Thursday, August 30, 2012

after the high: coping with post-travel depression

ahhh, the world.
it's a pretty amazing place we call home.
and why, over the past several years, my appetite to see and experience more,
continues getting bigger and bigger.
nothing beats planning a trip,
and booking plane tickets to some long sought after location you've been dreaming about night after night.

traveling, for many, is an addiction.
one country down, hundreds to go.
always want to see, and always want to do,
more more more.

unfortunately, unless you're one of the lucky few with loads of cash to blow,
traveling forever,
or, whenever you feel up to it,
isn't reality.
traveling takes time, money and energy
(at least, in most cases)

so, if you're anything like me,
the high leading up to a trip,
may be one of the best feelings you've ever experienced.
while the anticipation, at the very same moment, nearly unbearable.

now, fast forward a bit.
you've made it through the anticipation,
the days of travel bliss,
and now, you find yourself facing what all travelers dread-
the end.

I can recall my trip to Spain with my fiance,
it was three days before we were due to leave,
and the thought of leaving broke my heart.
I literally spent hours crying.
how could I leave such a beautiful place?
(in my defense, it was my first time in Europe and on a much needed vaca from work)

I've been fortunate enough to travel to several other places since Spain,
and while each time I go through the same cycle,
I've learned a few tricks about making the transition back home a little easier...

Annapurna, Nepal

plan something fun to do when you get home- 
before you even leave for your trip.
for example, a dinner date with a friend,
movie plans with the hubs,
or little day trip to that place you've been meaning to visit the past 5 years of your life.
give yourself another something to look forward to.

start talking about your next trip.
honestly, i already have plans in the works for several future dream trips,
and, if you knew me, you would know that i talk non-stop about all the places I want to go.
yes, sometimes it gets annoying,
but, it helps get me through.
it helps me see that the trip that just ended,
isn't really the end of my travel experiences,
it's only just the beginning.

take a deep breath, 
and accept that it's time to go home.
unless, of course, you have the option to quit your job,
and just travel the world.
if not, look on the bright side-
with every incoming paycheck,
and a little spending discipline,
you are one step closer to your next adventure.

take a step back,
and stuff away all the memories of your trip, 
so that you never forget any of it.
also, remember how fortunate you have been to travel at all.

Bavaria, Germany

Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Venice, Italy
the Subway, Zion National Park

I just returned from 4 months in Germany,
and while this homecoming was a little more welcome than the others,
I do miss it.
every single day.
i am back to the job search,
and back to planning far too many future trips.
to make things a little easier,
plans are in the works for a little backpacking trip next week in the Sierras.
It may not be Patagonia (dream), 
but, it satisfies the itch.
...for now.

Happy Travels!

And, THANK YOU, Halley for asking me to be a part of your travel series, Conquer YOUR world.
If you haven't met Halley yet,
head over to her blog,
life of something new!

Pin It!


Tarabelle said...

Super advice; i too find myself having the end of trip blues. Your tips are really great. One thing I like to do is plan trips months ahead; that way my husband and i have plenty of time to really draw out the planning and anticipation phase. Thats one of the best parts of the adventure!


Sarah and Stewart said...

Thinking/talking about/planning our next vacation is really one of the only things that gets me through the rest of life. We try to do at least one big trip each year and a couple smaller ones. Traveling is good for the soul!

Alex Butts said...

so dish: what's the next trip?

Serena said...

Oh I can so relate to this! I get the worst post-travel depression. So much goes into the planning and anticipation of an exciting new trip, and then when it's almost over (or actually over) the feeling of "now what? is this my life again?" is almost unbearable. I usually get over this by doing what you suggest - planning a new trip, even if its waaaaaay in the future, I need to have something like that to look forward to or I go crazy.

Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

Oh don't we all suffer from the post travel depression after our travels. But I always realize after a couple of days that being home is pretty awesome as well. But that itch is always there :)

Lovely post!

Jessie - Nailed it NZ said...

Oh man, I'm a little apprehensive about travelling now in case I feel sad afterwards! My husband and I are going to go overseas in a few years. I've been to Vietnam and Fiji, but he's never left New Zealand. Beautiful pictures!

buy facebook like said...


Morgan said...

I found your blog on accident, but it is WAY cute. Ha hopefully you don't care if I follow you...I love traveling though. I miss it so much. 4 months in Germany, how great is that. Keep up the good work!


gabby said...

haha jess! your blog is beautiful! i just started one to get my thoughts together and also to not annoy my bf with my "chick thoughts" haha! hope all is well! xo

Abbie Shaw said...

This is such good advice, I'm about to embark on a trip to the USA from NZ for a year for the disney international program and I knowww that when I get back ill have post disney blues! These tips will definately help! :)

One more new follower :)

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