Although it has been written extensively about at Vagabonding before, now is my turn to bash on the post-travel blues, even if technically I am still travelling. It did not take more than three days into Europe – its Eastern part, possibly the most interesting and culturally diverse – to get “the blues” kicking in. I am almost back “home”, and I already feel like a real tourist pushed onto the umpteenth open roof ride across any of these Europeans capitals. It started in Istanbul and it did not take long for me to realize that Europe, I do not love you at all. For sure, you hosted my birthday parties and taught me how to hate your sophisticated, rich, Lamborghini driving Italian – and surrounding countries – elite, but I am sorry: I cannot stand you anymore.
Please tell me what is so cool about Europe: it is expensive, ultra conservative in a very “white supremacist” sense, and especially, it starts to get frigging cold just now. What is so cool in all of those people sitting at tiny cafes without an apparent reason? And especially, what is so cool about a place where each time I try to talk to any person involved in the hospitality business I feel like I am having an inverted gastroscopy performed directly from the anus? It may be that this famous “end of travelling blues” has a deadly effect when applied to me returning to Europe after 5 years.
Of course, it is not ALL so bad: there are still some nice views, interesting buildings and decent people, a general upgrade in the budget end of the accommodation sector – with an obvious killing price increase -, but hey, Asia is not. The costs alone are just crazy: I recently had to pay for a couple bus rides to make it to an important meeting, and I almost broke my personal bank.
The worst is trying to explain Europeans about my overland trip: they just cannot get it.
“Ah ok, so you took a flight from Singapore to here”
“No, I hitched all the way trough”
“You mean, what place? What city?”
“I never took a single flight”
“Oh. Interesting” and here it comes, another sip of Cappuccino, hiding a somewhat amused smile.
I can understand that for many travelers Europe may seem the best, most fun Lilliputian world inhabited by fairy-tale’s castle dwelling elves, but to me, it reeks like the putrefaction that sent me off elsewhere in the first place. And I am just glad this is only a transitory moment of three weeks and not the beginning of a longer nightmare. In three weeks, I will be on a flight – this time, bound “home” for good.
Travelling and living abroad non-stop for five years can definitely change the perception and needs of an individual. Sometimes, it can radically change him or her. It can turn you upside down and inside-out, like a banana. Me, I think I am exactly like that banana: “white” outside, but “yellow” inside. A perfect description of how I am feeling these days. And now there will be no list of how to ease that post-travel blues, because there is no chance to ease anything: the solution is a one way ticket back to the places I love and I really have chosen to be my “home”, for as much as this word means.