What happens when you settle down after backpacking in Asia?

It’s been only five months since I started my last adventure but it feels like ages for me. So many things changed, so many things happened on the way. So many places, so many people. So much of everything. Excitement and exhaustion combined with full understanding and complete confusion. They say, deeper you go more you understand, I say, more you understand less and less confident you feel about life. Ignorance is a bliss so when you decide to open your eyes there is no way back. At least that’s what I think.

Backpacking is one of the most amazing and enriching experiences one can have but it’s so addictive that once you start you never want to stop it. Some people have the luck to travel for years, others only for few months but regardless the time you are on the road it’s never easy to go back to a “normal” life. I put normal in quotation mark because I personally believe that the label normal that was given to the most common way of living is a big misunderstanding but for the sake of this post I will keep calling it normal.

So what really happen when you go back to civilized world after backpacking for a while?

1. You have to buy a hairbrush – crazy hair days are over

One of my biggest concerns when travelling was my hair – I knew it will be out of control most of the time and I won’t be able to keep it nice and tidy without blow dryer and all kind of hair products that I usually used. Especially when I started diving it became a complete mess – the only thing I could do was to get over it and accept it the way it was. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard and after a while I started to love my crazy hair! Now I’m back among the people that use their hairbrush on a daily basis and unfortunately I feel pushed to get myself one as well. The idea of keeping my hair nicely instead of letting it be is upsetting me a bit so I also got myself a hat. From time to time I can let my hair be and cover it from the world so nobody gets offended by my out of control look 😉

2. Hippie-style clothes bought in Asia are not enough anymore

Another headache – I don’t have proper clothes to live in the city! I’ve been using my flip flops or walking barefoot most of the time and now I need proper shoes and clothes that will protect me from the cold and rain. I’m also planning on making friends so I just got to get anything that is at least OK to go out of the house. This part may not be that difficult if you go back home and can use all your stuff that you left behind but if you are going to settle somewhere else and everything you own fits in your backpack most probably you will have to do some shopping. I so don’t feel like spending money on that now (can’t believe I’m actually saying that!) but I really have to. Also, I decided that it’s about a time to get a normal bra. I was wearing a sport bra, bikini or no bra all this time but it kind of doesn’t fit the place I’m at now. And honestly I don’t like that.

3. You probably gonna have to get a job which means get into a routine again

Maybe you settle down because you are tired of traveling (for a while of course!) or maybe because your bank account can’t take you any further. In any case, you will have to go out there and find something to do. Regardless of what it is, it means that you will have some kind of routine and much less of free time. It’s depressing and hard to get used to again. No more going with the flow, no more late nights (unless you work in the bar), no more having your phone turned off for days and not knowing what time or day of the month it is. Bye bye freedom.

4. Meeting open-minded and alike people won’t be so easy anymore

When you travel you meet amazing people every day. You can also meet some shitty people but it’s rather rare – most of the travelers are open minded and friendly. After a while it’s just a natural thing that a complete stranger becomes your good friend in a blink of an eye – things are always flowing and your social life is blooming. But then suddenly you are again in the world of childhood friendships and closed groups of friends that are not so easy to access. You don’t know anyone and you have to come up with some creative ideas to meet people. Stopping someone on the street and asking “hey, do you wanna be my friend” doesn’t necessarily work. You can forget about friends just happening to you, you gotta put a lot of effort in making some.

5. Your life will become so predictable

You already got used to crazy things happening to you every day. Nothing can really surprise you after being in Asia for a while, you just keep calm and let things happen. Once you settle down (especially in such a nice and calm place like New Zealand) you suddenly realize that everything is in order and very predictable. Not too many weirdos around, not so much of an excitement, properly dressed and behaved people everywhere. You can go and get drunk in the bar that for sure but this kind of entertainment is not as exciting as it used to be. You need something more exciting because hanging out with mumbling and doing stupid things drunk people somehow lost its charm. You became an adventure addict and now you are screwed…

So here I’m, starting to discover New Zealand but struggling with getting back to the “normal” life quite a lot. I truly loved living in the bush and having nothing but my backpack but I try to find some positive things of being settled here. Promise next post will be about great things about living in civilized world 😉

One Response
  1. June 7, 2015

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