The Painful, But Necessary Post-Trip Funk (PTF)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We’ve all been through this. If not, consider yourself lucky. Perhaps your symptom is leaving the bags packed for weeks as some sort of memorial trip shrine, maybe it’s the random sighs and slumped shoulders each time you pass the pile of bills on your coffee table, or it’s the irrational irritability towards inanimate objects (my chosen coping mechanism), like those damn lilac bushes dropping leaves all over the yard. Worst case scenario, you look a bit like that guy in the picture. Anyways, it all kind of slaps you back into that 9-to-5 world. So much is written out there about trip prep, but less is written about this equally important part of traveling: getting back to reality.

I’m guilty more than I’ll ever admit, and that’s the reason I was particularly drawn to WorldHum’s article on the treatment and symptoms of this “condition.” Fear not, faithful readers, help is on the way.

There is, sadly, no known cure for PTF, but wearing money belts and applying large quantities of sunscreen can alleviate symptoms. No one knows exactly why but researchers surmise these techniques “trick” the body into believing it is still traveling.

It seems that when we come home we have changed, perhaps slightly, but it’s change nonetheless. Adjusting to the new knowledge of yourself and the world is difficult when having to fit it into the box of your former, equally unchanged, life. This can be frustrating, hopeless, depressing, and awkward. Maybe the most important way to describe it, like it or not, is necessary.

Then again, there’s nothing awkward about sitting in your cubicle with a thick layer of sunscreen on. Now, is there?

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