After over 20 hours of full of surprises journey and only few hours of disturbed sleep I woke up to a foggy morning. I am back home after 10 months in tropics, it’s end of November (not the best season to be in Poland) and I’m feeling down. A hot shower helped for a while, so did the decent breakfast. Looking through the window at last, sad leaves falling from the trees make me wonder, why do I feel so blue after coming home that I missed so much lately? Post-travel blues is real !
How come we miss home while being away, we imagine how grate it will be to finally come back and spend some quality time with family and friends, and when we are back.. we feel down?
This phenomena is called post-travel blues or even post-travel depression.
It is especially tough after a long term journeys, but still can strike you after 2 weeks holidays just as well. It doesn’t help if you come back from an amazing tropical place to long and cold winter evenings too.
How to help this annoying feeling go away? Learn about few tricks I use to get over post-travel blues.
INDULGE IN SOMETHING YOU PARTICULARLY LIKE ABOUT YOUR PLACE
Try to remember what you longed for while being away. You can take a long hot bath with fancy salts that you missed so much while taking a cold shower in Asian homestay (yes, many places in Asia do not have hot showers!). Go to your favorite restaurant, which you didn’t visit for a while. I for example haven’t been to a hairdresser for over a year !!! And in spite of the fact that everyone says that this new blond color, acquired from sun and sea water suits me, I cannot wait to finally schedule a visit and do something about this mess.
EAT SOMETHING TYPICAL FOR YOUR COUNTRY THAT YOU MISSED ABROAD
One of the excitemets of traveling is getting to try new cuisine. That’s how we learn about local traditions and connect with new people. Let’s be honest though, when you feel blue, you like to indulge in some delicacies that you remember from your childhood. This kind of food makes us feel at home and comfortable.
If you’re Italian, you surely missed your Mama’s pasta. If you come from US, maybe you haven’t tried a decent Mac’n’Cheese for a while? When I came back home after 10 months of absence, my Mom surprised me with traditional Polish Bigos – a stew made from sour cabbage, mushrooms, and few other ingredients. She even prepared two versions – vegetarian for me and regular for Greg – we immediately felt better after such therapy. Especially that you enjoy this dish with sip of Zobrowka – quite famous Polish vodka.
READ THE BOOK ABOUT YOUR LAST DESTINATION
This may be a bit surprising advice. Wouldn’t it make me long the place I abandoned even more? – you may wonder. Surprisingly, it works pretty well. I found that reading books or even blog posts about the place I visited make nice memories come back. It’s cool to learn how others experienced the place and compare their observations with yours. Maybe you will be reminded of some funny adventure you forgot about in the overall excitement of travel?
WORK ON PHOTOS FROM YOUR TRIP
I think that’s one of my favorite things to do after a journey. Due to rather packed schedule, I don’t have a lot of time during travels to go through the pictures. I only check them quickly on my camera screen to make sure they came out the way I like. One of the first things I do after I come back home is upload the pictures from my camera, go through them to find the best ones and start editing. Please do not forget to make a backup of your photos. I lost a hard drive in my laptop twice within few years. Believe me it hurts when you loose your beloved memories forever.
Furthermore, choosing best pictures and working on them a bit helps you share your memories with others. There’s nothing more annoying than spending 3 hours looking at thousand pictures someone took even from the most beautiful place in the world. Spare your friends and family such mundrane. Prepare yourself for a nice travel memories evening with best photos, and your close ones will be as excited as you were while visiting the place.
Print your favorite pictures and create a photo album, where you can write down the most important memories and facts about the country you visited. Albums are not your thing? Create a mood board. Print the pictures and place them somewhere where you can always take a quick peek to improve your mood. It can be over your desk where you like to work or in your bedroom. I choose the fridge and stuck some of my favorite diving pictures using fridge magnets.
PREPARE TRAVEL-THEMED PARTY FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
What’s best in memories and pictures is that you can share them with people you love. Make sure however to keep it interesting for them. Prepare yourself by organising and editing pictures and choosing the music from the country you visited as a background. You can even cook your favorite dish you tasted abroad.
I like to bring some local snacks and delicacies from every travel, and share them on such a meeting with my family. They are always curious what I eat and drink during my travels and the more exotic the snacks are the better.Check out this post for some cool ideas! Needless to say that bottle of local spirit will help them catch the vibe of the place you just visited.
WRITE DOWN YOUR MEMORIES
It doesn’t really matter if you have a travel blog or not, writing about your travel will help you remember all the experiences. That’s normal that in time the memories fade away. If you write just after coming back you will not only improve your mood, but also preserve the memories of your best adventures.
This is actually how I got inspired to start my blog. My Mom was keeping a short journal from all our trips, writing down the destination, time and exact places we visited. She urged me to do something similar, when I started traveling on my own. I started by writing short paragraphs about places and especially about interesting adventures I had. After a while I loved it so much I started this blog. Maybe after a while you will feel tempted to do the same. You can find useful tips how to start a travel blog here!
Sports and activities are proven means to keep the mood up. When your blood rush fast in your body it’s harder to feel down. Ride a bike, go running, take your dog for a long walk. Do whatever keeps you occupied and gives you joy. Choose something that will give you the adrenaline rush and you will surely forget about a bad mood. Maybe you are tired after carrying backpack, so instead of going to the gym try yoga classes to stretch and relax. Have you tried some activity during your journey that you particularly liked? Check if you can do it in your town after you are back.
START PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRIP
Do you remember how excited you were just before your travel begun? How you checked the places you were about to visit in the internet, researched about best restaurants and bars, fished for some “local’s tips”? Why not start this process again by thinking about your next destination? So what your next holidays start in six months? Everyone knows that traveling requires proper research and gathering many information. I have a whole list of places I want to visit in the nearest and further future. It doesn’t hurt to read about them and get a bit of this pre-travel excitement just to improve your mood.
I hope that my tips will help you get over post-travel blues quickly and your time back home will be full of joy.
Have you ever felt post-travel blues? Maybe you have some interesting methods to deal with it? I would love to hear about your experience in this matter. Please feel free to comment under this post.
Did you like my tips on how to get over post-travel blues?