The Inevitable Come Down
There is nothing like the beauty of traveling; exploring the world, feeling free and independent, feeling that anything is possible. These are feelings of euphoria, total bliss, weightlessness.
But there is also nothing like the come down that follows. It is as though I am snatched from a beautiful dream, and placed in some world, some strange reality where I never feel fully myself or part of.
Except that this new world is made up mostly of water where I have to swim for my life or go under and drown. So for the month or so after my travels I feel that I am just kicking my legs below water, just trying to stay afloat.
When I am back reality hits, “the real world” that others talk about so often. No more sunsets and sunrises, or there are, but different somehow. Time also seems changed and takes on a different quality. Here, time seems to order and control life. My days seem to be made up of a clock ticking in the background. And with time is the need to control time.
But when I backpack there is time for everything that is beautiful without needing to control it. Hiking to the highest point with a bottle of wine with your fingers crossed that the sunset will be bright and picture perfect. No time, no control, just infinite beauty.
Now I am home again
I get the keys to the car, my car. I drive. I notice that this new world is more efficient. It has made getting from point A to B easy and fast. But it has taken away all of the excitement and in its place some angry drivers and concrete below instead of fields, cobblestones, dirt, and yes disorganization, which I miss.
Oh and I can’t forget the job. In the ‘real world’ we get jobs. Sometimes people tell me to just get any job. This is the hardest part of all. They tell me it doesn’t matter if I am happy in it or not. They tell me to work and save so that when I get older I can retire and do what I want. I always wonder why not enjoy now? This sounds like I need to defer life for another 40 years.
In this new world everyone always seems to be in a rush, again always seem to be feeling time as a burden. We all seem to want happiness but somehow get stuck in a joyless routine.
But also, in this new real world I am left with amazing memories of inspiring people, and pictures of amazing places. I reach for those pictures and memories often, they are my comfort during the come down stage.
So I will continue to kick my legs, to stay afloat, sometimes even against a hard current.
I also need to make my own routine, one that is right and harmonious for me.
And I already know that the come down stage doesn’t last forever, nothing does. Soon something will reignite my wanderlust, that mysterious something that fuels my life and gets me moving.
Then my come down ends, I find a job, work like crazy, save like crazy and do it all over again until a better plan comes along some day. Until then my weeks of coming down are well worth the highs of travel.
It is not a drug it is my fuel. My Bliss.
Categories: Travel Reflection