Currently, my life consists of 70% travel. I travel for business, I travel to visit family in Poland, I travel when I go on vacation. Over time, I began to notice certain patterns, specific stages that I go through while staying in each country.
That is, the moment I arrive in a country. I am excited and fascinated. Each place tempts with its novelty, I look with curiosity at the people passing by, and my heart says “Stay here!”. Then I don’t think about the life I left behind: work, family or friends. I absorb with my whole self what was previously unknown, I boldly immerse myself in every experience – I am simply present here and now. No exceptions.
Stage of concern
Once the initial fascination with the country passes, the less fun part begins. Places go from colorful to grayish. People of interest, gloomy. I am beginning to miss my family home and conversations with loved ones. Foreign culture is starting to get in the way, and at night I dream about my mother’s Russian dumplings. 😉 There are times when I doubt the rightness of the trip: “maybe I chose the place wrong”, “maybe I should have stayed at home”?
I then spend a lot of time thinking and organizing priorities in my head. I’m renewing contacts that I had inadvertently neglected before, and I’m beginning to appreciate ties with friends and family. I’m even looking around for plane tickets to visit loved ones next month.
Over time, fears pass and are replaced by adaptation. I am getting used to the buildings I pass every day, the street sounds or the saleswoman at the grocery store next to my apartment. I’m starting to feel … familiar. This is helped by the acquaintances I’ve made – people I may not call friends yet, but in time that’s what I’ll start to think of them as. In a city that previously fascinated me and then overwhelmed me, I now just feel comfortable.
I have to admit that travel is not only moments of happiness and excitement. At some point, one naturally begins to miss home, family and a sense of stability. It passes, but it also takes time. I consider both the initial euphoria and the subsequent concern to be necessary and as important as the subsequent stability. They allow you to better or redefine yourself and your needs.
How long does each phase last?
There is no rigid rule, the process may look different in everyone. 🙂 It all depends on the place, you and your personality. My WOW stage in Copenhagen is not over yet! Sometimes I think I’m already acclimated because I spend more time indoors than outdoors – that’s where I relax and calm down. However, I often find that the different phases can intertwine. This was the case when the decision was made to establish Kate’s Diary Agency. I felt fear and excitement at the same time, but I decided to put everything on the line – and I don’t regret it. In any situation you need a pinch of optimism, and when moving to the unknown even a full handful of it!