Going on a trip is almost always an exhilarating experience. You spend so much time planning where you want to go, booking the flights/hotels/etc., thinking about all the things you will do (and eat!) and dreaming about your vacation. Then, it’s finally GO TIME! You step on that plane, feeling the excitement as you go to your seat, stow your carryons, sit down and click the seat belt. And then it’s time to turn your phone off, sit back, and relax as the plane takes off. This is one of my favorite parts of going away and when the butterflies of excitement really start going in my stomach! The next is landing in a new destination (or even an old one that I love).
After a week or two (or a month or whatever amount of time) of exploring, it’s time to go home. I don’t know about you, but this is what I always dread. Getting on that airplane to go back home feels like walking to the gallows. Time to get back to reality – never a good feeling! You begrudgingly go to your seat on the return flight, thinking of all the things you need to do when you get back – bills to pay, go back to work, get that oil change on your car, flip through the pile of mail – you know, the day-to-day stuff that seems so boring and/or stressful.
This is when the post-trip blues really set in.
Getting back to the daily grind of life in the real world is never all that fun and you just wish you were back on your trip in some foreign land instead of heading out on a trip to the grocery store. Most of us travelers have been there, so you are not alone!
But what can you do to combat this post-trip malaise/blues/depression (or whatever word you may have for it)? Although it’s not the same as actually going on a trip, the following things may help:
1. Start editing your photos and videos from the trip you just came back from. This way, you can relive some of the exciting and beautiful moments. And once they are edited, go ahead and share on your social media channels with a caption describing what you did and how you felt. It will surely bring a smile to your face as you take your followers along on your journey!
2. Write about your trip. Writing is one of the most cathartic and therapeutic things you can do. I usually take the stream-of-consciousness mode of writing which really helps me put my thoughts and feelings out there. Write about what you did, how you felt about the places you visited and the people you met, and how you are feeling now that you are back. Put those memories to paper! It will help you feel so much better Heck, you can even write a blog post about your travels!
3. Talk to people. If you went on that trip with a friend or loved one, talk to them about it. They are probably going through the same set of emotions you are now that you are back. If you went solo, reach out to a friend who is a frequent flier because chances are, they have often felt the same way and may have some advice. Talking to someone certainly helps!
4. Take a day trip. Sometimes exploring your home state or country can satisfy the need to explore, even just for a little while. Besides, you may find a great new place you a learn about and love, right in your own backyard.
5. Take an international cooking class. There are cooking schools all over the place these days, so if you enjoyed the food in the country you just visited, see if a local cooking school is offering a class in that type of cuisine. It will bring you back to the happy times from your visit all while teaching you a new skill you can then share by cooking for friends and family at home!
6. Join a meetup group with like-minded individuals. In just about every city, there is a travel meetup group where you can connect with others to talk about travel, learn from each other’s experiences, and possibly plan trips together.
7. Join online travel groups. Facebook and other social media sites host a plethora of travel pages where all people talk about is travel and give each other advice as to what to do, where to stay, where to eat in certain places, and encourage each other’s travels. I’ve personally found a lot of value in joining these groups because most travelers are on the same boat as far as shared values are concerned.
8. Plan your next trip! Sometimes the research, planning, and booking are almost as fun as actually going somewhere. It always makes me happy and puts a smile on my face as I plan out all the possibilities. It allows you to daydream a bit before it eventually becomes a reality!
These suggestions won’t take the place of going on a longer trip out of the country, but they should help, even just a little. And if you have any suggestions, or want to share how you deal with the post-trip blues, please leave a comment or shoot me a message!