Ten Realisations For The Recently Returned Traveller
We break down the causes of your post-travel blues, in case you needed reminding
- You hate everyone
Tracey won’t stop crying because she just broke up with Darren, all your friends complain constantly about how much they hate their degree/job/housemate, you’re working in hospitality again and if one more woman with an “ice blonde” bob tells you her latte isn’t hot enough you’re going to pull her eyelids apart with your hollandaise-encrusted fingers and pour it into her eyeball, just to show her that really and honestly the milk is already fucking scalding, as per her request. AHHH, she will cry, waving her shiny manicured talons and bedazzling oversized rings in a flurry of pain. Did you just come? You did, didn’t you.
- Not really though
Your friends can be funny though, and at least they’re expected to like you. Arriving in new places and trying to veil your desperate desire for people to accept you was getting a bit exhausting, plus it’s handy to know in advance who is likely to try to grope you after a few drinks. It’s always disconcerting when that guy from your hostel who you assumed was gay suddenly has his hand on your butt. And that nephew you just met for the first time is pretty cute, although his fat little baby face mirrors yours a little too closely for comfort right now doesn’t it, Euro-chins?
- A lot of the stuff you “missed” wasn’t really that great
Mmm, Vegemite. Yeah, it’s salty, but so are olives (and the bank because you keep missing your credit card payments). You forgot how lacklustre all those bars you used to enjoy so much really are. After months of wistfully watching your friends upload group shots to Insta while pangs of FOMO stabbed you in your heart, they couldn’t live up to the hype you created for them in your mind. Now you see them for what they really are – overpriced and with dancefloors full of people you didn’t miss at all, including all the regular knobs from the local footy club, who say things like, What are you going to do for the premiers?
- Nothing has changed
You exist in a vortex. Time is a flat circle. What is real? Nothing has changed, down to the chalkboard out the front of that pub down the road from your house, which still reads Soup of the Day: Gin and Tonic.
- Your new eating habits don’t fit with societal expectations
It got to the point where a two-hour bus ride called for a whole bag of Oreos and an entire tube of Pringles, and all the transit tucker was starting to show on your once trim physique. Now when you’re standing on the tram during your morning commute, people stare at the Burger Rings entering your mouth by the fistful as though the sight of this slaughtering of savoury snacks is a little unsavoury. Soon they will crush your spirit and you’ll stand with a cardboard coffee cup in one hand and your smartphone in the other, avoiding eye contact and trying not to sip too loudly.
- Neither does your dress
Denim cut-offs and a variety of souvenir t-shirts emblazoned with print such as Tubing Vang Vieng Laos and Two In the Pink One in the Stink were, until recently, perfectly acceptable attire among the company you kept. But when Tracey was bawling over Darren and wanted to go out for cosmos and pseudo-Mexican and you turned up in your Keep Calm and Ketamine tee, she looked even more uncomfortable than she did that time she saw his new girlfriend in Woolworths.
- No one thinks your accent is cool
Or that the way you pronounce things or the slang you use is funny/cute/special. In fact, people have started saying things like, How long were you away for? You’re starting to sound a little English, like your voice goes up at the end of sentences… Their tone implies this is not a compliment. To add insult to injury, no one is interested in any of your travel stories, either.
- You are in debt and you have no idea what you want to do with your life
That credit card that you got “only for emergencies” has been maxed out and you spent the last of your actual money on airport snacks, thus you have been forced to continue making scalding hot lattes for ladies with ice blonde bobs. With each degree that the milk rises above the appropriate temperature a small piece of your soul is stripped away and killed, so you consider finding your path in life. You browse university course guides and Google the average pay rates of various trades. The choices are myriad to the point of being cripplingly overwhelming, so you just enrol in an Arts degree and decide you’ll work out your majors as you go.
- You are doomed to a slow and painful death by FOMO
Every time you open your socials you will be assaulted with envy-inducing snaps from around the globe – tropical beaches, old buildings, giant beers, panos of nice views. Before you know it you’ll be greener than Nimbin and just as slow, unable to move, unable to breath, only able to stare at your hands and wonder at their magic.
- That reunion is never going to happen
Whether it was your voluntourist posse in Chile, the group you spent a few weeks with in Morocco, or the staff from that hostel you worked at in exchange for board in Munich, you all promised that it was See you later, not goodbye, I love you guys, etc. and talked smack about grand reunion plans that would certainly be occurring within the next couple of years. Only you’ve all got jobs now, or degrees to finish, or are still crippled by credit card debt, and after a couple of months back at the daily grind the creeping realisation that your reunion pledges were a little naive has finally gripped the back of your throat in a way no less painful than the first time you smoked a blunt too low.
Time to plan the next one. Click here to start designing your very own Stoke Travel Passport.
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