Updated: Jun 19
Anybody who has ever been anywhere in their lives obviously knows what a pain it is to return home after a vacation. Travel blues is just a sad reminder that no matter how much you try to get away, life always happens. The same life that you are so busy building, the same life that you are still so eager to escape – ironic, huh?
While you are away, making new memories, often the most wonderful thing happens and you fall in love. You fall in love with the smell of the city, the sunset by the ocean, the birds singing in the mountains, the fresh food at the market, the kindness of the locals... And yes, sometimes you fall in love with people. But this love is not a romantic one; not in a mundane, relationshipy way. If this love is to be romanticized, its sentiments stem from the most extraordinary, supernatural, otherworldly place. No, there is nothing sexual about it – can be, but that is a different topic. This kind of pure, untainted love just happens upon you when you meet a lovely soul and you have an instant connection. They are just your type of people. It feels like you are reunited with an old childhood friend, someone from your past, who reminds you of the real you. The person that you used to be before you learnt about the tragedy of existence, before you forgot how to laugh carelessly.
That encounter takes you back to the most innocent part of your life, which makes it all the more fascinating how it comes naturally. When you make friends like that, you forget about your life back home. Especially if you meet several of them, you forget about everything and everyone you left behind. You feel like you belong, like this has always been your home, this has always been your life. You forget you have work on Monday, you forget your to-do-list, you even forget your friends. You forget to call your mom and tell her that you are still alive.
Your bond is even stronger because you know that in exactly one hundred and thirty-seven hours you will be on the plane soaking in exquisite sorrow that you had to leave. There is no time to play games or try to hide your weird habits. You get to know the most genuine version of each other – simple, authentic and real.
And then you go home, and reality, that heinous, unshaved beast hits you in the head. You come to realize that these people will never be a part of your life. Not in a way you want them to be. So you try to find a way to deal with it. You keep talking to them... a lot. Maybe even every day. But you know that eventually they are doomed to the same fate as all your other long-distance friendships: silent appreciation and sentimental longing for a version of your life that they actively participate in. But they will never be the people you hang out with every week. You will not be able to randomly text them to grab a beer by the lake on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Nor will they be the ones you call with an emergency simply because they will not be able to pick up your medicine when you are too sick to leave the house.
And that feels distressing. How do you cope with that pain? Perhaps there is no way to properly process those emotions. But you can always choose to see the beauty of it all and bask in the eternal grace for being able to live through the most dazzling type of heartbreak.