When the plane arrived in Manchester I couldn't quite believe I was there. I'd gotten used to buzzing around the southern hemisphere but now I was home.
In my mind at that moment home represented family and friends and a city I knew like the back of my hand (Bradford). I was upbeat that first day back home although I could feel something lingering in the back of my mind - a feeling like the dam was about to burst. I kept asking myself "how?"... how had I ended up back in Bradford? The inquisition soon followed. I couldn't believe I'd let myself come home after only 13 months away.
Only. That's right. At the start of the adventure when I was unsure I even wanted to leave I asked myself how I would survive a year away. I couldn't understand what that would be like and what struggles I might face. When that year was over however, I couldn't understand being back.
The first week and a half was particularly tough. I threw myself into job searching because getting a job and earning money represented opportunity - opportunity to travel again.
The hardest bit I've found is looking outside my window and remembering where I was when I was on my adventure. The cold, bleak skies of Bradford are at such a contrast to the glorious warmth of Australia. I think about days at the beach and evenings relaxing in the back garden with new friends. About how you get used to life in a hostel and end up loving it. About the amazing people you met and how they influenced you.
I've been messaging people I met on my travels as a way of making myself still feel connected to the world. Somehow by still being in contact with them, I feel as though a part of me is still gallivanting around the world.
I've been searching for articles and blog pieces about post travel blues. It's comforting that so many people feel the same thing and it makes you realise how deep the feelings connected to travelling are.
The good news is that the bag pack can be filled again, a plane ticket bought, and another adventure started. Isn't that brilliant?