Texas margaritas

Margaritas With Carl Jung

According to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, people become neurotic “when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life.” It is not surprising, presuming Jung’s conclusions to be true, that I succumb to what I can best describe as “post-travel neurosis” in the wake of each trip.

Every time I go home it is with the same assumption: That I have acquired adequate, correct answers to the questions of life. Yet, in the days and weeks that follow each trip through U.S. customs, I find myself in a world profoundly at odds with them.

I can no longer fit in among my friends, I think, because just as sure as I have moved forward in my understanding of the world, they have regressed in theirs.

I can no longer exist in this society, I continue, because the “Big Lie” it perpetuates is increasingly at odds with the truth I’ve come to know about the world.

I have to leave again, I conclude, because I have now been reminded why I peaced out in the first place.

Unlike has been the case on previous trips, however, I came across little knowledge between Oslo and Bangkok to suggest the answers I had prior to my most-recent departure were adequate or correct. But I did indeed remember why I peaced out in the first place: I always approach “real life” the wrong way.

I come back assuming that, because I have learned things I could not learn amid the coffee shops and bike lanes and cold springs of Austin, there is nothing to more to learn within the city limits. This assumption not only makes it difficult to enjoy iced toddies, cycling and swimming, but usually underlies my decision to leave when I inevitably do.

And although it is as inevitable as ever that I will travel overseas again in the future, I will not return to Texas tomorrow under the foolish pretense that the adequate, correct answers to the questions of life aren’t right under my sweating margarita glass.

Because they just might be.

About The Author

is the author of 498 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!

  • http://GreenGlobalTravel.com/ Bret @ GreenGlobalTravel

    It’s a funny thing when we take time to examine the things that motivate us, isn’t it? I’ve got a post on this topic that’s been brewing for a few weeks now, ever since I interviewed Andrew McCarthy and asked him why we go to the ends of the Earth in search of adventure. For him, it was about getting to remote places that allowed him to venture deep inside himself. For me, I think it has something to do with testing my own personal boundaries, constantly forcing myself out of my comfort zone and seeing how I’ll perform under pressure, and what I can learn from the experience. As a result, there’s a sense of accomplishment after every trip. My neuroses, as evidenced by my recent Churchill post, usually come before I leave…

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Bret, thank you for the interesting and detailed comment! We seem to be the exact opposite type of travel — I feel confident and accomplished before I even leave! I will have to check out your Churchill post.

  • Lola

    i had a really hard time returning home after being in Cambodia. i have a feeling i will feel the same way when i get back from my Eurotour adventure too. traveling changes you in good & bad ways. it opens up your eyes but then again – it opens up your eyes. i’m sure this makes sense to you. i’m restless when “home” no longer happy in the “normal” routines of life that all my peers seem to be happy doing. cest la vie…i will still travel on & still return home.

    safe travels to you! i know Texas will welcome you home with open arms!! :)

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Thanks for the detailed comment, Lola/Lauren. I guess my problem is that I really WANT to be OK being at home because, as much as I like to travel, I don’t want to do it forever.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/auston.matta Auston Matta

    I’m going home for Xmas after 8 months of travel. I’m anxious to see what it will be like to go home but I have a feeling I will be ready to be back on the road quickly.

  • Stephanie Raley

    I always return home from travelling feeling very empty, Life seems so boring and superficial compared to life on the road

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    That is the perfect way to put it, although it seems bleak. It just sucks that life on the road, as exciting and deep as it can be, is often so lonely.

  • janice

    I believe you talk about reverse culture shock – something I know and dislike, the reorientation can be quite unsettling. I take into account the saying ‘where ever you travel, there you are.’ How I love spending this amount of time doing something I love so much as travelling, writing and blogging. Spending time with me and those I love, instead of static in society, which can cause serious psychological disturbances. As a Counsellor and a Traveller, possibly I think very differently to most and am thankful for the generous gifts of insight that has come through both learning about the mind and the therapeutic intent but also the freedom and therapeutic restoration that comes from stepping onto new soil, with new sounds, smells and people of a culture with completly different views. Oh what a joy. I’ll continue to read your site with interest. have a great day. janice :-) http://www.travelwiththestrings.wordpress.com

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