6 things I’m NOT looking forward to when I return home
After about 10 months away from the United States my grand return is finally approaching. In less than 2 weeks I will be back for an indefinite period and to be honest I’m really looking forward to the comforts of my own childhood home and my own bed for a little while. However, there are certainly things I’m really, really not looking forward to about being back in the states after 4 or so enjoyable months on the road and 6 or so less enjoyable ones living in Thailand.
1. Everything will be expensive
With a few rare exceptions, namely Salzburg and Istanbul, I’ve been really enjoying how affordable this trip has been. I budgeted a little more than $3,000 dollars (including my flight home) and with less than a month remaining, have managed to stay well within that budget given the places I’ve been and the distances I’ve covered. I will look fondly back at paying less than $2 for a good beer when I am back in the states paying $6-8 for a crappy one. I will not be happy about paying $2.75 for a slice of good pizza when the I could get a whole small pizza for the same price in Poland or Armenia. And I know for a fact that $10 won’t buy me nearly as many groceries as I enjoyed for the same price in Serbia.
2. Doctors appointments
While traveling I’ve inevitably been slightly neglecting of my own health and I’m just not excited to go multiple doctors and tell me things I don’t want to hear. I’m sure I’m generally still healthy and it won’t be that bad, but I’d rather stay blissfully ignorant if I’m being honest.
3. Getting back into shape
Sure I’ve been a very active walker during my few months traveling, but I probably couldn’t run to the end of my street and back right now without being out of breath. The problem I have when traveling is that the space (and motivation) for fitness is seldom available. The other problem is I drink a lot of beer. Needless to say I have some work to do when I get home.
4. Not meeting new people
For me, the best part about traveling is being able to sit down in a bar somewhere and strike up a conversation with the stranger next to you. I’m not saying there aren’t places to meet people in my small suburban hometown, but something tells me those chance encounters with random travelers from the far corners of the earth are less likely at home. There’s a certain camaraderie and an instant icebreaker when you’re a traveler meeting other travelers or a lost tourist at a bus stop looking for help from the locals. Back home in my residential suburb that spirit of companionship probably won’t be the same as when I’m on the road.
5. Trying to explain my travels
I know I’m really going to wish I had kept up this blog more when my friends and relatives are asking me to tell them about my trip. The truth is, as many a traveler knows, the question, “So, how was your trip?” simply cannot be answered with some stories and pictures. Trying to explain the moments and people that make traveling so special is like trying to explain pitch to a tone-deaf person or color to a blind man. Without being there and experiencing those moments with your own senses, understanding those stories is simply not possible. I know from past experiences that people will inquire and I will do my best but my answers will come up short and leave neither me nor my audience quite satisfied.
Ultimately this could be the reason I will leave again. It was easy to avoid political discussions while traveling, because many travelers also avoid the subject. Having been blissfully removed from the goings-on in the states and with this historic and horrific election cycle, it will be interesting in the worst kind of way to be thrown back into it.