40 Harsh Realities You Face When You Return Home From Travelling
Whether it was a gap year, Erasmus or working abroad, we are the first generation who were able to benefit from these exotic sojourns. However, this also means we are the first to have to deal with the crushing comedown.
Regardless of where in the world you return from, you’ll suffer from the post-travelling blues.
1. There’s no big ‘Welcome Home’ parade.
You’ve spent months, maybe years away and you imagine bunting, bugles and dancers welcoming you back. Instead, you enter the arrivals lounge to a hug and a handshake and a detailed conversation about what you ate and watched on the plane.
2. Hearing English on the streets again.
Spending a long time abroad allows you to filter out all of those irritating public transport conversations or uncomfortable hairdresser chat. Nothing hits harder than arriving at the airport and hearing what everyone around you plans to eat for dinner.
3. Speaking slowly to people assuming they don’t understand you.
Much to the annoyance of everyone else queuing to buy their Subway.
4. The cost of transport.
A weeks travel in Thailand versus a trip from Zone 3 to Zone 1 on the Central Line.
5. But more importantly, the cost of alcohol.
Expecting change from a tenner and being told you are still 20p short. Caipirinhas in Rio? Sangria in Spain? Sake in Tokyo? Nope, this is the unexotic regression to Carlsbergs in the Red Lion.
6. “So, where was the best place you visited?”
Expect to be asked 3 times a day forever.
7. “What was the best thing you saw?”
The heartbreaking feeling when you have to reduce your entire experience into an accommodating, concise sentence.
8. People not asking you about where you’ve been
Yet, you’ll still be upset when you’re not asked. Oh, irony.
9. “Oh, well when I was in…”
The realisation that 60% of your conversations are prefaced with these six words. You’ve become that guy.
10. Instinctively using international words you picked up from different nationalities.
Good luck asking for a trash can in the Working Men’s Club.
11. And accidentally speaking the wrong language in Morrisons.
Months and months learning how to navigate awkward language barriers is tough to shake. Old habits die hard.
12. Remembering that guy who stayed out there.
Every group will have that one person who could stomach the guilt of living like Peter Pan and stayed out, travelling the world.
13. Getting Facebook and Instagram beef.
Queue plenty of hate for having uploaded your ‘Australia Summer 2014’ album.
14. Wondering where all that nice food has gone?
“Meeting at Nandos. 7pm xx”
15. And not knowing what to eat.
While living abroad you allow yourself to daydream about all of the food you miss from home yet, strangely, as soon as you land you have lost your appetite. Fish & Chips sounded a lot better when you were 2000 miles away from it.
16. Remembering that you have to tip in restaurants.
17. Getting caught eavesdropping all the time because you think you recognise the language.
Those guys are definitely speaking Japanese.
18. Job hunting.
19. Trying to sell your experience in a job interview.
How do you rebrand 6 months in South East Asia into an employable skill?
20. Receiving a letter from the Student Loans Company.
How did they find me?
21. Finally paying tax.
22. Trying to hide from your parents in a terrace house.
If they can’t find you they can’t ask questions.
23. Your parents and grandparents being politically incorrect.
No Nan, there is no war in Vietnam anymore.
24. No-one having any real knowledge of the country you were in.
How do you not know about the Uruguayan War of 1865?
25. The “What are you going to do next?” question.
26. No longer seeing any of the friends you made.
Nothing can prepare you for spending so much time with people and then, on returning home, realising everyone is scattered around the world.
27. Sending desperate late messages to the people you travelled with.
“…do you miss it?”
28. Not being able to do stuff like drinking on Beaches.
An activity criminally unknown to England.
29. The weather.
30. Your accent is no longer interesting.
In Peru everyone loved your Leeds accent.
31. Even your hometown was interesting to people.
Yes, it’s true. My town has a Boot Museum.
32. You have nostalgia for the smallest things.
Long distance, hot coaches or sharing a bed with three other guys or even the annoying elementary children you taught English to. The past is always prettier.
33. Being behind people who stayed, got a job and worked their way up.
Who thought that while you spent two years skipping continents Mick left university, got a job and now earns £30k a year. He’s even thinking about getting a house.
34. Travelling heartbreak.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re from Philadelphia and I’m from Newcastle, we can make it work.”
35. Dating is significantly less fun.
Dating abroad is full of new locations, new drinks, new food and new conversations. Difficult to beat really when you’re back in the UK meeting someone from Tinder for a curry buffet.
36. You feel completely out of the loop with current affairs.
37. Not having anything in common with people any more.
I don’t know who won X-Factor and I don’t know who Lucy Beale even is.
38. Adele and is still being played everywhere.
39. Realising that the country you lived in still exists despite you not being there.
It didn’t close down after you left.
40. Working out how much longer you need to work to go again.
If I work Monday to Friday, and every Saturday and maybe every other Sunday I could probably go again in about 18 months.