Rut of the Return

I’ve officially been home as long as my backpacking trip was and that’s sad. Upon coming home at the beginning of December, the Christmas season was already upon us and Matt and I scrambled to find jobs. We definitely had plenty to distract us from transitioning to “real life” after traveling continuously. The chaos of the holiday season can certainly do that to just about anyone. After Matt and I both nabbed jobs, we waited for them to begin in January while enjoying the holidays with our families. Come January Matt and I started another two adventures by moving in together and starting our jobs. And we adopted a cat. While I struggled through mentally exhausting training at work, I began to lose my grip on my personal travel blog and my connection to my wonderful adventure this past fall. As March begins to end, I start to realize how lost I am without the irregularity of not only my backpacking life but also my student life.

When Matt and I returned home, I, surprisingly, handled it the best. I knew what I would be facing. When I returned home after my study abroad experience in Galway, Ireland during my undergraduate education, my heart was heavy. I felt more more of myself in a foreign country than at home. I expected the same heartache and disappointment after my trip. Matt kept telling me that it wouldn’t be so bad, that we had a lot to look forward to upon returning home. We definitely did and we certainly have achieved a lot since ending our travels. I swear that taking that trip made our lives lineup finally. But Matt felt the loss of travel sooner than I did. I suppose I was just numb to the end of it all.

As March continues and we come into our fourth month away from travel, I begin to get more disappointed in myself. I felt so motivated while traveling. I learned something new everyday. I saw something I’d never seen before. I had goals. I wrote. I took photos. But now life is quite different. I work to pay my bills. I’m trapped inside most of the time due to massive amounts of snow and bitter cold. Not to mention that I’m in a city which is entirely new to me and I can’t even explore. It can be pretty depressing, quite honestly. You see, I am used to a life of irregularity. I thrive in situations in which every day is different. That’s why being a student and a traveler are both lifestyles that suit me immensely.

While I am no longer traveling and I feel the least productive I’ve ever felt in my entire life, things are still beautiful. I’m finally in my own apartment with my boyfriend and my first real pet. (Plants and the occasional fish at your grandmother’s really don’t count.) I have a job and I really felt like I would never find one thanks to the horrible job market. Plus I’m writing for Pink Pangea and I just got accepted to the English and Creative Writing Master’s program at Southern New Hampshire University. (I’m taking advantage of some killer tuition benefits from my new job as an academic advisor at SNHU.) Life is good but being stagnant sucks. And I swear that everything being dark all the time is the worst. Thankfully daylight savings helped with the evening being less dark.

So how to fix this funk? The first order of business was to secure a spot writing some articles for Pink Pangea. Check. The second act? Get classes lined up for April so I can work on my writing more. Done. Now comes the hard part. The part where I add to my life on a regular basis rather than get caught up in the monotony of it all. I’ve amassed a large collection of books and National Geographic magazines to get through. Plus I need to teach myself everything about digital photography. And I want to lose my weight from the trip. Thank goodness we did all that walking or I would have gained more. It’s certainly a time of transition. But that doesn’t mean I won’t make it through.

Most importantly, I need to keep writing and taking photos. I haven’t wrote in nearly two months on my blog. That makes me sad and even more disappointed in myself. As April approaches, I know I can make a better effort to write and practice photography. I need to. If my backpacking trip taught me anything it was that my passions are for travel, writing, and photography. I don’t need to leave the US to do any of these three. But I do need to make an effort. It will make me happier so I need to just stop putting it off. And there’s always the next big adventure to plan.

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