You’ve made the journey to travel and now you’re back home. Home isn’t necessarily a place you don’t like to be at, but like everything you know all too well, there are downsides to being back where you started. You’ve got to realize that the awe inspiring realizations you come to, the mind opening experiences you get to have, they all come with you, but that doesn’t mean that the blandness of home isn’t there to welcome you in.
Being home is comfortable, at least in the sense that you are in a familiar place with familiar people and familiar activities – but comfort doesn’t lead to happiness and comfort can often be the cause of our physical and mental stagnation.
So you’re back and the world is looking a lot more dull than it did while you were abroad. Why is this happening? Well, it’s almost like being in a bubble. Your life at home has all of these attachments and baggage that come tied to it, always connected to you. Traveling is like stepping outside of that bubble and getting to pick what bubble you want to hop in next. There’s a lot to be had in that new place: new locations to explore, new food to devour, fantastic friendships to be made. But no matter how hard you try, you’re still tethered (no matter how tightly or loosely) to back home, which is why coming back can be a dreaded experience for many travelers, even those well seasoned. We call these feelings the Travel Blues.
How to Get Rid of the Travel Blues
The first thing you’ll want to realize is that you’re never going to feel GREAT about leaving a travel destination, but you can learn how to see your experience in a positive light and ease yourself back into your “regular” life. While it may be harder for some who go away for longer stretches of time, these suggestions are helpful to anybody who’s fighting to get rid of the travel blues.
Process Your Trip
Akin to the end of a relationship, people need closure from their trip, and often this closure begins while you are still abroad. Ideally, you’ll begin to recognize the benefits of being in your new location and turning your feelings into concrete ideas. Many of us inherently know that traveling makes us feel good, but crystalizing the WHY is key. As your journey ends, take some time to conceptualize what you have gained from your experience. How have you grown? What misconceptions have been corrected? How do you feel about the place you’ve been and the people you’ve met?
There is no ONE desired conclusion. You may have felt really negatively about a place, and that is completely alright. You may have learned very little, and that’s also alright. The point of travel is to give you a new insight into yourself and whatever that may look like depends solely on your lived experience.
Share The Experience
You took pictures, I’m sure, so share them on social media. Let people into what you witnessed first hand; you’ll be surprised both by how many people really want to hear about what you did and by how many people couldn’t give one iota about your trip. Sharing your experience opens you up to many accolades as well as a lot of scrutiny, but it makes what you did that much more real and tangible. Find someone who shares your interests and reach out to them to talk. It can be fulfilling and is often a key part to dissipating your travel blues because it’s almost as if you get to live the experience all over again.
Plan Your Next Trip
What better way to get over feeling sorry for yourself than by planning a completely new journey to travel? You ventured out into the world before, whether accompanied or alone, and you can do it again! Perhaps you already have an idea of where you’d like to go, or maybe you need so help figuring out where to next. The point is that theres a whole world ready for you to experience it, whether it be 5,000 miles away or in your own back yard (so to speak!), so get to planning. Make a list of where you want to go, what you want to do, and how you’re going to make it happen. Not only will this relieve all that pent up mental frustration about wanting to get away, but you’ll actually be taking steps to making it happen.
However you decide to do it, managing your travel blues is fundamentally important for your wellbeing. Adjusting to life at home can be really difficult if the time you spent abroad brought you a joy and sense of awe that you’re not getting where you currently are, but ignoring that negative feeling is not the answer. Address the feelings you are carrying, share your experiences with likeminded people, and get yourself prepared to journey out into the world once more. Remember, whether you decide to travel or not, the time will pass anyway. Make the most of it.