In early 2014 we left home with a 12 kg backpack each and with dreams of traveling across the world for six months. We wanted to get a culture shock and experience a nomadic way of life. Like everyone else we thought we were bold to leave the comforts of a stable job and a cozy home to live out of a backpack. Leaving home and loved ones behind, we thought, would be the toughest.
The six months went by so quickly. But let me tell you, they were the best six months of our life so far! 🙂 Life on the road, the excitement of changing places once every third or fourth day, meeting new people, making friends, going to those places which we had only seen in travel magazines was something words cannot express! We did not know where our next meal would come from. We had no solid plans for the next day. Living in the moment and savoring life was what we were doing. 🙂
Let us now fast forward to the present. It has been close to one month since we returned home. I clearly remember our flight back to Bangalore from Kolkata. We felt it to be one of the longest flights in the trip. Our minds felt numb and full of mixed feelings. Slowly it dawned upon us that we were going back home for good! All the wonderful times we had in the last few months flashed across my mind and for the first time, I got scared of going back home. I dreaded the feeling of a routine life, 9 to 5 job, and the traffic that was awaiting us.
Little did we realize that coming back home would be a bigger culture shock than going to those far-away lands!
The warm welcome we had at the airport by our parents temporarily pushed aside all our unpleasant feelings. There’s nothing like a hug from your mom to welcome you home, right? We felt good to be with our loved ones again.
But it did not last long. We soon started feeling strange, as if we could not relate to most of the things that were going on around us. We felt so out-of-place, as though we did not belong there.
We also realized that many people were really not interested in what we experienced around the world but were happy to have us back safe. Nothing much had changed in these six months. Of course people had got engaged or married, had babies, bought a new home or car but their life remained pretty much the same.
The everyday chatter and complaints seemed less important and more of a noise to us. The fact that both of us felt the same things kind of assured us that this was normal!
It is only then we realized that it was us who had changed a lot! People around us had not experienced what we had. We had to accept the truth that life on the road had made its mark on us.
Someone has rightly said, “It’s a funny thing about comin’ home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize what’s changed is you.”
Eventually we found a new house and moved into it, enjoyed home cooked food, got back to our old jobs and are in the process of accepting the routine. I think within a short time we’ll get back into the groove. But we are and will definitely continue to miss being nomads! The uncertainty and excitement, the strange sights, meeting travellers and exploring will be missed thoroughly.
Our minds are filled with new ideas and lessons that travel has taught us. We are sure our lives are not going to be the same again.
Oh, wait! There’s a long weekend coming up! My feet have started to itch again! 😉