I am a firm believer that it is harder to come home than it is to go away. Every time I come back from a trip, I feel weird. Like yes, it’s great to be back in my own bed and using my own bathroom, but then I start to think, “What’s next?” I don’t think I’m alone in this either. The longer I’m gone, the longer it takes me to feel like my old self again. When I returned from Europe, it took me forever to snap back to reality. I needed ways to cope and get my mind off of everything I missed about travelling abroad. If you can relate to this at all, maybe these 5 tips will help:
1. Plan a new trip: Where have you always wanted to go? Where would you go if money wasn’t an issue? It doesn’t have to be within the next few months or even the next year, but just having something to someday look forward to is an immediate mood booster for me. You can’t think things like, “Oh it will never happen.” Don’t assume the worst. Assume it will happen—even if you don’t know when yet.
2. Visit new places in your own city: This really helped me a lot when I got back from Europe. The reason we get so bummed out after being back home for awhile is because everything has stayed the same while we were away. Nothing is new—unlike when you were abroad where everything was new. The trick is to find new things to do and different places to go in your own backyard that you haven’t experienced before. I went to bars I always wanted to go to, events I had heard about happening in my area, and I explored the outskirts of Austin where I found new outdoor spaces to enjoy. Put yourself out there, literally.
3. Go on a roadtrip with friends: Taking a trip doesn’t mean you have to hop on a plane and venture far away. Just get in a car and go! This is a little easier said than done in Texas where everything is so spaced out. Still, I wish I had done this when I was feeling low. I love road trips! I once rode from Austin to Boston and had the best time. There’s something so exciting and freeing about roadtrips. Yes, they can get mundane at times, but that’s when you challenge yourself and your friends to make it fun. Just make sure you ride along with people you won’t get sick of. ;o)
4. Make a photo album: Coming back home and reconnecting with your old friends and family can be cozy, so it gets easier to put off your future travel plans later and later. Making a photo album or an inspiration board of your travels can help remind you where you were and where you want to be. Or better yet, turn the Instagram photos you took on your trip into magnets and see them every time you get a snack. Genius.
5. Start saving for your next trip: A couple years ago I saw an idea on Pinterest that really worked for me. I bought a jar and painted it all cute with the words “travel fund” on the front. Every time a 5 dollar bill came into my possession, I would put it in the jar. I saved up quite a bit of cash! I now take a different approach: have y’all heard of Digit? It’s a service that saves you money little by little without you needing to think about it. The best part is there are no fees! Seriously, give it a shot if you wanna save money but have no idea how to start.
Is the post-travel struggle real for you too, or am I the only one? How do you deal with it?