The Hardest Part of Travelling

This piece was not written by myself but I couldn’t have said it better. The words epitomise a strong undercurrent I have been feeling for a while. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, that yearning I still feel five months after completing my trip.

If you’ve ever traveled extensively or taken a journey into the unknown, welcome to the group of lost individuals who will never be truly understood.  Read below…

You can stay up to date with my adventures right here – FacebookTwitter or Instagram @sharkydillon or see my videos of Africa on YouTube


The Hardest Part of Travelling that No One Talks About by Kellie Donnelley


747 Comments on “The Hardest Part of Travelling

  1. I agree with the article, travelling will only give you temporary happiness.

      • Totally agree with you. Sure, travelling has its challenges too, but 80% of the time I’m happy as hell! I’ve been back home now for almost 2 years and I’m miserable 80% of the time. It’s not really getting much easier. I’ve tried thinking about things differently, tried to change my outlook on life back home. Told myself that I should try to find happiness here as well, but even though I have found mild content with being back home, the prospect of packing my bags and leaving pops into my head ever so often causing adrenaline and a rush of happiness to run through me. I’ll definitely leave soon again and this time for good I reckon. Good to see the family and friends again, but being busy with “life”, one rarely gets to see friends anyway. I don’t really see them that much more now that I’m back.
        Such a cool article.

    • I agree with H.Hunter! Completely different talk here! Indeed traveling can bring you closer to the spade of permanent happiness-this is how I see it as a traveler! I met my self while traveling and learning to love myself and my surroundings unconditionally! I truly believe this is the way of real happiness that slays forever.

    • Well, to me travelling gave me the hope that even living in a boring land (Netherlands), the possibility to temporary escape is there. A nice release.

  2. Needless to say, i loved this write up. And thousands of others would agree, for, only those with a curiosity to explore the world, will read it.
    I have traveled 19 countries. And i can no longer point at one place as home. Each place i visited felt like home. And the hometown where i was born into, seems like a strange place, thats frozen in some time period i cannot relate to.
    Cheers to fellow globe trotters! may we keep doing the rounds of this extremely beautiful world!

    • me, its 67 countries. the is no “home” per se. home is where my toothbrush is!!!

      • I don’t know exactly how many countries I have visited but many cultures were included. For me home means where my family is. Of course as a globe trotter you get comfy at any place. But if you have a good relaxation to your family parents brothers and sister and I know, the real home can’t be somewhere else!

        I think this feeling of being lost relates to the feeling of lovesickness (wanderlust)

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I am going home again after two years between Australia and Asia and although I’m happy of seeing everyone again, I am scared of the “after party”. Cheers to all fellow globetrotters!

  3. The pain that i am in now is the happiness that i had before… i have traveled to 50 Countries and my pain grows with the time, but at point i reached no where, an emptiness, i lost the taste of it (traveling), the urge of developing your self and the stress from the community and people around you makes you less than the others. its a one way ticket…its either the life you chose to live, or the live you were born in. bottom line is….


  4. It’s refreshing to see that I’m not alone. I’ve travelled to nearly 50 countries myself. I’ve been back in my hometown for the past 10 years now, and still trying to find my place. Travelling changed me so much. I have a hard time finding motivation and passion in work. Work just seems so meaningless, a means to an end. yet it seems to be the most important thing for everyone around me; money, image etc.
    Those years travelling was the best time in my life. Everything pales in comparison. The things I saw, felt, experienced and the bonds I forged with people were truly real. I grew closer to people within a couple months than others who I’ve known my whole life. True human connections. It’s sad that such connections are unavailable back home.
    I still travel often, but nothing like before. These days it’s more vacationing rather than travelling.
    I’m trying to find that balance between securing my future financially and living as I did.
    I feel like I’ve been to the moon and I’ll never be that high again.

    • Every young person, preferably starting at around 18 should get out there and experience this incredible world, its wondrous sites, and its truly magnificent people. Nothing can replace what is gained from such adventures into the unknown. The new experiences and the multitude of people we meet on the path give us new perspectives and insight into life’s true colors, which become more vivid than ever before. We begin to understand that we are all basically the same, and begin to develop a healthy compassion for all. It is also true that one can get the bug, making it become the most important thing in life, but there comes a time as we get on in years when we realize that we have perhaps been holding on to that lifestyle a bit too long. When that happens, we often find ourselves unable to find firm ground, seemingly like a boat without a rudder and no direction to point to. This happens because we often don’t notice when the best-before date arrives. Once past this point many people feel, while reminiscing about those carefree adventurous good old days, that they can’t find that level of happiness anywhere else. Happiness is only a temporary thing when we look for it outside of ourselves. Change is inevitable and everything comes and goes. The only way happiness can be permanent is if it comes from within. You have to take what you learned, and share it by applying yourself in the way only you can. You are a unique individual that can only discover what your purpose in life is if you let go of the emotion of the past, and aim it in the direction of your talents, strengths, and interests. If you do that, you will soon feel the excitement growing and a new adventure presenting itself.

      • I agree with this. Travelling is a unique experience, and it’s quite necessary to travel, especially when we are young, but happiness should be found inside, and the inner trip is worth it, it’s rewarding. It helps you to find your strength, your talents, and you can be happy whenever you are.

      • @BOB This is completely spot on. Thank you for finding the words I’ve been struggling to find. Could not have put it any better.

    • Beautifully written. I feel the same. I know it’s time to think of saving some money and having a financial plan. I never thought about that much when I was young… but I wish if I had no bills and I can get a job when I return to just backpack here and there! It’s so liberating to connect with people even when we have little to no words!

  5. I have been traveling for more than 7 years, lived in two countries and so far I loved it but I don’t really care if other people see/understand if I change or not, thats something very personal… I did not like the article since it reveals that you need other people to understand you that you changed ( your mind changed)….my question is why do you need someone else to understand this ??? travel is about learn, explore and grow up as a person and go through awesome experiences and get know a lot of people and different cultures on the way. but I don’t have the need to show off that I change or something change in my mind…and also I wont mind to come back home…I am still living abroad and I really miss my friends/family/daily life of my country…….just my opinion 🙂

    keep traveling !!

    • i feel the same way as you! i like travelling but i do not feel the urge to tell people what i experienced. travelling is just about you, that is the beautiful thing about it. you don’t need to post pictures to tell everyone what you see. blablabla 🙂 i also being happy to be back, and maybe one day i will go away. have a good life you

    • Agreed! I don’t need anyone to know and I don’t care to explain to everyone the complicated ways in which I feel I’ve changed. What others can recognize is the ways that I interact differently in situations and with people than I did before. That’s really all that’s important, is that I know I’ve changed and hopefully others can see I am better for it.

  6. I traveled for 25 years across the globe and in that time I went home to my own house two times and no I couldn’t settle. Well I could settle and I kept coming back to Nepal which felt like home in the end I ended up in Kopan monastery Kathmandu Nepal, that changed me 100%. I left Kopan returned home, sold everything even my Z3 BMW and became the mortgage broker for my own house and took off back to Nepal realising I would never return to my home country.
    What I discovered was i had changed so much that I actually no longer wanted to live in a western culture dead zone with all the trappings of western life and maybe I never did….The bliss of a stress free life, even the earthquake here was easier to deal with than the western dead zone… I was looking for a community a real community to be a part and part of the real life dramas being played out every day on the street and around where I live, which I can be party to or not. I can go to a coffee shop or restaurant and chat with people I mean really converse with those around me. I can swim in a river or lake no permit nessary, I can walk and on that walk is life it self in all its magical colours.
    In the west no one looks at you really looks at you and smiles. No one openly speaks to you randomly about life the universe and everything. In the west you get up shut your front door, go to work, come home shut your door and watch drama on TV in fact you become addicted to TV dramas. Then go to bed…Maybe you go out once in a while. That talk is all about what you’ve bought new this new that and how drunk or what drugs you took or the holiday you went on and who or how you got laid. You have to pay for everything parking, entertainment, music, concerts, travel etc and I mean pay through the nose for everything. Here it’s 6 hours to Kathmandu and a bus ticket is about £3… A really good meal for two is about £4. Back in the west It’s like being a caged animal in a zoo wrapped up as community. There is no community in the west even the Eastenders have moved out. Community has been taken over by the consumerism state. What is left of the original communities is driven by money or by the old folk waiting to die but you must keep to the rules. Keep off the grass don’t run walk….

    So keep traveling find that place that sets your heart on fire with life in all its splendour…

    • Sounds like you lived a particular way in the western world… your reality is all what you make of it. These are sweeping generalizations and you should be more thoughtful in your suggestions

    • Wow, well wherever you were living in the west must have been really shit but my current village in the UK has a lovely community spirit with friendly people, as did the city I lived in for many years, also in the UK. I’m not keen on this smug ‘western civilisation is so detached and has no conmunity’ attitude that some people seem to develop after travelling. There are good and bad places in every culture, and it kind if comes across like you think you are above everyone else who still lives in western society. And yes, I have travelled to various countries including Nepal.

    • Haha, this is such first-world-problemy bollocks. It sounds like you think you are somehow special and more enlightened than the people back home. Because unless you’ve been travelling you don’t experience any dramatic changes in you life or consciousness, right? Oh, apart from the stuff that happens to people everyday that is totally beyond their control (unlike travelling, which is a choice). Such as – illness, bereavement, assault, infertility, divorce…etc. All these things happen to people everyday and make it harder for them to relate to others who haven’t had our exact experience. It completely changes how people see the world. In fact, every individual’s experience is unique and isolated to an extent, and we can never fully share it with another being. I’ve travelled a fair bit but I can quite honestly say that the events that have happened to me recently have left me feeling more at odds with my surroundings than any travelling could do. It just really irritates me when I see things suggesting some kind of superiority or seperateness because of travel. Bottom line is it’s something you get to do because you are from a privileged society; it’s fun and eye-opening at times but to suggest that other people are just humdrum and lacking in understanding unless they have travelled extensively too is just condescending and a bit elitist. Try opening your eyes to your own culture and looking at the feelings and lives of those around you, sounds like you have written them off.

      • Spot on; this whole article is self indulgent whiny crap, oh I’m so special and different why does no one care about how different and enlightened I am. So allow me to be a tad self indulgent also… Travelling is great fun but thats all it is – fun, when you start banging on about how it changes your outlook on life and all that crap you are an instant bore and probably why no one gives a shit about your travels past one week after you get back, there is nothing special or unique about having a passport and paying for some flights/ships/camels, sorry petal.

        I absolutely loathe these pro traveller types with man buns you always come across on holiday that look down on you because your way of travelling isnt up to their standard i’ve tried staying in these hostels a couple of times but cannot stand the snobby attitude of these enlightened assholes who never actually seemed to be having a good time or fun, bumming around the hostel all day just moaning about lack of funds and bragging/one upping each other about the excursion they actually could afford to go on 6 months ago.

        Also, yeh I guess it sucks when you get back and everyone has jobs and families because they didnt spend the last 6 months basically being a first world bum. Life is tough you have to go to work jobs every day you probably wont like (unless you work/study your ass off so you can do one you enjoy), unfortunately this is not really possible when you cant stay in one place more than a couple of weeks. However your unique travelling experience will allow you to see yourself outside of the consumer trap and if you are smart you can use that to your advantage when you decide to join the work force and not become part of the rat race/perpetual material consumers which I think is what you are against, not actually western society per se although I may be wrong.

        So I guess you have a choice, either participate in the real world and settle down a bit where travelling morphs into a ‘holiday’ or continue a life which actually appears to be quite unfulfilling and empty i’m sure you could admit? and live outside of the western world which actually isnt half bad surely you have seen there are worse systems on your travels?, either way a serious self diagnosis and realignment of priorities are in order a.k.a growing up.

      • Not everyone travels simply because they can afford to! Ask families of army men! Ask families of people whose jobs are “transferable”. Ask those who travel because that is what their career demands of them! Ask those who travel but don’t live in five star hotels and drive luxury cars! I have heard your arguments again and again – you look at the photographs and see only the exotic stories. You don’t see the struggle and often the pain. Please widen your perspective. The old adage about walking a mile in another’s shoes is very true.

      • So agree. I have travelled extensively, to all corners of the world, and loved every minute of it. And come home again to my family, business and friends. I must be getting old because this article, in the past, would have made me feel sad but understanding. Now, after watching 3 children go off for a year/18 months to travel the world, and then see them come back as more thoughtful, less selfish, rounded humans I am so grateful. The only piece of advice I would love to give to this young lady is, get a grip, and grow up. You’re not special, or different. Your thoughts are almost certainly the same as 90% of us travellers. We just don’t bang on about it. I’m sure you’re lovely but stop being self indulgent and clever dicky. And by the way, your travelling has obviously taught you nothing and that I now find sad.

      • Couldn’t agree more. However, I found myself thinking similar thoughts to those penned in the article when I was younger. Over time, I have realised that ‘travelling’, or going on holiday as I prefer to call it these days (length of time away not being a defining factor as far as I’m aware), is far from a unique experience. At any one time, there are millions of people around the World doing similar things as us while we’re abroad. So similar are our experiences, that we can feel instantly close to most people we meet abroad. However, I have also discovered over time that the majority of these encounters are vacuous and consist of the same conversations anywhere around the World – “Where are you from?” “How long have you been travelling for?”, etc.. So bored am I with these conversations that I do not go out if my way to speak to any fellow holidaymakers when I’m away.
        Yes, nothing shapes our perspective on the World more than travel, and it certainly educates, but let’s just see it for what it is. None if us are special or unique for doing it. And very few people are genuinely interested in our stories. I would suggest that you keep your experiences to yourself and move forward with humility on to your next trip.

    • We sold up everything we had in South Africa after 24 years of marriage, and moved to Thailand where I received a teaching position. I really agree with what you said. Here, no one cares about what car you drive. We all rent homes. We don’t look at how people have decorated their homes or what clothes they wear etc. We were also in the rut of work, home, dinner, sleep. We’ll never go back to that again and we’ve never been as happy as we are here. We have no debt and have people around us who are really genuine friends and who come from all over the world. Yes school is stressful because you have to be on the top of your game, but it’s nothing compared to what I had to deal with in SA,. The way of life here is so simple and so uncomplicated. We love every second.

    • Love that you have found a place that gives you total happiness ❤️ Such a rare and beautiful thing!!

    • Amazing words I absolutely relate to. You’re speaking my heart. Thank you 💖

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  8. I absolutely agree and this is why I left again and then became completely nomad. And it’s only that way that, you don’t get the hardest part of travelling anymore, because you never really come back!

    • but do you find peace and joy by only travelling around? Don’t you miss the steadiness and the feeling of having a place to settle down and be sourrouded by family and friends?
      I was wondering about this as I happened to meet some nomads while I’m travelling and though I found their way of living really interesting and stunning I still couldn’t stop wondering about that…

      • I read an article years ago while flying somewhere – don’t remember the title or author, but he worked for National Geographic had been around the world many times over. It was towards the end of his career, sitting around a campfire in a village in the middle of the Amazon. His comment, loosely translated, “I’ve been around the world, having the most amazing adventures and meeting incredible people. But, as I sit here, once again it hits me, the loneliness that travel can impart when we are not surrounded by loved ones.” He was ready to go home and be settled in the “mundane” life of no travel. There is a richness in community, surrounded by family and friends. It is all how we approach it.

  9. What about how your family and friends have changed at home? What about those of your friends that have grown up and had a kid or got married and see their world in a new light, and you don’t get it because you think the only way to live life to the fullest is to travel the world. The friends that have had a baby, started a family and have priorities other than themselves. Why does it have to be about you because you went travelling and saw the world?

    I remember the strange feeling coming back from my travels. It was strange and people didn’t really get what I got from it. Naturally. But unless you’re going to travel forever, coming home and feeling that travel bug bite hit is inevitable. And while it is hard not being understood when it comes to what changed you, there are plenty of people who don’t travel who experience that same thing.

    Let your travels and what you took from them be something you did for yourself. It doesn’t matter if people “get it”. You get it. It changed you and you’re better for it. If you wanna be the shiny new object when returning home then you’re travelling for the wrong reasons.

  10. That’s what happens when you drop out. People move on and start building futures for themselves. The world does not revolve around yourself. No-one is interested in how or what you think more than yourself, and as an adult you have to come to terms with that. Write a dairy, lol. Building relationships is a two way thing as much as a conversation is not just pitting your two Bob bits in but as much as about listening. The travel bug is a slippery slope for lacking confidence in making it in the first world. Put it down to experience and move on, we are fortunate to be able to have this indulgence but be honest about what it is, you took this break for yourself not for anyone else so get on with your life and use your experience to benefit yourself and not repeat your mistakes.

  11. this article is so true. Lived in Mexico for a year and even went back to just have those feelings…but it want the same going back. Not at all.

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  13. Travelling puts you in a high because your detached from all routine everything is in.constant change. There is so much change you can’t develop too much attachment so you.learn to let go increasingly more and more. Society breathes of routine and attachment so you will always feel your most liberated travelling but there is always a place for home. I now work abroad and I have the same struggles I had when at home about attachment and routine except this time I miss my family and friends more than ever. Happiness comes from within and learning to be where makes you the most happy. Jobs create restrictions, routines and attachment, depending on that balance and your attachment or fear related to money dictates how you really feel wherever you are and whatever you do. Having said this, this is my perspective from my personal experience and own set of struggles. I’m sure others see different. Essentially though travel completely transforms predominantly for better no matter what struggles you face along the way, it very worth doing. Just like any animal we need to move and listen to our surroundings.

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  15. Destiny

    Or is there another way to think about the role of travel in the growth of a person’s identity and place in the world?

    Travel doesn’t have to be to other countries and it doesn’t have to be to dozens of other places. Maybe travel is about gaining the confidence to become a world citizen, rather than a captive in your own home, a baby bird suffocating in its own egg.

    They say you cannot return home, not because it has changed, but because you have. Unfortunately, many voices seem to feel mostly loss at this transformation. I fear that is because they are looking for something to tangible to hold on to, to replace the security and love that comforted and protected them in their formative years.

    If we truly grow in our travels then we become more than any one home can ever contain. If we embrace those travels and people then we make new friends who become our global family, and we build a new home that is the world. And we can no longer go back to our smaller world view, and we can no longer think of people as Other, but can only see them as part of us.

    This means that we can no longer blame them for our pain. And it means we can no longer turn a blind eye to their pain. If we could all truly engage in this world view then there could no longer be the callous disregard for others that drives politics, divisiveness, hate, war and suffering. We would all feel the slightest of our fellow travelers’ pain and run to soothe it.

    Someday I hope we will take this step to another level and take this Just world view and step once more into the unknown, into the universe and be welcomed with open arms.

    But if we cannot find this union in our fragile and limited Spaceship Earth, then we will choke on the noxious fumes of our self-righteous fear. We will suffocate in our egg and the universe will be spared from the corruption of our emergence.

    I fear that too few of us have stepped out of the threshold of our safe and comfortable homes and hearts and as a result human compassion will fail to transcend our self-centered youth. Compassion will wither and die, and so will we all.

    The universe will go on, but it will never know the beauty and poignant spark of hope that is Earth and all it contains. We will take every flower and bird, elephant and coral reef into our holocaust and ours alone will be the ultimate blame. We will go screaming into the night, crying like a baby wish not to go, though our Mother tried in vain to push us from the nest as Nature demands.

    Your new home is in the collective welcoming spirit fostered by fellow travelers. Step out of your door, your state, your nation, and your fear and join us in exploring the beauty of our destiny. And bring as many with you as you can. After all, what is travel if it is not shared?

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  18. Maybe you should over think the reason why you are travelling. It’s not for your family, it’s not for your friends in hometown. And especially not just to tell how great your trip was. For me at least it was even like most of the time I couldn’t really tell how amazing my experience was so I just said that they would have to travel and experience by themselves. I just couldn’t put that into words. And that is also the reason what it makes so difficult beeing back at home. That you are not having that kick of meeting new surroundings new people new places everyday again. Its something like a drug you need to get happy again and the all day life seems so tremendously boring. But I learned to use my skills from travelling to make my home a little better. You get to know your home town from a different view. You meet new people and different places. You give yourself new ambitions to reach so you feel get going on and not get stuck. And there will be still this fire glowing inside you when you think of travelling that makes you happy silently, gives you that feeling of butterflies inside your belly, letting your eyes shine. That’s what it makes so special. And that is what keeps you feeling good even after traveling and being back home. The travel you make is for you, for your good memories, it’s one of the stories you will tell your life long. So sometimes the feeling before you get what you always longing for can make it even more special. And the feeling of being a little wiser having some good memories and liferules you will have to tell your grandchild. Traveling is your experience and that is besides any relationship or engaged friends or even a job something that no one can take from you. That’s your cheesy romance you have with travelling. Even if it’s over now you still think of it and still remember how it was to be detached and off-hand just because it makes you feel good.

  19. I honestly thought that this article was supposed to be satire. Travelling doesn’t make you special and feeling like people should be paying more attention to you just because you feel more “cultured” for going on a trip and getting the diet/ cliff notes experience of another group of people is narcissistic and gross. If you don’t have a job yet after five months; I would say that is a pretty rational thing for your friends and loved ones to be worrying about. Please elaborate; what is going in your head? How have you changed? Did you learn the language? Did you somehow contribute culturally? Or did you just go visit somewhere so that you could feel better about yourself while the whole time in your head you repeat the mantra:” this is a life changing experience, this is a life changing experience, THIS IS A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE”. Selling yourself the idea that you have “changed” as a person because you spent a few weeks in another country is one the most trite cliches about travelling ever conceived. You’ve seen the movies; you’ve read Wild, and Eat Pray Love and and you just sold yourself that idiotic narrative. You are nothing but an entitled tourist

    • What a very pompous and judgmental reply to someone expressing a personal opinion. Clearly it resonated with a lot of people, none of whom seem like “entitled tourists”

    • Well it looks like you’re the biggest cabbage on the page. What have you done with your life?

    • Well said.
      there are so many travellers looking for themselves nowadays but they don’t really contribute to the world other than posting bohemian photos wearing harem pants in their blogs. There is nothing bad about doing it but some people are getting too arrogant and feeling superior just because they’ve seen many places.

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  21. But Mary Beth, you have changed because of your experience. I get the loneliness of not being able to get through to others who have not undergone the life-changing experience, but your should cherish it nonetheless.

  22. You can’t really stop travelling. Once you start you can’t stop, its a vicious cycle that makes us all strangers in our own country.

  23. This is ridiculous, such a self-centred middle class whinge about how they aren’t the centre or attention constantly. Just be thankful you’ve had the privilege of been able to travel, because most don’t. You aren’t special by being able to get some money off mummy and daddy and to get on a plane. It’s nothing heroic, it’s ridiculous when people reel it out on a job interview, “oh so you went on an extended holiday? Well done”. Get a sense of perspective and think about those that are battling to keep food on the table!

  24. Sweet baby jesus this has got to be the single most privileged article I’ve seen for years.

  25. Its not that you travel and you change that doesnt make you happy….

    You dont love yourself thats why you dont enjoy yourself. Traveling gives you the ability to live , get to know and ”OPEN” your eyes ! It opens your horizon. You just need to enjoy it and ”EAT” the experience

  26. I have travelled on and off for many years. I’ve been to many places and seen such incredible things. I love my family and friends but it’s also fair to say I never really fit into society in the UK. My priorities and interests are not like many others I meet or work with. People often call me strange. This is because I have no interest in this controlled country or the way it works. I dont wish to make a “financially safe” future for myself and I certainly do not want for materialistic things. Work, dinner, bed repeat, it is not the life for me. Due to my attitude towards life, I struggle with work and hate every job I do purely because it takes up all my time. I see no reward in work except for money to continue my travels. Yes I socialise and spend time with my family which means the world to me but they would also encourage me to travel because they agree that there is no real happiness in the UK. Travelling for me isn’t a short burst of happiness, it’s a road leading me to my final destination. I may have to come back to this place to earn money for my next adventure but it’s a means to an end and that is all. I wouldn’t call it home or say I have any connection to this place whatsoever, it’s money we all need right? Every member of my immediate family travel too, so they will have to travel to see me :). I plan to move to Canada at the end of this year and start a new life there as it stole my heart like no other place I’ve been. I think if your heart truly desires it, everyone can find their own happiness to. Just do not give up to live a life unworthy of you.

    Keep travelling ♡

  27. Somehow, it’s true about feeling strange in your own home. I love traveling. I won’t stop it. But I also love to be home after a trip. The home that has my parents & sister. I love to bring them gifts from my trips. Sometimes, we don’t need to search for understanding from the outside world. Home is where we find the peace within us when we are surrounded by people we love. When travelling, maybe we speaks many languages. When we’re home we only need one – The language of the heart.

  28. My last trip was a life-changing and healing one. I came back on Cloud 9 and it lasted for a good while. The Magic is still a part of my life. Something that had been leaving me for the 4 years prior. I don’t know where I’d be right now emotionally if I hadn’t gone and that scares me. I feel like traveling for me is a need but I don’t have a lot of people in my life to be the shinny new penny for so I look at itvlikes it’s just all for me.

  29. This is one of the most ridiculous, entitled, self-centered, egotistical and privileged pieces of shit I have ever read. I.. I honestly don’t even know how someone can write this in a non-satirical way. You are not the pinnacle of culture and enlightenment because you went to Bali for a week, your family and friends don’t need to put you on a pedestal for the rest of your life simply because you left the country. I truly hope there aren’t too many pompous idiots out there with this train of thought.

    • Wow, have you reflected on your life? What goals do you wish you could attain but possibly haven’t? There is a reason why people only post negative reviews online when shopping or giving feedback. They want the platform to vent their frustrations – or even their inadequacies – to others. I’m happy you are getting your feelings out there, it’s certainly better than trapping them inside. But how about trying to see the ‘good’ in this? the author never said she ‘wishes forever and ever that people would keep them on a pedestal’ and if that’s what you got out of this, I’d certainly suggest you take up yoga, or meditation or some sort of calming retreat to figure your own life out. There is too much hate in this world as it is. There is still hope, and I don’t mean this in a derogatory way, I sincerely mean, try to see both sides of the coin. Not everything is a nail to be smashed with a hammer.

  30. Travelling is a fantastic thing to do for yourself and it allows you to see life from different perspectives, however just because you have travelled and other people haven’t doesn’t make you wiser, smarter or a better person. Everyone who travels and comes home want to educate others on life and what they have learnt along their journey, but there’s people who haven’t travelled that don’t need to see your perspective, they have made themselves wise in their experiences at home which you haven’t. Some people travel to ‘find themself’ and usually they do but you cannot judge others at home who already know who they are and what they want. I am a keen traveler, however there’s nothing that angers me more than travelers coming home and preaching to you what is right and wrong because of their experiences and what they have learnt. I didn’t need to travel across the globe to educate myself and enjoy my life, so I think people need to start asking themselves what is happiness and how do you find that within yourself no matter where you are in the world.

  31. I’ve travelled a bit in my late teens to early 20’s, still no where near as much as I’d like to though. I am now in huge debt from my last trip and still paying it off 2 years later. Travelling is by far the best thing I’ve done in my life as to date and I am the most happiest when I am doing so. However, now im home paying off debt whilst everyone else is setting themselves up, earning good money and in good jobs.
    I have found it very hard to settle back in to what’s considered a ‘normal’ mundane life. I am the biggest advocate to always thinking there is something better in life, never been happy with here and now and what I have. I believe a 100% that happiness comes from within no matter where you are in the world. I have never been able to settle in a serious relationship because I am always wanting to “go off and travel.” I admire the people who find happiness in there day to day life’s and with the people that surround them.

  32. The heart of the article is there. I agree partly. But it still comes from a place of ego. To me the very reason I travel so much is to let go of ego and to realize that the world and the people I love are amazing just how they are. And this makes me happy. I keep traveling because I love learning and helping. No other reason.

    But it’s the start of something big. Nice travels. Look forward to seeing more soon.


  33. I have been village dweller high flying city boy traveller and immigrant. At the end of the day everyone gets those feelings traveller or not. A lot of travellers feel the need to say how many countries they see… 50 60 . What is it a race. Seems it is the same pissing contest as back home having a bigger car than the next. Spending your life travelling can be a permanent life style or a means to run away form things.

    After having been expat immigrant for 15 years returning to my home country is yet a new immigration. Its not going home. I just know people there and the language.
    And any one gone for a long periode of time should understand they are not going back home. Their home for a year has become their back pack and travel buddies. Go with an open mind . And observe that enviroment with new eyes. Instead of preconcieved ideas. Things will change in a year. And if you need them to glorify you because you changed and are so cool. Thats self confidence problem . 😉 taking it as a new adventure rediscover your country go places you havent been just as if you d be wandering through myanmar. And you might find it easier. 😉

  34. The saddest thing about this article…… is that it never once mentions the one thing most important of all…..and that is…gratitude……. for being able to travel at all. If you are travelling with the purpose to come back and blow your self important ‘bugle’ afterwards…then….. you have missed the point of leaving in the first place. The point of the journey, is not to arrive.

  35. Pingback: Back in the US of A – It’s Hard to Describe – This Delicious Life

  36. I know people may find this a bit brash, but it always seems like people travelling have something to prove, and are scared of commitment. Yes you are back home, and people have got on with their lives, but you don’t have to make a bug deal out of it; you’ve been on a long holiday, calm down. Other countries are where those people you met call home and you have just dropped in to say hello. If you really liked the place you were in, you would have stayed there and continued your life there.

  37. I enjoyed reading this, and I do personally understand the internal conflicts that can be ongoing for days, months, even years, after you’ve returned home. I lived abroad for 3 years just out of Uni. At my first real IT job after I returned, the boss (who was from India and would constantly talk about his life in India before moving to Canada) stopped me one day while I was talking about my time abroad. He said “Stop it with Asia, I’m sick of it, tell me something about Canada”. I wasn’t angry with him, just taken aback – and all this from him while he reminisced about India in front of us. The moment of nostalgia had worn off.

    I’ve traveled quite a bit, and each time I do go out, I really do love the adventure, the randomness and the unpredictability of who you will meet, where you could go, and what you can experience. Over time, returning home doesn’t feel so foreign, there is less and less reverse culture shock. But when you leave the first time, yes, I get it, I’ve been there.

    Currently, I’m in Seoul, South Korea. I wasn’t planning on being here. I wasn’t planning on coming back here. A year ago, I left my cushy job where I had become bored. The money was great, but I was not happy. Call it the travel bug, call it the desire to ‘not be bored’, I’m not sure. But I decided to cultivate this new perspective in my life. Going with the flow…chasing goosebumps is one way I have put it. Frisson. I co-founded a startup and travelled to Tokyo to launch it. 6 months later, I had learned so much, but circumstances said I had to leave. I didn’t want to return to Canada though, I wanted to continue riding this way of ‘do what makes you scared’. For me, I realized something I never thought of myself, that I want to pursue this entrepreneurial path, helping and advising others as I go. I wanted to embrace this part of my being. I began asking the question ‘why not’ instead of ‘why’ each time I had a decision to make. I began cultivating friendships that I wouldn’t otherwise have made, and strangely, even coincidentally, they then led to other friendships, ideas and future ventures. But the truth is, I was able to do all this even before I left to go abroad. I did this at home, and also while I was living abroad.

    What I’d like to share, is that society likes to categorize things, label things. “Travel Bug”, “Nomad”, whatever the new hip word is these days. I am probably all of those. There are plenty of us who are exactly that. My advice, (and I respect everyone has a different opinion) is to embrace your life. Don’t go home and feel angry, sad or upset with yourself for not fitting in. There is a reason you left in the first place. The author is right, that we often leave again in search of that same feeling, that frisson. But all too often we leave again with no real understanding of what we want to find, what we are looking for. We search without any purpose, just wanting to breathe in the moments. I say, try to take that purpose and figure out how to make a change in your life. Look beyond the belief that you ‘have to’ return home and figure out your future. There is nothing but now, this moment. Your future is uncertain, and to believe you have to return home just to settle and follow in the rest of society’s footsteps is wrong. You are you, nobody else. Follow your dream. Follow your passion.

    I get frustrated that society still uses the term ‘finding yourself’ to explain why some of us travel. We are not finding ourselves. We are becoming ourself, we are becoming who we are meant to be. Not everyone wants to travel, not everyone does. That is their path, their choice. It is no less wrong or right than the ones we personally choose to pursue. The people who say ‘nothing angers me more than hearing ideologies from those who have just returned home from a trip” are perpetuating the same judgement as those that are giving the advice about what they learned while abroad. We need to stop trying to change others, only change yourself,

    I love this thought by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. “If you don’t know what your passion is, follow your curiosity, and maybe your curiosity will lead you to your passion.”

  38. Pingback: The Hardest Part of Travelling that No One Talks About – adventuregenblog

  39. Thanks for sharing this text. It something I’ve never feel before, and that I dread feeling. I’m 16 and abroad for an entire year, ‘haven’t come home yet! (if you have any advice due to your experience, your welcome to share haha). And I admire you for your travel in Africa! It’s a country I’ve always dream to go and your videos are just reminding me this is a dream who worth it!

  40. Travel is a privilege that invites you to be your authentic self and discard roles that others expect from you.

  41. I find this article sad. I have also been to many different countries, experienced increadible things, met beautiful people, felt things I never knew I was able to feel. Travelling is an amazing experience, but so is living in a place you can call home, forming relationships, looking around you at the people you love and feeling beyond happy that they are in your life. Sure travelling is new, exciting, full of people to love, but coming home is just another adventure to call your own, I believe that you can make the life you lead happy and full of adventure no matter where you are. Live in the moment, be happy with yourself, appreciate everything around you and do not pine over a life that you once knew because life is all about change, love it for what it is.

  42. Pingback: The Hardest Part of Travelling that No One Talks About | The World According To Taz

  43. Great article and certainly thought provoking. Some comments below it indicate that it is emotion provoking as well. While I enjoyed the article and understood the writer’s perspective, I found parts of the article didn’t resonate with me. I have travelled all my life and from the ten I realised that I was always going to be different to others because of my unique experiences. It’s kind of always being an alien in a foreign land. When I travel, I’m home. So I guess I’ve never tried to make others understand. I just accept that, like Liam Neeson, I have a particular skill set. And that makes me unique.

  44. [first comment had an error] Great article and certainly thought provoking. Some comments below it indicate that it is emotion provoking as well. While I enjoyed the article and understood the writer’s perspective, I found parts of the article didn’t resonate with me. I have travelled all my life and from the age of ten I realised that I was always going to be different to others because of my unique experiences. It’s kind of always being an alien in a foreign land. When I travel, I’m home. So I guess I’ve never tried to make others understand. I just accept that, like Liam Neeson, I have a particular skill set. And that makes me unique.

  45. I love travelling. The places it takes me, the experiences I share with friends and strangers alike. The food I eat, the journeys I will never forget. The friendships that will last many years after our travels end.


    Home is where the heart is.

    Travel shouldn’t be about escapism. Travelling to escape what is left behind at home can sometimes help you see what is missing, but if travel becomes a routine to escape real life then the answers probably lie within, not in a different country.

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