So you’ve been out traveling the world, and now it’s finally time to come home. You’re probably excited to see all your friends and family again, but first you need to make it through the 7 inevitable stages of coming home.
1. The Depression Stage
The most awesome chapter of your life has just ended, and no matter how much you’re looking forward to coming home, the depression stage will hit you like a ton of Lego bricks. This depression might sneak up on you a week before your flight home, or as you’re packing up your things for the very last time. Or you might just break down sobbing in the middle of a crowded airport.
But regardless of when it hits you, you will spend a week or so going through every single picture from your trip while listening through all the saddest songs on your iPod.
2. The Shock Stage
So your flight has landed and you set foot in your home town for the first time in God knows how long. There’s no more time for being depressed as the shock of coming home hits you. Everything has changed – people look different, everyone has moved on with their lives, and that ice cream shop at the end of the street is now a bank office. All of this craziness is just too much, and you find yourself entering a stage of shock.
3. The Overly-Excited-Reunion Stage
No time to wallow too long in shock though, as it’s time to enter the overly excited stage of reuniting with all your old friends and family. Your phone is constantly buzzing with activity, and your Facebook wall is riddled with people asking when you’re coming over.
Reunion parties get planned, and your entire schedule fills up. You hardly seem to have any time to yourself anymore!
4. The Refusing-to-Accept-Reality Stage
Soon enough, all the excitement of coming home has dwindled away, and you find yourself face to face with reality – and you refuse to accept it! You’ve been free from all the responsibilities of life during your travels, and there is just no way you’re going back to them now! You tell yourself that you’ll never go back to that boring, everyday life you ran away from in the first place.
5. The Realizing-That-Nobody-Cares Stage
The days pass, and you’ve spent every waking moment since you came home talking about your adventures, showing pictures, and reminiscing about how great of a trip it was. You just had the adventure of your life, and it is your mission to make sure everyone around you knows every last detail about it!
And that’s when you realize that nobody cares anymore. Sure, they were excited to see your pictures and hear your stories at first, but at this point, it’s just old stuff. To everyone else, your epic, life-changing journey is just another curiosity that was quickly overshadowed by events in their own lives.
6. The I-Don’t-Belong Stage
So you’ve been home for a while now, but you just can’t shake the feeling that you don’t belong there anymore. You’ve changed too much, been gone too long – how could you possibly go back to the way things were? At this stage, you feel completely out of place, and all you want is to go back to traveling.
7. The Going-Back-to-Normal Stage
Finally, you realize that life goes on. Time passes, and you gradually return to your old habits and your old way of life. Your traveling days seem more and more distant – a memory of the past, a different life. You grow more and more used to the normal life back home, until one day you find yourself going about your day like you’d never even been gone.
That is, until it’s time for your next trip, at which point you’re doomed to repeat this whole process again.