Side effects of Travel – Have you ever twirled around in circles and then suddenly started twirling the other direction — it makes you feel sick and dizzy, right? That’s exactly how your entire world will feel once you travel.
So what’s the big deal you ask? Travel is supposed to expand your horizons, right? It’s supposed to make you think differently. Wise men have made proclamations about how it changes the way one sees the world.
First of all, the person who you were before you traveled no longer exists. It’s scary. You won’t realize it at first but it slowly starts creeping up on you as you travel. You start to see how other cultures live. Their views on work and leisure and quality of life and food and public transportation and art and architecture and tradition — it all starts to permeate into your brain and it takes over.
You’ll soon start asking yourself questions:
“Do I want to work 60+ hour weeks and have barely any vacation time?”
“Is there more to life than work?”
“What is most important in my life?”
“Why didn’t I study a foreign language?”
“Maybe other countries do some things much better than we do them back home.”
“How people in other countries figure out how to enjoy life?”
It doesn’t truly hit you until you’re back home because that’s when you discover “home” — the place that has always represented stability and comfort doesn’t exist anymore. Suddenly home feels different. It’s disorientating and it feels like you’re wearing someone else’s glasses.
It’s weird going from living out of a backpack/suitcase to having a house full of stuff you’ve amassed. You realize having a house/apartment full of stuff doesn’t make you happy — in fact, all your stuff starts to feel a little overwhelming.
Your friends and family and peers — they won’t understand. In fact, they don’t really care that you’ve just gone through this transformative journey. You’ll tell them all about what you ate, saw, and experienced, but I’m telling you that their eyes will quickly gloss over. This will happen just about every time. If you’re lucky your parents will listen to your tales for a few minutes before dozing off.
It’s lonely knowing that no one else will ever, or can ever, relate to your experiences. But you’ll continue the futile process of trying to tell your story.
But that’s not all. As you settle back into your regular life you’ll find that you’re not satisfied. Trying to focus on work becomes nearly impossible because the lure of travel consistently calls your name. You’ll find yourself trying to get your fix with marathon sessions watching Travel channels, reading travel blogs and watching travel videos.
You’ll seek out restaurants that serve food from the countries you visited — but it will never be as good as it was in Thailand, France, Italy, or wherever you traveled. And God help you if you acquire a taste for Belgian beer because your bank account will suffer.
You’ll find yourself randomly scouring the web for good deals on airfare or searching for cool places to stay on Airbnb, even though you have no time or money to travel.
Spending time on Facebook and Instagram will become almost unbearable because you’ll see your friends posting pictures of their travels. It will bring back great memories but the depression of being stuck at home will quickly takeover.
BUT THE WORST THING ABOUT TRAVELING IS THAT YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO STOP.
You won’t be able to shake the travel bug. Whenever the possibility to visit another country arises you’ll take it. You’ll spend less time at the bar or choose a home cooked meal over a restaurant so you can add a little more to your travel fund. You’ll find other ways to skimp and scrounge because you have no choice but to see as much as the world as possible.
Its one hell of a crazy ride and you live only once.. #YOLO
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