Life after Travel; Returning to ‘Normal’ Life


When I returned home after 19 months of travel, I was told by many people that I’d find it hard to ‘settle’. Everyone told me I’d have itchy feet within a couple of weeks and I’d be bored with the routine of normality.

In all honesty, I was expecting to feel like this too, but I’m pleased to say that I’m starting to enjoy the comforting feeling of a ‘normal’ life.

There are a few ‘normal’ things that are taking a while to get used to. Strangely, these are the things that I never thought twice about while I was at home, but now I feel like a complete alien doing them.

Some things, like shoes, are taking a bit of getting used to. There are somethings that I have now realised I can live without, like make-up and the latest fashions. And there are some things that I have made me realise how lucky I am, like a fridge full of food and clean, hot water.

I feel like I’m being spoilt with the basic things that I used to consider to be human necessities and I really hope that I never take things for granted again. If travel has taught me anything, it has taught me that I am one lucky lady.

The things that now feel strange….

1. Wearing shoes, and even worse….wearing socks!
I think I wore trainers 3 times while I was away and I spent the rest of the time in flip flops, or ‘thongs’ as I began calling them in Oz. I love wearing my snuggily Ugg boots now I’m home but everything else  feels so tight on my toes. I wore heels for the first time on Saturday and I could barely stand up!

2. Having a Mobile Phone
Everyone must think I’m bonkers because every time my phone rings it makes me jump like its a fire alarm. I also get overly excited by text messages! I did have a phone while I was travelling but I think it rang about once a month, now it rings ALL the time!

3. Being up to date with current trends like music and soaps.
My friends still find it hilarious when a new celeb crops up in our conversation and I’ll say something like, ‘Jessie J? Did we got to school with her…?’ I was ecstatic this morning when a song came on the radio that I could sing along to but I just can’t get back into the soaps, especially Hollyoaks, who is everyone!?

4. Hot showers…every single day!
This is an absolute luxury that I can enjoy every single morning and night, and sometimes in the afternoon, just because I can!

5. Being Cold
Being cold is something you get used to in the UK but its something I haven’t experienced for over 2 years. It is taking me a while to acclimitize and I’m wrapped up like an eskimo while everyone else is in shorts.

6. Tea with Milk in it
Us Brits love a good old cup of tea but it took me a while to get used to drinking it with milk in it!

7. Having ‘Stuff’
Sorry if this one is a bit general but I haven’t had ‘stuff’ for so long. This included anything that can’t be fit into a purposeful category. I have loads of bags, shoes, books, jewellery, make-up, clothes etc. I have no idea what to do with all this ‘stuff’ and I’ve already taken bags full to the charity shop.

8.Using a towel
A real fluffy towel. This is another little luxury that is still fabulously strange.

9. Sleeping in the same bed every night
I know I’m incredibly lucky to have this but it is actually kind of boring. No more waking up in the night and wondering where I am.

10. Speaking to everyone in English.
Even after two weeks, I want to say kob kun krab rather than thank you.

Did anyone else have any strange things it took them a while to get used to? Please let me know if you did and how you got over it!

  1. Jaime 10 years ago

    >Im glad to read someones take on being home and it not being hard. It does seem like everyone says it is going to be hard, but in reality I don't think it could be that hard. Every reason you listed is such a great reason to be home. I cam home after 3.5mths on the road and it was simple, Im leaving for the remainder of my RTW trip in a week and will be gone about 20 months so who knows how I feel when I get back from that, but don't think it will be that back. 

  2. TotalTravelBug 10 years ago

    >Thanks for your comment Jaime. I'm not going to lie, sometimes it was hard but your priorities have to change at some point and you always have to focus on the positiv which it sounds like you will.
    Wow, another 20 months of travel, sounds amazing! Can't pretend I'm not massively jealous!!

  3. wegotogether 10 years ago

    >Nice list, curious how I'll feel once I get back to Amsterdam!
    (Btw, why are you using the male version of saying 'thank you' in Thai? 😉 )

  4. Bob Crunch 10 years ago

    >Great article. It takes me awhile to get back to the old grind after traveling for just a week, so I can't imagine what you must be going through.

  5. TotalTravelBug 10 years ago

    >Thanks Bob. It was tough at first but I think its important to give yourself new things to look forward too. Now I've got some great things going on it isn't so bad!

  6. […] and wrote my familiar home address across the envelope – a short address that brought back warm and happy memories.  I was already looking forward to reading the journal as an old lady, reliving my Aussie […]

  7. Bliss Diva 9 years ago

    *relaterelaterelate* I just got back from Australia a month ago, and already I’m bouncing off the walls. It’s taking me some time to getting used to being in Alaska again!

    • TheTravelHack 9 years ago

      Yes, it takes a while unfortunately and I don’t think the travel bug ever goes away. Alaska must be pretty amazing though!

  8. Terry Dobbins 9 years ago

    been back a week and a bit I can’t get use to the greyness and the lack of hanging out with new interesting people constantly. And not being able to hitchhike ^^

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may like

In the news
Load More