Since I’ve returned from overseas a couple of weeks ago, it’s been quite difficult getting back into the swing of normal life. I actually find every time I travel, even if it’s just a short trip, it seems to get harder and harder to fit back in to the mundane routines of 9-5 work.
That’s not to say that I’m dissatisfied with my life – far from it. I actually think I’m pretty lucky – I live in a safe country, have a good secure job, a wonderful husband (hi Ash!) and fantastic family and friends. I am just constantly thinking “Is this all that there is to life? Should I be doing something more to give back? Am I meant to do more than this?”
Wow, this post turned deep quickly! I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way, and I’d like to share some strategies that I use to try and overcome this. So here are my 5 tips for overcoming the post-travel blues:
1. Indulge in a favourite overseas meal – One of my favourite things about travelling is trying out the local cuisine. I think it’s a really great way to get involved in the culture by eating delicious meals at little hole-in-the-wall venues where the locals eat. When I return from travelling, I like to relive some of my memories by going to a restaurant at home and having the same dish here. The food may not always be the same as when you had it overseas, but I always find the familiar aromas and spices always take me back. Another great thing to do along this same vein is to get the recipe (there’s heaps of recipes for all kinds of food on the internet, or for an even more authentic twist you could take a cooking class or ask a local for the recipe while you’re travelling) and have a go at making it yourself! I also really like the Lonely Planet Street Food and Spicy Food books (no affiliation with Lonely Planet, just a happy customer!) for some traditional recipes from around the world. I love to cook up a spicy laab gai when I return from Thailand or a fragrant daal after a trip to India!
2. Write about it – This isn’t for everyone, but I personally find it quite cathartic to reflect on my travels and relive my memories through writing about them. This is something I’ve only started to do recently (hence this blog!), and I find it really interesting how I can often take a quite different view of things when I look back and try to put my memories into words. I haven’t been ready to write about my recent travels as yet (I’m not quite prepared to admit that the holiday is over even though I’m back at work!), but stay tuned for some posts really soon. If you haven’t tried writing about your travels before, give it a go – you may be surprised. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to start a travel blog, for instance my Mum keeps traditional paper travel journals just for herself. There are a heap of different writing styles you can try also – you may not love writing journal pieces, but putting your memories and experiences into poetry or song lyrics may be more your style.
3. Try something new – If coming back to all the regular things you were doing before seems boring, it may just be as simple as trying something new! Spending some time learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby can help bring back some excitement to your day-to-day, and I know I personally always like adding new strings to my bow. Some of these skills can be transferable to your travels as well. For instance, you could learn a new language, or try something more active like scuba diving or hiking.
4. Take some time out – Don’t feel like when you get back that you need to throw yourself back into everything all at once. There’s nothing wrong with taking a couple of weeks for yourself before jumping back in to filling up your weekends and catching up with everyone. Your friends and family will understand, and I know allowing myself this time at the end of my travels always helps me to get through the giant mountain of washing I inevitably come back with too!
5. Plan your next adventure – I think the best way to satiate your wanderlust is to feed it. I love spending hours researching destinations I would like to visit, planning itineraries and where to stay, and looking at different ways that I can experience a new country. For new inspiration try following some new travel blogs or visiting a travel expo. There’s also heaps of great books, both non-fiction and fiction, that are centred on other countries and expat or travel stories. I even find travel guides and internet forums a great source of information about a country.
So try out one of these ideas or all of them, and see how they go for you! Do you have any tips that you’d like to add? Please share them in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!