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The “Come-Back” Come-Down

The things they don’t tell you about extended travel abroad (Candace)

I have had the strangest week.

I can’t tell if it is because I’m back in the default world, or looking for a new apartment and car (and clothes, etc.), still reeling from this week’s election results, or missing Andrew, but I have been in a funk all week.

I have felt as if I am just floating through the days with little to no emotion and have been completely detached. I’ve been frustrated with a number of interactions I’ve had with people I typically really enjoy, and I’ve broken down in tears at least once per day.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by things that normally would barely phase me, and frustrated by superficial conversation. This week, the world around me has seemed significantly more selfish and a lot less authentic.

What happened?

Has everything changed so much since I’ve been gone?

Or have I changed?

I’ve been so excited to get back into the swing of things that I largely worked and wished away the last few weeks of our trip. I consumed myself with “getting up to speed” for my new job for at least a few hours a day and making plans to see friends and family upon my return. But in these past few days of being back home, I’ve gotten overwhelmed by work (and I haven’t even officially started yet!) and annoyed by a few of my dear friends.

The stories I was originally so excited to tell about our travels have largely gone untold, partially because everyone has already read our blog, and partially because there doesn’t seem to be a ton of interest in hearing them. And nearly everyone I’ve come into contact with has been so consumed with their immediate world that they have little room/interest in engaging in mine.

Even my conversations with Andrew have largely been brief and logistics-related.

Where did my unique connections go?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve really enjoyed a number of my conversations too, and have loved catching up with a number of awesome people. And I know that this has been a week of great transition, so I should have expected a certain amount of my emotions. But I have been completely taken by surprise.

When talking about this with my buddy Dave the other day, he asked a good question.

“When is the last time you were in a large group of people?”

And the answer – My wedding. Six months ago.

Since that time, I have had unlimited time to pour my energy and attention into Andrew, friends and family who have come to visit, even those coworkers and friends I’ve been speaking with over Skype. And now, there are so many distractions. New stressors. Loud noises.

I was sharing this mix of emotions this weekend with a friend, Lolita, who travelled the world in much the same way we did a few years ago with her husband. She comforted me by telling me that they had the same reactions to coming home. That, even though the world is much like we left it, everything is just a bit off (including us).

I think that this is likely a common reaction to going off the grid, and wish that someone would have warned me (although I’m not sure what difference it would have made in the end).


Who knew that you could have a come down like this without a wild time the night before?