Returning home after travelling is one of the hardest parts of travelling, even more so when you travel for long periods of time like six months to a year. We all know what holiday blues are, and how it feels returning to work after one or two weeks away. Imagine that but you've just been backpacking the world for a year. It's hard, there's no doubt about it, but there are few ways you can make it easier, and make coming home something to look forward too.
I have had to do this a few times now, and trust me it doesn't get any easier, i think you just learn how to deal with it. My first experience of this was when i left for my gap year in Australia. After spending a year in Australia, working, travelling, meeting new people and literally having the best time of my life after 14 years of being in a classroom, and then to spend three months exploring southeast asia, trust me when i say coming back home, to go to university was no easy task. It was really hard, of course i had something new to look forward too and a plan which i think made it a hell of a lot easier. But it was still hard, getting back into a job, working and studying. So many times i would just look out my window at the grey London sky wanting to be back on the beaches of Australia, barbecuing in the sun.
My Second experience of this was when i went travelling after my first year of uni. I think adjusting was even harder this time around. I had just finished my first year of uni, saved a load of money and had five months free to go wherever i wanted. Perfect, after visiting, India, Brazil and spending a month in California, it was time to get back to uni, back to working a tedious job and back to spending the majority of my time studying. This was really hard, even harder than the first time around. I think because it wasn't new to me anymore, i knew where i was going, what i was doing and what to expect. So here are a few tips from my experiences that make coming home a little easier, and make it not so god damn depressing.
Have Some Sort of Plan for When You Arrive Home- This in my opinion is probably one of the biggest things you need to sort out. You seriously need to have an idea of what you're going to be doing when you return home. If not, you're just going to be thinking, what am i going to be doing when i get home and it's going to depress you like crazy. If you set yourself some goals, targets and have some ambitions of things you want to achieve, say 6 months after you're home, you're going to be a lot more pumped to return back and smash whatever it is you set yourself to do.
Take Time Out- When travelling you have so much free time to yourself, to be in your own head space, relax and just not really stress about anything. So when coming home make sure you give yourself time out. I mean yeah get back into things and chase those goals and targets you set yourself, but you need to give yourself time out. Go explore your local area, do new things, meet new people. This will help you settle back into routine life, and still help fulfill your sense of adventure.
Plan Your Next Travel Adventures- Plan your next adventures.... no one ever said the travels had to stop, just for the time being. I mean you can work a full time job or be a full time student and still travel the world. So start looking at where you want to go next, book some flights, plan your trips, they don't even have to be anywhere exotic, it could even be to somewhere new in your country. Maybe an adventure weekend away or a camping trip with friends.
Make a Travel Journal or Some Recap of Your Memories- Make some sort of travel journal or a way to remember your memories, print of some photos and make a scrapbook or something. There are loads of different things you can do for this. It just allows you to review your memories and have a fun way of remembering them. It's also something cool to show your family and friends.
Be Excited about Seeing Family and Friends- Travelling is awesome, yeah, but there's nothing like spending time with your family or old friends and catching up with people. Going and getting coffee with your nan, having your mums home cooked meals, seeing your friends newborn baby and golfing with your dad. These are all things you should look forward to, spending quality time with people you probably haven't seen in a long time. You should also look forward to those homely foods you miss whatever it may be and your own comfortable bed. Look forward to the little things, they really do matter.