I’ve tried writing this post on travel depression numerous times at this point and can’t come up with something that satisfies me. Everything that has been coming out is, “Woe is me” type of stuff.
For anybody that has backpacked or traveled in a similar fashion they would understand. They’ve been there, they’ve had those experiences.
For a large other majority they may read this and think, “Shut the hell up, you were traveling for a month, you should be happy with that so deal.”
Let me explain with an example about ice cream…
Let’s say that you love chocolate chip ice cream. You grew up with it. I mean, it’s fricken vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips in it. It has to be the greatest damn ice cream you’ve ever known and had.
Every week you go to the local ice cream place which has vanilla, chocolate and chocolate chip. What else do you need right?
Now, there is a rumor going around that there is another ice cream shop. In fact this other cream shop claims to have more flavors. We’re talking 31 flavors, Baskin Robbins status! Your mind is blown right now…more ice cream varieties…
What do you do? You go straight to your local ice cream spot and ask about it right?
The local ice cream place tells you,
“Why would you even want to go when you have your vanilla, chocolate and chocolate chip right here? Your favorite ice cream is chocolate chip, that’s all you’ll ever need. Plus, who knows what kind of flavors they have and what they put in them. You probably wouldn’t like it. In fact, it’s probably not even good for you. Mixing that many ingredients can’t be healthy. For all you know they use different milk that will get you sick. In fact, I’m sure it will get you sick. It’s not going to be good and you’ll waste your time, your money and get sick in the process. You said it yourself why go over there when you have your favorite chocolate chip ice cream right here?”
You get your favorite chocolate chip ice cream and head out, they’re probably right, after all, this is your favorite ice cream…
But wait a second… what if they’re wrong? What if you don’t get sick? What if the different flavors aren’t bad? Maybe there is some other ice cream you like more.
You decide you want to see what it’s about…
You walk in to see a stupid amount of ice cream flavors: chocolate, vanilla, chocolate chip, strawberry, cookies and cream, pistachio almond, birthday cake, rocky road, strawberry short-cake, bubblegum, mint chocolate chip, butter pecan!
What the hell is this place, you’re in ice cream heaven! Now guess who’s there? Some other curious people, just like you, who came to try some different ice creams. They’re saying, “we’ve been waiting for you to work up the courage to come here, now you gotta try this butter pecan, it’s f-ing phenomenal.”
As soon as you taste it, chocolate chip leaves your number one spot. But wait, right when you think butter pecan is awesome, someone else has you try their birthday cake and ice cream. What the crap…ice cream and birthday cake together…it’s love.
It gets better… you arrive to the counter after making these new friends and after you tell the clerk what flavor you want, his response is, “regular cone or waffle cone”.
There are other cones that you can try with these ice creams. You may as well just shit your pants right now. How the hell does this exist..
Want to know the best part? The ice cream selection was more than what you anticipated and you never got sick. It wasn’t a waste of money and you never regretted it.
Fast forward to some time in the future…
Something happened and turns out your favorite ice cream place closed… Now you’re back to your old favorite chocolate chip ice cream at your safe and convenient ice cream shop with people who are content with just that.
Only now you realize that you’re not that chocolate chip person anymore. And the same people that you see happy and content at the local ice cream place just look and listen to you responding, “You’ll be fine, after all why would you want to ever try another ice cream flavor when you have chocolate, vanilla and chocolate chip right here?”
Traveling isn’t for everybody, backpacking isn’t for everybody, other countries aren’t for everybody. I acknowledge that. I’m not like most people at least I didn’t think so…
I met people from around the world who share my curiosity and love of life. Most all of those people, the places where they came from, are filled with others who are the same way.
I’ve been back for two weeks and am having a hard time. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Colorado and where I live. I’ve already been up to the mountains a few times. I’ve gone on long winding drives listening to my favorite tunes. I’ve rekindled my love affair with my longboard and have been cruising and carving local streets and hills. I love this place. I can easily see myself living here for some time.
I put on a smile every day, I don’t force it, and I go to work and hang out with my friends. My job involves some of my hobbies and I still love that. Everything is the same, except for me.
I’ve tried talking to some friends about it and get the, “you’ll be fine, stop bragging about the world” comment.
It’s not the world that I want to talk or brag about, it’s the people.
It’s not the fact that I’m not going on another backpacking stint for a while that has me feeling like this, it’s that I don’t have very many people that I can relate to.
There are still others in this town that made the leap to try some different ice cream. I’m friends with some and just trying to find some others.
It’s funny talking to the people that have traveled. Not all of them but some of them. I’ll start to say something about how I feel and they just cut me off. They smile and just say, “yeah, I know, it’s rough but it gets better.”
I’ll be fine, I hate being all “woe is me” about it.
I just want to get back to where I can talk about ice cream with others who feel the same way. For all of those that are still stuck on that chocolate chip stuff, I just want to shake em, tell them to take a risk and do and try something else for once.
We live this life one time.
Try a new ice cream, you might like it ;)