We all come to that point in our travels when we have to go back home. Lack of money (probably one of the most common causes), work after a long deserved holiday, an unexpected event, name it all. This step often happens without us wanting to, because after all who wants to leave a life full of adventures and freedom to go back to the normal and a bit more boring life with awaiting responsibilities? probably not a lot of people would.
This is a guide about how to survive or at least try to fight a post travel depression! After having travelled for a few months or maybe even years and getting to that point in your life –once back home– when you just feel empty and don’t know how to fur fill that emptiness within you. What should you do?
I, myself, am currently still struggling with this. After over nine months of traveling around Australia, the time for me came as well. I had to leave. I’ve now been back for about 4 months now, and to be honest it still sucks (sometimes more than others), and I still miss it everyday. But there are a few things that helped me, and are still helping me to get over this break up.
Step 1: Surround yourself with beautiful and caring people
The first week back isn’t going to feel that bad, being able to see long missed friends, family and other beloved people, is a pretty good feeling. Your own comfort zone and the warmth of home are probably hard to beat.
It often happens that you come back as a new you, traveling after all is a journey of self-discover
It could even happen that you might lost the connection or don’t have the same feeling as you had before with the people you used to hang out with, this doesn’t mean that you don’t like being around them, not at all but it’s different.
It could help to get out and about looking for new people how have you same mindset, maybe other travellers that know and feel what you are going through. This is an important thing to remember! If you don’t start to surround yourself with people you enjoy being around with, that are open-minded and support you, it’s going to be difficult to get over that break up. Plus while traveling you used to do this all the time, why not keep the habit and do it in your hometown or wherever else you are?
I myself moved to a complete different city to start my studies without knowing anyone. This really helped me to get over the first stage of “depression”, I made heaps of new friends, and without them I probably wouldn’t have reached this “accepting” mindset yet.
Step 2: Get busy
Work, studies, a hobby, a sport or hanging out with your best mates: basically everything that you are passionate about and that keeps your mind busy is good! It really helps, keeping occupied doing stuff. First of all it’s probably going to satisfy you, if you’re happy with what you are doing. Secondly, You might be earning some money, which could be a start to save up for a next trip? (we’ll get there on step 3). But most important of all, it will keep your mind busy from wandering away to faraway places and memories that will probably make you miss your travels like crazy, not a good idea (I’m still struggling with this part myself sometimes or maybe just a bit to often).
The first month I was back I had so much going on and happening around me that I didn’t even realize how much I was missing everything. But once I stepped of that crazy roller coaster and I eventually had time to sit down and think about everything, I kind of collapsed. And that’s where my new friends came in handy again, doing a lot of stuff with them, and keeping busy surfing, diving and studying did help me a lot.
Step 3: Work ahead for your next trip
It’s good to start planning your next trip, get a job earn money and save up to get ready for your next big adventure! Even tho sometimes it could be in the far away future, who cares, it’s good to be looking forward to something.
I know as a student myself that it can be really hard to save up some money at the end of the month, even if it’s just fifty, seventy or if you’re lucky even more than a hundred bugs it’s still something. Or you could get a part-time job that could help you out a little bit too.
One other good thing to do is to explore your local surroundings. That’s one thing that I got really conscious of while traveling in Australia, I realized that I actually hadn’t seen that much of Europe. I travelled all across the world to see a new exotic land and exploring every remote corner of it, but then realizing that I only saw the main major capital cities in Europe. Therefore I promised myself, that once back I would try and discover more of the hidden beauties Europe has to offer in my backyard. And you can do that everywhere around the world, get creative.
Saving Tip: take an empty jar, and fill it with all the coins in your wallet, keep doing this until it’s full, you will be surprised by how much you can actually save doing so!
Step 4: It’s good to be sad, angry and sentimental
It’s ok to be sad, to cry. We all are human. Sometimes we are like a ticking bomb, just keeping all our feelings and worries inside us, but sooner or later that will find a way out of your body, exploding. And that’s normal it happened to everyone. Being somewhere and just feeling completely lost, yes, that’s part of the process as well. And don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses, and to let is all out, it’s a process your body uses to get the relief and weight off your shoulders.
Now, I want to make clear: it’s a personal experienced therefor keep in mind that this might not help you at all or maybe just a little bit, but it’s important that you make your own twist from the tips above, find your own path out of the darkness. Because sunshine is waiting out there, you just need to find it! The beginning, when you just come back looks really bad, but as they say, time heals everything, just have a little bit of faith, breath deeply a few times and step out! It’s a new adventure, a new challenge to face! Go and live it!