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    • Adventure travel can be exhilarating, inspiring, and sometimes, even life-changing. But what happens when it's over?

      I loved some of the insights by Lynda:

      When I got back from my 18-month ride across South America, it was incredibly hard to adjust. Nothing made sense anymore; work, society, home, friends, family - I felt like a complete alien in my own hometown. My priorities had shifted, whereas for everybody else, life had gone on as always.

      Do you experience post-adventure blues and how do you cope?

    • I've traveled fairly long-ish term from my home country of New Zealand twice before.

      Both times I was on a fixed term working holiday visa where I was based in a particular country but it's location enabled me to travel cheaply to nearby places. The first time was 27 months based in in London, England, the 2nd time 19 months based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

      Given both countries proximity to Europe I spent a lot of time traveling there including former Eastern Block countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and Hungary, the Middle East, getting to Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, and Moscow and Saint Petersburg in Russia.
      The work involved the sort of jobs you could join and leave at short notice (e.g. London Motorcycle Courier) and accommodation was usually with up to a dozen other compatriots doing the same thing in a 3 bedroom house. So while I wasn't on the road 24/7 it was very unlike the settled living of home.

      Both times returning home was much more of a culture shock than going to all the new places. After an extended period of no responsibilities but to myself, plans made and changed at a moments notice and having done and seen so much, coming home to friends and family and the repetitiveness of daily life, career, mortgage etc was hard. The friends and family had got older, maybe moved houses, had a kid here and there and while these have their own rewards for those involved it felt shallow and uneventful compared to a life spent exploring.

      For me it took a long time to to settle back in and feel comfortable again, It was very difficult talking to those at home about what you had experienced as they just couldn't relate, not even slightly. That was somewhat unsettling and left me feeling isolated many times.
      Short holiday and honeymoon trips to Australia and Vanuatu, an emergency rescue trip to India and lots of local motorcycle travel softened the blow as I settled back into 'normality' but the yearning to travel never went away.

      And on that note, 15 years, 2 houses in 2 different cities, a marriage and inheriting 5 kids with that after returning from my last major trip, today I handed in my months notice of resignation at work in preparation for the next trip, planned to take 18-24 months depending solely on how long the money lasts for.

      Note:

      New Zealand has quite a number of reciprocal visa agreements with other countries, including the USA, where below a certain age you can work and travel in the partner country for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you are coming to NZ from the UK or Canada.

      If your country has similar agreements and you or your kids are in the relevant age brackets, I cannot recommend highly enough taking advantage of it.

    You've been invited!