For many of us, travelling (especially long-term) is like the ultimate high. But what happens when you go back home? That mountainous high can drop as low as a valley and you’re stuck with this uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Allow yourself to feel those emotions for the first few days. However, don't let those down days turn into weeks, and definitely not into months.
After travelling abroad over the last seven years, I’ve had my fair share of sadness upon returning home. It’s a sinking feeling, surprisingly not caused by turbulence but by post-travel depression. This post-vacation down feeling has become more of a thing amongst millennials and Gen Zs who use their passports like their parents’ used payphones.
There are three major things I do that help me get over post-travel depression and feel like myself again. Read on to find out more.
Reis Armstrong is a travel vlogger, TV producer and hostel connoisseur from the United States. He has contributed this article as one of our Innsiders. If you’re interested in writing for us, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or find out more about becoming an Innsider .
1. Explore your hometown
One thing that helps once my plane lands in my hometown is to never stop exploring. Even at home, there’s always something new to see and it may not be right at your doorstep. You may have to catch a bus or a train or travel an hour or two but keeping that same energy as you do when you’re abroad is paramount to your happiness at home. How many of us truly know our home country inside out? No matter where you are, it’ll help you to keep the mindset of a traveller.
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2. Get creative
I’ve also found that it helps to get creative. Sometimes I reflect on all the amazing people I’ve met in hostels, so I get a journal and write about our experiences together. If you really want to take a trip down memory lane, gather all your photos and videos from your travels and make TikTok videos out of them and take time to find the right background music that captures how you were feeling in those moments. I tend to make mini travel documentaries and it always gives me this sense of nostalgia. It may even help to write reviews for places you’ve been and activities you’ve done, which still kinda keeps you in travel mode but from home. Either way, the goal here is to find ways to put yourself back into the moments that brought a smile to your face.
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3. Have a new adventure planned in advance
When all else fails, just remember that there’s always another trip around the corner. I usually try to stay home for about 90 days before heading off into the unknown again. From my experience, I enjoy trips much more once I let the anticipation build. Think of it like a diet – the longer you abstain from eating delicious but fattening food, the sweeter it tastes when you’re finally able to have it. Start with picking out three places you’ve never been, then narrow it down to one and start planning your next adventure.
Nonetheless, I do want you to be mindful that it’s easy to get stuck in longing for the feeling that travel brings. I want to encourage you not to become stuck while chasing that feeling. If we’re always chasing happiness and looking toward the future, it takes away from the enjoyments of the present moments. A wise man once said, “Depression comes from living in the past, anxiety comes from living in the future, and happiness comes from living in the present. At some point, we must learn to be happy no matter our Instagram location. I hope this article helps!
Feel free to reach out on Instagram if you need a shoulder or an ear: @LoveReisAndSoul
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