You spend months experiencing new things, waking up to different scenery every day, learning to live with the bare minimum & looking forward to every moment, you’re no longer just waiting for Friday. Then it’s home time.
We always knew that the moment we touched down at Heathrow, times were about to get tough. Once the excitement of seeing your family, meeting up with friends and Christmas was over, the travelling blues would begin. January is a dull month at the best of times, especially when you’ve just had the best 6 months of your life.
Initially, things were okay. I wondered what all the fuss was about returning home. It wasn’t until I got a £100 fine for stopping in an airport car park, a job offer that didn’t turn out to be as promised & I fell back into the same working industry that I was in before. That’s when I started to struggle.
Pierce was lucky enough to return home to a good job in a familiar environment. I, however, wasn’t so lucky. I came home to a nearly empty bank account, jobless and at square one of beginning my career.
I went from day in day out with Pierce, to living 30 miles apart & seeing each other twice a week. For anyone that travels with someone else, you will know how reliant you become on their company. You miss all the fun things you did together, the sunsets, drinks on the beach and experiencing everything new, with them by your side. You even miss the not so great moments, the 11 hour overnight buses, 20-bed dorms that you were lucky to get an hours sleep in and the food that almost never agreed with you. But because you were in it together, it was okay.
The local club that you once had your best Saturday nights at starts to feel so dull. Your weekend plans that you used to look forward to, no longer excite you. From living healthily on £10 a day to spending £12 on a Nandos, that let’s be honest doesn’t quite compare to your BBQ on the beach. You realise that your new Pretty little thing dress could’ve brought you a day island hopping, drinking and a decent hotel for the night. You start to value things so much more.
Then there are all the incredible people you met along the way. The ones from all over the world that you bonded and shared amazing memories with, the ones you now miss.
Coping With Post Travelling Blues
If you’re feeling ‘different’, lonely and almost always down, that’s expected. You have just got home from having the time of your life. Why would you still be satisfied with drinks in the local and date night at the cinema? Now what are you supposed to do about it?
Think about the things that made you happy, was it the beaches? The mountains you climbed? Or spontaneous road trips? Incorporate that into your life at home. Sure, your local beach won’t quite be the white beach in Boracay but you can work with what you have. Pierce and I climbed Mt Snowdon just 3 weeks into being home, it gave us a weekend of adventure and excitement that we missed so much from Asia.
Don’t keep forcing yourself to spend your Friday night at the pub if that’s no longer your idea of fun. Accepting how much you’ve changed isn’t always easy, the sooner you start to embrace it the easier it will become.
The ultimate travelling recovery is to book another trip. You may be struck for cash but you can almost always book a cheap flight if you’re flexible with the dates and location.
If money isn’t an option, then the worlds your oyster. Choose somewhere you’ve never visited before so you get the same excitement of visiting somewhere new. If lounging by the pool & sipping on your all-inclusive cocktail is no longer your thing, book a trip where you can move around or experience the country and its culture.
If you live in Europe, interrailing is a great way to travel. You can comfortably visit 4-5 country’s in the space of 2 weeks, within an affordable budget. You can chuck on your old backpack and go back to dreading them unbearable train journeys. You can stay in hostels and socialise with like-minded people, it certainly won’t be glamorous but it will be an adventure. After all, isn’t that what people like us seek? The adventure and excitement of a spontaneous trip.
Staying in contact with people that made your trip is a lovely way for you to talk about the good times and reminisce. Go the extra mile and meet up again when you’ve both got the time, visit their country and create new memories together!
Pierce & I met a lot of amazing people throughout the 6 months but there were 5 Irish girls that had a huge impact on our time in Asia. We met them halfway through our trip, from the moment we met we couldn’t be kept apart. We made so many memories together, regrouped in every location possible and became a little family. Some of our best times we’re shared with them, I never expected to make such good friends whilst travelling.
When it comes to going back to work, being the new girl/guy will never be a joy. This is your chance to start fresh, begin your career in a job that you actually want to do. If you’re struggling to get back to the working life, remember that working is the only way you can pay for your next trip or revisit that country that became your favourite place on Earth. Unless you’re super-rich, in that case, take me with you! 😂
If after months/years you’re still not satisfied with living the ‘normal life’ that’s expected of you, then go. If saving every penny you earn for a house deposit isn’t something that you’re ready to commit to yet, don’t. I think we live in a world that expects us to have a mortgage, be married & have a child by the time we’re 25. But what’s the good in forcing yourself into that normality if that’s not what makes you happy? Get it out of your system, experience everything that you can’t stop thinking about and when you’re done and satisfied, then give the ‘normal life’ another shot.
Most importantly, don’t let the travelling blues stop you enjoying what your life is currently. Think about all the things you missed whilst you were away, you’ve got them all back now! See your friends, make time for your family and most certainly make time for yourself! You don’t need to be in another country to continue creating memories and experiencing new things. I’m sure there’s more beauty in your country than you realise.
I am 100% not finished travelling but until the time is right and I am financially able to go again, I am going to make the most of what I have here and try not to live in the past as much as I have been.
I've been honest in all my articles so I will continue to be honest now. I‘ve found returning home to be one of the most challenging and difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s taken me over 4 months to admit that & post for anyone to read. I’ve been sad a lot, I've not enjoyed most things I thought I missed & I haven’t always been a joy to be around. I’ve made silly mistakes, been too hard on myself at times and had many sleepless nights. I'm doing my best now to make positives out of the negatives and channel all my energy into things that are important to me.
This feels like a cliché ending but here goes. If you are struggling with being home and just want to talk to someone that can relate to you, you can message me on @Followmytrackz (Instagram) or email Followmytrackz@gmail.com. I don’t care if we’ve never spoken before, feel free to drop me a message! I hope reading that someone else feels the exact same as you, has helped you feel slightly more normal & positive.