Things are starting to return to normal in the life of Royce & Amber. Yip. The elation and relief of finding full-time paid employment in meaningful, career-progressing positions of fulltime employment is slowly giving way to the blunt reality of the 5-day drudgery that IS the working week. The wonderment of finding the means to fund our retrospective overseas escapades has finally abated and, despite being stoked with our new nine-to-five roles, all those facebook photos we posted with enthusiastic show-off-ness are now but distant memories that haunt us- like that picture of you when you were five and you had that “awesome” T-shirt that said “Inside this Hawaiian T-shirt is one terrific kid”… but in a different haunting-type way . Yep, we’re now just two of many ex-travellers who compete in any social setting for a story about “how we got lost in Venice and only just made the last bus home”, or “how we drank one too many steins in Munich and spewed in the hostel room and had the worst bus ride EVER the next day”, or “Isn’t the Eiffel Tower/Colosseum/Big Ben/the castle in Edinburgh/that place in Italy so big/beautiful/magical”… but it was all well worth it.
The come-down is something less-reported by travellers. Yes, we’ve had our obligatory “itchy-feet”-itis and, yes we’ve both found our minds wandering back to when we didn’t have to get up early in the morning for anything more than a lazy, iPod-chilling, bus ride across Europe, watching a whole new world roll by in the comfort of a moderately-comfortable, slightly-reclining bus chair. In stark contrast to all travelling stories, the actual come-down is quite the understated phenomenon. Just like no-one posts photos on facebook of them having a crap day, having shin-kicked the corner of the bed that was slightly hidden by the over-hanging duvet, spent $4.50 on a flat white that was luke-warm at best, overcooked their $9.99/kg rump steak from the Mad Butcher or set up their computer to watch a newly-downloaded episode of Entourage on their big TV… to find that their TV is incompatible with the file type… just like all this and all those stupidly-little-but-annoying things that fall flat on even the most reasonable of ears… no-one cares, or even pretends to acknowledge the presence of, the come-down sux.
The come-down creeps up on you too. Just like that unsure-which-one-it-was-but-it-smacked-me-in-the-face-and-I-can’t-remember-anything-else-and-now-I-feel-like-complete-ass-today vodka you had when you were in your early twenties and you thought you were immune to alcohol, it gets you at your most vulnerable. This is usually around the time you’ve seen all your mates, celebrated your return with a few beers, settled into some sort of routine (bought a car, found a job, have a roof over your head), caught your figurative breath and then realised that things haven’t changed as much as you’d hope they wouldn’t while you were away, the world still turns, and you’re… back to where you started.
That’s not to say that this downbuzz-of-sorts lasts. Gosh no. Heck no. Frick no. Perish the thought. I wouldn’t take back any of what we did over the last 12 months. It was amazing, mind-blowing and fulfilling. And awesome. Definitely awesome.
What follows the come-down can only be described (in the most optimistic way) as a sense of contentment. A feeling of everything being almost OK in the world (because, let’s face it, there are still, and always will be, a lot of DICK’s in the world). A feeling like when you make the perfect eggs (a solid white with a gooey, runny yolk in case you wondered) or when you wake up on a Saturday morning, concerned you may have missed your alarm before realising it’s the weekend (Yay!), OR (more precisely) when you get home on a Friday, your working week is over (in which you’ve slogged hard for good results – your boss even said so… wow), your “missus” has just had her hair done… so she’s in a good mood, you have a plethora of take-away leaflets to peruse for that night’s feed (and you choose correctly… as always) and then… the Chiefs play at 7:30 that night… it’s a tough game… Kahui makes a few good runs…and… BOOM, they smash the Blues. Contentment… or something like that anyway.