Post-Travel Blues and How to Cope…
No matter how often you travel or for how long… coming home is always a bittersweet emotional roller-coaster. In fact, for some people it’s actually the hardest part of the journey.
After drifting to every corner of the globe, kicking yourself out of your comfort zone, making friends with people from all over, and exploring things about yourself you never knew you had, you’re finally back to where it all began, surrounded by all the familiar faces and places and back in the arms of the people you’ve known for years… which is probably something you’ve been yearning for all throughout your trip.
And yet for some reason, you’ve become a stranger in your own life, struggling to figure out where you fit in. A feeling of emptiness looms over you, especially when you wake up in the morning. You feel you can’t relate to your friends and family because you have experienced so many things and changed in ways that you can’t explain. If you feel like these words and feelings are all too familiar then you’re probably experiencing the dreaded post-travel blues. Here are some of the things I do to cope:
Keep busy, get back to old activities or start new ones: Stay active and exercise, go to yoga or hit the gym. Catch up with old friends or find new ones, clean out your closet, start writing a journal about your adventures, learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. Find something back home that will bring excitement to your life!
Start planning your next adventure: having something to look forward to will re-invigorate you… and what could be more exciting than being back on that sweet sweet life on the road? Try to find that elusive perfect travel buddy and start researching places to go on your next adventure. This will even motivate you to start saving up. Life will seem a lot less dull if you have something exciting to look forward to!
Become a tourist in your own country/city: The best part about traveling is that you learn how to quickly adapt to new environments and look at things with a different perspective, so start exploring somewhere you have never been before in your own country. Go to that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Spend an afternoon at the museum checking out the newest exhibit. Go on that hiking trip that’s organized on weekends… You don’t have to be on the other side of the world to have an adventure.
Take shorter trips closer to home: If for whatever reason you’re unable to take off on long term trips and adventures all the time, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy shorter trips in between the big ones. Hop on a plane and head somewhere on a weekend trip to a country close to yours.
Appreciate the little things you didn’t have while traveling: instead of focusing on the things you don’t have anymore, focus on the things you do. Think of all the things you are glad to be coming home to like cooking dinner in your own kitchen or hanging out with your best friend, and keep in mind that these are the very things you miss when you are on the road.
Like every traveler who has come home from a long and epic journey, you will probably have your inevitable fair share of post-travel blues. So if you feel that you’re unable to shake off that melancholy and you have some money left in that bank account, then just listen to your heart and set off on another journey. Maybe some of us are meant to wander forever. 🙂