It’s a feeling we’re all familiar with. That sluggish, sinking feeling when you return home from the trip of a lifetime: the post-travel blues.
You miss the addictive buzz of discovering new places, and the wonder of immersing yourself in a new culture. You yearn for the adventure and sense of anonymity when you travel. You can be who you want, no strings attached, and no judgement.
It no longer feels acceptable to order a cocktail before 12pm, or to have ice cream for breakfast. Travelling affords you less responsibilities. The pressures of everyday life seem to melt away as you are encapsulated by new experiences and different ways of life.
Moving from adventure to routine can be a shock to the system. Add to that a sharp change in culture and you can find yourself bemoaning your own home and country. It’s no wonder that the post-travel blues can leave you with a jarring sense of negativity. An unshakeable feeling that everything is rubbish and you won’t be happy until you’re back on another adventure.
You can’t undermine the very real impact of the post-travel blues on your mental wellbeing. Travelling can change you as a person. That’s why it can be difficult to return home, where everything is the same.
But there are plenty of ways to process these negative feelings. There are so many amazing positives to travelling and it’s possible to bring them home with you. Here are my top 10 tips for dealing with post-travel blues.
1. Try to look at it rationally
The first step is to acknowledge how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. It can be all too easy to view your home, your routine, your job, and your relationships in a negative light. But just because they are different to what you experienced when travelling doesn’t mean they are bad. They’re just different.
Try to find comfort in your routine and the familiarities of home life. It’s not a permanent state. You will be able to travel again – and knowing that should help you find a balance between enjoying both aspects of your life.
2. Explore more locally – you’ll be amazed at what you find
You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to discover new places and find adventure. You’ll be amazed at what you find close to home. Take a roadtrip in the country you live. Visit places you’ve never been before. Meet new people and make your own adventure.
This is a particularly important piece of advice for the current global pandemic era. The ability to travel is extremely limited right now. And that’s hard for a lot of people. Finding adventure close to home has never been more important.
3. Connect with other travellers and adventurers
The global travelling community is a truly amazing one. The world is full of people with the same unwavering sense of wanderlust as you. There are countless communities and groups of like-minded people. Join Facebook groups which share your interests and engage with others.
Particularly in the COVID-era, it is extraordinarily reassuring to share your thoughts and feelings with others who will be going through the same process. And make sure you stay in touch with any friends you’ve met while travelling. You can chat, reminisce and plan.
4. Consume social media sensibly
Social media can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to dealing with the post-travel blues. On the one hand, it can be a place to share memories, to reminisce, to find new travel inspiration. But it can also feel like it’s taunting you, a constant reminder that you’re not out exploring the world.
Judge how it is making you feel – and if it’s having a negative effect on you then take a step back, limit your usage.
5. Find new hobbies & activities
Part of the joy of travelling is discovering new things – from food and drink to activities and people. You don’t have to travel to unearth these. Simply try a new hobby, join a new community, discover new activities. It could be a sports team, a cookery class, volunteering, or anything that takes your fancy.
6. Enjoy the ability to have a healthier lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle when travelling is a struggle. It’s one of the downsides of travel – especially for people with various food intolerances or allergies. So enjoy the process of getting back into a healthy routine. Cook fresh, healthy meals and exercise regularly. You’ll feel so much better for it and that in itself will lift your mood.
7. Cook up your favourite meals from your travels
On the subject of cooking healthy meals – why not recreate some of your favourite meals from your travels? Trying the local delicacies is a fun part of visiting new places. Bringing these into your own home and kitchen is a way of keeping busy while recreating an experience from your trip.
8. Share your experiences
Sharing your travelling experiences can be a helpful way of reminiscing and revisiting memories. Whether it’s creating a photo album, sharing on social media, writing a travel blog, or keeping a personal travel diary. This process can make you appreciate the amazing times you’ve had and help you practice gratitude that you were able to have these experiences.
9. Learn a language
Perhaps you started picking up bits of a new language when you were travelling. Maybe you miss that feeling of trying to converse in another language and the satisfaction when you get it right. Learning a new language will not only gain you a valuable new skill, but it’s also a way of immersing yourself in a different culture.
10. Plan another trip
The easiest way to get over the post-travel blues? Pour your time into planning another trip! If you have something to look forward to then it will replace your negative feelings with excitement. Unfortunately it’s not quite that easy in the current circumstances. Booking a trip might not be possible right now but you can still plan one! Put together a travel bucket list, create a wish-list on Pinterest and start getting excited for all the adventures yet to come.
Dealing with post-travel blues is never easy. Especially when we’re not sure when our next trip will be. But these steps should help you adjust, reminisce, and bring the perks of travel into your everyday life. Do you have any tips for how to over the post-travel blues? Leave a comment or get in touch on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.