The first days after returning are always hard (I got back a few days ago after spending an abysmal time in the plane); perhaps it’s what many people jokingly mean when they talk about having a holiday to recover from their holiday. It’s more than physical tiredness; it’s a narrative of my own life that I’ve always needed to revise each time. I’ve noticed some sort of cognitive shift that always happens each time I return after some time away; there’s always a sense of overwhelming tiredness and jet-lag (that could be combated using Melatonin). More than time difference, there’s also a cultural re-think and reshaping that the mind’s got to wrap itself around that is almost akin to adjusting to culture shock in the country that you live in.
It’s not always pleasant, questioning things you already know and things that you don’t, but it’s a cycle that unfailingly repeats itself. As pertinent as these questions are, they do more than make me twitch. Poke a little further, and I risk tumbling down into darker brooding in the supposed merry days before Christmas and the New Year. Pushing the answered doubts away and life sort of rights itself, and returns to a more-or-less even keel, and sails once again off from the rocky reef that lies a few feet away. Whose bluff am I calling sometimes? Just the day after I collapsed in bed, I started looking out for possible routes and flight prices for the next trip which is yet unplanned while lingering over the precious photos of Iceland that are now stored on my hard drive.
Putting yourself out into the unknown and going off uncharted treks (and that is perhaps how tourists and travellers differ most fundamentally) is harder work than I thought – and this hasn’t changed since I started doing this 10 or so years ago. But it’s stalwart and honest, and keeps my questioning going on. I don’t think I could – or want to – be any different, minus the damned plane journey.