There’s a certain melancholy within the last few hours on a plane, where you look out the windows, contemplate about the days, weeks, or months that have just been, and find yourself oddly discomforted about the idea of home. Of course, I have been told that it can be a little different for those of you with dogs, and I would understand too if I had one (thanks Mum and Dad…). Regardless, there is an undoubted period of travel withdrawals from wherever you have just boldly ventured forth. The following few hundred words will serve as therapy for those of you who are currently, have in the past, or ever will suffer from the opposite of homesickness. Home aversion, if you will. Here are the stages of post vacay mourning.
1. Denial & Isolation
In the immortal words of Lord Blink CLXXXII, “Sayeth it ain’t so, I will not go”. You will feel as though no one back here will understand the magnitude of just how great it was to be away. Words and Instagram posts will feel as though they fail to do it justice. At some point, your mentality of still being in holiday mode will have you yearning for some space, and as the heartbreak sets in, you won’t want to talk about it at all.
The tiniest things will set you off. Traffic from the airport a minute slower than usual? Fuck you. Bank needs some taxation forms filled out? Fuck you. Younger sibling asks how the flight was? Fuck you. Yeah, especially you, Ricky. Throughout this stage, the general consensus within the internal community of your mind will be, “This wouldn’t happen in (Insert destination here)”. The best you can hope for is to ride it out, and apologize to the people you hurt in the aftermath of your rampage. Except you, Ricky. I meant it. Dick.
At this stage, you will compulsively compare home to the destination you had most recently held so dear in your heart. The pasta isn’t quite as delicious as it is in Venice, the tequila not as blindingly potent as in Barcelona, and the threat of being mugged for your passport and money just isn’t as thrilling as it is in Paris. You will bargain with both yourself and your circumstance by trying to recreate your overseas bliss. Searching for authentic Italian restaurants and then wondering why it’s owned by a Chinese family, roaming around the streets for bars still pumping only to remember they close at 1AM, and finding no one really wants to take your passport here.
This will be the peak of your grieving, the dark hour before dawn. You’ll just want to be back. You’ll feel as though you can no longer smell rain, process joy, and find meaning of it all in the cosmic cesspool of life. Ultimately, you will feel as though life will never be the same. It’s alright, let it out. You always feel better after an emotional and literal chunder (Shrek, 3:16).
After a crash course of intrapersonal exploration, existentialist ponderings, and nihilistic meditations, you will be OK. What was will always be. The time and money you spent was not all for nothing. You will realize love isn’t having someone or something by your side, but the moments of longing, and misery from absence. And isn’t there something beautifully human about that? Sure, it sucks that you’re not where you were so happy anymore, but life ain’t all that bad. As political theologian, autonomous robot, and master of the universe (1968-1970), Arnold Schwarzenegger, once said, “I’ll slave away, save up, and hope my schedule allows for me to be back.” Or something like that.
By Garry Lu