I’ve seen plenty of posts explaining in great detail the heartbreak that one feels when returning to their origin post-travelling. When faced with returning to the monotony of everyday life, without regular injections of excitement and new experiences, it’s very easy to feel down-trodden and despair at what lies ahead. We end up counting down the days until the next trip, seeking solace in online forums and living vicariously through travel groups and social media – our timelines become riddled with #throwback posts. One thing that I haven’t heard much mention of is the difficulty in finding a job when you have been out of the country, economy, and market for so long.
This is a problem that I faced when I returned from 18 months living, and working abroad. I put the term ‘working’ in bold, as that’s key for my situation and is probably relevant in many of yours as well. It’s not like we have spent our time lying on a beach and frolicking in the sun (OK, not all of the time), we work a full time job for all of our international time. However, when we return to our home countries to see the family with the idea of earning as much cash as possible, we are presented with rejection after rejection.
I am not under-qualified. Not only do I have an undergraduate and postgraduate degree, but I also have experience in the hospitality, retail, and education sectors. It took me all of about 4 days to realise that degrees count for absolutely nothing when it comes down to finding a non-specialist job, and this has been something that I have grudgingly accepted.
However, what I have really struggled to come to terms with is the idea that all of this amazing life experience that we have gained also counts for nothing. We have had our eyes opened to different cultures and ways of life, we have seen landscapes that make you realise how inferior we are compared to the world, we have been put in stressful and humbling situations – so why are we so darn unemployable?
We don’t want to be like The Crows, those people who settle with jobs that make us blanch. All dressed in black with no form of expression in their clothing style or faces. They march through the train stations all together, living the same routine over and over, day by day…
It’s not wonder that we immediately want to spread our wings and escape again. After dealing with multiple rejections from potential employers, we pine for the acceptance of the friends that we met and the lifestyles that we made. Our families and friends are hurt, they can tell that a piece of our soul has strayed and awaits us in a far-off land. They can see behind our eyes the stars of a different sky. Maybe the employers can also see this, and that is why we are not welcome in jobs, as they know as soon as our banks are full enough, we will be off whilst waving over our shoulder.
Before we get to that point, we have to find employment that not only satisfies us financially, but also supports our flippant character. The lucky ones amongst us will, and the daily grind becomes enjoyable – every pint pulled brings pennies to our pockets and a smile to our face.