(Bubble burst, reality smack! – Originally posted Sept 2016 on my free wordpress site https://thebackpackingbubble.wordpress.com/ )
Adjusting to normal life is hard!
I can’t speak for every backpacker out there – But the ones I know, the blogs I’ve read all share a common feeling – coming back home like a massive comedown; Actually more like somebody took a knife and punctured through the magical bubble only a backpacker knows – bubble burst, reality smacks.
The weird thing though, my bubble started to pierce, not when I returned back to England but when I was coming to the end of my last trip in South America. It wasn’t the realization that the trip was ending and I was dreading coming home. The truth is, I reached and hit a brick wall traveling. OK you may laugh, you may say “How can you even feel that, no real backpacker would say that?” You may even question my desire and love for backpacking but the reality is It’s something that took me by surprise and just hit me.
6 years of travel.
For 6 years I have constantly been on the move, backpacking, traveling, living, partying and working my way from country to country. I’ve rode the crest of the wave immersed in this alternate reality that comes with traveling; I’ve truly been living in a bubble.
Since that first day I stepped onto Australian soil, never did I ever think ‘one day i’ll get fed up of this.’ In fact my thought process was ‘I will do this forever, It’s my dream and I’ll never get tired of traveling and seeing the world.’ When friends and family asked me “When are you going to settle, when will you stop?” My answer was always a resonate “Never! I love what I do, I will see every inch of this planet because that’s what living is. It’s not sitting in four walls working all day and paying bills all my life. I am a free-bird that needs to fly” …That I thought would be how I live my life until I die.
I wanted to go home.
Then the unthinkable happened; the straw broke the camels back. Maybe it was the tiredness of packing my bag yet again, moving yet again, another long distance overnight journey. Or another sweaty B.O stinking bus with broken air con, yet another hostel, saying goodbye to those friends that turned into family after only a few days of knowing them. It could have been the recycling of going through the motions of “How long you been traveling? Which way you going? Where have you been before? Blah blah blah” It could have been any combination of these things. When that wall hit all I wanted to do was get on a plane land in England and eat a real bacon sandwich.
And boy did I enjoy that savoring taste of a real pig in my mouth, not American style streaky bacon, not thin strips of bull bacon but real bacon. I was back in England; blistery, grey,wet England had never looked better. Backpacking was over for me and I came to the conclusion I was over it. In my 30’s now, I’m too old to backpack and stay in hostels.
I had roamed free for 6 years and now I needed to settle and do what grown ups do. I’ve accomplished so many things, seen and done things most people only dream of – experienced the wildest parties, got drunk and high with the best of them, seen wonders of the world, jumped out of planes, dove in gorgeous seas and met incredible people.
So here I was, back home over my backpacking life, it was time to become an adult and adjust back to normality with all these ideas in my head…’Get a job, save money, learn to drive, get my own place, buy all mod cons and do what is deemed normal by society…
…5 months on – Fuck that – I don’t want normality!!! I need a job for one reason only – To get me out of here … I want my bubble back! The backpacker inside me is not dead and done for he’s alive and wants to roam the world again…Forever!