We love travel, I think that’s clear from the way we live our life… but travel does create some bad habits that you’ll start to notice when you return home. During an epic trip, you change so much that it’s hard to conform to a normal life when you go back to your home country.
You don’t always fit back in with the same crowd, you have little to talk about with friends because they have had completely different experiences than you, and you can sometimes feel alienated from the lifestyle of the people you had left behind.
A lot of this is because of strange habits and thoughts that your new life of travel has created. If you’ve left home for a long time then you know exactly what we’re talking about.
Travel changes you in ways you never imagined. The changes are almost always for the better, but there are a few things that really stand out.
Here are a few habits that you should try to rid (or put on hold) while you’re at home:
Talking About Travel.
This is the first thing people do when they get home, and unfortunately, it can only last about an hour. Aside from family, most people at home simply aren’t that interested in the life-altering experiences you’ve had over the past however many months/years. Ask any long-term traveller and they’ll say the same thing.
Your travel stories may be fun and interesting at first, but no matter how good they are, they will likely start to sound redundant and pretentious to people who haven’t been travelling for long periods of time. Save your stories for other travellers and try to connect with family and friends over a different topic.
Sure they’ll want to hear about your trip, but that’s probably all you’ll have to talk about, and after a couple of days, the novelty starts to wear off. They’ll want to talk about other topics but all you have is travel. You can’t blame them for getting bored of your stories, just enjoy each others company and talk about other things besides travel.
Trying To Bargain For Everything.
Travelling to other countries, you start to get used to having to bargain for everything you buy. This is a way of life for much of the world’s citizens but definitely not for us in developed countries.
There are still a few things you can bargain for (ie: extra goodies when buying electronics) but don’t go to Tesco or Safeway and try to bargain down the price of your produce!
Flushing Toilet Paper.
This is a real bad habit. In most countries, you can’t flush toilet paper. The pipes and sewage systems just aren’t made for it and they get clogged up.
Even in China, where they invented toilet paper, you can’t flush it! You get so used to putting used toilet paper into the bin that you may find yourself doing it at home without even noticing!
This can be a real piss-off for your friends and family who go into the bathroom after you and see more than just tissue and cotton swabs in their bathroom rubbish can!
Not Wanting To Commit To Plans.
Most travellers are content with a “Ya if I see you there” attitude. The only solid commitments you have while on the road are with buses, boats, trains and planes. Backpackers are so laid back that there really are no hurt feelings if someone doesn’t show up for dinner.
But when you return home… BEWARE! Your friends will start getting really annoyed if you say “Ya if I’m there, I’m there”, and then you just don’t show up. Remember the term “flakey”? Your friends will if you keep “ditching” them. This laid back travel mentality definitely doesn’t fly at home.
Not Cleaning Up After Yourself.
A person can get used to leaving a guesthouse / hotel room every day and never cleaning it. You may get used to having house keeping come by and make your bed, take out your garbage and scrub your toilet.
When you get home, it can be hard to remember to pick up after yourself! Travel may have turned you into a complete slob!
Calculating Everything Using The “Days Of Travel Formula”
This can get really annoying. When you return home, you’ll be so used to calculating everything you buy that you just won’t be able to stop! When we’re travelling, we calculate things in travel time, so if something costs $50, that’s often calculated as one more day on the trip.
Everything at home is so expensive that you’ll be tallying up months of travel time from a quick stop at the super market!
Doing What You Want, When You Want.
A traveller gets so used to absolute freedom that it’s hard to go home and submit to certain commitments and obligations. You may have to go to work, pay bills, have meetings, clean up, make plans and live life on a sort of regimented schedule. Your desire to only do something if you want to, may come across as selfish or irresponsible to those at home.
If you must return to work, you should never abandon this feeling of freedom, only put it on hold until you can unplug again and go on another trip.
For Couples… Being Together 24/7.
Okay, this isn’t a bad habit, but this will be hard to get used to. You’re so accustomed to spending every waking moment together that you may have to get used to going to work or spending time apart for extended periods. As funny as it may sound, Dariece and I genuinely missed each other when we had to spend 8-12 hours apart during a working day. We’ve remedied this by working together on the road!
When you go home after a long trip, you’ll be shocked by the mixture of emotions that flood in. The minute the plane’s wheels touch down on that familiar tarmac, your life will be in for a change. But you don’t have to make the change final. You should always do what you love, and if you just can’t conform to your former lifestyle, then plan another trip, try to travel indefinitely or just make alterations to your lifestyle at home.
You will certainly notice these habits you’ve picked up on the road, and while you should try to stop them temporarily, you should never forget them completely. Keep what you’ve learned and improve your life at home, using your experiences as a toolbox for a better future.
Travel will always change you, be sure to embrace the transformation and put it to good use upon your return home.
Have you ever gone home after a long trip and tried to “conform” to that lifestyle? Were you able to? Leave a comment below!
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