How to Beat Post-Travel Depression

Plane Wing Over Mountains

A Feeling All Travelers Know

We experienced our first bout of post-travel depression after our first trip abroad. Post-travel depression may also be known as post-vacation depression or the post-trip blues. You may be experiencing this if you’re finding it difficult to dive back into your normal life after a vacation. However, there are solutions and it does get better with time.

Our Story

Although our first trip only lasted 10 days, we had an awful time trying to get back into the swing of things when we got home. Everything at home felt so insignificant and meaningless. We grew and expanded our world view so much in a few short days, home just couldn’t compete. In the end, we managed to stick it out at unfulfilling jobs long enough to start a business of our own and save up money for more travel. Here’s a list of our best methods to beat post-travel depression:

Unpack

Suitcase

This may seem obvious, but it’s not unusual to have trouble unpacking your bags. Unpacking would mean accepting that the adventure is over. No one wants to do that. Take a day to unpack your bags, do your laundry, and put your belongings back in their rightful homes. While doing so, take a little time to unpack your emotions as well by processing your feelings. For us, that meant going through photos and video footage from our trip and deleting duplicates or out-of-focus shots.

Enjoy The Comforts of Home

Take in all the smalls things and savor them… showers with good hot water pressure, a cozy bed, full-size toiletries, catching up on TV shows, and all of your favorite things. Our pets were what really made home great when we first returned.

Bedroom

Put Your Souvenirs To Use

Find a special home for any new souvenirs that you acquired on your journey. Place them where you usually start to feel the blues. Take a small souvenir to work and put it on your desk. Maybe you’re more of a minimalist like us and didn’t buy any physical souvenirs. Have one of your favorite photos from your trip printed and hang it.

Get Busy

Work

Get back to work quickly and make plans with your friends. Plan your travels with a full day for recuperating before going back to the office. Then, dive back in. If you travelled with a friend, use them for this. You can process together. We like to get a meal that we couldn’t get abroad, like a special sushi roll from our favorite restaurant.

Share Your Stories

Get together with friends and family to fill them in on your travels. Share stories, adventures, and photos from your trip. This will help you keep the trip alive while easing back into your daily life.

Photos

Be Productive

Use your free time wisely. Most people feel better when they’re being productive. If you’re feeling down, try to conquer small tasks that you’ve been meaning to do for a while. For us, an easy one was going through the stack of mail on the coffee table.

Take Care of Yourself

Healthy Food

Exercising and eating healthy can have a huge effect on your overall mood and outlook. Using your first day at home to stock up your refrigerator with leafy greens and healthy protein can make your first week at home easier. Exercise in the morning if you can. The boost in endorphins will help you get through the day. We usually start taking a B12 vitamin when we return home as well.

Travel at Home

Keep the mindset you had while traveling all the time. Try new things, go new places, and create new experiences. Take small weekend trips, join a new class, take up a new hobby, and say “yes” to more.

Trail to Lake 22 in WA, USA

Hiking to Lake 22 in WA, USA

Share advice with other travelers

Know anyone else who will be traveling soon? Get together with them and share what you learned. Soon after we got home from Iceland, three separate people approached us who were now planning trips to Iceland. We were happy to provide recommendations on car rentals, sightseeing, and tours.

Decide Where You’re Going Next

Evaluate your current situation. Plan your next getaway. Set goals and work towards them.

"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not people or objects. -Albert Einstein

If you need help getting inspired, check out our Destinations page for ideas!

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