You have returned from a journey so expansive and beautiful the world is vibrating in different shades of light. Your heart was blown open, you met, saw and tasted the most magnificent things. You evolved and shifted and are now on a totally different level then when you first boarded that plane. Then you arrive “home”. While the initial homecoming may be heart warming and lovely, I have personal experiences and observed many friends (even ones rooted in a strong yoga practice) that struggle with the adjustment and are not really sure whats happening to them.
Symptoms include: Restlessness, Exhaustion, Waves of strong emotions, Trouble connecting with people at home, a confused sense of identity, confusion about your current life situation, tears, feeling generally uncomfortable and spontaneous physical ailments
I recently returned from an epic seven month journey through Europe, India, Nepal and the Eastern coast of the US. Of course throughout these incredible travels there were challenges. Many challenges were the natural experiences that travel offers, while some were my own challenges that I place upon myself. However, by the time I returned to New York, months and countries later, I was sure that some of those negative mental patterns had been left far behind in a foreign context. For example, I have been prone to wicked anxiety and waves of insecurity and sadness my whole life, but after all the living and healing that had taken place abroad I felt like those days were completely gone, and even more so since these challenges hadn’t presented themselves in years.
After my first week home I began to slip into some kind of funk, I embraced the impermanence of my feelings, dove head first into my practice and Indulged in all things that felt good. I stayed present and grounded in my current situation, yet I began to fall deeper into these depressive states. Refusing to come to terms with the fact that I was not feeling well at all, I dismissed my feelings without giving them any recognition. I couldn't understand why, with the abundance of beauty and comfort my current life situation presented I was feeling down. It made me feel guilty. How could it be that I had been living in bliss while trying to sleep on overcrowded sleeper buses stuck in traffic through Dehli, living off 5 USD a day and not always having access to clean water but could not find my authentic, peaceful selfIn my beautiful little cottage in East Hampton, New York.
This is when I learned a very important lesson. You have to validate your own feelings before you can let them go. I was so deep in denial of my sadness that I never took the time to acknowledge how I was truly feeling. Isn't that what its all about? Being completely honest with your self in every capacity? So I had a really honest conversation with my Heart. I asked myself how I felt without any kind of judgement.
I felt lonely, I felt so disconnected with the people I love so much It made my heart hurt. I felt sickened by the amount of waste we produce in the west and the amount of money spent on useless shit. I felt like everyone was missing the point of life and human existence floating around in clouds of material illusion. I missed my travel tribe, I missed authenticity. The thing that was eating away at me however was the guilt. I felt so guilty for feeling this way that it became this awful self perpetuating cycle. How could I feel so crappy when I had It so good? It seemed absurd.
The journey doesn’t end when you get home, it evolves into a whole other trip.
In the past two months I have learned more about myself than I ever knew possible. I finally understood that the greatest Journey you will ever embark on is the journey within, a voyage of self discovery.
I pulled myself out of this hole by acknowledging I was in one to begin with and then was careful not to give it any unnecessary attention. I observed my situation and began to evolve with it. I kept possessions from my travels close by, so their high energy was always close to my heart. I made active efforts to reach out to my tribe and connect on a soul level. I realized I was not alone and many of my friends were experiencing similar things. I dived into the now, into my practice. The most important shift I made, however, was embracing this strange hurdle as a beautiful blessing. I was being given the chance to learn so much about my self in such a safe place. I journaled everything, every time my heart, soul, body and mind felt heavy I would unload it with ink into notebooks. I got creative in every way - painting, playing, making. I spent time in nature, bare feet in the ground, rooting myself into my current placement on this planet.
I gaze at the same stars, the same moon and the same sun. It is the same moon that I watched rise over the Himalayas and knowing that, makes me feel in my heart that it is all the same. We travel to facilitate inner growth but the journey is within. I connected with the cosmos and found peace there. We are always traveling, we are traveling thousands of miles through space now.
You decide when the trip ends, maybe now is the time to decide it wont. Maybe now is the time to make a commitment to bliss, happiness and growth and keep the momentum. Propelling yourself into a whole other dimension of discovery. The trick to avoiding a travel hangover to to keep traveling within your mind, body, spirit. To embrace the different facets of this long trip we call life. keep going, keep exploring, keep loving.
CHRISTIANA Is a full time traveler, yogi, song writer and dream manifester. She is passionate about fresh food, vibrant cultures, holistic health and the ocean. Her greatest wish is for everyone to listen to their inner teacher, follow their intuition and fall in love with their lives. Follow her here: www.instagram.com/christianaeva