When travel changes you, are you prepared for it?

A few weeks passed after returning from my trip throughout Europe, I was trying to adjust back to being “normal.” Adapting to the “normal” life of going to the bars and hanging out with friends.

A dive bar in Manhattan taken by Hugo Morel

Getting back into this life, was lackluster. Everything stayed the same; however, I changed so much. I was no longer the same person. My friends and I were no longer on the same page. All they talked about was politics, which is just a tool used to divide people. Everything was black and white with them. When in real life, they are so many different shades of grey.

An actual bar in NYC taken by Hugo Morel

All these people were trying too hard to act cool. I mean look at the image above. This is the actual name of a bar in Manhattan!! It’s so corny! Too much effort in trying to be different and hip makes all your efforts become uncool.

A beer called Golden monkey taken by Hugo Morel

Alcohol and the bar culture felt so juvenile to me. I was maturing too fast for my friends to keep up. All this felt pointless and a waste of money. Money, I could be using on airplane tickets.

Bar food taken by Hugo Morel

When it comes to bar food, no need to try them. They are so expensive, at least in NYC. 20 dollars for a small burger, not including drinks that would cost you about another 10 dollars. The food is as American as it can get. There was no fun or excitement in the food. The food didn’t tell me history, nor culture influences. It felt like I was just eating fat! I couldn’t take it. After many years of living this lifestyle, I couldn’t relate to it.

An Indian restaurant sign showing what’s on the menu taken by Hugo Morel

It was at that moment, I realized that I will no longer going to live that life of partying and bar hopping. My life is now about culture, traveling and eating foods that are unfamiliar to me. I’m no longer the same person who I used to be before my trips abroad and I was fine about it. Hopefully, my friends and family will be too.

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30 thoughts on “When travel changes you, are you prepared for it?

  1. Sounds like it’s time for a change. New adventures and new kinds of fun. Change is what life is all about, in my view, so it seems to me like your willingness to change your lifestyle is helping you to live life to the fullest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I left the whole drinking culture behind too when travel became my obsession. That’s not easy in Ireland. Ironically bar Food in Ireland is usually very traditional, and good value.
    Thanks for sharing, hope to see you over on my blog.
    John
    carpediemeire.com

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I`ve traveled around the globe many years (private and for business), and I fully understand your point.
    From my experience, there might be different stages of one`s “Journey”. The first one is all about gathering new experiences, getting to know other cultures and mastering a few little adventures and so …

    The 2nd stage is re-discover your own heritage, culture, background etc.

    The third stage might be the by far most challenging and exciting journey in my view…it is the discovery of your true SELF – also in relation to your social environment… this is often a very painful process.

    I suppose and hope that there will be a 4th stage in one`s path of life… I hope for a kind of conclusion and truely creative act like a pro-active “positioning” in life. I am convinced that the circle will close some day. I could observe this phenomena looking at seniors. The vast majority of them return home to their roots – not only geographically – with a widened horizon and a heap of stories that are fading over time. Because finally, you are living in the “Here & Now”. And all that matters will be your family & friends in your direct neighborhood (and not abroad), you can rely on in good and bad times.

    OMG! Writing these lines I feel suddenly quite old… 😉

    However, just one further Food4Thought… if you stay in the first stage too long, there is the danger of just consuming traveling experiences – like being in a self-service, all you can eat restaurant.
    Looking always for sth new, sth more exotic, more new “friends” on the road, more adventures, experiences, sth more special and so on can end up in interchangeability and a non-committal lifestyle.
    Another temple, another beach, another desert, another museum…

    The negative impact of tourism not to mention.

    And of course, it can be questioned after some time, if you`re simply a runaway for various reasons… Looking back I`ve to admit to myself that it was an issue of mine – at least partially.

    Well, of course I don`t want to miss my travel experiences and of course, I took benefit of it in many ways, but it is helpful to keep in mind that the dosis makes up the poison.
    It definetely needs time to also “digest” journey properly…otherwise the experience might be lost, in my view, because you won`t have any takeaways aside a few entertaining stories.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I exactly understand what you mean! I’m at the between part of stage 2 and 3. Age is just a number lol I get what you are saying. The “new” friends and “new” adventures aren’t really experienced because you are just a tourist and not a real travel/yourself.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Of course, I am a bit striking when I am talking about 4 stages. I guess, these stage can or should overlap…but from my perspective, it is the emphasis which changes over time. Today, I notice that the all-day life and close relationships are full of adventures too. And I also noticed that all my travel experience didn´t provide me with the skills & tools to master this kind of adventures. Frankly speaking, the suspision rises that I should have invested much more time & effort in building a home – or should I say a “base camp”?

        On the other hand…yes, you are perceived as “different” in your neighborhood of people who are on (conventional) holidays twice a year. A nomad lifestyle is not only a privilege it is also suitable to alienate.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is Not only now YOU feel, it is also about die feelings of the others with less travel experience, frankly speaking. Dies Saal to feel somehow “inferior” (although it is not right). The only solution that works… I don’t share my travel stories and itineraries any more.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey just saw this, I completely understand. People tend to feel jealous of the places you have gone to. I don’t tell anyone about it, only close friends and the blog. Most people who don’t travel as often tend to feel inferior…which doesn’t make any sense. So I completely I understand why you don’t share your stories anymore

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha wow that must had been hard. It’s funny most of the bars I was going to were Irish pubs just Americanized. Will do 😁 thank you so much for your support. I thought the whole leaving drinking behind was just a me thing.

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  5. “The food is as American as it can get. There was no fun or excitement in the food. The food didn’t tell me history, nor culture influences.” Just the conversation I was having with friends last night. Once you travel, your palate comes to life, your eyes are open to incredible difference and possibilities, there’s no turning back.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In Atlanta you can barhop and eat generic American food for much cheaper 😀 jk.. I feel ya. I think our hometowns often seem lacking when we return from a really great trip. One thing I have realized over the years is that the luster of life has a lot more to do with who is with me *wherever* I am, more than the location itself (e.g. I went to Tanzania for a month and was depressed the entire time, although that is definitely not a lackluster place).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “I realized that I will no longer going to live that life of partying and bar hopping. My life is now about culture, traveling and eating foods that are unfamiliar to me”-
        very good decision dear. We appreciate.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I wish that everyone were able to travel more. I think it makes you a better more well-rounded person and opens your eyes to how things are outside of your safe little bubble. It has definitely changed my life for the better and I know my husband would say the same!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a relateable, and accurate post. I remember this past summer, when I came back from a month trip abroad in South Africa, I found myself back home pulling everything out of my suitcase just wanting to cry. I was pulling out all the clothes I wore on my adventures, all the souvenirs and I realized I was a different person too, one that has tasted the world in an unimaginable way, a person that wanted to go back. I couldn’t relate to other people’s outlook on many things anymore, and I wanted to explain to them my new version of reality, but I couldn’t do that because the only way you can change when you travel is when you go out and do it for yourself. It’s not the same when someone else tells you about it. I totally understand what you are saying. I didn’t want to do everything I used to do anymore, I wanted to apply all the things I had learned. It’s certainly amazing how many great things can happen when you travel and step out of your comfort zone. Thank you for writing this post! Looking forward to seeing more of your work! 🌟🙏🏼

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  9. Everytime I went back from a travel visiting some other countries, something changes inside. We learnt something new and get to experience something we might not be able to experience back at home. Guess that’s what makes traveling special. ^^

    Liked by 1 person

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