The Real Problem With Wanderlust

Running away, is it ever a good idea?

Every other month, and often even twice a month, I decide it’s time to run away and explore a new city, country or nearby town. My desire to feel free from the shackles of a day job and day-to-day life in the city of London is deep ridden in me. I frequently feel as though if I don’t leave now, I’ll be stuck forever. Darn that wanderlust.

But there seems to be a great flaw in my plan, every time I return after having had an amazing break, I feel worse than when I left. Crying alone in my room, tanned yet unhappy, I look back at a time where I was carefree, meeting new people and being the personable self I long desire to be once I return. Instead I leave feeling more depressed than ever and so, I feel no choice but to run away again. The cycle continues.

Recently I visited the beautiful island of Barbados, which just so happens to be my home country. Having been so keen to show one of my best friends my real home, I arrived more excitable than ever. My skin glowed, my teeth beamed and I was as it seemed, in my element. It only took one week to restore my happiness and true faith in the world. To make me feel whole again. I’d restored my love of writing, cumbered a plethora of ideas for when I returned and forgotten all the hideous things that plagued me with anxiety. I was myself again. This is exactly what I needed I thought, this is what I came for and I finally felt like me again. The entire week, problems that would have gotten me down back home, rolled right off of my back in Barbados. My happiness was untouchable.

Well, that was until it came time to leave. Having been riddled with anxiety once again, I sat on the beach and cried while my friend lay asleep in the sun next to me. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I get up and fly home like every other person? What was it about leaving this particular island and returning to my normative life that seemed so damn difficult? Granted all holidays must come to an end, but it just wasn’t something that I could accept this time around. All I could do was cry and struggle to explain to anyone why it was that I was crying.

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Packing was difficult. Leaving the hotel was difficult. Waving goodbye to my family members for the final time, was difficult. I felt more broken than ever and couldn’t make sense of it. Had the decision to go home, home been worth the pain I’d since endured? While my friend spoke of her heartbreak having to leave the beautiful little West Indian island, I silently agreed. I couldn’t bear to let her in on how truly broken I felt having to let go of a life I’d felt so comfortable in, after so many months of trudge and difficultly back home in London. Back home to the flood of disappointment, the crappy jobs, the shitty pay, the constant rejection and the avoiding of social media for reasons unknown. My low points now even lower, were unbearable.

In my own little therapy session, you know, the one I undergo with myself, Microsoft Word and a carefully selected Spotify playlist; I told myself that I would refrain from any more breaks away from home, but just for the meanwhile. The reason being that running away to escape my many (many) problems, only sucks the joy from my love of actually being away from home. Sure this test could go awry and I could very well end up on a quickie flight to Amsterdam for some ‘fresh air,’ but I owe it to myself to try. After all, I don’t want to despise traveling in the future, it’s my only true solace.

The major problem with wanderlust, for me in particular, is while it may seem fun and free spirited to be away from everything that plagues you where you really reside, at some point running away is no longer an option and we do have to return. This is me, returning to reality.

….And in answer to my earlier question, no, no it is not.

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