1. Your original reason for coming home no longer applies.
Maybe you came home because a family member was sick. Or a significant other was missing you. Or your bank account was so severely depleted that you just weren’t going to last another day overseas. In any case, your original reason for returning has become hopelessly outdated – and you’re not really sure what’s keeping you around now.
2. You’ve lost interest in advancing at work or committing to relationships.
It’s not that you wouldn’t like to move up at work or get more serious with that person you’ve been seeing… it’s just that some involuntary part of you keeps resisting any form of commitment that comes your way. It’s almost like your subconscious mind knows that you’ll be taking off soon, even if you haven’t specifically decided on it yet.
3. You can’t remember the last time you did something that scared you.
You can’t remember the last time you did something that really got your blood pumping. It’s not that your life is entirely devoid of possibility, it’s just that it always makes more sense to play it safe – and you’ve grown hopelessly accustomed to taking the road more traveled. You’re aching to take a risk and get out of your comfort zone in a big way.
4. You spend more time daydreaming than you do living.
We all occasionally zone out at work or during a particularly dull conversation – but lately it’s been happening regularly, in situations that never used to bore you. The thought of being back on the road has officially become more exciting to you than almost any other part of your life – you’ll skip lunch dates to scour airfares and bail early from parties to go brush up your Spanish skills – after all, you’ll probably be needing them soon.
5. Your day-to-day routine is starting to drive you mad.
You’ve never been particularly fond of routine, but lately it’s particularly scathing. If you have to wake up at the same time, put on the same uniform, traverse the same commute and eat the same lunch for one more day, you actually think you might go mad. You’d give almost anything for a change in scenery.
6. Your goals and values no longer match up with those of your loved ones.
Everyone around you is getting pregnant, engaged or promoted. And as much as you’re happy for them, you have no interest in doing the same. You feel out of synch with your regular community and you’re starved for some likeminded company.
7. Talking to fellow travelers feels like a breath of fresh air.
Hosting a couch surfer or skyping one of your far-away friends makes you feel like you’ve been jolted awake after months of hazy half-consciousness. You never feel quite as rejuvenated, inspired and invigorated as you do after chatting with someone who shares your passion for wanderlust – and you know those are the people you need in your life every day.
8. You just haven’t been feeling like yourself lately.
If there’s one trait all travelers share, it must be this: They simply feel incomplete when they’ve been off the road for a while. It’s not that you can’t be your adventurous self when you’re at home – it’s just that you’re lacking the unique type of stimulation that fuels and encourages your insatiably curious personality. For whatever reason, you feel like an entirely different person when you’re traveling – and if you’re being honest with yourself, you just like the person you are on the road better. And you’re ready to bring him or her back to life.