Travel is beyond thrilling. It introduces you to new people, new places and new ideas on a near-constant basis. You get to experience the chaos and beauty of the world, which provides a kind of high that only true world travelers know.
Yet, every high has a come-down, and for travelers, that come-down is returning home. Compared to travel, being at home can seem sad and boring; many travelers experience a post-travel depression that prevents them from properly re-integrating into their normal environment. If you want to avoid feeling blue at the end of your trip, you should follow these tips for staying excited and upbeat in your own neck of the woods.
List What You’re Looking Forward to
A successful return home begins way before you board your flight. In the weeks and days leading up to the end of your travels, you should start focusing on what you are most excited about seeing and doing once you return home. Travel is fun, but it is also hard; you might be looking forward to seeing your loved ones, sleeping in your own bed, cooking your own food or having access to a closet full of clean clothes. Whenever you start to get sad about your trip coming to an end, try to think up a new benefit of going home, and repeat it like a mantra until you feel positive about taking a break from your travels.
I remember at the end of my most recent stretch of travel, I could hardly think of anything more exciting than checking a book out of my home library. On the road, I tend to read whatever I can scrounge from hostel bookshelves or buy cheaply and in English from local bookstores; often, I opt for guidebooks, so I know what I’m doing for the next leg of my trip. The opportunity to choose from a wealth of books on any subject is what ultimately brought me home happy.
Develop a Healthy Routine
During my first year traveling, I felt like I was in the best shape of my life. From lugging around a heavy backpack and participating in all sorts of hikes and treks, I felt strong and invigorated. Yet, just a few weeks after coming home, all that went away because I didn’t prioritize maintaining the same level of activity.
For many travelers, the TV is a serious temptation. After a prolonged period of activity, the ability to lounge on a comfortable couch and veg out in front of a television feels like the ultimate luxury — especially if you have a family-size bag of chips to devour. However, you shouldn’t allow all your free time at home to be wasted in such a way. Instead, you should prioritize heathy habits, like eating a nutritious diet, exercising and being social. It’s okay to give your body (and mind!) a rest, but you should try to get up and out as often as possible.
Plan a Short Trip Near Home
Just because you aren’t out seeing the world doesn’t mean there’s nothing for you to explore around home. After you are home for a week or two, you should start looking into places you can adventure close by, to keep your travel bug alive. The excitement of planning another adventure is enough to keep most dedicated travelers engaged, so you should look around your home for interesting spaces to explore.
For me, that place is almost always Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls might seem like a tourist trap, but in truth it is an outstanding travel destination filled with exciting attractions. There is always something new to explore in Niagara, so as soon as I touch down at home, I start looking at Niagara Falls, Canada hotels and planning a weekend trip to the Niagara region.
Remember Your Travels
One of the first things I do when I start settling into life at home is set up all my memories from my recent travels. Any souvenirs I acquired go right on my shelves, and I print out and frame some pictures I took of the places I went and the people I saw. Doing this helps me remember my travel experiences, so it feels less like I lost something by coming home.
Too many travelers approach the end of a trip like they are going to a funeral. You don’t need to mourn your travels; you can continue to relive them through the tangible and intangible memories you made. By talking about your trip with loved ones and seeing your souvenirs prominently displayed, you can keep the memories of your travels alive and well.
You can always go out and travel more — but you also always need to spend time at home. By focusing on healthy habits and activities while you are home, you can maintain physical and mental strength to get you out traveling the world again soon.