So you’ve returned home after a big trip, unpacked your stuff and wistfully stowed the passport in a drawer. Now what?
Now you’re probably starting to crave some endorphin-pumping adventures again. We know the feeling ̶ you’re hooked to the excitement of the unknown.
But why is that we only feel enthusiastic about places away from home?
Well, because travel stimulates our brains and spirits the way the familiar can’t. That’s why every return home can be a tricky transition period, and why we have to manage it in the best possible way: by actively keeping our spirits up and carry on doing EPIC SHIT.
So if you’re feeling blue, here are 10 ways to get you out of that post-travel funk:
1. Keep the traveler mindset alive
What is that you did on your travels that you can keep doing now?
Look at things with a new set of eyes and from a different perspective. For instance: if thousands of tourists visit my hometown every year, they must do it for a reason!
Make an effort to explore your surroundings, or at least meet your friends at a different place ̶ why should it always be in that same cafe?
2. Be grateful
Be grateful for being surrounded by friends and family again, for your soft mattress and home cooked meals. Revisit your favorite places more often, and find out what is that you like about them.
Be grateful for all that your hometown has to offer, even the small conveniences you wished you had while you traveled. For instance: as huge bread lovers, we recall craving almost every day for a bakery like the ones we had back home. Now that we’re back, we can stuff our faces with white bread and gluten again!
Be grateful for the privilege of having traveled, and remember that coming back doesn’t mean that a chapter of your life has closed forever.
3. Take time for yourself
If you traveled long-term like we did, you remember how good it felt to take ownership of your time and self-indulge. What were the things that you enjoyed the most? Have you taken time to re-connect with yourself since you came back?
We’re not talking about binging the last season of your favorite show, we’re talking about fruitful, soul pleasing time.
Go watch the sunset on the beach and meditate, read a new book, ride your bike around town.
If you’re in to physical activity go trekking, get your heart pumping while getting in contact with nature.
4. Sign up for a class
Keep the momentum going and your brain stimulated by learning a new language ̶ one from a country you’ve been, or from a country you want visit next. Seize the opportunity of your mind still being open and fill it in with knowledge!
Enroll on that yoga class and see how it goes.
Register for the marathon you always said you wanted to run.
5. Cook. Spice up your life
Cook for your friends and family some of the exotic foods you’ve eaten abroad. Remember that being the only one who knows how the food is suppose to taste, you can pretend like you nailed it even if it ends up tasting like hot garbage. They’ll never know!
I’ve been following the recipes from a few books and this Youtube Channel: Palin’s Kitchen. The Thai green curry, the fried rice and Kung Pao Chicken have become crowd favorites at home. Next challenge: Thai Fried Bananas.
6. Get involved on a project
Start a personal project with your travel photos, set up a travel exhibition in your town with all the memory cards and gigabytes of pics you brought back. It’s an excellent way to share your stories with your community and friends.
Last December Nuno and I did a Travel Gathering in our hometown of Aveiro. A bunch of cool people came to hear our stories, see our photos and make some questions. It ended up being a 3 hour session dedicated to Southeast Asia and Australia. Watch it here.
We’re still getting facebook messages with questions from people about to travel through some of the countries we visited. And it’s super rewarding to be able to help.
7. Connect with other travelers
Another awesome way to connect with folks who groove on the travel culture, is to read and comment on blogs. Talk up travel with likeminded people, join facebook groups, “like” facebook pages ̶ you probably have pretty valid inputs to share.
Take in Couchsurfers, show them around town. Stay in contact with people doing what you love doing, stock up on some of their travel enthusiasm and keep that fire burning.
8. Get a makeover
A week after I arrived, I caught myself with a similar attitude like the one I had 6 months before traveling to Southeast Asia. Something had to be done, and if my brain was starting to forget, I had to use my body as a reminder: I cut all my hair off, took my earrings out and trimmed my beard as a physical representation of change.
Now I and everyone around me are reminded that something changed in me, inside and out. So I better behave accordingly.
9. Goals and Resolutions
Often the arrival of a New Year isn’t a big enough motivation to establish a new set of goals for ourselves. How many times did the calendar change and our lives remain the same for that entire year? That is because a New Year doesn’t imply transformation, but a life changing event can be at the root of it.
The moment to rethink, reprioritize and let go of what’s not resonating with you, is at pivotal moments of your life, such as: a trip around the world, a college graduation, the birth of your first child.
There’s no better time to declare a new set of goals than when you got back from a trip all inspired and renewed. Now is the time to shift your goals and have them match the new expanded version of you.
10. Plan your next trip
Any thoughts on where to go next? Daydream with your next trip, research locations as an escape.
Start putting some money aside for it, set up a money saving strategy ̶ if you did it once, you’ll be able to do it again.
Do whatever suits you best to keep the adventurous spirit alive and above all, ease yourself to the inevitability of routine. Find a way to retain the optimism and enthusiasm around by keeping busy ̶ purposefully busy ̶ instead of biting your nails out of boredom, or stain your travel memories with sadness.
Maintain your heart open to the possibilities of change, and transmute that stagnated yearn for adventures into risk-taking or life-changing matters. Move out, change the scenery, change jobs, color you hair, get a perm, propose, lose the weight, love yourself harder! Just don’t forget who you became, and that you will travel again.
What have you been doing to keep the travel spirit alive? We’d really like to hear it.
Share it in the comments bellow.