Looking at people’s Instagram posts and countless Snapchats of their adventures abroad, you would assume it was all as fun and freeing as it looked. At least if you were as naïve as I was when I finally ventured abroad myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was all bad, but I certainly learned a lot the first time I travelled.
As many people might have told you, travelling teaches you more about yourself, your family, friends or whoever you happen to be travelling with. You also learn a lot about your own passions, what you enjoy doing, what type of people you like spending time with or getting to know more. Travelling opens doors for self-awareness and self-discovery in such a valuable and impactful way, it’s exactly what makes people, like myself, crave it even more.
People who crave travel, also crave growth, change, experience and learning. Most people who travel are naturally curious, open-minded, free-spirited and love to wander to see what the world has to offer. If people are not naturally born this way, flying around the planet a few times definitely builds up these characteristics in most globe trotters.
What is totally unique to every person however, is the reason for venturing abroad. I don’t mean that in the simplistic sense like a business trip or family vacation. After visiting so many different places around the world, I couldn’t exactly figure out how I was feeling every time I stepped back into my home city’s airport. I did start questioning the purpose of my craving every few weeks or months after, when I found myself instantly booking another trip again. To many people, perhaps travelling is just that, trying out some new place for a few days or weeks, and coming back home with a fresh mind and renewed sense of self. However for me, it was very far from that.
I had started to notice that I faced a serious problem every time I came home from a trip. I would step back into the airport, and my heart would instantly sink. I would feel so much sadness, frustration and most of all, heartbreak. I would be absolutely heartbroken coming back home and leaving all the amazing people and experiences I had abroad. Those people became family, foreign addresses became home, and the experiences I had there became some of the most sacred memories I ever had.
Coming home a little down obviously wasn’t what got me thinking “well, I must be addicted to travelling”. Considering I’ve never seen a sun-burnt coworker happy to be back at work, or kids excited to go back to school, it’s pretty normal to be a little bummed out after some time away. Okay so time to spill, what exactly made me spend a lot of saved up money, planning, and lots of overtime hours just to book back to back trips throughout the year?
The night I came back home from my first trip to Paris, I not only felt sad or lazy to go back to school and work. I actually felt extremely empty, purposeless and absolutely alone. It got as far as me ignoring phone calls, taking days to reply to texts, and even avoiding my family and friends, while also staying off social media for a pretty long time. This first experience being back was especially hard for me because I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did. I thought to myself, “why are you being so dramatic?”. What I wish I knew then, and I’m here to share now is how normal it was to feel the way I did.
While it might take me a whole other post to explain why and how my experience of what many people refer to as post-travel depression came about, this first post has a different purpose. I’ve heard a lot of people recount their first time boarding a plane or their first night in a hostel or backpacking being the moment they realized they were passionate about travel. For me, it was the first time I came home and realized as I sat on my bed with my things still unpacked and scattered, that I left behind a sense of life-fulfilling purpose and passion. I realized this as I began to prepare myself for my routine life that was starting the very next day on a Monday. I realized that spending 3 weeks felt like 3 years, and what was more eye-opening to me was that I felt like gained 3 years worth of new knowledge, memories and love I had for a whole new world I previously knew nothing about. That feeling became so overwhelming to me, that I felt it would be wrong not to do something about it. This drove me not only to travel more, but more importantly to share my experiences, memories, stories, adventures and tips and tricks through blogging!
As you’ll follow my story through my blog, you’ll learn more about all the little things, the crazy stories, a few life-changing moments and the sweetest people I’ve met from all over the world, that pushed me to blog about my life and the big part that travelling has shaped it to be now. I won’t give it all away in this post, but I can promise you a this:
You will definitely SMILE, LAUGH, CRY, and most importantly LEARN through my experiences that I’m really excited to share with you. I want to share all my lessons, embarrassing moments (okay not ALL the embarrassing ones, but believe me most of them are pretty damaging anyway) and all the challenges I experienced along the way. You’ll find that these moments of growth that have been so valuable to me, will be just as rewarding for you too!
Consider me that one friend that comes back home with all the crazy stories that you’ll laugh at in the moment and say “thank God” when you’re faced with the same thing – and hopefully think of me!
Out of all the journeys I’ve been on, this one will definitely be the most exciting! I hope you enjoy it all as much as I do.