What Nobody Tells You About Coming Home After Traveling

Everyone tells you about how amazing travel can be – how it captures your soul and changes who you are. Everyone tells you about how your life will be forever altered by travel, and that once you catch the travel bug….there’s no turning back.

But nobody tells you about the return home.

Nobody tells you that when you come home – everything around you is exactly the same. Your friends are the same people, working the same jobs, dating the same people, drinking at the same bars on a Friday night. Your parents are the same, cooking the same meals, in the house that hasn’t changed a bit. Everything looks, feels, and smells the same.

But you…..you have changed.

You have seen and experienced magical places that you’ve always “liked” on Instagram. You have breathed in new air. You have sank your feet into foreign soil. You have been surrounded by different cultures, different languages, and different religions for weeks, maybe months, maybe years.

Sure, it’s exciting coming home. Seeing your family and friends and getting back to work, sharing all of your stories and getting hugs that could squeeze the life out of you.

But then everything goes back to normal. You’re back in your routine. Everyone is used to you being home – everyone is living their day-to-day normal life.

I just want to scream. Everything is moving around me – but I am frozen. The return home is always difficult for me because I can’t relate to “home” anymore.

You see – my home is foreign streets and airports. It’s waking up at 4 AM in Cambodia to catch the sunrise behind a temple. It’s renting a moped and getting lost on unfamiliar roads. It’s $4 hostels and waking up to geckos on my bed. It’s dancing on the street in the pouring rain because it’s the Thai New Year. It’s showering in flip-flops and wondering when the next time I’m going to do laundry is. It’s living out of my backpack and wearing the same outfit 3 days in a row.  It’s sleeping on night buses and boats so I don’t waste a day traveling to my next destination.

I come “home” and I am restless. I am anxious. I don’t feel the same – and nobody understands me. I am constantly thinking about the day I finally runaway. Constantly thinking about selling everything I own – packing my bag – and just leaving. For good.

I love my city, I love my state, I love my family, and I love my friends. But this small town isn’t where I belong – and frankly, there’s nothing actually holding me down here.

I dream of waking up in new cities, where nobody knows my name and the possibilities are endless. I dream about working odd jobs and connecting with kindred spirits as I make my way around the globe.


Nobody tells you about the emptiness you feel inside after you return from traveling. That as soon as you land and give and receive your hugs – you’re wondering “what next?”.

My hometown will always hold a place in my heart. But I am sorry – because I can no longer call it home. Home is the unknown – and I will spend the rest of my life chasing it.

Thanks for reading my blog post. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns: please feel free to e-mail me: kimberlyncharters@yahoo.com

Also – follow me on instagram to see travel photos and inspiration almost daily – @askimtravels


12 thoughts on “What Nobody Tells You About Coming Home After Traveling

  1. I can relate with this post so much, I felt exactly the same after I returned home last year after 6 years of traveling and living around the world …in fact the way I felt and how hard it was to adjust back to life inspired me to start writing …this post is very similar to my first post bubble burst reality hits ….i like yr style 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went to Europe 19 years ago, but I still remember that feeling. I was relieved to be home and back in my own bed, but when I woke up the next morning, I could feel the change. Everything at home was the same, but I was different. It’s something that is still hard to explain to people, so many years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely understand this on a spiritual level. I want to tear my own skin off and leave it “home” and just go go go. Nobody understands and they think you’ll “get over it” but it changes you and how your body works. It opens parts of your brain that haven’t been exposed ever, it leaves you wanting calm chaos and “new” all the time.

    Love this! Keep writing!


  4. The only thing I can say is: I totally agree with you!
    One onther thing: the way you write is soooo fantastic! Seriously, it’s 1:30am and I’m still reading your posts.
    Just became a fan!
    Ps. Say Belo Horizonte again hahahah


  5. Fellow small small town Northern Michigander feeling the SAME exact way as this post. Took the words right out of my mind. Well-Put.


    1. Aw, where are you from? I’m glad that people are able to connect with this post – a lot of times it’s hard to find another person that understands. I’m glad it resonated with you. Happy travels!


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