Prepare yourself, this blog entry is just one giant complaint about Reverse Homesickness.
I was warned: coming back home from an extended period of traveling is extremely difficult. And yes, it’s also a major #FirstWorldProblem. I get it, I’m an asshole. But I am also So. Freakin’. Bored.
Have you heard of “Reverse Homesickness“? It’s a term that loosely means you’re missing the excitement of travel. You feel like your true “home” is exploring new corners of the world and you miss it when you’re back home in your normal, everyday life.
If you’re like me, you know this feeling all too well and struggle with the readjustment period after returning home. Wanderlusters, I know you agree with some of the following!
Traveling is My Only Talent
I don’t have many talents, unless you count trying and failing to be witty and charming, but I am a GREAT traveler. I can recite all the tricks to get hella discounts on flights, I thrive professionally when working remotely from cafés all over the world, and I am happiest when I don’t have a routine. Sidenote: Routine is the wooorrrssttttt and no creative professional should ever have to work under those circumstances.
I’ve had (and I’m sure you’ve had, too) countless moments walking through winding city streets thinking to myself how natural it felt to be in this element. Exploration and curiosity come naturally to me and when breathing new city air and walking over new city pavement, it’s impossible not to feel that electric charge. You are in your happy place, your natural element. Reverse homesickness is real, yall.
I’m Convinced Routine Leads to Burnout
I’m a half-and-half Digital Nomad. I spend half the year traveling to exotic destinations and working remotely, and half the year back home working the typical office schedule. Because of this, I can confidently review the pros and cons of each, and let me tell you, working remotely while abroad significantly improves productivity and inspiration. Yeah, go ahead and tell your boss that. To help, here’s how I convinced my boss to let me be a Digital Nomad.
When you return home from being a Digital Nomad, your work routine is a significant change you have to adapt to. When you feel the luster from your days start to dim, you second-guess why the heck you’re even keeping the job you have when it’s preventing you from living a life of freedom that you crave.
While I was abroad and working at 9:00pm, a coworker told me, “We don’t want you to burnout by not sleeping and working at odd hours of the night.” But the honest truth is, I’ve never once felt burned out while working remotely and traveling. But I have experienced burnout multiple times when I’m back home.
I’m Homesick For My Kind of People
What is “home” really? Because I feel like my home is with people I’ve met who are fellow travelers, the adventurers, the startup owners who are always looking for something new and exciting and innovative. The people who spend their days brainstorming ways to create a profitable side hustle, and turning their passions into possible business ventures. These are the people I want to spend my time with.
Aside from coming back to traditional work hours (yuck), the second most difficult part post-travel is seeing friends post pictures exploring new destinations, while you’re working office hours in your hometown – it hurts the soul. I’m a fairly jealous person (and clearly, too self-aware) and so ensues mild temper tantrums when scrolling through photo albums from casual weekends in Cambodia and Australia.
I’m ready to be back with my people.
Dealing With American Politics is Exhausting
I’m sure a lot of you will agree with me here, I am just utterly exhausted with American politics 76% of the time. I’ve never been indifferent in wanting to make a change for the better, but damn this country makes it difficult to continue caring sometimes.
I thank the universe that I was 8,000 miles away in Thailand from the tumultuous election season in 2016. Spending the months leading up to the election in Southeast Asia and having insightful conversations with open-minded travelers was such an incredible experience. Different viewpoints were challenged and strengthened by citizens of the world, but coming back to a climate where civil discourse is near impossible, was extremely defeating.
And with how the political climate has unfolded since Donald Trump’s inauguration, some days it’s so disheartening that it’s enough to want to surrender your passport and get the helloutadodge.
Normalcy Is Fine, For Like… A Week
The first few days after returning from an extended excursion is pure joy. Having the comforts of home again are so joyous! Relishing my dogs and cat, my own bed, and having a variety of CHEESE (Yes, the non-existence of good cheese is a major issue abroad) is an unparalleled feeling. But now that the day-to-day normalcy has set in, I would gladly trade my Brie for the thrill of not knowing what my day entailed – waking up and wondering if I would go to the beach? Or to a creative meetup with other nomads? Have lunch at the Burmese restaurant around the corner? The excitement was in the surprise.
So yes, I am aware that sometimes I insert myself into conversion with “Oh my gosh, that reminds me of this time in Malaysia when….”
I promise I’m not trying to be boastful, I’m just homesick.