Something happened to me after Paris. After having been set loose in a new place, free to dream and wonder, organically absorbing every inch of space, every square of sky, eager to create a whole new Parisian version of myself…I got back to the same-old life (I loved), same-old me (of whom I’ve been so proud of)…same-old reality hit me in the face, looking pretty colorless.
After a life-changing trip is over, you are here but there. You want to get your life going again, but cannot close your eyes without seeing the places you feel in love stuck underneath your eyelids. So, yes, I’ve been feeling pretty soulless lately. I’ve had no time for inspiration, when I’m hoping I might find a ticket back to that feeling of new and excitement waiting for me just around the next corner…
Somewhere along the way back from Paris, in between the first departure and the last arrival, I lost a bit of soul. I lost a bit of interest. I lost track. The truth is, the City of Light left me in an existential trance. How could any of the usual spots, the routines, the conversations, could ever compare to what it had been?
We are rushed out of a plane. We expect to flip a switch. We are told welcome home, and we are happy to be back, but somehow, we get the eerie feeling we left something behind. The longer the trip, the more time we need to adjust to the jet-light of our normal, everyday life. It’s OK to feel a little lost.
What we have lost is what we wanted to lose in the first place, our old frame of reference, our minds and our world has been completely altered, they expanded, away from us. Now we have this knowledge, we’ve been there, and we have to make it all fit in the same old suitcase.
I’m back. I found my way back after a month of being back. And these are a couple of insights for you. Because I believe, whether we are experienced travelers or about to take off to our first adventure, the nostalgia quick-sand that follows a life changing trip has the power to take us all down. I hope these ideas ease your way back.
- Unload down on paper. Memories fluttering around in your head, images that haunt you in your sleep (or keep you from sleeping) write them down, pin them on a board, plaster them on a canvas, use those emotions as creative fuel.
- Find new magic in an old place. The city where you currently live has its own quite charm. Get out and revisit your local region with new eyes. There’s inspiration to be found there.
- Reconnect with home. Learn something new about the history and culture of your neck of the woods, your corner of the world. Embrace its traditions, food and music, experience them as if for the first time. How does it feel?
- Meet and greet the new you. Yes, this trip has changed you, in more ways than one. Go get a coffee with this new self, ask her/him about her perspective on life.
- Plan that next adventure. Maybe the best place to set our mind to is on that next dream, maybe the best place to put our foot down is on that next city, trail, ship, plane, mountain range 🙂 Give your soul a new limit to overcome a new goal to set its sight toward.
A life changing trip pulls you apart, but there comes a moment when you realize that your soul is like a spring, it comes back again, with force.