How to beat the post-travel blues

The hangover ... coming back from a holiday can leave you feeling melancholy.
The hangover ... coming back from a holiday can leave you feeling melancholy. Photo: Guy Moberly/Lonely Planet

There's not a whole lot of sympathy out there when you return from a holiday nursing a serious case of the travel blues.

Coming down from the buzz of your holiday high and back to the mundane reality of everyday routine leaves most travellers with a melancholy hangover that is difficult to shake.

A withdrawal begins - your insides suddenly feel like lead, you cry at the drop of a hat and there's an overwhelming desire to wallow while eating all the junk food you brought back from overseas.

The good news is you're not alone. For every traveller who's gone before you, there's been one faced with the daunting transition of returning to his suddenly lacklustre life.

While all agree that nothing cures the addictive venom of the travel bug quite like jumping on another plane, here are a few of their tried and tested post-holiday tips to keep those travel blues at bay.

1.Plan your return as well as you holiday.

Amongst all the excitement of planning your adventure and the thrill of seeing it come to fruition, it's easy to forget that your return is inevitable. Before you leave home, make plans for what you're returning to especially if you aren't returning to your previous job or lifestyle.

Give yourself a realistic time to recover but avoid indulging in voluntary bedrest. While routine is the last thing you may want after the freedom of your holiday, remaining busy and occupied will help establish a new sense of normalcy.

2. Exercise your body and mind.

Retuning from a holiday is like mourning and while we all mourn in different ways, isolating yourself in a darkened corner of your bedroom isn't going to do much for your mental health.

Pull on your sneakers and hit the pavement with a running buddy. Exercising your body and your mouth will not only help burn off the comfort layer attained while overseas, but will give you the opportunity to share your travel tales in a healthy way.

3. Write it out.

By writing a journal, penning your travel memoirs or creating a memorial scrapbook, you can channel what were happy memories into a positive account of your trip. Not only is this a great way to express how you're feeling, but what you create becomes another nostalgic memento to keep from your travels.

4. Keep a good perspective.

While returning to the workforce feels like a jail sentence, it's escaping the feeling of Groundhog Day that makes travelling so exciting in the first place.

Clocking in and out of work each day is the only way to save up enough pennies to escape the desk and take another trip. Plus, by bearing a good perspective you'll see there are plenty of positives in being home - your own bed, your own bathroom and your own space!

5. Explore your new surroundings.

Depending on how long you've been away, who knows what exciting new experiences may be lurking in your very own hometown? New restaurants, cafes, parks, museums and shopping strips could be waiting just beyond your front door.

And who says you have to approach them as a local? With your camera and curiosity in tow, you can participate in all the joys of a seasoned traveller in your own hometown.

6. Join a travel community.

Thanks to the joys of the internet, there are plenty of opportunities for you to share with like minded travel buffs who can identify with how you're feeling. Start your own blog or get connected through community sights on Facebook, Twitter, TravellersPoint (www.travellerspoint.com) and BootsnAll (www.bootsnall.com). Who knows? You may find yourself some new contacts to call upon during later travels.

7. Plan your next adventure.

Like all addicts, getting the next fix is all you're really concerned about and thankfully, there's nothing life-threatening about being a travel junkie. So indulge in the addiction and direct your buzz into something worthwhile - your next adventure!

By allowing yourself something to look forward to and save up for, you can find a new purpose for life and beat those nasty travel blues into submission.

AAP

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