Posted by The SoleSisters on -
We all talk about how travel can change your life. I often share life lessons from months I've spent traveling. But there's something that we rarely speak about.
Only travelers sitting at the airport lounge with return ticket in hand, backpack full of mementos, tears in their eyes and heart overladen with memories know the awful truth: about how travel can ruin your life.
And it doesn't matter if your trip lasted a few weeks, a month or a year. You've already caught the bug. And you will forever be tormented. By the feeling of seawater slipping through your fingers as the boat speeds up. By the smell of spices mingling together at a local market. By the sweet taste of coconut juice after a morning swim.
You will never feel at home again. As soon as you set your foot in the door to your house or apartment, you will soon realize that everything feels different. Taking a warm shower or sleeping in a comfy bed may seem a bit strange. Having more than 10 pieces of clothing to choose from will perplex you. And that's just for starters. Normal everyday conversations will soon bore you. Why does food taste so bland? And why is everything so dirty- or conversely, so clean?
Everything will pale in comparison. Indian food won't taste the same outside of India. Taking a train with cramped, wooden seats through the countryside in Myanmar will leave you with more stories and images than any air-conditioned tram. You will feel depressed just looking at the familiarly mundane landscape again. You will long for century-old temples, long stretches of white sand and even just an open sky!
You will stop yourself from describing a country as "cheap", knowing fully well how many of its own citizens can hardly afford the most basic necessities. You realize that for the cost of your American style breakfast, a local family can eat for a day.
Yes, travel can ruin your life. But it does so much more than that.
Travel will strip you of your ego. It will make you question who you really are. You will find yourself, only to lose yourself. And in the end, it's all just labels anyway. Even the word traveler fails to describe what you have become and what you continue to be. You will stop doing things to attract attention or find significance. You will do it just because.
"I've seen worse. I've been through worse. I can hack through this. I can always rebuild myself."
Ruined for life,
Sole Sister Lois
*Cover photo credit: Tommy Schultz Photography
Lois is the Editor-in-Chief of the female travel blog wearesolesisters.com. When she's not having adventures around the globe, she can be found surfing, surfing someone's couch or giving motivational workshops and retreats.
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