It’s very peculiar. I’ve been back from The Trip for a couple of days now. I’ve started work on editing the photos. I’ve done a bunch of admin and letter-opening and a meeting or two to get things moving again.
And all the while I feel like my head is somewhere else entirely. Up a mountain, perhaps. Following a river from a train window. Drinking a beer in a Macedonian square.
I’ve not travelled like I did in the last three weeks since before university. I’ve holidayed and some of those holidays have been in far-flung places. But they’ve also been comfortable affairs, deliberately so. Holidays are opportunities to relax; to empty your head. Travelling feels the exact opposite. It’s all about filling your head. And what do you do with a full head when you need to use it for other stuff? Wait for it to empty again?
Darren, one of my travelmates for the Disorient Express, has written a beautifully poignant post about his feelings on return. He’s perfectly captured this feeling of disconnection. It’s like my mental batteries have gone from full-charge to imminent shutdown in less than 72 hours.
Perhaps this is a mental defence; perhaps this is only an emotional Ctrl-Alt-Del. But I haven’t been able to write a useable word of fiction in the last couple of days, nor have I made a start on a really big piece of work I need to get done. I keep opening documents and staring at them, and every now and again I imagine that the house is moving underneath me, rattling along a pre-war rail while mountains move past outside.
It’s like I’m haunted. It’s very, very peculiar.