I’ve had it, you’ve had it, we’ve all freaking had it. That empty, numb feeling you get once sinking your head into your pillow after a wild adventure. Days filled with belly-aching laughs, footloose drunken dancing and one hundred + snaps of memories has finally come to a bittersweet end.
Just as the credits roll at the end of your favourite film, the memories on your camera roll trickle before your eyes as you scroll; all the bloopers, deleted scenes and privileged insta shots just sitting there in your hand, prompting simultaneous feelings of dreamy-eyed nostalgia and stale, hollow gloom.
Experiencing such symptoms? Well ladies and gents, I diagnose you with Post Adventure Blues. Similar to the likes of Post-Concert Depression, this epidemic can come in waves and surface at times as simple as hearing the first few chords of a song you screamed at the top of lungs on your last road trip. I warn you it’s painful but at times can be the one feeling that makes your cheeks blush, your lips curl, your eyeballs gloss and your heart bubble with complete and utter delight. So I here, present you with a total of six phases you may be experiencing whether you’ve recently been on a whirl-winded trip around Europe or a weekend venture across state borders.
What’s that I hear? Oh the sound of kickass stories worthy of turning your pals green-eyed with bubbling envy. You’re arriving back home full of love and bliss with hands cradling takeaway to keep your hangover at bay. This phase is most prevalent on the trip home, when you’re feeling content/10 and just deliciously europhic and god damn grateful about life with your phone on 20% and your belongings disorderly stuffed in your bag.
An accurate representation of yourself minutes after walking through the door and dropping your bags on your currently ‘tidy’ bedroom floor. It’s official – the blues are creeping in. Sadly you realise you are no Bill Murray from Groundhog Day, and can unfortunately only relive your adventure through the snaps and videos taken on your iPhone. Bollocks.
Cue the moping. The dust has settled and it is time to wistfully get back to your plain jane ordinary life as work and other life responsibilities nip at your backside. The fire illuminated within you from your time away is slowly but surely being extinguished by your day-to-day routines and you try your absolute hardest to not impulsively dip a finger into your savings account and surrender to the beckoning road calling your name. Time to get back to work and compile some dollars to heal your piggy bank’s wounds.
Your suitcase is unpacked and your belongings litter your bedroom camouflaging your furniture. Two questions may arise. 1) Why the fuck do I feel like a sulky child and 2) Where the hell is my bed? After chucking all articles of clothing into the laundry basket and finally identifying the frame of your mattress you collapse onto your bed face first with a groan. Late morning sleep in’s and early night bedtimes are quite frequent during this phase as you long to be anywhere else but your dreams yearning to go to new places and try new things.
I like to think of this phase as a sort of ‘acceptance’ stage of your blues. Your camera film has been developed and your journal pages are filled to the brim with charming reminiscences. Funnily enough you’re ‘okay’ with it and you’ve surprisingly come to the point where you can train your eyes over your photo album and talk about your trip without wanting to shed a tear or two. You see them not just as soulless rippling reflections but as memories that you can cherish for days on end with your wayfaring buddies.
Time has passed and your gaze has drifted back to the horizon. It may have been months, weeks or even just days but you know deep down that you will never be able to rid this vicious cycle from your soul. You browse through the travel sites you bookmarked previously in your state of grief in search for bargains and lean back into your chair in contemplation. Your finger hovers over the click of the mouse upon the booking page and your mind reels in uncertainty. To book or not to book…really, if you’ve got nothing to lose (except a few pennies), what the hell is stopping you?