What Happens When You Return Home: The Cycle Of Travel

When you step foot into familiar territory after being away for so long, there’s almost an unspoken agreement with your heart that this is where you’re supposed to be. Whether you’ve been gone for 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years the moment your feet touches home soil, there will be a fleeting moment of excitement, confusion and instant nostalgia – because you know you’ve come back a different person.

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That moment passes quickly.

In the first few weeks of your arrival, the air breathes for you. You are the centrepiece and the breath of fresh air. Slowly, you see your friends, family, and the old room you left behind but everything is still the same. Your days are no longer filled with spontaneity, it’s semi-structured. It’s not complete freedom, it’s routine.

You start wondering if this is where you’re supposed to be – familiarity. Old territory. Is this the answer? You take in everything around you, because you know you have to acclimatise. You appreciate how far you’ve come because….you have actually come far.

But you’ve forgotten, momentarily, that you’ve left your heart somewhere else….

Bits and pieces scattered everywhere around the world. The heart is a puzzle and you’ve actually lost a piece in each place and each moment and now…you’re left feeling slightly incomplete.

So what do you do?

Do you slowly pick up those pieces, or do you leave them behind in hope that one day you’ll recollect those memories? The reason we go through this thing we call post-travel blues is because we’ve seen too much and felt too much of what the world has to offer. Your soul has been opened. Your vision has been refreshed and your passion is re-ignited. Each place and each person you have encountered become small lessons. Perhaps we’ll revisit those memories to remind ourselves of that single moment we felt infinite. Perhaps, momentarily we’ll smile in solitude because they are now exactly that – memories.

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart and on your body. You take something with you….Hopefully…you leave something good behind” – Anthony Bourdain

Slowly, but surely those feelings will fade. Slowly the puzzle starts to come together again where each piece becomes a new possibility, ultimately adding to your big dream which eventually turns into your next big plan. Each puzzle becomes a new idea, a new country you dream of, a new adventure you wish for. And once again…..with time, hope and the belief that there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind, you’ll continue your journey because to travel is to live.

And this is why the cycle of travel never fades – because the purpose of life after all is to reach out without fear for newer and richer experiences because there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon. 

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3 Comments

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  1. Love this post! Great thoughts on traveling and on coming home.

    If you’re interested, check out our travel posts at http://www.being-abroad.com.

  2. Found this post through Travel Fashion Girl on FB. You have managed to put into words what I (and I am guessing) many others have felt. Truly beautiful.

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