It’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m wide awake. I should be going to bed to try to get my body clock back to normal, but sleep will just elude me if I crawl into bed. Instead I’m watching a Star Wars marathon on TV and feeling the familiar bittersweet feeling of being home after experiencing another country.
Being home has its perks. I took a hot shower without having to worry about finding the perfect pressure to get the right temperature of hot water to come out of the electric shower heater. I get to cuddle my cats (always the hardest part for me of leaving for a long trip is leaving them) and after their usual dance of being happy to see me versus giving me attitude for leaving them for so long, they’re now just happy to have my fiancé and me back in the house and won’t leave my side.
I’m wrapped up in the comforts of home, but I’m missing Thailand. I’m missing being on the road, my backpack strapped to me and heading to another, new destination. (I also miss the fact that massages to fix the aches in my back from said backpack are only $10 in Thailand.) Knowing it’s going to be at least six months until I get out of the country again makes coming home harder. The four things I’m going to miss the most until I strap that backpack back on again are:
1) Adventure – Every day on the road puts me out of my comfort zone. Just finding a taxi and negotiating NOT getting ripped off can turn into an adventure and a way of making me a more confident person. Then there are the real adventures like hiking a mountain, something that would take a lot of persuading to get me to do at home, but in Chiang Mai I didn’t even hesitate.
2) Meeting New People – Sure, I could go to a bar at home and meet new people, but it’s different when traveling. Most everyone who is also traveling is looking for other people to have fun with for just a night or two, not to build a lifelong friendship with. It alleviates pressure and makes for fun times, and if there’s really a connection – possibly a new Facebook friend. We had an especially fun night during our time in Siem Reap and I’m glad we built in time to go out on the town when planning our Siem Reap and Angkor Wat itinerary.
3) Food – Despite my constant craving for a Chipotle burrito while overseas, I love trying new food – the good, the bad, and the way too spicy. There were definitely a few items I couldn’t eat during our day in Bangkok because they were so much spicier than I was expecting, but it was all part of the fun!
4) Bonding Time – Sharing the experience of travel with a travel buddy – whether a family member, friend, or significant other – usually results in forging a tight bond full of memories from navigating the mysteries of a foreign country together. On this recent trip, I was with my fiancé and having the time together minus the usual daily stresses and free of work, school, bills, and other responsibilities allowed us just to enjoy each other and find the humor and magic in each new situation we encountered.
What do you most miss after getting back from traveling?