Reflection / Spain

Why the post-trip adjustment period is sometimes a lot longer than your actual trip

It will haunt you.

But in a non-threatening way, like Casper.

But in a non-threatening way, like Casper.

Recently, when the lesson I’m teaching crashes and burns, or when Nemo (cutest snowstorm ever) dumps a foot of snow on everything, or when I’m babysitting a screaming toddler, or sometimes randomly when I’m driving or getting coffee, I’ll find myself thinking about Spain.

Or Greece, or Turkey, or Portugal–anywhere. But most of the time, it’s Spain.

I remember the first time I noticed it: It threw me off for a few seconds. I stopped what I was doing and concentrated on that memory. Then when it faded, I let out a big sigh.

What the hell was that?

I’ve been letting out those deep sighs all the time, like some bitter old soul.

The reaction from the students after my first lesson.

Yep–reaction from the students after my first lesson

When times get rough, it’s hard not to think back to when I was traveling. I miss that feeling of waking up and thinking, “So, what am I going to do today?”

For instance…

On my third day in Spain this past summer, I took the metro to Paral·lel and grabbed the funicular to Montjuic. I spent a long time standing there looking at the city while listening to the sounds of firecrackers and fireworks going off. It was the Festival of Sant Joan, the celebration of the start of summer. It’s also called the “Nit del Foc,” or the Night of Fire. On the way to Barceloneta that night, you’ll maneuver around bonfires and jump away from firecrackers thrown in your path. Everyone gathers at the beach to drink and dance and watch the fireworks.

The sun hadn’t even gone down, but the city was still getting ready. I leaned on the railing and listened. The initial exhilarating feeling of finally being in Spain had worn off a bit, and was replaced with something calmer, more like contentment.

I stayed there for hours. I swear, the daylight lasts longer in Spain than it does here, and I lost track of time. I realized I had to head back to the hostel and get ready. I thought I’d head back to Montjuic in a few days, maybe get some studying done there, but for one reason or another I never went back.

View from Montjuic

View from Montjuic




8 thoughts on “Why the post-trip adjustment period is sometimes a lot longer than your actual trip

  1. I feel your pain.

    Ever since I started travelling I’ve felt the effects of what I like to refer to as PTD (Post-Trip Depression). Anything from a two-week getaway which leaves me slightly blue for a month, to a longer trip which leaves me crying, getting in fights with friends, unmotivated at work, etc… for half a year.

    I spent 11 months traveling in New Zealand and Australia, and now, one year after returning home, I still think fondly about that trip at least once a day (even though I’ve gone on a few other trips since I returned – which, believe me, i REALLY enjoyed)… I feel almost “homesick” about Australia, even though it was my “home” for only such a short part of my life.

    It’s real, and it’s painful, and it’s impossible to tell how long it will last, but I guess the only way to beat PTD is to continue planning for new adventures :)

    • Hahaha I like that term, it’s so true! I know what you mean. I feel totally and completely homesick about Barcelona, even though I never stayed there more than 3 weeks at a time. I’m excited about going to South America, but being away from Spain for so long is really starting to get to me.

      Are you planning on going back to Australia or NZ anytime soon?

      • Nothing set in stone yet, but I’d like to go back to Sydney within the next two years, and explore parts of Australia I didn’t get a chance to while I was there.

        Looking into moving there isn’t out of the question either, but of course it’s a little more complicated… not going to discount it though!

  2. I know that feeling all too well. I studied abroad in Barcelona, and was so, so sad to leave – it just has a special something. I felt ‘homesick’ for it for months, and then realized the only thing I wanted to do was live there (so I did!).

    Still, I found planning other trips very, very helpful. Good luck readjusting, and here’s to lots more adventures!

    • Thank you :) Don’t you just love BCN?? I’m so jealous you got to live there–that’s always been a dream of mine. You’re right though–whenever I actually sit down and start planning (or even just do a quick Google image search of a few cities) it makes things a lot better.

  3. Pingback: I’M GOING BACK TO SPAIN! | Adultescence

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