Returning to reality is hard after travelling.
When I stepped off the plane on Monday after a seriously long flight, seventeen hours non-stop from Vancouver to Sydney (one of the longest in the world), I was delighted to be swamped by the Aussie accent in all its glory having gotten used to the United State’s mixing pot of dialects. It didn’t last long as it faded into familiarity, but it was the equivalent of a brisk hug, a welcome home that left me at ease and erased the constant strain of figuring out what on earth we had to do next.
In one month we’d caught an impossible amount of buses, trains, taxis, ferries and eight flights (including one on April Fool’s “Welcome to Flight AS2450 to Maui…I mean Vancouver”). We were constantly on the move: different cities, different rooms, different everything. And the U.S and Canada are familiar enough to be comfortable yet different enough to be uncanny so it felt as if we’d been pushed slightly off balance all the time.
After our flight home, three trains and a short walk later, we were digging out the house key from the bottom of one of our bags and inhaling the stuffiness of a house that had been closed up for far too long. Windows and doors were opened, showers were had and dirty washing piled up for tomorrow in a corner. Everyone we knew was at work. It was midday and it still felt like we were not quite home yet, just visitors in a space we’d long carved out for ourselves. At 1pm we stretched out on the bed for just a minute and woke up at 2am. Yeah, no one misses jet lag…ever.
So the first day back home doesn’t really count as you’re so relieved to be back in a place you actually know how to navigate with access to wi-fi. Sweet, sweet wifi. Day two you’re still joyously caught up with all that’s happened and you’re bubbling over with all the stories you want to tell, not to mention photos to show, that you’re half way down the rabbit hole of yet another absolutely insane story of how you climbed that volcano in Greece or you out ran that bull in Spain when you realise your audience has gone one of two ways: eyes glazed as they nod accordingly or mouth twisted as they listen with ever growing jealously, edging towards hate. Okay, so maybe hate is too strong a word. Annoyance maybe. Or at least frustration that whilst you were off having a trip of a life time, they were at home doing what they normally do, day in day out, with nothing new to tell.
A world that you’ve just returned back to and have yet to come down off the buzz of travel to realise that whilst you were away, life carried on in its steady, plodding way.
Day three, day four, and every day after, you settle back into routine. At work serving customers I think of how only days ago I was skiing along the edge of control and complete “I’m-so-going-to-die” down the snowy slopes of Whistler, Canada and now…now I’m stocking shelves.
The last month feels like a dream and if it weren’t for my partner, the photos we took and the extra few kilos I’m carrying, I’d suspect it hadn’t happened at all.
Holidays are like birthdays. Everyday can’t be your birthday otherwise it wouldn’t be all that special. They are a way of marking time. Whilst reality can sometime suck, (and I can’t help but think how this is all such a first world problem!) there’s no reason why I can’t be having adventures in my everyday life. Adventures that are a little closer to home and mean I sleep in my own bed at night. But a small part of me knows that routine breeds boredom whilst digging a rut that’s almost impossible to climb out of. Remember, dig up!