There's a fairly crushing realisation that hits on about your third or fourth day back from holidays: it's all over. That's it. Nothing more to look forward to.
After weeks of life on the road, after the excitement of existing in a foreign land, after the fun of spending time away from work and stress and whatever the hell has happened to Essendon now, it all comes to a sad end. Everyday life begins. The post-holiday blues set in.
The good news, however, is that there are ways to chase this sadness away. If you're struggling to readjust to life back home, this is what you need to do.
Be a tourist in your own town
Think of the way you approach other cities when you travel: you get out and explore. You go to the museums and the art galleries. You check out beaches you've never seen before. You try new restaurants and bars. You go to events. And there's no reason that you can't treat your home town in exactly the same way. Get out there and explore it like a traveller, and you'll feel like you're on the road again.
See also: How to be a tourist in your own city
Reminisce at a good restaurant
OK, so you can't go back to Vietnam to eat that amazing food. But you can do a bit of research and find the most legit Vietnamese place in your own city to try their version. Same goes for just about any cuisine, too. We're lucky to live in a hugely multi-cultural society, which means there will probably be a pocket of immigrants from your favourite country living somewhere not too far away. Go there to eat and you'll be instantly transported.
Take a class
Remember how you swore that when you got home you'd enroll in a tango class? Or how you really wanted to learn Italian? Or how you planned to do a cooking course in Chinese cuisine? Well, now's your chance to use up some of that time spent moping around being sad to actually better yourself in the ways you wanted to. It's a way to keep in touch with the places you loved (and probably the people who once called them home as well).
Share your pain
They say a problem shared is a problem halved, which means you need to get out there and start spreading the holiday blues among your friends. Of course the only people who are going to put up with that sort of nonsense are fellow travellers that are going through the same thing, so be sure to surround yourself with like-minded sufferers of the blues. Those who've just stayed home and worked over the summer are never going to understand.
If you spent your last holiday in a developing country, or around anyone less fortunate, you probably developed a nagging desire to help out in some way. And now that you're home, you can. Volunteer your time with an organisation like Spark (vinnies.org.au), which helps tutor recently arrived refugee children, or the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (asrc.org.au), which offers a variety of different positions. It's a great way of keeping in touch with those countries you enjoyed so much.
Make the changes you promised you would
"I'm going to spend less time staring at my phone when I get home." Sound familiar? It's probably something you promised yourself after realising while travelling that you really don't need to be connected 24 hours a day. Or maybe you decided to watch less TV. Or maybe you wanted to exercise more. Or throw out all your excess clothes. Whatever changes you promised to make in your life while you were travelling, start making them as soon as you get home.
See also: How travel makes you a better person
Book another trip
This, of course, is the only foolproof, iron-clad, 100 per cent cure for post-travel blues: having a new holiday to look forward to. If you're really struggling to get back into the rhythm of normal life, there's only one thing for it. Get online, or head down to your local travel agent, and start dreaming. Book in the next adventure. Begin the planning. And be happy again.
See also: The worst ever day of my travelling life