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After the big trip They came, went... and did it! But where are they now? DID that big trip change their lives? What to do with all the travel experience and how to use it? How to get a job afterwards! Was the trip the best - or worst - thing you ever did?
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  #1  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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Kind of depression?

Hi guys,

Kinda just wondering if i am a lone in this. We have now finished our 3 continent , 26 countries, almost 18 month trip. We landed in Perth Aus. and for various reasons decided to give it a go here. We have spent the better part of everyday since trying to find jobs, (MrsX successfully, me not so much). The problem is that for me at least almost nothing seems to get my blood boiling. My bike even needs a far bit of work and I just cant seem to drag myself in to the shed to do it, cus I know it is just for around town riding which has even lost it glamour. I cant sit still. The worst part though is that I don’t even want to talk about the trip. When I hear people talking that have done a trip, I simply don’t like to compare. Other people it just seems like bragging, and even though it was only about two months ago.. if feels like a different life. A different person even. I am even having a hard time posting on the hubb?



Has anyone had an experience like this?
Did it ever go away?
Is the chronic travel addiction that strong and is the only way to “be happy” now to travel constantly (i have always had a bit of the itchy feet but now....)? If so the next hub t-shirt should be…

Warning: Overlanding is highly addictive and there is no known cure…..



Yours lost in the known world
Xander
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  #2  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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growing roots

So you're FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) and head in the gutter. It sounds very familiar and for us at least I think it gets worse before it gets better. I think that when you change your lifestyle (for the better) for 18mnths so drastically that you become accustomed to the new life and when you go back to putting your roots down, it just doesn't feel natural because, lets face it with all that experience behind you, you are both changed people. The difficulty is finding the motivation to stay stuck. For us now in Switzerland, originally from Sydney Australia, the cultural differences and languages not to mention the landscapes are huge. We are biding our time and making the most of it always trying to turn our situation into a positive one. A bit like you need to do on your trip when you break down and waiting for parts on your trip... Like some (read most) people on here also believe, the real life is not the one you live 8hrs a day stuck behind a a boring office job, it's the one you live for, to save and have a life changing experience. You've had that, now the difficulty is coming to terms with those changes in you. Let's face it the people around us don't really change, its us that changes. My motivation was and sometimes still is at an all time low, and now its been 18months since our big trip from Sydney to Oslo. But sometimes what you need is just a good'old kick up the bum to get on with it.

You left the UK? so you can't blame the european weather, Perth is great and relaxed you just need to pull yourself back together and get on with it. Let's face it you could be in a much worse place looking for work.

Work to live and live to ride.
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  #3  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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Get yourself a project. Being "workfree", you could go for a trip north along the coast, or anywhere, there is a lot of land to cover in Australia. Maybe get an offroad bike.
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  #4  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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The only thing that is keeping us sane is saving hard/planning for the next one.


Pete
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  #5  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by mcgiggle View Post
The only thing that is keeping us sane is saving hard/planning for the next one.


Pete
Aye... Thats pretty much how it works.

Keeping busy and trying to do all the good things "home" has to offer really helps too.

I really missed bacon sandwiches and good Tea when Im away so I always pig out on them when Im home.

Its the little things like that that help !

Ted
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  #6  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post


Has anyone had an experience like this?
Did it ever go away?
I had very similar symptoms myself. They dull a little with time but never go away. I've found as long as I get regular fixes and can see the next fix on the horizon(sumlimited) then I can cope with the daily grind.

Good luck,
Chris
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  #7  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
Has anyone had an experience like this?
Did it ever go away?
Yes, I'm glad you posted that, most of what you have written is very familiar to me, back here since 3 months after a year in Africa.

But there's a slow improvement now which I think will accelerate as spring comes round.

All my bikes need just small jobs doing before I can ride them, but I've hardly touched them, partly because the garage was surrounded by snow for a while, and lack of enthusiasm since.

So have bought a cheap ticket to Spain for a few weeks to re-charge with sunshine.

After many years of travelling, each trip bigger than the previous, I've learnt, on returning home, "When it's time to do things, the motivation will arrive."
And I'm sure it'll arrive again soon, and I'll be immersed in some new adventure - with no known cure.....

But here's a lesson I think I've learned - think carefully when planning what time of the year you'll return home.
This is the second time I've returned home in the middle of winter, and the effect was the same last time, also requiring a big dose of foreign sun to get going again.
(But you have summer there, so that statement isn't much use to you!)

All the best.
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  #8  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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Xander

Good day Mate,

Sounds familiar with many blokes aged 40 plus.

Get in touch with a fellow Ulysses member Steve Andrews, he moved to
Perth recently. Black Dog Ride around Australia (raising awareness of*depression)

He's got lots of contacts, to get you back into the real world.

Cheers
Helgo
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  #9  
Old 14 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by rusty max View Post
Sounds familiar with many blokes aged 40 plus.

Helgo
I don't think it's an age thing - I'm still in my twenties (for a while), but for me the joy of the trip (and the pleasure of feeling 'alive') lasted for a long time after I got back. It took a few years for the colour to get washed out to grey and the noose of a tie to make it's presence felt around my neck - time to plan another big trip! The problem now was that I'm still paying off my last trip so am using an old bike donated by Domino's to cross the Sahara, problem solved!!

Now that I'm absorbed with the planning the only thing bugging me is Valentine's Day. Bloody happy couples everywhere, GRRRRR....
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  #10  
Old 23 Feb 2011
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I'll lumber in with my two-cents on this as it's something I've just finished writing about in the epilogue of my book (not published yet).

I, like pretty much everyone else that has replied to this thread, suffered a bit (and am still in some ways) after the ending of my 'big trip'. It was three years of my life after all, not all of it on the back of my bike, but the return to 'normal life' was a shock.

I came to a number of realisations whillst I was away, specifically when I was riding across the deserts in Australia. There was a lot of time for thinking and other introspective nonsense as I was there by myself. I won't bore you too much with most of the realisations I reached, as a lot of those were very personal, but the long and the short of it?

It's all in your head.

The so-called 'adventure' I mean, it's all in your mind.

It's about how you view what you're doing at any given time. My own experiences on my travels taught me that anything can be an 'adventure', it's just about how you view it at the time. If you approach what you might term 'every-day' life as a chore, something to be endured rather than experienced, that's exactly what it will be.

Not to sound like I'm so far up my own arse I can check my teeth for fillings, but there was a quote from a French philosopher that I identified with quite a lot as I was approaching the 'end' of my expedition, and I'll paste it here in the hope that you might find it as relevant as I did:

"Something begins in order to end: an adventure doesn't let itself be extended; it achieves significance only through its death"
(Jean Paul Sartre)

The end, that's what gives it value.

I took my experiences, the things I'd learned whilst expeditioning all over the place and let them shape me as a person. Sounds like psycho-babble twaddle, but at a very basic level it's true.

To rail against what you now deem 'normal' everyday 'mundane' life is pointless as it's only in your head that it has no worth. Best bet, approach the next stage of your life with as much vigour and enthusiasm as you did your 'big trip'. After all, anything can be an adventure.

Never forget what you did, where you went, what you achieved. Take those experiences, let it shape you and how you approach life from now on.

Adventure? It's as much a state of mind as anything else.
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  #11  
Old 24 Feb 2011
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..a kind of depression.

Hi Xander,
I dont think it is a 'kind of' depression - I think it IS depression.
This takes time to work through and unfortunately it is only you who can work through it. Anyone saying 'buck up', 'things aren't that bad' etc...'put your mind/body/soul into something'...have your best interests at heart...
(BTW - Im not knocking anyones advice here!! as its all good stuff and kind of everyone)
but it is only time that is needed and an alteration in your frame of mind and that is totally down to you. no amount of being told by someone else that you are lucky/have been lucky, had a great time/having a great time and so on will make a blind bit of difference.

You 'have' had an amazing time - and you will do so again - however this is not going to help you at this moment right now!

so - not having a focus is currently your main problem. Schedule your day. Make a timetable and stick to it. Your partner has a job, make part of your job being the 'housewife'! (as a modern guy you probably do anyway!), then another part of your day out on a cheap small dirt bike ( or push bike!) - get fit. have a general keep fit routine that you can do at home if you cant afford or dont want to go to a gym. keeping fit and feeling fit is an amazing booster to both mind and body.
and do as McGiggle says.....start to plan towards the next one....this could just be a plan (a focus) for a short camping trip away, 2 months short trip etc. It doesnt have to be a 'big' one.

we have some close friends who did a big trip. then they stopped. it took them a while. they eventually found jobs and a routine. they then made their own jobs ie self-employed. they now work really dam hard for jsut over half a year and then the rest of the time -usually two 2 or 3 month periods - away doing whatever it is they have longed to do during the time they work their bits off!

yes, I have thought about this a lot.

I hope some of my babbling will help.
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  #12  
Old 24 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by Lisa Thomas View Post
get fit. have a general keep fit routine that you can do at home if you cant afford or dont want to go to a gym. keeping fit and feeling fit is an amazing booster to both mind and body.
and do as McGiggle says.....start to plan towards the next one....this could just be a plan (a focus) for a short camping trip away, 2 months short trip etc. It doesnt have to be a 'big' one.
This is great advice and what I did when I got home from South America. I was in the gym two days after I landed burning off all the steak and wine.. It really lifted my "bummed" out feeling.

I am one week away from flying home from Africa after a fantastic six months out here. I'm really not looking forward to being home at all but I've already started up a gym membership and i'm looking ahead to the next trip with gusto... It's the only way to stay sane.

Long term travelling is a total mind shift from most peoples home life. It takes time to be re-institutionalised. To be plugged back into the "Matrix" !!
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  #13  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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It is not the trip.

I was laid off from work a few years ago, went of a bit of a ride now and then never more than a few weeks never some place I need to fly or a passport (pre9-11).
When you at home you sit there looking for work or something to give you a reason to get up, some days I dint. Just sitting there looking at the phone filling out another form for a useless job. Some times kids call you in and talk to you about some job a dead cat can do and all you want to kill the useless buggers gust to stop from talking about how important there job is.

On the trips it was all about me! I was paying for the gas I want to see what sunrise looks like on a pass in the rocky mountains I went and looked. See what is down this road I went down the road. It did not mater when you come back no one is missing you nothing is there anyway so I stay out a few days more no harm in that. I had a goal I had to get to it.

Right now you do not.
You have the people that for all your trip where in the background now looking at telling you what you need to do if they find you useful. And like me you do not like them. Boring life people if they die it will make no difference to you or them. Stupid mindless drones and you are one needing them. But the world tells you you can not kill them and to get a job but you cant do that.
It will send any one in to a depression or a blood filled killing rage. Men are what they do there life made and framed by the work they do, defined by there work. We have been born in a world that beats this in to us from the day we are born till the day we die. You broke out and trying to force you way back in. Wonder why many men die so soon after retirement?

You need a goal something hear and now. Id get on the bike and go someplace far away someplace not easy for you to get to. It will get you up on the morning and that is a start. Some times we need that little bit of stress that drive the carrot or stick to push forward, or to stop the slide down.
If that dose not do it get a some help or drugs.
This may seem a harsh to some but I have been there. I know what it like not get out of bed and know you have no reason to.

Get better Xander life is still worth living on the other side if this.
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  #14  
Old 20 Mar 2011
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I can sympathise

Hi Xander, You are not alone in Perth.

I arrived from the UK on my KTM 640 about 4 months ago and have also set up home here. I was offered a job as an engineer and since I only just graduated before my trip really need the experience to have any future chance of working in engineering, thus i've settled here for a bit.

1 month after I arrived another friend fron Norway on hist 640 turned up.

A month ago another friend from the UK on his 640 turned up.

There are now 3 KTM overlanders here in Perth getting up to the same no good that we always have across 3 continents. Breaking down at every other traffic light, leaking oil and trying to score girls.

We are very good at the first two.

We went for a ride south over the last bank holiday weekend with some other bikers that arrived here. My bike did what it had done during my trip, ran badly and leaked. Another KTM broke down for a change. It was good to be back in the saddle for a bit but we're all in agreement, there are worse places to be and Perth is a relative paradise. We hit the beach every weekend.

We all live pretty close to Fremantle which is a bit of a hippy bohemian place, just like some of those backpacker places in SE Asia and India. If you want to meet some travellers, head down to South Beach and camp in the park there. We are even considering staying in a hostel occasionally to meet some folk.

I'm glad I'm being kept busy at work. I do occasionally have 'flashbacks' of random parts of my trip. A desert road in pakistan I had forgotten about or a long forgotten meal.

It's funny how despite how upset and lonely and generally p*ss*d off riding alone through india I was, I miss the place though.

Maybe I'll travel again in a few years. My life mantra has changed since my trip though. I don't see the point in owning anything I can't get onto the back of a bike.

I've finally had enough of my beast of burden that has carried me halfway around the world and put a deposit down on a shiny new one. It feels like I'm cheating in some way.

Anyway enough rambling. Basically I was gonna post and say give us a call if you fancy meeting up with a bunch of over egoistical Katoom drivers and we will hit the bush.

As someone mentioned though, bacon is a good rememdy for most things....

Duncan
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  #15  
Old 24 Mar 2011
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Feeling funny

been there ,felt that too until I then realised that what we are missing is not the trip itself but the way we felt while travelling and living on the road , we can feel the same no matter where we are and what we do and we just have to look at the feeling and look for it itself and no think that the trip is what make us feel good ( was that clear or ....), I often dream of my futur trip or remember my past ones but I do not let these dreams become my life ,I just live my dream life about every single day ,on the road or not .
.

Hope this help.

PS :it maybe easy for me since I am going away on the road in September and that my house is in Florida just 3 mn from the beach and that I have coffee in my pool almost everyday and...........
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