Coming back to the "Real World" after long trips

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by guyfawkes, May 31, 2016.

  1. guyfawkes

    guyfawkes Move along, nothing to see here

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    Just a quick introduction.
    im currently planning a 1 year rtw trip that will start in Apirl of next year.

    So I was telling a buddy about this and about the rough plan and his immediate response was "I couldnt do that". Initially I thought here comes the usual "couldnt leave friends and family and all the risks bla bla bla" speech.

    But that was no concern, what he pointed out that after having such an experience he thought he would never be able to settle back into "normal" every day life.

    What's the experience of folks that have done 1year+ trips ? Were you able to settle in again ?
    For me I'll deal with the issue when and if it presents itself but im curious about others experiences.
    #1
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  2. Road Hound

    Road Hound Been here awhile

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    I don't have the experience of a full year ride, however I did go on a little ride of a little over 6 months last year.
    I found that on the return to my everyday life I did go through what I called The Shock of Stopping. It takes a while to settle in to everyday life, it feels so different not experiencing new places, new sights and meeting people every day, every hour.
    I've found that riding and planning your next big ride is the best medicine for The Shock of Stopping.
    #2
  3. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    I have made one year long trip and several of a few months and usually find it quite easy to settle back into normal life. I think this might be because I enjoy my hobby which is working on bikes almost as much as riding them and usually have something that needs attention, I also find I am not back long before thoughts of the next trip start to creep in.
    Either way do not be put off of your trip planning, I have never met anyone who has made a trip like that and regretted it.
    #3
  4. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I haven't done a 1 yr motorcycle ride but several deployments where I haven't seen land for 50 or 60 days. It's an adjustment for sure, but not long to get back to real life.

    Experts say it takes 12 days to break or make a habit. I wouldn't consider not doing a trip because of the thought of not getting back to "normal" life.

    Do it... ya got one crack at life.
    #4
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  5. Seadragon16

    Seadragon16 Adventurer

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    I've literally just got back to the UK last week after spending eight months riding from Canada to Panama and back again and I'm not going to lie, it's tough. This was the first long bike trip I've done, but I've backpacked on the same basis for many years, often being away for a year or two at a time.

    For me, I have no desire at all to settle back into 'real life'. I return to the UK to work for a few months when I need to and then I set off again. Having a new adventure on the horizon is what keeps me sane through those months of work but it really is the fastest way I've found to replenish my bank account. I guess some people can manage to slip back into living in one place, but I've found I can't. Or rather I don't want to.
    #5
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  6. 97707

    97707 Go Long

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    Maybe "normal" and "settling" are a tad over rated. Maybe part of the reason for going is to have some life changing experiences . . . to where after, you won't be returning to the same old same old . . . but rather something entirely different.

    .
    #6
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  7. guyfawkes

    guyfawkes Move along, nothing to see here

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    just to clarify. i will do this no matter what :D
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  8. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma

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    Doug Wothke's legendary round-the-world-on-a-chopper and Nathan Millward's legendary Sydney-to-London-on-a-postie ride reports were my introduction to the concept of long motorcycle journeys. Those ride reports literally changed my life. After reading about such epic trips on utterly unsuitable machines I knew I would never again be satisfied with any sort of normal, sedentary life. Incidentally, those ride reports were also my introduction to ADVrider. I started combing the website like a man that's just found religion combs the Bible.

    Something that made itself clear early on was that nearly everyone suffered some sort of depression after returning home, and an insatiable hunger to keep traveling. I realized the only way to avoid such a fate was to forgo settling for "that one epic journey" and instead to make a life of continual treks of shorter duration.

    In essence, to make traveling the lifestyle, rather than merely the epic one-time goal. At this point, my wife and I truly don't understand how people hijack their own lives with office jobs, debt, children, and suburbia.

    To be fair, however, I'm fully aware that plenty of those folks look at me and my wife and ask how we can give up "a rooted, stable home" for a life of continued wandering.

    Perspective is everything.
    #8
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  9. guyfawkes

    guyfawkes Move along, nothing to see here

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    im kind of at this point right now which is the reason why the decision to do this trip was made.
    i know that feeling of getting back and pretty much immediately having the desire to leave again from some other trips i've done.
    luckily a lot of my friends are in the "if time and money werent an issue i would do this myself" crowd alltough there have been those that say "how can you do this im times like these. what about the risks ? what about if you dont have a job when you get back". my answer simply is if i dont have a job i dont have a job. ill find a new one. at this point the job is merely a means to an end for me and thats what a lot of people dont really get.
    #9
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  10. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma

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    Absolutely. :thumb

    When you finally let go the mortal coil, you won't be taking your job with you. But you will be taking your memories.
    #10
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  11. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

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    "Wait until you retire to travel." I've heard that and when I retired there seems to always be a reason not to go. I planned to travel for months at a time after retirement, but that did not work out. I am seriously starting to wonder how much longer I'll be able to ride for days on end.
    Why worry about returning to normal life? it's over rated. All my life I have been owned by a house, kids, a job and possessions. After twenty something years working at a job, I was laid off. So much for the worry about having a job when returning.
    If you can go, do it! I never regret the travels I've done and wish I had done more when I was able.

    Bob
    #11
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  12. Seadragon16

    Seadragon16 Adventurer

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    This.
    #12
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  13. 97707

    97707 Go Long

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    They say youth is wasted on the young. Sure. Maybe retirement is wasted on the aged.
    #13
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  14. froger

    froger Been here awhile

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    No year on the road for me, but I been on a few trips. What I found is if you really hit it hard, you might not have the same fire next year. Starting with a rat bike, my Yukon trip took over a year of saving, planning, and bike fixing. Had a good time, was glad I went. But the next year, I just didn't have it. Didn't quit riding, but didn't live for it either. In a few years the passion came back, but it was low for awhile.
    #14
  15. jkam

    jkam Marijuana Farmer

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    I didn't fit in before I left and I sure as hell don't fit in now.
    I did a 4 year run, that was back in 99. When I got back I bought another
    bike and did 3 more years of NA only. Then I had had enough and bought the RV I live in now.
    It's as close to what I can handle as I can find.
    #15
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  16. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Hopefully the trip will change your life, so the chances are you will not 'settle back in'...but move in a new better direction...you implement those facets right away. Eat differently, talk differently, dress differently. The trip will equip you to deal with change so 'coming back' is like any one of your stops on the trip. You adapt, fit in and deal with it.
    #16
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  17. diegosaenz

    diegosaenz Been here awhile

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    That is where my mind has been lately, I'm focusing on paying the little debt I have so I can quit next year and do a long trip, not a year, but at least a few months and I'm truly worried about not being able to "set" back into the routine. I hate it as it is, I have the feeling that once I get to try real freedom I won't be able to settle for less, specially coming from a job background that requires me to put long hours every day.
    #17
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  18. AndrewStout

    AndrewStout Adventurer

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    Maybe not so much hard but different. When you are gone for any length of time, you change. You see things, experience things and are different when you return. The hard part is that everyone you left behind has also changed. It just takes time to readjust to the difference and keep moving on. It's like the friend you have that you can not talk to for a year and pick up right where you left off. Others you thought were close friends moved on without you or you have changed enough that you are fine to move on with out them. Just enjoy the ride
    #18
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  19. Dkmoto42

    Dkmoto42 All who travel are not lost...

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    In a week and a half, we (my husband and I) are starting a new chapter in our lives after several trips and a two-and-a-half-month trip traveling from California into Canada and to the UK last year. My reason for chiming in here is to express the difficulty experienced returning to a corporate profession after amazing experiences on our motorbikes. We both ride and have experienced difficulty with settling down to our previous existence post travels. We have paid down debt, kids are out of the house, sold the house and many possessions, and we are off …this time, there is no end date for our travels… The old adage of, “All who wonder are not lost” applies not only to our current state, but for many who have posted similar experiences. Safe travels…
    #19
  20. guyfawkes

    guyfawkes Move along, nothing to see here

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    Travel without an end date, thats still a dream but at least it gives me somthing to work towards ... :-)
    I'm not actually sure i could seperate all ties just like that at this point in time. with this upcoming trip i want to keep my flat(its a rental) and just sublet it for a year. so coming back at least is very likely.
    #20