No one usually talks about the part of travelling where you come home and the travel blues set in. There’s a million blog posts out there on the world wide web that will convince you to take the leap of faith, to step outside of your comfort zone and to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. But there’s nowhere near as many that help guide you beyond your adventure, that help you find peace in the coming home stage.
No matter how long you travel for, or how excited you are to get home, there’s always an element of things being different when you get home. Maybe you’ve gone on a huge personal journey during your travels and you feel like you’ve outgrown the people you once spent your time with at home (hopefully not family lol). Maybe your passions have shifted and when you get home you desire a change in career. Or maybe, more commonly, the adrenalin of being away and of adventure wears off when you get home and you find yourself feeling ‘low’, feeling deflated in comparison.
It’s completely natural to feel this way.
If you’ve been on a holiday, you’ve most likely removed all pressures of work, chores and time schedules from your day-to-day life and of course that’s going to feel wonderful. If you’ve been backpacking, you’ve most likely been surrounded by people that are like-minded and also enjoying the freedom of waking up when you want to, partying as hard as you like to and not worrying about building a career / ‘sorting your life out’.
Travelling in more ways than not, provides a heightened sense of reality. It’s beautiful and crazy and life-changing but it’s unrealistic to expect that same freedom and madness in your everyday life when you got home. You wouldn’t even want it if you had the option, trust me.
See my downsides to a life filled with travelling here.
Okay so, you’re home and you’re feeling it. You wish you could go back travelling but reality has hit, bank funds are low and heading straight out on another adventure is just not an option right now. What do you do?
Coming home from travelling: 10 tips for dealing with the travel blues
1. Accept that you’ve come home from travelling and it has to happen
The first step in overcoming anything, if you really want to, is in accepting it. Accept that travelling can’t go on forever. A holiday wouldn’t feel as good as a holiday does if you were able to do it all the time.
2. Be really honest with yourself about how you feel
Have a little think about what it actually is that’s making you feel nervous to be home. What is it you don’t feel like coming back to? There’s no point just getting upset and going around in circles when you have the post-travel blues. We need to identify what’s making you feel so and then work with it. Work with it, not against it. You know me, this is one of those times that I suggest getting a pen and paper and writing it all down. It always feels clearer than keeping it in your head.
3. Make a list of the ways you’ve changed and the things you’ve learnt
Take a minute to appreciate the growth you’ve experienced on your recent adventure. Turn the disappointment of coming home and catching the post travel blues and take a moment to celebrate the journey you’ve been on. Taking a moment to be grateful is always a good starting point to turning something that feels negative on its head.
4. Make a note of the things you’d like to do differently now that you’re home
On the same piece of paper write down the changes you’d like to make now that you’re home. Using the growth that you’ve experienced and noted in the previous point, have a think about how you’d like that to apply to home life.
5. Don’t try and fit back in the same box
I’m going to make the assumption that you’ve evolved / changed internally on your travels, some of course more than others. Usually travel will give us a change in perspective, it will open our eyes and hearts to new opportunities, ways of living and of course coming home can then feel uncomfortable. Please don’t be hard on yourself. Of course coming home isn’t going to feel the same now that you’ve changed. You might be ready for the next step, for moving out of your family home, for taking a new direction. Don’t resist the change and don’t try and force yourself back into the same box you came from.
6. Give yourself time and be patient
Trust me, I know what it feels like to come home from travelling and to feel lost. The main thing you must do during this period is to be gentle on yourself and know that transitions aren’t always fast. Answers may not come straight away but if you stay true to how you feel and are honest with yourself, answers will indeed come.
7. Insert small doses of adventure
If coming home means you’re coming home to a job that consumes more of your time than you’d like and doesn’t allow for the far flung adventures you desire, think a little smaller. Adventure doesn’t have to mean far flung adventures and tropical destinations (unless they are on your doorstep, lucky you). Try inserting smaller doses of adventure, a fun night out trying something new, a weekend getaway or picking up a new hobby / taking a course in something new.
8. Tune in to gratitude
Make a list of all of the amazing times you had on your travels. Make a scrapbook. Cherish and continue to indulge in all of those memories you made that will live on in your forever. This is my favourite way to carry me through from one adventure to another. Re reading about your adventures and looking at photos is the second best thing to being there again.
9. Consider that maybe you still have travel to get our of your system?
Do you know what? If you come home and you feel like your travel bug still hasn’t been fulfilled. Get back out there. I certainly didn’t stop at one trip. Sure heading back out on an adventure may mean a period of saving / going against the grain and what other people around you expect of you but if that’s what you want – you gotta do it. If you’ve been honest with yourself in the points above and heading back out on another adventure is what your soul is telling you to do. I suggest you follow it.
10. Start daydreaming about where you’re going next
Like scrapbooking, the joys of travel don’t have to be restricted to just the adventure itself. There’s so much joy to be found in the planning, in the getting excited and in the gratitude and memories post-travel. Get yourself on Pinterest / Instagram and start daydreaming and saving locations and idea for your next trip.
Have you felt the post-travel blues?
What are your tips for dealing with the post-travel blues?
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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