You've travelled to a new country, you sat in the sunshine looking at a view you've never seen before, you've had chats with local taxi drivers, you've been offered an exotic cocktail by some generous local, and now all of a sudden you are sitting back at your desk; staring at that horrible glow off your computer screen hearing nothing but the buzzing from the lights overhead. The adventurous part of your soul has gone completely quiet again. And you can't help but wonder if it was all a dream. To make sure it wasn't, you tell the stories of your adventures to friends and colleagues, but unfortunately your tales are met with much less enthusiasm than you feel warranted and so even this seems futile.
Here are a couple of tips on how I try to make the best of this melodramatic time (because let's be honest, we can all get a little emotionally unstable with the travel blues)
1. Stay connected with travellers you met or the people you shared the trip with
They are the only ones who know exactly what you experienced. It probably affected them differently or will change them in ways other than you, but you can talk about that together. You can reminisce over the events that had the biggest impact on you, share the photos, and laugh about the unexpected things that happened. I always like to play the game of 'tell me your favourite moment'. The rules are simple: tell me the very first thing that comes to mind when I say that. It opens up my thinking to see what mattered to someone else, why they might have picked that, and make me feel differently or stronger about my own choice. This helps me relive all the special little parts of the trip and feel connected to those that understand all over again.
2. Change your perspective
The reason I feel down is because I have been on such a high. A high you get from sitting at the top of a volcano listening to it bubbling. Or even from seeing how little the locals in a 3rd world country have, but how their values of taking care of each other translate even to you, the outsider. These are overwhelming feelings that, once gone, easily spiral into negativity and sadness. But that sadness means you have learned something new. It means you are no longer the person you were before. You have grown aware, broadened your horizons, gained empathy, and felt humbled. All of these feelings make the travel blues a beautiful thing. So instead of focusing on everything you don't like about being back home, begin to appreciate the things you have and respect the person you're becoming.
3. F*** it, buy the next ticket
I often find myself planning and booking my next journey while travelling. It's not about living in the future, but rather having plans and staying on that high before routine sets back in. Sometimes this solution is feasible and other times the bank account simply won't allow it yet. So maybe a big trip is out of the question, but you can plan on a local adventure. Find something like a wine tasting, an international cooking class, or even a travel meetup to give you some inspiration, something to look forward to, or an experience that will have a positive impact on you much like travel does.
Travel is a wonderful thing we can do to gain more empathy and understanding for others. But we can certainly benefit from it personally by keeping that positive vibe alive even when we are at home.