiday is WRONG.
    Spending too much on material possesions is WRONG. However,
    because most people are numbed by the material world, they
    cannot see the big lie they are all living by. Why spend 50
    years of your life and then realise that all those years
    were spent paying off a mortage, financing 25 of the latest
    models of car or fashion clothes (only superficial people
    judge others by how they look - OK, one should at least
    maintain basic personal hygiene and non too tattered
    clothes, but new Armani suits and 'Polo' boxer shorts taken
    as examples - why the hell do you need these - are all you
    people insecure without a 'label' ?!?) and overpriced
    package holidays to Bora Bora and Tahiti and outrageously
    overpriced school and college tuition fees, let alone
    income, road and value added taxes some or all perhaps mis-
    used / abused / wasted. The list is endless. Money and
    materialness numbs the senses. Trust me. This is THE
    Ultimate Truth !
    Get a grip is what I say : the world has been misled by the
    media and companies into believing that they must have all
    the material bullshit that is thrust in our faces
    (subliminal advertising) by TV, radio, billboards,
    newspapers & magazines. Henry T Ford, sure he invented a
    fine thing in the automobile, The Wright Bros also a jolly
    fine little plane, BUT MANKIND IS WRONG TO USE CARS AND
    PLANES TOO MUCH, LIKE WE ARE DOING NOW. THE RESULT HAS BEEN
    AND IS THE CONTINUAL DAMAGE DONE TO THE ENVIRONMENT :
    PLEASE STOP THE DAMAGE MANKIND !!!!!
    Take a bicycle or local bus or train : leave the car at
    home. Hell, why don't all you lazy scuzzbuckets get up off
    your asses and walk (so long as it's not too far - and by
    far I mean more than 3 miles !) Take a ferry or cargo
    vessel, avoid the airports. However, as everyone is in such
    a hurry, I doubt they will go by cargo boat. ANALYSIS :
    MAKIND IS IN A RUSH, BUT WHERE IS IT GOING : NOWHERE +
    VALUE OF LIFE REDUCTION DUE TO MATERIALNESS NUMBING THE
    SENSES !
    Anyway, back to the main point of this : coming back to
    work after a foreign trip (we're talking a 'traveller's'
    trip here, not a package bloody holiday where lazy, numbed
    office workers stay in overpriced accommodation !), to see
    the individuals that work 50/52 weeks etc.., travellers
    have had a taste of that freedom, but the office of despair
    worker is perhaps jealous, which is why don't show much
    interest. Also, the travel tales, they cannot really relate
    to these NOR perhaps understand them ! It is a different
    world to them, you may as well be green and have got out of
    a flying disc from mars !!!!!
    The traveller will feel alien in the old office / factory
    environment etc.., and will feel perhaps claustrophobic
    having to numb their minds for 8 hours a day packing
    tomatoes into boxes / inputting data into computer systems
    or whatever it is all you people do out there when working !
    The traveller will have realised that, especially on a
    longer trip in a poor 3rd World country like for e.g.
    India, that he/her must be careful with their money if they
    wish to stay away for a long time given X amount of funds.
    Also, after a while (so long as they are not stupid and
    ENJOY spending too much and paying over the odds) they will
    realise that the life that people lead in the west is
    wrong, driven by the material craze that is all too
    pervading !
    The simple way of life in the East seems to provide the
    answers. The answer is this : LESS IS MORE !
    Yes, that is exactly right, less is more ! Well, how can
    this be so, you might all ask ? Well, it is thus : the less
    material goods you have, the more you appreciate them. The
    more you have, the more you want. AVOID THE 'MORE MORE
    MORE' WAY !
    Take the car : India has got it right : have one type of
    car (in the main) and use them until they break down. Why
    replace/mend it if it ain't broke ?!?
    The gloriously simple way of life yields simple pleasures,
    ones forgotten by most who have succumbed to 'Western
    Numbness'. The luxury of a cooling breeze, a nice walk in
    the hills, going to bed at dusk and up at dawn, fishing, no
    TV, no microwaves, etc... the list goes on.
    Unfortunately, the west is now ruining the east. Some
    families in India are now believing that they cannot do
    without a microwave oven or TV. Why the hell don't you
    people just like cook with a cooker instead of wanting
    everything so damned quickly with a microwave ?!? Talk to
    each other / play cards / chess / football instead of
    watching the TV ?!?
    PLEASE MANKIND, DON'T SCREW UP THE EAST AS WELL AS THE WEST
    Jim Morrison had a saying : "The West is the Best"
    I think now this need adjusting to :
    "The East is the Best"
    You see, the east does not generally have the education
    level and global / historical informational awareness as
    the west. Mostly, the east would look towards the west and
    want what they see e.g. Levis Jeans/Microwave
    Ovens/Satellite TV etc.... However, it is only those
    enlightened souls from the west who have gotten so hacked
    off with all the western numbness (after perhaps a great
    deal of travelling and other personal achievements) who
    realise that what the east has (and is starting to lose) is
    unarguably a better way of life. Remember, less is more.
    Don't forget your body's spririt and soul : they are VERY
    VERY IMPORTANT !
    Remember, please be less materialistic, help save the
    planet, and, just as importantly, save your soul as well :
    "DON'T GO WEST YOUNG MAN/WOMAN, GO EAST !"
    Travel offers an unprecedented amount of freedom : to shed
    one's responsibilities for a few days/weeks/months/years
    allows us humans to feed our souls. The daily boring
    perpetual grind of
    ?sleep?/shower/eat/travel/work/eat/work/travel/eat/or
    sports/eat/?sleep? (replace ? with personal nocturnal
    habits !) is toxic to our spirits and souls, and to shed
    these daily chores, that are there only for income
    purposes, is like once more breathing a truly fresh breath
    of oxygen, and all one's worries fall away !
    Travellers are a breed apart : the ultimate traveller will
    have seen the truth of life, for the truth does exist out
    there. For the unenlightened, the truth is this :
    We must work to pay for food/accommodation/living
    expenses/wife's habits/children's schoolfees etc...,
    HOWEVER it is not in the nature of 'Yin Yang' balance of
    life to do too much of any one thing. For example, working
    all year long with only 4 or 5 weeks holiday is WRONG.
    Spending too much on material possesions is WRONG. However,
    because most people are numbed by the material world, they
    cannot see the big lie they are all living by. Why spend 50
    years of your life and then realise that all those years
    were spent paying off a mortage, financing 25 of the latest
    models of car or fashion clothes (only superficial people
    judge others by how they look - OK, one should at least
    maintain basic personal hygiene and non too tattered
    clothes, but new Armani suits and 'Polo' boxer shorts taken
    as examples - why the hell do you need these - are all you
    people insecure without a 'label' ?!?) and overpriced
    package holidays to Bora Bora and Tahiti and outrageously
    overpriced school and college tuition fees, let alone
    income, road and value added taxes some or all perhaps mis-
    used / abused / wasted. The list is endless. Money and
    materialness numbs the senses. Trust me. This is THE
    Ultimate Truth !
    Get a grip is what I say : the world has been misled by the
    media and companies into believing that they must have all
    the material bullshit that is thrust in our faces
    (subliminal advertising) by TV, radio, billboards,
    newspapers & magazines. Henry T Ford, sure he invented a
    fine thing in the automobile, The Wright Bros also a jolly
    fine little plane, BUT MANKIND IS WRONG TO USE CARS AND
    PLANES TOO MUCH, LIKE WE ARE DOING NOW. THE RESULT HAS BEEN
    AND IS THE CONTINUAL DAMAGE DONE TO THE ENVIRONMENT :
    PLEASE STOP THE DAMAGE MANKIND !!!!!
    Take a bicycle or local bus or train : leave the car at
    home. Hell, why don't all you lazy scuzzbuckets get up off
    your asses and walk (so long as it's not too far - and by
    far I mean more than 3 miles !) Take a ferry or cargo
    vessel, avoid the airports. However, as everyone is in such
    a hurry, I doubt they will go by cargo boat. ANALYSIS :
    MAKIND IS IN A RUSH, BUT WHERE IS IT GOING : NOWHERE +
    VALUE OF LIFE REDUCTION DUE TO MATERIALNESS NUMBING THE
    SENSES !
    Anyway, back to the main point of this : coming back to
    work after a foreign trip (we're talking a 'traveller's'
    trip here, not a package bloody holiday where lazy, numbed
    office workers stay in overpriced accommodation !), to see
    the individuals that work 50/52 weeks etc.., travellers
    have had a taste of that freedom, but the office of despair
    worker is perhaps jealous, which is why don't show much
    interest. Also, the travel tales, they cannot really relate
    to these NOR perhaps understand them ! It is a different
    world to them, you may as well be green and have got out of
    a flying disc from mars !!!!!
    The traveller will feel alien in the old office / factory
    environment etc.., and will feel perhaps claustrophobic
    having to numb their minds for 8 hours a day packing
    tomatoes into boxes / inputting data into computer systems
    or whatever it is all you people do out there when working !
    The traveller will have realised that, especially on a
    longer trip in a poor 3rd World country like for e.g.
    India, that he/her must be careful with their money if they
    wish to stay away for a long time given X amount of funds.
    Also, after a while (so long as they are not stupid and
    ENJOY spending too much and paying over the odds) they will
    realise that the life that people lead in the west is
    wrong, driven by the material craze that is all too
    pervading !
    The simple way of life in the East seems to provide the
    answers. The answer is this : LESS IS MORE !
    Yes, that is exactly right, less is more ! Well, how can
    this be so, you might all ask ? Well, it is thus : the less
    material goods you have, the more you appreciate them. The
    more you have, the more you want. AVOID THE 'MORE MORE
    MORE' WAY !
    Take the car : India has got it right : have one type of
    car (in the main) and use them until they break down. Why
    replace/mend it if it ain't broke ?!?
    The gloriously simple way of life yields simple pleasures,
    ones forgotten by most who have succumbed to 'Western
    Numbness'. The luxury of a cooling breeze, a nice walk in
    the hills, going to bed at dusk and up at dawn, fishing, no
    TV, no microwaves, etc... the list goes on.
    Unfortunately, the west is now ruining the east. Some
    families in India are now believing that they cannot do
    without a microwave oven or TV. Why the hell don't you
    people just like cook with a cooker instead of wanting
    everything so damned quickly with a microwave ?!? Talk to
    each other / play cards / chess / football instead of
    watching the TV ?!?
    PLEASE MANKIND, DON'T SCREW UP THE EAST AS WELL AS THE WEST
    Jim Morrison had a saying : "The West is the Best"
    I think now this need adjusting to :
    "The East is the Best"
    You see, the east does not generally have the education
    level and global / historical informational awareness as
    the west. Mostly, the east would look towards the west and
    want what they see e.g. Levis Jeans/Microwave
    Ovens/Satellite TV etc.... However, it is only those
    enlightened souls from the west who have gotten so hacked
    off with all the western numbness (after perhaps a great
    deal of travelling and other personal achievements) who
    realise that what the east has (and is starting to lose) is
    unarguably a better way of life. Remember, less is more.
    Don't forget your body's spririt and soul : they are VERY
    VERY IMPORTANT !
    Remember, please be less materialistic, help save the
    planet, and, just as importantly, save your soul as well :
    "DON'T GO WEST YOUNG MAN/WOMAN, GO EAST !"
    Written by Buffalo : 18th November 1998
    PS : it is better for the traveller if everyone in the
    world does NOT know the ultimate truth, because if
    they did, then there would be just too many damn people all
    fighting for a view of that glorious sunset over Goa or
    watching the Rio Carnaval or trying to board cargo boats to
    location X ; imagine Indian buses and trains with more
    people on them (unimaginable !!!!!), the Mexico City Metro
    with more (also unimaginable !) So, if too many knew the
    truth, it would ruin it for us travellers - 'shoooosh, keep
    quiet' ! Adios amigos/as !!



  26. That was quite a mouthful... Added by: Neutral Observer
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 7:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    You should take your own advice: less is more.
    .



  27. how to balance travel and earning a living? Added by: ruby in ny
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 9:25 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I manage to get away about once a year for a week or so for
    vaction. I work as a technical trainer so I do get to
    travel outside of the country from time to time and always
    make it a point to take a few extra vacation days. The
    problem that I am having is how to balance the career thing
    and my love for travel. I would love to take off for a year
    or so and travel, but money is an major issue (as I am sure
    it is for every one). I would like to get a better sense of
    what you all do for a living that allows you to continue to
    travel for such extended lengths of time. What are your age
    groups and what sort of income to you derive. Maybe I am
    just doing something wrong here. Each time I go away I seem
    to get the point that I can live with less, enjoy life more
    if I just get out there etc. The pull is strong, but alas
    the financial obligations at this point are stronger. I
    also seem to worry about my future as I am the oldest child
    (29 yrs) and have seen what the "carefree" attitude has
    gotten my partents now. (yes they used to travel, with me
    in tote, but the lack of watching and planning a real future
    has taken it's toll on all us children).
    so, if any one has any real input on such matters I would
    love to hear from them. The idea of just giving it all up
    and leaving is not an option right now, so please be
    somewhat real with your responses.
    Not really looking for a "sugar daddy", but could be
    pursuaded....
    Peace
    -Ruby



  28. How 'bout the pre-trip blahs Added by: Trev
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 9:55 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know what your talking about but kind of from the other end. I've had my taste of travel before and as any traveller knows, it's very addictive. My next trip is in two months and it's the biggest yet. I'm travelling across central and south east Asia for a year. I've never been gone that long before and am REALLY excited. The only person I feel I can talk to these days is Jake, the dude that's going with me. My girlfriend doesn't want to hear about my plans, it just depresses her. My friends and coworkers are getting pretty bored of it as well, but right now there is nothing else on my mind. Anyone who's travelled knows that dealing with the long weeks prior to a big adventure can be more grueling than Chinese algebra. So here I am, waiting patiently in a dismal, gray city with no one to talk to for two months.
    But cheer up Pologirl. You've done something incredible and you're a better person for it. Just plan you're next one and go, it is out there in the world where you will find like minded people to talk too.
    Trev in Canada



  29. need travel job please!!!! Added by: lost?????
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 10:19 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    how does one find a job that lets you travel while being
    paid. I would love to work for lonely planet, or something
    along those lines it would be great. can anyone help me??
    Imagine if you're holiday was coming home, and you're
    income was from travelling. travelling is taxing on the
    body & mind after a while but on the other hand you're
    seeing other cultures, experiencing things that other people
    only dream of. I have done alot of travelling, & would like
    to do alot more & I am sure there is a company out there
    that needs employers to travel, i'll do t.v I'll break dance
    in some little pub in england, or ride a goat up the side of
    tibet I am all for it. but seriously if anyone has any
    ideas on how to get into the travel for a living I am all
    ears.
    p.s. also good bars in vancouver B.C



  30. Response to Tomas Added by: Nicole
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 10:55 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Tomas, you are in an interesting spot. Reading the plight of
    all these Westerners dying to get back to Asia and there you
    are at the other end of things...sorry to hear that you are
    so out of sorts in the place you used to call home. i am
    asian american (known in hawaii as hapa-haole or half-white)
    and have also lived overseas for 3 years (Australia) and
    traveled quite a bit...it's always difficult and
    enlightening to make the transition between different
    cultures, the present moment and a memory. ultimately
    though, i hope it is possible to find peace wherever it is
    you reside. it is worth striving for. belonging is a state
    of mind.



  31. Pre-travel buzz Added by: David
    [Timestamp: Thu 19 Nov, 12:30 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Trev (going to Central and Southeast Asia for a year)...you
    know the two months will actually pass very
    quickly...and...before you know it you'll be over there in
    the other world.
    .
    So what about the opposite of post travel blues. For me it
    begins about 3 days before I leave home and then intensifies
    as the packing gets finished, work stops, you do some
    errands but things become kind of quiet, even hypnotic in a
    way. You are leaving on an airplane in 39 hours or
    whatever, it is inevitable, you only need to get to the
    airport, you haven't physically left, but your mind is
    somewhere else. Everything is in place, it will not change,
    you might just as well be strapped to a comveyor belt. You
    WILL be on that plane, and now you don't have to do anything
    except kick back and enjoy the anticipation. Time slows
    down. You feel good. Nothing can hurt you. Drive down the
    road and let all the bored people tailgate, pass you,
    whatever. Hey no problem! In 24 hours you'll be over there
    so it just doesn't matter...
    .
    Hey uh Trev...can I join you guys?
    .



  32. 19 months of the blues... Added by: Happy Crapper
    [Timestamp: Fri 20 Nov, 3:36 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Sawasdee,
    I think maybe the problem is going back "home." I don't have
    any emotional attachment to the U.S. so I reckon the best
    thing is to move to the place that I enjoy. In my case that
    would be rural Thailand. Sure, Thailand has some major (big,
    big) problems, but hey!, isn't the food great tasting, the
    people attractive and friendly, and the hot and humid
    weather comfortable (well, it is to a hot-house weed like
    me)!
    I have my six month visa (I'm married to a Thai), and we
    just need to arrange for a plane tickets, and then come
    January, we're climbing on that big silver bird to the
    Kingdom of Thailand.
    Thank you very big!
    HC



  33. The feeling never dies Added by: marg
    [Timestamp: Fri 20 Nov, 22:12 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    What a great read! Guess one shouldn't enjoy reading so
    much misery and post-travel blues, but it's so good for the
    soul to know there are so many kindred spirits out there
    all experiencing that same passion for being on the road.
    Hate to tell you that it NEVER gets any easier no matter
    how old you are. I've been travelling for over 30 years
    now (with a soul-destroying break of about 10 years while I
    did the conventional things like getting married, having
    kids etc. that women were conditioned to accept as 'normal'
    back then). I think we all must have been born addicted to
    travelling, because everyone who's added to this post
    obviously shares the same need for the excitement, the
    beauty, the never-knowing-what-comes-next feelings, and the
    tremendous camaraderie you have with other travellers.
    It's so easy to talk and become really friendly with other
    people with backpacks on ... where does everyone disappear
    to when they land back home ... there must be other
    restless, incurable vagabonds moping around in their own
    home cities just longing to share experiences and to talk
    to someone who knows what it's all about. I'd love to
    meet any where I live (Adelaide, South Australia). The
    only way to survive is to know that the most important
    thing in life is to follow your real passion and to keep on
    travelling as often as you possibly can - and to keep
    reading travel books, logging in to the Lonely Planet,
    learning another language, eating food you love, re-reading
    your journal and going through your old photos ... and one
    day planning to spend much more time somewhere other than
    where you are now. I'm sure we'll meet up along the road
    somewhere, sometime. Keep saving!



  34. agreeing with all Added by: chiara
    [Timestamp: Sun 22 Nov, 18:21 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I have to say I agree with most of what you all have said,
    especially Jada and most of what the long speil Buffalo
    said. But while we all wallow in our own depressions, can
    we not think of the people who live where we have been.
    They live day to day in the same places with not much of an
    outlet. We are lucky to travel, come home and be happy.



  35. chiara Added by: pologirl
    [Timestamp: Mon 23 Nov, 0:25 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    i didn't mean to imply the impression that i was wallowing
    in self pity, laying on the couch in the fetal postion, not
    going to work, not bathing or eating, not responding to
    verbal stimuli (sure signs of depression):) i am blessed in
    the fact that i was born in a country that has enabled me
    to get a decent job that enables me to have the luxury of
    travelling the world (although inexpensively), as
    travelling is my passion. it is thouroughly addictive and
    there is nothing else that excites me as travel does; the
    inital period of being home i find very difficult, but as
    time passes the post travel blues pass and by that time I
    have part of the next adventure researched......and life is
    good again..............happy trails



  36. yes Added by: chiara
    [Timestamp: Thu 26 Nov, 16:57 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I hear you.



  37. Worth every moment! Added by: Char
    [Timestamp: Thu 26 Nov, 18:59 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I agree with all of you! If only we could all find each other from time to time to have a good reminisce! I find that as soon as I return home, I'm planning the next adventure. I feel as though I'm living from adventure to adventure and just putting up with what's in between. I'm really turned-off by the usual settle down and have a sedentary life role. I want to see everything I possibly can. I actuall feel my life is a series of advetures and great experiences as opposed to a life tracked by the usual milestones. Can this continue forever? Sure I travel cheaply but it does add up and what will I use to support myself in my old age????? Oh well! I guess the excitement alone makes up for the not-knowing. I feel that it's not a question of whether I'll go someplace, but rather a question of when. Welcome to the exclusive club where membership has its privileges, but it also has its costs.....to me it's worth it and I wouldn't trade a single moment of travelling!!!!



  38. abroad is everywhere Added by: world citizen
    [Timestamp: Mon 30 Nov, 8:19 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Almost everybody here, including me, seems to know this
    feeling. When I came home from my first trip, I felt totally
    down because of the instant wish to be anywhere else...
    I hope your place at home is at least a bit cosmopolitan. I
    started to make friends from foreign countries, e.g. who
    study at my university or live in my town. This makes me
    feel that I am not in a boring world like the fellows
    without foreign friends. And my home is abroad for my
    foreign friends. Realize the relations...



  39. Drugs Added by: Patrick
    [Timestamp: Sat 5 Dec, 6:24 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    We are all addicts. We are addicted to traveling. There is
    nothing better than the freedom of traveling. To me
    drinking a cold beer in a dirty bar in a freign country is
    heaven. I have just returned from a month on a tiny island
    in Indonesia-Nias.
    I need help. My future wife (Jan) and I have a cool
    agreement. I take 1-2, 3-4 week adventures all alone. I am
    a teacher and have a lot of time. She is a lawyer and has
    little time, This works for us both.
    I am counting down the days until we take a month to
    backpack through Europe. She has never been anywhere and I
    know this will blow her mind and turn her into addicts like
    the rest of us.



  40. Perpetual Travel Added by: Dunk
    [Timestamp: Fri 11 Dec, 21:39 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I am still enjoying my latest bout of travel, and find it
    difficult to imagine returning home to resume life in the
    "real world". After falling in love with Laos I think the
    solution for me is to move there and find work and just see
    how it turns out.
    I'd love to hear from people who have taken the big leap and
    moved to another country temporarily / permanently. How long
    did it take to get settled ? What problems did you encounter
    ?



  41. Travelling as a lifestyle Added by: Wombat
    [Timestamp: Mon 14 Dec, 16:44 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Well, more than a few people have asked HOW do people manage to spend so much time
    travelling. For me personally it`s come down to a choice : `stability` vs freedom. By this I
    mean that I have forgone the traditionally stable things like a career, marriage, a house, a car..
    etc. and instead I live from month to month, travelling when I have money, and stopping for
    long enough to earn some more when I don`t. I don`t know how long I can keep this up
    (people keep telling me it gets more difficult to find work as you get older?) but I do know
    that I`ve got the travel bug sufficiently bad that I don`t wanna stop..
    It`s been cool to read this thread and find many, many other people feel the same way; back
    home most of my friends and family think I`m quite mad.
    Happy travelling!



  42. Make a compromise Added by: tprize
    [Timestamp: Fri 25 Dec, 12:00 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Whew - what a long list of posts! However, that makes me
    feel so much better. Especially now, around the holidays
    when all of my non-traveling friends are shopping for
    expensive gifts, living in the 25-year mortgage homes and
    driving to the mall in SUV's. It's even harder for
    Americans to find people who understand, as we tend to
    travel less and have short vacation times. I'm the
    "eccentric" of my group at home. When I came home from six
    monthe in SE Asia, my solution was to get a job as a flight
    attendant with a charter airline. Yes it's a compromise,
    but the upside is that I've been sent all over the world
    for free to work, I get 12 days off per month (lots of time
    to take a quick trip), I get really cheap air tickets
    (sometimes free) and I get almost two months of vacation
    per year. It's just enough time to get lost in a country.
    This year I went to India and Nepal and had enough time to
    forget about home, and to get from Arizona to Delhi took
    forever but cost almost nothing. Plus the job is pretty
    easy and I get the usual job benefits (401K, health care,
    etc.) It's just a suggestion.



  43. Post travel blues... Added by: Gasman
    [Timestamp: Thu 31 Dec, 6:19 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Well,the following is a letter recieved from the Special
    Persecutor of the Chiangmai Hash,in reply to the one I sent
    him,the night I returned here and got drunk and depressed
    (A few things in the letter you won't get,don't worry about the polar bears or old ladies,part of our Hash Hymn....)
    GASMAN - got your return travel report last Friday and passed your regards on to whoever I met. Upon reading about your problems in handling your personal affairs in Bangkok, depression in Perth and negotiating simple tasks such as boarding an aircraft we have unanimously decided you have Chiang Mai Withdrawal Syndrome, usually known briefly as C.H.M.W.I.T.H.D.R.A.W.L.S.I.N. There is no cure for C.H.M.W.I.T.H.D.R.A.W.L.S.I.N but you can still live a long life, perhaps another 5-6 years, but you must do EXACTLY as I say. - Do make your return booking to Chiang Mai immediately (and I notice with some relief that even you thought of this). - Do Hash in Perth and try to draw comfort from fellow drunks and deviates. - Do Not worry about your new friend MAM, the members on the Male Hash kindly volunteered to look after her until you get back (I was also reduced to tears when I heard their generous offer) - Do find every legal opportunity to drink as much as you can to avoid blood alcohol volume falling to dangerous levels - regular binge drinking as we do in Chiang Mai does give the best results but remember where you are. - Do while in Perth try to find something to do between 3am and 10am in the morning to substitute for drinking - some members suggested sleeping but I'm not sure about that, I personally feel more depressed when I wake up and remember what I did. - Do immediately bring your return trip forward the moment you feel you see an attractive Aussie girl - a very dangerous symptom called hellucinations. Well Gasman I must thank you for your company in Chiang Mai and your support with special evidence - its caught on. On Saturday I was handed 3 sets of evidence, to persecute Gooday and Puts It In for stealing and misuse of mushrooms, Wombat and Ex Virgin Sister for unbecoming sex in the circle, and Suckit as one of the three males in an improper pose with one of the pretty things in Hetty Bar - the two other males in the same lurid pose were unfortunately absent, Smelly Box and yourself. You asked what was the brilliant hash quote I gave you to pass on to Dingo. Sorry I forgot. But I suppose if there was something more relevant to Dingo's hash days than fucking antarctic polar bears and mugging old age pensioners, it would be "Zupata, Zupata, Zupata-ta". Try that! You might also ask Dingo what he did to get over the S.I.N. I know that he got deeply involved in his hobby for a while of making strong home beer, until he went blind. On On..Superman PS. You may remember when all the girls from Togethor Bar sat on you on the farewell pissup. Well Mai, the one who sat on your face says she's now got a rash on her bum, she says not to worry, she thinks its because you hadn't shaved.



  44. Echo of the previous 50 posts Added by: mel
    [Timestamp: Thu 31 Dec, 14:19 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    What a response! Six hours ago i made an impulsive decision to fly to Africa and then home to Australia the night before uni starts up again. What a comfort it is to read all these letters.I know when l do return in two months, this summer will feel like a distant dream.
    Upon returning from my last stint in Thailand on a bicycle it took me
    it took me a whole semester to focus on what l was studying and haul myself out of the daydreams and depression cycle.
    Can`t decide whether reading travel books made it better or worse.
    Re-adjusting is hard, and no-one seems to understand nor wants to hear about the family welcomed you into their home and offered you a shower, and food because you`d been riding for the last 8 hours, and how their honest generousity brought you to tears. Or the time you got lost and ended up drawing pictures on toilet paper and maddly playing charades in order to find the last boat to Ko Whatever while a Thai family ( extended family included by this stage) giggled politely at first then later fell over each other in hysterics, because by this stage you were desperately pretending to BE the boat, and an island and the sea.....
    And yes l also know how damn frustrating it is to deal with the "Ohh that sound very dangerous, wish i was independent like you" people. Or the people that wouldn`t even dream of leaving their state/province whatever, and going to a developing country????
    I think when l return home this time ,i'll stick a post on the Thorn Tree that`s very similiar to all of those that you`ll find below. because at least then it will be like telling someone that understands.



  45. . Added by: a regular
    [Timestamp: Fri 1 Jan, 2:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    bon voyage, mel. hope your trip is wonderful -- we'll all
    look forward to your thoughts when you return home. go in
    peace.



  46. How far... Added by: Marco
    [Timestamp: Sat 9 Jan, 21:24 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    ...do you need to go to be travelling? What countries
    qualify? If you "get a job and stay there forever" does that
    not mean you stopped travelling. What is home to some is an
    exotic outpost to another! Some of you speak of travelling
    in Europe! Hell, this is home to me, toally boaring!!!
    I lived in Oz for a while, but you see, then that became
    HOME and the travelbug came back!
    It's not about where you go -
    TRAVEL IS A STATE OF MIND! Do not get fooled in to thinking
    you´d be happier if you lived in SE Asia or anywhere else.
    Just face it - we are restless souls, and we will never be
    happy if we stay too long in one place.
    That's what make us experience more in life than other
    people - But it also means we are the bugs of the globe, the
    very parasites who have to take our western selves to other
    cultures and thrive only when we feed off, and spoil the
    very source of our existence.
    Marco



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