It’s pitch black, and something big is sneaking around my tent. I scream “yo bear” while I roll over to grab my bear spray. But wait, where is my bear spray, and why is it pitch black? Fuck. Where am I?
Slowly I feel the soft mattress underneath me, realise that it’s dark because I’m back at home, and not at the Yukon in my tent where during summers the sun never really sets, and also that there are no bears around.
Probably the window sill made the cracking noises which woke me up, as slowly the heat of the day is shifting into a nice cool breeze outside.
This all feels so strange. To be at home, to lie in a wide comfy bed, to not have to worry about bears,…suddenly it hit me like a lightning bolt. It’s time to find back to everyday life.
Extended travel doesn’t mix with 9 to 5 office jobs, hence I’ll need to find a job, again get used to my everyday chores, shave, and certainly will miss the endless nature and freedom of Alaska.
There certainly are some signs that I’m suffering from a severe case of adventure withdrawal symptom.
Reverse culture shock
Normally, a culture shock hits us when we travel to far destinations, or do things we never dared before…but after some time, these things start to become normal. When coming back home, we face the same culture shock, but this time in reverse.
Not having to paddle everyday seems weird, after teaching in Kenya having electricity, not having to dig for my water, and not being covered in flees felt awkwardly weird (but in a pleasant way).
Adapt back to rules
Again adapting to regular traffic regulations after driving from Czech republic to Mongolia in a tiny shitty car was quite a hassle. Like come on, you could easily fit 4 cars driving next to each other in these 2 lanes.
Some things not only feel weird, we also have to adapt back to certain rules if we don’t want to be fined, and end up in prison. Yea, like trying to bribe police officers for example.
Food seems terrible expensive
I just love Asian food. Hence, when back at home, I want to eat the same while travelling and thereby re-live my experience, but damn,…it’s hard to pay 3 to 4 times as much for your favourite dish then what you are used to.
(Coming back from Switzerland or Iceland had the contrary effect.)
Swahili for No. Too expensive. After trying to explain to a kenyan merchant that being white doesn’t mean you’re rich and can’t buy him a motorbike (jep, someone working at the airport actually wanted me to buy him a motorbike), pledging that you’re just a poor student and some more bargainingg, paying regular price just feels strangely absurd. Rumours are, that 3 hours on a Turkish market are equivalent to 5 ECTS in applied micro economics
Hence, next time when you’re in a shop in your home town remember not to flick at the cashier clerk to tell him these prices are crazy. They might not react the same as Mustafa did in his carpet shop.
Electricity. Running water. Other humans.
The most simple things suddenly seem amazing. Just press a button, there is light, turn on the tap, fresh water, and even small towns feel terribly overcrowded. Unfortunately, I made the experience us feeling grateful for the most basic things (which are sheer luxury too lots of others), doesn’t last too long.
Normal life seems boring
“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” – Michael Palin
You know what I’m talking about. Right after getting back to your everyday life, you’re craving to get going again. Normal life just feels so much more boring.
You can’t stand shallow negative Smalltalk anymore
Let’s be honest, most everyday conversations are boring, and somehow rotate around our job, and what our job title is. On the road, you meet likeminded travellers, with whom you could spend ages sitting around a camp fire, philosophy about anything until dawn, and still get the feeling you just talked for some minutes.
What about you?
What are your experiences with adventure withdrawal symptom :)?
P.s: Yes, of course we caught some fish!