Wanderlust is a serious illness. To travel, to experience and add new perspectives is what infected people live for. Also to see new places, meet people, make mistakes and learn new thigs. There are two approaches to be found among travellers: planners and doers.
Planners know exactly where they want to go to and what they want to do. People like this book return air plane tickets, look for hostels and accomodation in advance. They check transportation, the money exchange rate and make a list of basic sentences in the native language so they won t have any trouble at any given time. Weeks in advance they browse the internet and travel blogs to get an idea of the possibilities their trip offers. These people are lucky. Leaving with a small set of expections, that will probably be fullfilled they return after a few weeks to their regular homes and jobs and lives.
Unfortunately I don t belong to this exquisit group. Doers are the people I feel more solidarity to. People like us book a one way ticket 24 hours before the trip. Our choice is more emotion- and mooddriven. We go to places and just see what happens. We join people we like, visit places we never even thought about, stay at homes we never thought we had access to and make friends with people so different from ourselves. This approach is connected to various difficulties. Due to its emotional and intuitive nature, it infects you, connects you and changes you in a very deep and sentitive place. Once you are changed going back and returning to the regular (should you have had one) life is almost impossible. People like us concider this new places homes, see people we stayed with as family and can t wait to meet our travel companions again. It s obvious : getting back home is suffering. It s discomfort and waiting for the next departure. After months of living out of your backpack, owning a wardrobe of ten pieces of clothing, sleeping on muddy wooden floors and eating fresh fruit from the trees, getting back home is reevaluating your old life. All this things you own and never use, the cloths you collect and never wear, the people you remember but dont care about and the structures you follow but actually hate.... it s disgusting and leaves some of us breathless.
The change within leads to change of circumstances. You try to get rid if unnecessary balast, to ease yourself and get ready for departure again as soon as possible. But till the day you enter a train and or plane again your days are usually struggle. It s impossible for you to understand how doing a job you don t like and living a daily routine is enough for so many people. You don t understand why people waste their time on "friends" they actually don t even like or respect. You don t understand why buying stuff gets people so much more exited then experience. And most of all you don t undertand why they don t understand you. You are getting sick of justification and explaining things for the hundredth time. The things and people you had before will never again be enough. You met people along the way, that you feel more connected to as they speak the same language you do, cause you are driven by the same needs.
These are the feelings no travel guide or blog has ever tried to prepare you for. For the empty feeling of stuff-filled life, for the disgust of having too many options at the supermarket, for the ignorance of superficial relationsships. Trips leave you devestated and confused. It takes weeks and months to recover, get yourself in a more or less funktional mode again and sometimes it just does not. But be aware: everyone who really loves to travel suffers from this ugly illness. People just don t talk about it. Instead of great jungle-pictures i would really like to see every once in a while the red-eyed crying folks getting off an airplane from a place they lost their heart to. Just to make reality a bit more honest and help the realization that home is not a place but a feeling.
Take care. Love