Homecoming Blues - Overcoming the Depressive State After Traveling


Year after year, I travel to some of the most exotic and beautiful destinations in the world. I meet interesting and amazing people, go on adventures most don’t do in a lifetime, and partake in activities most only dream of. During all of this, I naturally assume that everyone I’ve ever known is on the same journey. Growing, exploring new places and faces, understanding the inner workings of why they are the way they are, and questioning everything that’s ever existed in the universe.

The truth is — they’re not.

When you return home from a long-term trip exploring the world, your mental psyche is confused.

It’s truly enlightening to see the world in all its truth — a magnificent rock of dirt and water, vegetation growing from the sun's kiss, and animals sporadically grazing amongst vast terrains. However, whenever I head back ‘home’ to my suburban birthplace — it takes a shorter and shorter amount of time for me to feel like I don’t fit in anymore.

I have a yearning to learn as much as possible, talk about ideas, dreams, adventures, and grow in every which way possible.


Friends will say that they hate you for ‘living the dream’, say they want to hear all about your travels, but never actually ask to listen to the countless stories about your adventures. It’s probably for the best, because you don’t want to babble on about your every adventure — you know the enthusiasm and sheer love for life will probably scare your friend away.

You’ll constantly be asked questions like…

Which place did you like most?

…and you’ll chuckle to yourself knowing that that’s the most impossible question anyone has ever asked.

You haven’t been on ‘vacation’. You’ve been living the same life that you’ve always lived. Work, travel, party, adventure…any of these words could fall into your average day. There’s no distinction in your lifestyle. What’s different about your life is your constantly growing, experiencing new people, places, and cultures.

…And coming home feels like the anticlimactic end to the movie that is your life.


It’s not that you don’t love your family, friends and hometown crew — but it’s that you’ve outgrown living in your old home. Your new home is the unpredictable road and the kindred spirits you find along the way. The people you give a quick glance and smile to and instantly feel like you’ve known each other for years.

You don’t understand or connect with people that don’t have that same desire to learn more, try new things, and push your limits. You’re a modern-day adventurer, and when you step back in the place you started from — something doesn’t feel the same.

Did you go on this adventure with mind, body, and spirit to end up right back where you started?

Hell no.

But your friends and family can’t see and experience the things you’ve seen. The way you’ve changed from your explorations, connections, and experiences. You’ve grown — and home stayed the same.


Each time you come back, it takes less time. Less time to realize this isn’t the place you belong. After months or years of surreal adventures, you’re sitting back on your friends couch already dreaming about the next adventure. Nobody will understand your mindset or why you don’t feel comfortable back home. They won’t understand the lost gaze you have or why you’re nearly having a panic attack while everyone sits around a TV to talk about fantasy football, last night’s snap story, and the latest TMZ gossip.

It’s called the homecoming blues. I’ve been there, and so has every other nomadic soul.

But instead of acclimating to the mindset of those around you — you’re going to use that melancholy state as fuel. To push yourself, to dream further, and to generate more wanderlust than you’ve ever had before.

PJ Manning

I'm an addict - coffee, surf, work, and wine. Been living the travel developer lifestyle since 2012 - constantly looking for where to work and surf next.