There’s bound to be a point in your life when you find yourself no longer travelling. You could be taking a break for a while and earning some cash before your next big trip, or you could have just come home from your big trip and decided it’s time to settle down. Whatever your situation is, trying to survive without this guide could prove to be fatal.
Going from being the master of the world to a 9-to-5 civilian over night will cause the brain to spontaneously combust. This is fact. To avoid this happening to you, you need to make the transition slowly. I’ve survived the process of ‘winding down’ after travelling and now I’m taking it day by day before departing on my next big trip. Following these tried and tested methods in everyday situations throughout the week will guarantee you a safe transition back in to every day society.
Situation: It’s highly unlikely that you’ll finish your travels in an area where you can’t speak the language. Going from using your hands and various facial expressions to try and explain to the shop attendant what you want to simply asking for it in your own language will be a major shock to the system.
Effect: Your brain won’t be able to handle the fluidity of the conversation and could possibly switch off your ability to speak all together. This could lead to major problems in the future.
Cure: Every now and again pretend you can’t speak the same language as the shop attendant. Act confused and speak to them in very broken English (or another language if necessary). This will fool the brain in to thinking you are still in a foreign country and will allow it to gradually get used to the fact you’re at home.
Situation: You’ve spent the past few months sleeping on the most uncomfortable mattresses in hostels around the world in rooms with at least 4 other people, but now you’ve returned home you’ve got a comfortable double bed in an empty and quiet room.
Effect: Without being woken up by other drunken travellers stumbling in throughout the night your brain will fail to wake you at all. You’ll be driven in to an eternal sleep and wind up living with 7 dwarfs.
Cure: Sleep on the floor while a war movie plays on your laptop. The familiar noises will soothe the brain in to thinking you’re still on the road. The floor won’t be as uncomfortable as hostel beds but it’s the closest thing possible.
Situation: For the past few months your pallet has consisted of 2-minute microwavable noodles and other basic necessities. Now that you’re earning you’ll be able to afford other luxuries such as…well anything that isn’t going to corrode your insides over time.
Effect: If you start eating too healthy too fast your body won’t know what to do. It will retain EVERYTHING you eat and you could see your weight balloon until you eventually explode. This is definitely one of the messiest side effects of not travelling.
Cure: Eat healthy every other day. On the days you’re not eating healthy, fill meals with chocolate bars, microwaveable meals and of course bucket loads of alcohol.
Situation: We’ve all had those days where you’ve had no access to proper wash facilities or when you have had access to them then the water has been too cold to enjoy it.
Effect: Having unlimited access to a warm shower can lead to you to stand under the water for hours on end. This will cause you to shrivel up beyond normal and could result in you looking like an ancient Egyptian mummy that’s just been dug up.
Cure: During the shower switch the water to cold every few minutes. This will bring you back in to reality and should be enough to stop you from staying there too long.
Situation: For some of us, the only ‘work’ on our travels was making sure the blog was up to date and re-organising the backpack every now and again.
Effect: With the brain rewired in to thinking that this is what a hard day’s work consist of, when you do finally get a job you will spend your days reorganising your desk draws and sending posts on Twitter. Unless you’re getting paid to do this, your boss won’t be very happy and you could find it hard to keep yourself employed.
Cure: Unfortunately this aspect of travelling is terminal. Once you’ve experienced a life of freedom and fun there’s no going back. The brain cannot recover from such an experience and will only long for more. The only advice I can give to you is to find a job within the travel industry and keep living the dream.
These are only the basic essentials to rehabilitation. For other situations you will have to use that intuitive brain of yours that managed to take you around the world to tackle the situations you’re faced with. Please let myself and other travellers know of your experiences and cures in the comment section below.
If at any point during this process your head starts burning uncontrollably then you must book yourself on the next flight out. Your body simply isn’t ready to give up travelling just yet and requires at least a few more months of freedom. Good luck.