Feeling low or down after a memorable vacation or adventure isn’t uncommon — you are coming off a rush of adrenaline and endorphins, and are settling right back into reality.
“We feel more alive, more truly and authentically ourselves when traveling versus boxed in by society, responsibilities, expectations,” says Ann Gibson, a former adventure travel guide and current holistic health coach for Adventure Wellness. “We start to notice the difference between our daily lives and what we experienced on vacation, and often find the comparison a bit disappointing.”
But there are ways to beat these post-vacation blues, and they don’t have to include jetting off again. Here are Gibson’s tips for assimilating the highs from travel into your everyday life:
Build in Transition Days
Getting back to a desk immediately after a long day of travel isn’t ideal for your mind or body. Instead, build in a few days by flying back on a Friday or Saturday, so you can make a slow transition back to your regular routine. You’ll be able to get back to your sleep schedule and follow up on life’s logistical needs, like groceries and laundry, before having to confront a mountain of emails and other work tasks.
Take Time for Reflection
As your trip comes to end, or after you’re home, take time to look back on the experience and what it meant. Take as long as you need to journal, talk it out with a friend or organize photos to understand why you were truly thriving during your travels. Keep a list to look back on when you are feeling down.
“Reflect on the experience, what you learned and received from it, what you want to practice and integrate in your life back home, and create a realistic game plan for the small and big steps you can make to do so,” Gibson says.
Plan Ahead, Smartly
The travel bug is a real thing that can provide excitement and a rush when it comes to planning the next trip, but it can also be a real hindrance to being fully present in your home life.
You want travel to be a healthy experience, Gibson says, not simply an escape from the day-to-day. Aim to incorporate the highs from your last trip into your life to really receive the most from that experience, then move on to thinking about the next trip.
Go on a Mini Adventure
If you really can’t sit still for too long, but a long trip is not an option, add that travel high to your life through mini adventures. Think about what aspects of your last trip really engaged you — whether it was culture, physical feats or food — and find that fun closer to home. Sign up for a cooking class, head for a weekend backpacking trip or check out a museum exhibition.
Be a Travel Guide
Rather than simply sharing photos and stories from your trip with whomever, find someone who has been to that destination, is planning to go there soon or has just come back from their own trip to a locale on your wish list. You can offer insider secrets to the best coffee shop and be their personal travel guide, or learn about another exciting city to visit.