We all know the feeling: You have been looking forward to a well deserved trip for a long time and before you know it, your trip is over and you are back in the office. Staring at the grey, rainy world outside your window, you ask yourself where those wonderfilled days of your holiday went so fast. All you can do is daydream about the adventures you lived on your trip and you feel sick to your stomach when you realize it’s all over and real life is knocking on your door again. It’s clear: You have been struck by the post-travel-blues.
What is this post-travel-blues thingie?
PTD is real people… The official name is Post Travel Depression and it basically is the simple fact that we can feel sad because our holiday is over. This goes especially for travellers who have been on the road for quite a while before returning home. Travelling is transformative: We come back feeling like a different person. Once we realize that the only thing that actually changed is us, we start comparing our dull daily lives with the absolute bliss and freedom we experienced during our adventures abroad. Yeah, No wonder you feel down.
Trust me when I say that I am an expert on the topic. I still feel absolutely miserable when I think about the amazing things I’ve seen and done on my trips. Standing on the top of a mountain in the Himalayas: Nothing can ever beat that feeling and thinking about it while I’m here in my own flat, cold and rainy country sometimes makes me feel like I’m living two lives. When I just returned from a 4 month journey, I had no idea how to cope with being back. It’s easier to go away than it is to come home, that’s for sure.
Everyone deals with the blues differently. All I know is that the tips below really work for me!
1: Stop comparing
This is probably the hardest thing about overcoming your post-travel-blues, but you have to stop comparing your daily life to the life you had on your trip. Yes, we would all rather be on a sunny beach or exploring nature, but the simple truth is that you can’t live on a high all the time. Comparing your travels to your daily life is like comparing apples with carrots. It will only make you feel worse so stop doing it!
2: Add some adventure to your daily life
Life inbetween trips isn’t just all work no play. Try to add some adventure! It may not be as wild as kayaking a wild river, but there is so much you can do add some spice to your daily life. Try taking boxing classes. Or indoor skydiving, whatever floats your boat. Spend your free time doing something challenging! It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you stay active. Even picking up on your exercising will lift your spirits! Get those endorphines flowing.
3: Talk about it
Cliché but true. When I returned from my trip I felt as if no one understood me. They weren’t there, they hadn’t lived the way I did. So I talked about it with my family and friends. Although they will get tired of your travel stories after a few weeks -and you can’t honestly blame them- it’s ok to tell them why you feel down, it really helps!
4: Pamper yourself
It’s ok to spoil yourself every once in a while, especially when you’re feeling blue. Curl up in a warm blanket and watch that movie you’ve been wanting to see for a while. Go shopping and buy yourself something nice. Get your hair done and try on some new make-up if that makes you feel good. Treat yourself to your favorite meal and do have that extra scoop of icecream. No one will know 😉
5: Travel in your own city
Although bingewatching Stranger Things seems like an excellent idea, it’s probably not going to make you feel any better. Get out there! Take a random train and see where you end up or, if you are on a tight budget after your trip, stay in your hometown and set yourself some photography goals. There is beauty to be found anywhere in the world, including your hometown. Just walk around and enjoy the little things!
6: Help out other travelers
Remember that guy that showed you the way when you were lost on the other side of the globe? Time to pay it forward. That tourist looking at the map can probably use your help. Show them the way and who knows, you might end up drinking a nice cup of coffee chatting about your mutual interest in travelling.
7: Cook your favorite travel dishes
Recreating the tastes of your travels instantly brings back the good memories. Whether you are aiming for the perfect Indian curry, Mexican huevos ranchos, Italian risotto or Thai prawns, you can find recipes for everything and anything online. If you can’t find the ingredients in your local supermarket, try the small toko’s in your town. They usually sell many of those exotic ingredients that give your dish that authentic taste. Now, roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty in the kitchen! There is nothing more rewarding than indulging yourself in your own, homemade travel food.
8: Realize how lucky you are
Honestly… You are the luckiest bitch in the world for feeling depressed over something so awesome. This is probably the last thing in the world you want to hear, but it’s true. Switch on the television and watch the news. Are all these aweful things happening to you? Most likely not. You are warm and safe in your house with beautiful memories for life.