Returning Home from Backpacking in Asia – End of Inner Peace?

by Amanda - editor of Backpacking Tips Asia
(Oslo, Norway)

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/Kristina Afanasyeva

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/Kristina Afanasyeva

When I got back from my 4-5-month trip in Asia, I felt I was entering a new world when I got back home. It was like time stood still while I was traveling, but when I got back "everything" had changed. It felt like a dream and it took me a while to adjust to my previous environment.

I remember the day I returned to Oslo. I was wearing my huge black fisherman pants, worn-out flip flops and this heavy, filthy backpack. Everyone was staring at me when I arrived in downtown Oslo. I looked like a frigging hippie compared to the high-maintenance Norwegians passing by. But I didn’t care.

Traveling in my own pace, doing whatever I want at what time I wanted, was relaxing, simple and peaceful. No stress. No hassle. ;-)

Seriously, I didn’t feel an inch of stress in my body and mind while I was backpacking (and no, I didn’t do any yoga ;-)). If the bus was a little late or if I missed the bus, I didn’t mind. Yeah, yeah, I’ll just take the next bus. If my food was served one hour late, I didn’t mind. I wouldn’t be bitching about it like I would have done in Oslo, because time didn’t matter.

I stopped caring about things that didn’t matter, and started caring for things that did matter. Why waste energy on things you can’t change?

Coming from an impatient, short-tempered person like me, this is nirvana. :-)

Before I went back home to Norway, I told myself that I would do anything to maintain that peace in myself. It went well for a month or two or maybe three. But eventually society caught up with me.

The real challenge is to balance your inner self when you get home and not get stressed out about what society wants from you. In this modern era, we should start doing things in our own pace and do what we want, and not be dictated by what the "perfect society model" wants.

But it’s easier said than done. A lot of us get sucked into what’s considered the perfect life, without wanting it at all. A proper education, a proper job, and a proper home where you should bring kids/new tax payers into the world and so on. Don’t get me wrong; education and work are important, but it’s not for everybody.

We tell to ourselves that we want it, because everyone expects that you should want it. Do you really want it? ;-)

I am no role model. I’m one of the people who still fight for what I really want (whatever that is), without feeling like an outcast. I’m still learning how to not care about what people think and say about me and my future. So, I can really focus on my needs and wants.

To get there, I need to maintain my inner peace which was brought to life when I went backpacking in Asia :-) That’s the thing with long-term travel. I miss the peace that eventually comes with it :-)


Posted: July 25, 2013

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