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7 Positive Ways to Cope with Post Travel Depression

Travel depression

You know the feeling, right?

The empty, discontent, restless feeling of returning home again to a boring routine after an exciting adventure abroad. And it’s made 10x worse when the people around you don’t really understand.

When I first started travelling solo, I changed. But everyone and everything at home stayed the same. So when I came back to Belfast, I felt out of place. I felt like I didn’t belong there anymore.

After a trip, I would literally ignore my suitcase lying on the floor for a week before I unpacked. Just to avoid adjusting back to routine.

Everyone copes with post travel depression differently. Some people may distract themselves by doing 100 things at once and others might prefer the ice-cream-tub-on-your-bedside-table kind of method. And that’s OK. It’s important to allow yourself to feel exactly how you feel. But prolonged periods of severe dejection stop you from being productive and achieving your goals.

After realising this, I decided to change my reaction to the situation in order to maintain a happy life at home, not just abroad.

7 Positive Ways I’ve Found to Cope with Post Travel Depression:

1. Think of 5 things every day to be grateful for 

I put this first for a reason. It’s the most effective way to kill the relentless longing for something you don’t have right now. Appreciate something as simple as your bed, or that you are fortunate enough to travel at all, and experience a new place with a different way of life. Start with 5, and more will come naturally. The more grateful you are, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.

2. Meditate

Getting thrown back into your daily chaotic cycle at home is bound to overcrowd your mind with thoughts. Overthinking tends to cause more of your thoughts to be negative rather than positive, leading to stress. Meditation is the best way of quietening your mind, bringing you into the present moment and putting everything into perspective. It allows you to become more mindful and peaceful.

3. Ease in slowly

The first couple days back home – the “adjustment phase” – are usually the hardest. Take even a day to relax and do whatever you want to do. Giving yourself space from responsibilities will make it easier to deal with them in the coming days.

4. Treat Yo Self.

Mind, body and soul are connected. Don’t just treat the mind with meditation. Treat your body with exercise, healthy food and at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you can, try sleeping one night without having to set your alarm. It’s a beautiful feeling to wake up naturally.

5. Plan your next trip

This seems to be the most common way to cope with post travel depression. Use your recent travel experience as motivation to save and plan for your next trip. Researching new places will awaken a fresh sense of passion, and booking your next trip will give you something to look forward to.

6. Explore your own country

This is probably the most neglected way of coping with post travel depression. We’re so busy going to foreign places that we forget there is beauty everywhere. Yes, even on our front doorstep. I promised myself once I got back home that I would see more of my city. Once I did, it was like seeing Belfast for the first time. Hiking in the mountains, walking through forests and running along undiscovered beaches made me appreciate how much cool stuff there is at home.

7. Work towards a lifestyle where you don’t have to return home

Whatever you do, don’t believe that you can only go on short trips for the rest of your life. Don’t believe that you can only have a life that is expected of you rather than the life you want. Realise your true power to create your own reality. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you want to have a life on the road, make it happen. Move past your insecurities and other people’s opinions of you. Move past the excuses. I don’t have enough money. I don’t have enough time. If you truly want it enough, make goals, take action, create positive habits and embody the lifestyle you want. It may be difficult but if you persist, it will inevitably become your reality.

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Madi | Restless Worker
    March 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Great tips Chloe! I honestly always find myself having the worst depression after travelling lol it’s horrible. YOu’re right though exploring your own country, or even city is a great way to try and combat that. I definitely don’t do that as often as I should!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      March 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you found it useful. I’d definitely encourage exploring your own city. It really makes you see your own home in a different light!

  • Reply
    Leigh
    March 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Post travel depression is so real! On whitewater trips, I call it the river blues – I cry every time one of those trips is over! #5 and #6 are most useful to me – I love trip planning. And I’m working on #7…4.5 months until I take a career break πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Wading Wade
    March 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    I love this Chloe! Number 7 is one I’ve really held onto and how I’ve tried to tackle mine. Great suggestions and lol a treat yo self – I am a professional at this :p

  • Reply
    Maria
    March 20, 2017 at 7:26 am

    That’s great stuff! Can totally relate to the post travel blues, especially when you’re coming from sunny days and returning to grey winter. A friend recently recommended me to simply listen to energetic music, maybe even the songs you heard while you were on the road – it’s only a really small thing but it helped me get back on track when I felt like ignoring the fact that I was to normal life. But it’s as you say: in case of doubt, just plan your next trip πŸ˜€ thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kris Morton
    March 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Post-trip depression is totally a problem in my life! I usually cope by trolling Google Flights and Skyscanner looking for options for my next adventure.

  • Reply
    Uliana
    March 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I actually never had a post travel depression)) I guess the reason for this is that I am that lucky person that actually likes the life at home and traveling is just complimenting my lifestyle instead of beeing an escape from home πŸ™‚
    So I feel the last tip – work towards the lifestyle you want to have – whether it means traveling forever or something else is the best one))

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      March 30, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Wow that is very lucky! I’m glad that you are leading a life you love 100% 😊

  • Reply
    Samantha
    March 29, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Great post! And I can totally relate! I typically throw myself into planning the next trip upon returning home. Glad to know I’m not alone!

  • Reply
    Dani
    March 29, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Really great tips, i’m working towards living a life of travel and running my own business with my blog now because i just can’t bear it when i have to come back home and go back to routine full time work. Great tips and i especially love the one about planning more trips, i’m constantly planning out new places to go, and i’ve also found exploring my home more helps!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      March 30, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      I really want to implement this too Dani and create my own business that allows me to travel. I think a lot more people are now! Good luck

  • Reply
    Julia
    March 29, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    This is definitely something I struggle with! I also start to plan my next trip to cope, and after about a week, I’ll go through my photos and journals to remind myself of the fun times I had traveling to help cheer me up and give me some laughs!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      March 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Yeah that’s a good idea too to think back to your trip

  • Reply
    Meg
    March 29, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I’m totally having the post trip blues right now. But I agree with many of your points. I was unable to leave for 2 years and I took to aggressively exploring my own state of Colorado. Now I’m a mountaineer, rock climber, and have done things that I never thought I had the capacity to do. The best part, it’s shaping my future travel plans!

    Also with you on building a lifestyle. I got some clarity on my last trip, and I’ve finally decided to pull the trigger on leaving my awful career in pursuit of my dreams. I’ve saved for YEARS and I’ve finally mustered the courage to do it!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      March 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      Wow 2 years? Your story is so inspiring, that makes me want to do some more extreme adventure sports. I’m really glad to hear that, good luck!

  • Reply
    Julie
    March 30, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Very good tips! I definitely can relate to the discontent after coming home from an amazing trip! I’m definitely always looking forward to my next trip!

  • Reply
    Chiara
    March 30, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    This was so useful, post-travel depression is bad as any other type of depression but is something that we can overcome πŸ™‚ Thank you for writing this!

  • Reply
    Anna
    March 30, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    This is so useful! I usually deal with it with planning new trips or thinking about my last trip. It keeps my mind busy! I will have to try mediating more too!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      March 30, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks! Meditating is honestly the best thing you can do. It really has positive effects on all areas in your life, and I need to do it more too!

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