How To Escape the Post-Travel Blues

09. Mai 2019
How To Escape the Post-Travel Blues

As the flowers bloom and trees regain their vibrant beauty, one may feel the nostalgic itch to get far far away. Maybe it’s time to put that bonus to good use, perhaps you dodged flu season and have more PTO than you thought, or you just want to travel because you can. Whatever your reason, you’re ready to be free.

Once in Vacationland, wherever you are, you’re at liberty to do anything you want, eat and drink whatever you want, stay up and wake up as late as you want, the list goes on. Life is grand, you’re full of happiness, but as your vacation concludes, the angst commences.

Ah, the dread of a vacation ending. Back to work, school, responsibilities, etc. Unfortunately, those lawless Vacationland habits and ideals could be your biggest influencers of the back-to-life slump. Never fear, here are some before, during, and after trip methods that can help you ease back to real life refreshed and rejuvenated:

Set a travel intention

Before you embark, or before you decide where you’re going, set an intention of what you want to receive from your vacation. This is something only you can do. Ask yourself What do I want from my trip? And follow it with What can I do in order to fulfill my intention? These two questions can help guide your decisions between taking that early morning walking tour or dancing the night away in a discotheque. It doesn’t matter which, as long as you’re working towards your intention.

Keep some of your habits

Self-love is taking care of yourself. Of course you’re going to feel like you got hit by a bus after days or weeks of neglecting your body! If you’re cutting yourself short on sleep, eating tacos and drinking cheap beer all day, your digestive system is going to be on the (literal) fritz for a week or two as it digests all of those carefree life choices. But don’t be a robot and deny yourself new experiences! Think of it as a balance: try eating one meal a day that fuels your body, have a big glass of water with every drink, and sleep! (siestas included).

Immerse yourself

Saint Augustine wrote, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”. How much of this ‘book’ do you understand? Reading is immersing yourself in a story to understand. Think of your vacation as a your story. I work decently hard to not be the “obnoxious American” stereotype and do as the locals do. I take it as a win when a person speaks to me in the native language, to which I apologize profusely for not understanding.

I encourage travelers to ditch the hawaiian shirt and step into the world of those living in your Vacationland. For example, Thailand offers some crazy partying in Patong but some fantastic cultural traditions in Chiang Mai. Experience more of the culture by learning and immersing yourself (like getting up early to observe the Buddhist Monks walk with their offering bowls). Be aware of the impact your stay has on locals as well as environment. Many cities have online guides or you can search local websites for upcoming events and ideas for you to get the most out of the region. Learning something new while abroad will always benefit a traveler and Einstein put it nicely, “The only source of knowledge is experience”.

Exercise!

This one can be a stretch, but hear me out. To be consistent with your exercise is to be thinking long term. If you have the mindset of being active while you travel, you’re going to make that return to the mat, trail, gym, etc. less daunting. But also understand all the gratifying ways you can be active while traveling. If you’re backpacking and exploring Europe, you are going to be walking loads, so congrats, you earned that gelato! If you’re lounging on a beach somewhere in tropical paradise, get in the water! Spend a little more time treading, or go on a brisk walk on the beach. I recommend renting a bike as it is such a great way to see a city while being active, so it’s a win-win. Your digestive tract will thank you for the extra movement!

Write during your travels

Are you a writer? Cool, me neither. But dang do I feel picturesque when I take out my adorable, carefully chosen journal to write about my day while sipping on a cappuccino or sitting in a rose garden. I was gifted the perfect travel journal right before I embarked on a 5 month, 4 continent trip in 2013. I was diligent to write every day (ok, maybe every other day) and I have to say, 6 years later, it brings me straight back to where I was and what I felt. You’ll be able to revisit your old journals to get that travel inspo or contentedness of past experiences. I just wait for the day my grandchildren find it and make a movie about my life (that’s what happens, right?)

Through writing, you are able to bring awareness to your life, your surroundings and your emotions. And, most importantly, you’re in the present. Live it up! A bonus is to write down restaurants and other noteworthy things you did so you can then be the travel guru of your social circle.

Make that inner voice guilt-free

If feelings of guilt start to creep in during your trip, stamp that out by reminding yourself of your intention and the methods you took in order to balance yourself. If it won’t subside, reevaluate ASAP and make any additions/negations to ease your mind back into vacay-mode.

It’s so easy to leave a delicious place like Italy with caloric regret. Or being completely exhausted after letting loose on some beach. To conclude, setting your intention and taking measures of self-care will combat negative feelings throughout and after your trip. Replace that inner voice of guilt with admiration of your new cultural experiences. Reread your journal so you are returning home with gusto and invigoration to plan your next adventure!


From: Hanna Johnson