Transitioning back into the “real world” after a trip can be challenging and not just because of physical exhaustion. In the words of travel blogger Matthew Kepnes (aka Nomadic Matt): “It’s often emotionally harder to come home than go away”. He’s right.
When you’re leaving home, arriving or mid-adventure there’s a delicious natural high that’s filled with so much goodness – places to go, people to meet, neighbourhoods to explore and stories to create.
At the other end there’s packing, taking in final glimpses of your favourite spots, and then, dammit, all the goodbyes. It’s the worst. Plus once the excitement of getting back, reconnecting with everyone and sharing your amazing experience wears off, you can sometimes start to feel weird.
There’s a fire in you that yearns to recreate that travel high, which can make home feel small and unrelatable.
We don’t have a magic solution to avoid post travel depression, but have found a few ways to help you get through it.
Schedule time to adjust
It’s easy to get in the habit of hitting the ground running after a holiday, especially if you have to return to work straight away. But, if you have the luxury of taking extra days off, seriously, do it
Give yourself time to transition from travel-mode to work-mode. Sitting back at your desk while your mind is still in shock over the journey that just happened? Nope, not fun.
Even just two days can work wonders. Imagine actually being able to rest, absorb your trip and perhaps even put a load of washing on. Sounds pretty good.
Embrace your own backyard
Sure, it’s been a year and you thought everything would be different when you got home, but not much has changed. Well, here’s the thing, you have.
It’s an excellent opportunity to see the place where you live through fresh eyes. You don’t have to settle back into your old routine.
Approach home like you would a new city. Wander around aimlessly, discover new things, try different restaurants – you might be surprised what you find. There’s obviously a reason you chose to nest there over anywhere else in the world. Fall back in love with it.
Plan your next trip
When your brain is pumping with the adrenaline of new experiences it can be hard to stay put so channel that energy into something constructive and start organising your next trip.
He says searching for fare deals, reading travel blogs and drafting an itinerary puts the twinkle back in his eyes.
“Planning my next adventure provides me with just the right amount of fuel to excite my adrenaline that just slowed down drastically,” Aguinaldo said.
“This motivates me to move forward, and slowly accept that my travel adventure has ended.
“It forces me to focus on my reality, which is work. In order to travel, I need money and in order to have money, I need to work.”
So take a deep breath and gift yourself some down time – it’s all part of earning your next adventure.