Back from an exciting trip, don’t sit and sulk over getting back to routine. Keep yourself engaged and let the excitement stay on.
Have you ever come back from a trip abroad and felt that everything around seems meaningless? Or found it difficult to adjust back to your normal routine, even feel engaged in your job or household matters? Did you feel there is something out there that’s really good for you and that you are missing out on it by burying the urge to travel and getting stuck in the daily grind? You might be experiencing ‘post-travel blues’, a common phenomenon among many people when they return from a wonderful trip.
What are post-travel blues?
Quite simply, post-travel blues is the form of sadness that some travellers can experience once they return from a trip. This can range from being disappointed that you’re not sitting atop Table Mountain anymore to becoming seriously confused, frustrated and miserable that your home life pales in comparison to the freedom you experienced on your adventures.
“I call it a vacation hangover,” says Karen Schaler, host of American series Travel Therapy TV. “You come back from a great trip and then you are depressed because it’s now back to reality.
Why do we experience it?
Often, after a good trip, we get the blues because we start comparing our life at home to the trip we’ve just come back from. The spontaneity we revel in while travelling and the liberty of having no fixed plan is part of what makes the experience so enjoyable.
Back home, the usual rituals of regular life can appear almost mind-numbing at first. You find yourself comparing details – the culture, the society, the people – even if it’s subconsciously; more often than not these contrasts can enhance your anxieties.
“Travelling naturally causes you to re-evaluate your own life and environment, which can bring dissatisfactions to the surface,” explains Dr Alice Boyes, author of The Anxiety Toolkit.
For those people who do experience this, there are ways to maximise the positives of a trip to stop that feeling from setting in.
How to handle it?
Being back home doesn’t have to mean settling into the same old routine. Have a look around, there might be a secret wilderness you’ve never unearthed, a prime landmark you’ve never properly visited, a wealth of fascinating local history you can delve into. You can have a great travel experience on your doorstep.
Even if it’s just a quick day trip somewhere to try a new restaurant, knowing you have another adventure looming, no matter how small, will keep you inspired.
It’s not just what you can see on your return that matters, but also who you can see. “I make sure I see one of my friends the day I get home, even if it’s just for a cup of coffee,” explains travel blogger Robert Schrader. “Reminding yourself of the treasures of being home is one of the easiest ways to manifest thankfulness.”
Maintain the high
“Upon return from a trip, I keep up the excitement by reviewing, processing, and sharing photos taken on various photography portals, besides publishing photo albums/travelogues on FB. I also create YouTube videos and share them with various channels, besides discusing with various travel buddies about the adventure undertaken. Essentially, I try to maintain the high as long as possible, till I plan the next event.
It’s true that I often feel low that after a good trip, especially after my trip to Morocco which was 19 days long. I just sit and think about the trip for days after it is over. Returning home after a great trip always makes it difficult to get back to one’s routine lifestyle as the joys of travel make you feel that it should continue forever. However, I divert my mind by joining group hikes and sharing experiences.
Habiba al Balushi
Usually after a trip, I do feel a bit depressed but I do overcome this feeling very fast by setting new goals. I take my time and think about the good things of the present. This helps me bounce back.