A friend asked me a question the other day, and as I thought about how to answer, I realised it was going to be a very long response. The question was:
Because you have traveled so much, do you feel less “at home” each time you return?
My first thoughts were; cool, she thinks l’ve traveled a lot! Then mixed feeling about calling Auckland home – I’m in the process of finding a new home. Then thinking that each time I up-route my life and move countries, makes it easier to move again. Lots of thoughts were racing through my head.
There’s always that time straight after a trip, when you’re trying to settle back in, when the memories are still strong and your old routine seems bland in comparison. Especially if nothing has changed when you come home – no new job or dramatic change. I definitely struggled after a 3 week trip up Western Australia. Back to the same job with the same repetitive tasks. Post-holiday blues do exist.
I found a way around this by having my holiday between moving countries! A little dramatic, but you no longer get post-holiday blues, because you’re thinking about getting work and where to live and how to get from A to B.
When I first moved overseas to London, there was plenty of uncertainty and fear. Questions of:
I felt homesick and unsure once the novelty wore off. But I met other travellers, formed close relationships and they became my substitute family. Eventually it started to feel like my home. There’s always that fear just before a big change, but so far it’s worked out for me, and if it doesn’t work, it’s really not the end of the world. Just move back home.
better to try and fail than never to try at all
I’ve now moved countries quite a few times, and find the more I do it, the easier it becomes. Learning how to pack up my life and what to keep or discard. I don’t become too attached to items – like my new sofa in Melbourne I only owned for 6 months… it was a nice sofa. I’m about to embark on another purge, and put my wardrobe, bed base and bedside table online to sell. This move is a little less extreme, as I’m staying in the country, but moving from a house to a caravan. I will need to be brutal with my things.
Unfortunately, I suspect I now love the thrill of a big move. Some people do extreme sport for the adrenaline rush. I seem to quit my job and move or visit the harder countries for the thrill. I’m now aware that if nothing has changed when I get home after a great trip, then I will get post-holiday blues. My tip is to organise something new and different soon after, whether it’s a bungee jump or starting a new project in the house.
I’m currently living in Auckland and honestly, didn’t plan on living back here. I moved from Melbourne to Auckland for my family, and have tried to settle back here twice, but it doesn’t fit me any more. I keep comparing it to the other places I’ve been and start missing them. I keep planning great escapes to exotic destinations. I feel like Auckland is no longer the right fit for me… I just don’t know where my new home should be!
The grand plan is to try and find it. Move around New Zealand, on the hunt for my future home. Keep moving until I find that perfect fit.
You might be thinking, Why stay in New Zealand? My family is here and I’ve realised they need a bit more help than can be done on an occasional visit.
So, the question wasn’t so simple. After traveling and living overseas, my home can easily change. The more I’ve traveled the easier it is to make a big change. When asked “do you feel less at home each time you return” the answer is yes, I feel less at home the more I’ve experienced different places.
How would you answer the question? Do you get post-holiday blues? How do you deal with it? I’d love to read your comments below!