I’m a very fortunate person. I’ve traveled and lived in Japan for two years. I’ve done the tourist thing in New Zealand while visiting friends. I’ve visited over half the states in the U.S. Now my great travels are over since I’ve returned. And now life is bland and normal again.
Or is it?
This depressive feeling about place is an aspect of culture shock that I didn’t expect. It’s not so easy to slide back in. Things look the same but so much is different. I’m awkward in my native culture. Well, I think I was always awkward. I’m just a little more aware of it now.
Little things that I took for granted before now need to be thought about extensively. I keep messing up the change at the register, I keep stumbling over people while they talk, I bow to them.
I’ve experienced this grand travel. But what does it mean? Does it mean I’ll always be a foreigner wherever I go? Does it mean that I have to do even greater travel to find that same feeling again, like a drug? I don’t know.
What is travel anyways?
Travel is impermanence
Travel is evolution
Travel is momentum
Travel is excitement
Travel is movement
Travel is activity
Travel is engagement
All are travel.
So even though I’ve returned to my origin, it isn’t a step back. It is a step into a familiar place that has experienced change. There are plenty of places and people to see out there and right here. The back yard is a place of constant amazement. One day is different from the next.
Travel is travel no matter the distance. Try to take in the wonder that is near you. For me, traveling far has given me a new appreciation for what was once near. My hometown is exotic again. Awkward, but cool as I learn my way around again.
Things feel bland and normal but it’s a lie. It’s my body and mind adjusting to something that was once familiar but now changed.
So get out there and travel. Go across the road. Take that road you always wondered about. Look in a corner of your house you haven’t in a long while. Cultivate the wonder that travel can give you. It’s wonderful and it doesn’t have to be as far away as we tell ourselves.
What new thing did you discover today?