Saturday, August 3, 2013

Home, sweet, home (or is it?)

My {not-so-little} little sister O returned home yesterday after spending 9 weeks holidaying, sorry excuse me, "studying" in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Lucky bugger.

As we sat listening to her travel adventures of tuk tuks, lost wallets and chicken heads, I got a whiff of withdrawal. No, not that kind of withdrawal {she is only 15}. The other type of withdrawal. That stinky feeling of coming down from your holiday high as you are suddenly catapulted back into the mundane reality of everyday life.

I still remember my first time coming home after travelling. I had major culture shock. Readjusting to life back home was darn right challenging. And there's not a whole lot of sympathy out there for those facing it.

I remember the supermarkets feeling enormous and the cereal options seeming endless. The streets felt deserted, like a movie set waiting for action. And the roadside curbs and footpaths appeared finished. In fact, everything felt finished. The roads, the buildings, the parks, the power lines. How utterly boring.

I was surprised that I could walk down the street and not spot a single soul. Why was noone trying to sell me a hammock? And where was my fearless {and toothless} street vendor who chopped my daily serve of watermelon like a ninja-samurai. Where could I find her in Melbourne? I needed chopped watermelon. I needed these things and so much more.

Anyone who has travelled will recognise these feelings as the post travel blues, reverse culture shock or as I like to call it the post travel hangover. And like any hangover, it sucks. Immensely.

And the cure... Well, like any good hangover there is no magic cure, instead it takes time. Time to acclimatise to the everyday things. 

And so my advice to O {and anyone else suffering a post travel hangover} is to take your time as you let yourself get back into the swing of things. You are not the same person as you were before your travels, so don't expect to be able to jump back into your old life. You've grown in your thinking and will look at things with a new eye, a wiser more worldly eye. 

Breathe in the fresh air and celebrate just how lucky you are to have gained these experiences. Walk the supermarket aisles and buy every packet of cereal if you must. And, finally if that doesn't work... just start planning your next trip. That's sure to make you smile.

What's your post travel hangover remedy? Are you suffering one right now? Share it with us in the comments. 

Love Jo x