There's another side to travel that people who don't do it often, don't really know about....coming home.
Reverse culture shock is an actual thing. After being on the road, or getting used to a country's way of life, there is an adjustment period that takes place when you arrive back 'home'.
There's an unspoken bond among travellers, those who truly have it as a lifestyle for a period of time. We get the idea and understand the inevitable stress related to attaching and detaching to a place. When we come home, there is a psychological adjustment that has to take place.
When home, though most people from the outside see it as the place where you can chill, it's mentally chaotic for a little while. Varying side effects can include anxiety, depression (raises hand), feelings of being in a dream, disconnection from that once normal, disgust for that once normal, loneliness, and paranoia at all the new people who have popped up out of your ass apparently curious to see what you've been up to. It's a mind fuck. Apparently mine has been conjured up along with the holiday spirit.
What has me the most warped right now is that I realize that of those people that I consider to be best friends...people I can do the ugly cry in front of, yet still love me in the morning, about 95% of those people are scattered around the world. It's a bit of a hard pill to swallow, especially in New York. I always say New York has one of the highest populations of a city in America, yet you can feel like the lonliest soul walking these streets sometimes.
I don't run in a pack. Extrovert with very introverted tendencies. Yet, I miss the allure of friends. Of all the places I've been, New York is probably where I spend the most time by myself. The photo above shows what was nearly an every weekend occurance when I lived in Japan. Thailand...shit I lived in a house with five other people, enough said. Even my small bouts of time in other countries, you mingle and have a good time with people on that same personal journey as you. I find the hardest struggle in this area to be when I'm home. My phone can not ring.
Acquaintances and networks are one thing. But when you need substance, you need your friends. So my heart reaches out to Ferndale, Michigan; Calhoun, Louisiana; Madrid, Spain; London, UK; Niigata, Japan;Sydney, Australia, as well as New Rochelle, Yonkers, Bronx, and Poughkeepsie.
It's sinking in...I'm really home.