Thoughts on the Roadtrip Hangover

There is often a strange sort of hangover that happens to me when I return from a roadtrip. The adjustment seems to take longer for the return than it does for the leaving.

While traveling, my senses are bombarded all day long. Every hour of daylight is filled with wind and noise and wonder and visual stimulus.

While I’m on the go, maybe I don’t feel what you would call tired. But, when I stop for the night I often don’t bother turning on the TV in my hotel room. I just kind of veg out, read blogs and news and whatnot, maybe write a little something. It’s like I have to meter my additional input for the day. Because I actually am tired.

Upon returning home I feel an acute awareness that I’m not taking in as much information as I had been in the days prior. There is a period of time where that’s good and I just relax – but that then turns into something like a withdrawal as the mundane activities of life return.

Traveling for me is an escape. Probably from myself. And I suppose the high that it gives is addictive.

I typed out this post standing in a gas station parking lot here on Long Island. Even though I’m home now, I guess I’m not quite at home yet.


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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9 Responses

  1. Makes complete sense — the huge swing of sensory and intellectual inputs. Hard not to feel “less” in the wake. For me, when I realize I am not filling myself with experience, the whispers of wasting precious time and life start. And with the voices can come disappointment in myself and self criticism that can be brutal. And false. I have to practice being nice to myself a lot of the time and try and accept I’m not what I believe.

    Your recent adventures seem wonderful. I’ve never done what you do. Until that time comes I appreciate the reflections you share.

  2. Ted says:

    Like Steve said, I’ve never done what you do. Shorter one day things, yes. During the ride I’m trying so hard to take it all in and as I get closer to home I feel this strange internal “exhale” happen as the sensory overload fades. Not that I’m less aware of my surroundings, I’m less “Ooo… what’s that?”.
    I totally get it.
    There is still lots of riding left before our lovely tri-state area weather hits. Get out there again!!

  3. Shybiker says:

    Yup. My experience as well. I didn’t expect it but often we don’t know what we don’t know. I let life teach me.

  4. Mike Ross says:

    Is your vacation over yet? If not some day trips would give you something to remember when you and your bike are staring at the snow. From what I remember rte 25A towards Huntington is a fun ride until you get to Nassau County. Watch your speed in the small villages.

  5. Steel says:

    What Steve said above.

    Your blog and Steve’s blog are blessings to us all.

  6. Kathy says:

    Well said. You summed it up perfectly. I’m so glad you’re back.

  7. Jack Davis says:

    I feel that my family and friends don’t “get” what my rides are about. It’s difficult to explain to non-riders who aren’t able to really feel the sensory involvement that a motorcycle provides. You say, “It was a good ride,” show a couple of photos on your cellphone, and smile to yourself.

  8. Dookes says:

    I’m exactly the same as you. I ride alone on my trips, it’s part of the immersive thing and yes I have real trouble in re-adjusting when the trip is over! I find that mentally planning the next adventure as i near the end helps, but the only antidote is to get out there riding again!

  9. Val Weston says:

    Oh re-entry always seems to be the biggest struggle. Whether I’ve been gone for a couple of days or a couple of months, I just want to keep going.


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