The realities of coming home…

2380Two people, two back packs, nine countries, twelve planes, ten months and then … home. Did that just happen? Did we really just spend the majority of 2015 living our dream, fulfilling our wanderlust, exploring, adventuring, and travelling the world… to now be home?

The harsh reality is coming home is harder, much harder than going away and this is our first really personal blog. We’re going to let you into our minds and see how we are feeling now we’re home. If you’re NOT a traveller the likelihood is you won’t have a clue what we’re talking about reading this, and if you ARE a traveller we know you’ll be able to relate to this more than anything else you’ve read today.

Our year travelling Singapore, Australia, Bali, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and India came to an abrupt ending the minute we arrived back on home turf. As the plane landed in Heathrow we were a mixture of emotions; tired, sad, shocked, excited to see our families (we were surprising them) uncertainty, and most of all it all just seemed like a big haze, a dream, we couldn’t accept that we were now home. They say time flies when you’re having fun, well boy, we must have had a blast because it felt like we simply blinked and we were home again.

781After three months in India the journey in a black cab down the M25 was somewhat different to a tuctuc zooming around Delhi. All of a sudden we were being bombarded with being home; red busses, Ford KA’s, level roads, road signs, Costa Coffees, rain and we had to take all of this in as we made our way into Essex. Culture shock going to India? Forget that, coming home after so long is the biggest culture shock ever and you’ll either settle back in going back to your old ways or you’ll feel this now alien country is no longer home.

Our first few weeks home were incredible. Seeing the looks on the faces of both our families and friends when surprising them after so long was priceless, emotional and completely unforgettable. Sleeping in our own bed, the build up to Christmas, the welcome cold weather, the partying, it was good to be home. You know you’ve been away for a long time when you can feel yourself talking in slow, broken English to your mum!

However, as the weeks passed we both started to feel unsettled. Imagine being together 24/7 for nearly a year, just us in our own little bubble, doing what we want, when we wanted with no one to answer to and not being held back by the reality that is society. We feel it may have been easier if we came home and were living together, but we’ve both had to go back home to our parents, and we’re hugely thankful to them, but truthfully we just want to be together in our own little routine that we built whilst travelling.

671We’ve both had to adjust back in to our old lives, new clothes, hair and makeup done, nights out and expensive dinners. Gone are the days of 20p beer in the street with Pad Thai for dinner wearing anything we could reach for from our backpacks including the tops with international beer logos on (we would never wear those at home!) We found this really difficult, why can’t we walk around bare foot anymore?

As we’re writing this we don’t really know where we are going or what we are trying to say? It’s hard; it is really hard being home and we think people underestimate that. All we want to do is look for new and exciting opportunities, spend time on our blog, keep talking about the incredible experiences we’ve encountered and keep posting our favourite travel snaps. But the truth is no one really cares. At first this is hard to accept, but it’s true and you will soon realise that no one cares about the name of the volcano you spent a day climbing and were so proud of yourself for doing so. Yes of course everyone wants to know how it was… How was it? How was your year travelling? What was your favourite country? How can we answer any of these questions, have you got another year to listen to us? No not really, so you reply with “It was great, we can’t tell you our favourite country as they were all so different” If someone asks a question and you actually begin to open up and elaborate into your magical story, well to you it is, it’s almost guaranteed you will notice the person is not paying for attention, because they don’t care! And in all fairness why would they?

1051You experience all of these wonderful countries, with beautiful cultures and you embrace them throwing yourselves in head first. The people you meet become your family and you rely on them as much as you would your parents. We spent a lot of time volunteering so got to experience first-hand a lot of local communities and we fell in love with all of them particularly, Our Home Community in India. We now spend our days missing them and wondering why we aren’t there, we feel we could be of so much more use out in the big wide world, where we can freely express our love, passion and understanding that has become who we are.

We want to spend every minute of every day together because only we know what each other is feeling, but we can’t. That isn’t reality is it; we have to work to make a living so it’s back to our 9-5 desk jobs whilst our minds are still wandering to the days where what we would have for dinner was our hardest decision. We now realise the simplest luxuries that we took for granted, normal toilets and no more carrying around toilet roll? Much easier right? But so boring.

1118Travelling gave us a sense of purpose, and belonging that we can no longer feel here? And will we ever? It’s been three months since we returned and we still have the same hunger and desire to be waking up in the morning to something new, a different adventure every day. We miss the simplicities in life that is travelling and appreciating the treats when you get them! Our first Nando’s in Chennai was literally like heaven on a plate after six months. Being able to have it every week in Romford Brewery isn’t exactly the same. The excitement of having a decent Wi-Fi and being able to contact your friends and family for a real catch up is brilliant. So is being able to update yourself with the world of social media, not having it on hand every second of every day. Spending evenings watching countless friends episodes was a real treat, here they’re on Comedy Central all the time! The novelty wears off…

We were lucky travellers, only one case of bed bugs, a few Delhi belly occasions, a little bit of travel sickness, some sleepless nights. But we’ve come home with something much worse. We have a very bad case of the travel bug, and what’s the cure for that? To go again…

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7 thoughts on “The realities of coming home…

  1. Real relief reading this blog post. Everything written here is clearly from the heart and soul. I remember spending just a month travelling around Europe making so many friends, waking up in a different place every morning with a new city to explore.

    It is very true that the return home is a difficult one. I had nightmares every night at home thinking I was somewhere I wasn’t. I had terrible travel blues. I felt like quitting everything and buying a single plane ticket and just leaving the country with no plans. I missed the sense of adventure everyday, not knowing what you might see around the corner or who you might meet. Even family were bored of the stories and photos because they just hadn’t experienced what you had, their imagination couldnt stretch as far as really being there. That makes the heart ache even more as you just want someone else to feel as excited as you about the things you have seen.

    Honestly, It really doesn’t get any easier, travel opens the mind, it teaches you things that school and work could never teach you. You become who you are supposed to be. Wiser and braver and much more open minded than anyone in Essex with little travel experience.

    I remember getting the rickety old train up to the lost world of Pompeii, it was unbearably hot in such an open space. I remember gazing at mount Vesuvius in the near distance imagining the chaos as it erupted and hot lava flowed down the hills. It took hours to walk around in search of the ‘people’. The people covered in ash frozen in time with faces of horror, toddlers, baby’s and pets like statues. How do you really explain that when you get home? What you have seen with your own eyes? It’s impossible. You wish you had a time machine and you could just grab your friends and family and shove them right there infront of it all and say look! Look at life.

    Families I have met across the world, with nothing to there name but a shak, an indoor cooking fire, some tobacco and live stock. Children so happy with their life that it makes you cry because they have nothing, no books no clothes no education, but they are so happy. One family I met spoke no words of English. We communicated so easily with me smiles and laughter, we shared things, my friend gave one of them his trainers as they had the worst forware and were hard workers on a farm. The mother and I shared cigarettes, her cigarettes were man made I have no idea what I smoked, but we loved sharing. I gave the children sweets and toys. The only toy these two beautiful boys had was a car made from sharp cutting barbed wire. The family had never seen a photo of themselves before. They couldn’t stop laughing. They didn’t even own a mirror.

    Life is so beautiful, it can be so very short. We have to grab it with both hands. Nothing is impossible, we have no limits. I can’t afford to travel the world because now I am saving for a house so like you me and my partner can be together, but the travelling doesn’t have to stop. Instead of buying lots of clothes and eating out we go away once a month on an exiting road trip, or across to Europe on the train. Just for 3-4 nights but we see as much as we can in that time! You can both do that too, to keep the travel bug away. Stay in cheap hotels or B&bs, get up and go! It wasn’t till two years ago I realised how much The UK has to offer, it’s more than you think! Do it all whilst dreaming of your next overseas adventure.

    Thanks for the blog posts keep them up they are really great, the true travellers do care!

    xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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