Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Waiting for the End

I spent the final 3 days of my trip in London on a stopover to slowly wind down my trip. Like the weather, my mood was somber. Like the London fog, an air of sadness and emptiness was hanging over my head, clouding my thoughts.

To distract myself, I spent time in London with friends whom I had met abroad. But when I was alone in my friend's flat or walking along the south bank of the Thames, admiring Tower Bridge and Big Ben, long spells of vast silence would overcome me, and it felt like I was the only person in London. It was like being stuck in some parallel dimension between traveling and real life.

Over 10 months I became completely detached from real life, grown accustomed to spontaneity and adventure, lost all concept of time, and adopted the road as my new home. But soon I will be once again enslaved by routine, no longer able to wake up whenever I want, no longer living out of just a backpack, but tied down by my condo, car and material goods. I wasn't sure if I was ready for it yet.

At times my trip felt like a movie, and now that the movie is over, I was the only one sitting in the theatre after everyone left and went home. But I was afraid to go home to reality. Going home meant abandoning all the places I visited and friends I made, and memory wouldn't be enough to hold onto them.

One other thought haunted me. Coming home, I was afraid of how I would fit back into society. While on the outside I have not changed much, besides having longer, slightly more grey hair, and more wrinkles (wisdom lines as I call them), on the inside I have changed immeasurably. My previously outlying views on philosophy and society have become stretched further from my travel experiences. While family and friends will welcome my return with open arms, I am afraid I will feel like an outsider.

At 4 pm on May 21, I finally landed back on Canadian soil and my trip officially ended. I am still in Montreal, so still not quite home yet, but everything feels familiar, and I'm starting to feel positive again. Time will tell how I fit back into the real world, but in the meantime I have the comfort of great memories from 303 days of the most amazing trip of my life and the knowledge that there is a beautiful inspiring world out there, ready and waiting for me to explore it.


  1. I won't say this is one of my favorite posts, if not THE favorite, because i wouldn't want you to think i am enjoying other's misery. Far from it. But as for emotional load, the ways you managed to grasp and pour into pictures these complicated feelings is brilliant. Honest, pure to the core and the world viewed through a wide and good pipe. Well written, well lived Andrew!

    1. Thanks Hanga! And I know you enjoyed my writing the way people enjoy sad movies. Anything that stirs the emotion, whether sad or happy, is a good experience. It's the same reason why you should try anything once!

      Hope you are well, Hanga!

    2. Hope you're well. I personally always fall into the "got home depression" (which might sound like a sad and mean thing to say), when i don't like the food, the color of the streets, seeing the same faces (except a few, which i am thrilled to see and hug again)... Everything feel allienated and grey. i don't belong and don't want to belong there. But as i get into the routine again (the routine i dreaded), it becomes ok, and i always find to ways of making life pleasurable, and being busy picking up on things left off, postponed, etc. is also helpful.
      And then... start getting ready for the next trip!

  2. I'm doing well. Meeting friends feels quite different so far, conversations are slightly more difficult, as I'm expected to do most of the talking, but I'm naturally not a good storyteller in person.

    I will try my best to embrace the routine. Thanks for the tips, Hanga, much appreciated!

  3. Andrew! We are indeed waiting for your return with open arms!!