Backpacking, travelling the world, interrailing; long trips away are formative experiences, experiences that everyone should have the fortune to enjoy, and experiences that more people than ever are investing in. Much has been said about the sheer importance and beauty of sharing in other cultures, landscapes and experiences – but little attention is given to the disorienting period after one returns from such a trip.
The post-travelling blues, or travel ‘comedown’, is very real, as ‘life as usual’ replaces the irreplicable experiences of your holiday; what can you do to minimise its impact?
Take Your Time
First and foremost, it is essential that you give yourself a period of time to decompress. Enlightening as your trip may have been, the journey – and the journey home – will have stressed your body and mind alike. Even a day or two spent with your feet up, in your own bed and washing in your own shower, can be enough to refresh you and dull those post-trip blues.
Make Time for Loved Ones
Once you’re rested and ready, you should jump into seeing your family and friends. They will have been missing you dearly, and will have all sorts of questions about your travel and experiences. They are also a crucial lifeline for your post-trip ‘comedown’, and a great excuse to get out of the house and keep active.
Keep Hold of Your Spontaneity
Travelling the world is an exercise that breeds spontaneity, as plans change and new opportunities reveal themselves during your trip. Whether adapting to sudden accommodation cancellations or simply embracing a surprise event with new friends, spontaneity has a habit of finding you – and making your trip all the more exciting.
Back home, though, it is all-too-easy to fall into familiar routines, which can have the impact of wicking away your enthusiasm. Rather than giving in to them, you could compensate by bringing your newfound spontaneity into your home life. Are there any local community groups you might want to join, or places you’ve never visited before? A gung-ho attitude can absolutely bring the spark back even after a trip of profound proportions.
Just because your last adventure has come to an end doesn’t mean a new one can’t begin. Having settled back into some home comforts and familiar routines, now might be a great opportunity to set to planning your next big thing.
Your experiences abroad might have given you some real inspiration for where you would like your life to lead – whether with regards to career, new travel plans or even a new place in which to build a life. In the case of the latter, you could give time to planning a way to move your life more permanently to a vibrant new community abroad.
Travel is not merely an event; it is an experience with lifelong impact, that can profoundly influence your thinking and worldview and give you entirely new perspectives. It is certainly not an experience that can be shrugged off in service of ‘life as usual’ – so why settle? Embrace the new you, and embrace the call of your next adventure!