It gets to that point of your trip when you must board that plane and return home. You’re sad to be leaving wherever it is you are, but excited to see your friends/family/pets again. However that euphoria doesn’t last. You slip into a depressed state where you just want to run away. Homecoming depression is a real thing.
For me, I always get sad coming home from a trip, may it be a few days long or a longer trip. The longest I have been away from home is one month; so, kudos to any of you who have gone home after months, even years, of travelling. I do not know how you do it.
I am lucky enough to have a job to return after every trip I take, to make more money for the next. Yet, I am often resentful of my job. I think: why am I here working when I could be in Hong Kong or Rio or Mumbai? Work becomes hell. And all my regulars know that I do not want to be there. That being said, they encourage me. They cheer me on to work and to earn so that I can get out of this god-forsaken town and chase my happiness. They are what keep me returning to work everyday.
My friend who retuned from her half a year trip around South America and New Zealand had the exact same reaction when she got off the plane. The panic hit her: “what am I doing here? Why aren’t I in Brazil?” and it almost made her quit university before she even started.
Why do we get this “traveller’s depression”? I know, for me, it is because “home” is not my home. I feel at home in hostels, with my backpack, meeting new people, partying, sight seeing, doing yoga and living stress-free. When I get back to my hometown this is taken away from me; I have to work most days and limit my social spending to save up, i.e. it’s stressful and sad. Not only that, but when you return to England in the middle of winter SADs hits you hard. You can’t escape the sadness that clouds everything you do.
But I keep on going. I don’t let the homecoming depression take over. I get up, I work, I save, I plan and I dream. That is what keeps me going. And it will keep you going too.
F*ck you homecoming depression.