Coming Home: How to Cope When Your Adventure is Over?


To me this question is a bit of a no-brainer. But this would be a very short post if I give you my never-fail solution first up. So sit back, relax and allow me to have a bit of a whine first…


I always feel a little miserable in that first few weeks of returning home from traveling. It’s only natural.



All the planning and excitement that preceded the trip, the exhilaration of the journey itself, all those inspiring people you met along the way, a head-first immersion into another environment and culture, new knowledge and experiences…and then just like that – BAM! – it’s all over.  In what seems like moments. A total anti climax.



the word blah written on the sidewalk

Photo: Flickr creative commons



And if you are flying home to Australia, you are fortunate enough to have about 24 hours in transit to ponder this. And a complimentary dose of jet lag to boot. Brilliant.


The friend I was traveling with in the US is due back home any day now. She continued on to do a month long trip to South Africa on a volunteer program in KwaZulu Natal National Parks. And from the sounds of it, she has had the time of her life! (I am not-so-secretly hoping for a guest post from her – watch this space!)


…What’s that now?

Am I crazy-jealous? Do I desperately wish I’d let her convince me to come with her to Africa?


Uh, hell yes! What was I thinking?


Anyway…she recently joked about needing be to re initiated back into her usual way of life after being away from home for over five months: “I’m going to have to work out an Africa Withdrawals Management Plan because I can’t live over here!!!”



kwalzulu natal

KwaZulu Natal. Photo: Flickr creative commons



It was said in jest. But it’s not so far from the truth. Coming home can be kind of daunting. And quite the culture shock.


Whether it’s a two-week vacation package, a round-world trip or a weekend getaway, you have usually removed yourself from your daily routine just long enough to forget all about it. Then just like that, you are thrown back in amongst the chaos and the drama and the normality of it all.


You realise that while you’ve just crammed an incredible amount of awesomeness into your past few days/weeks/months, time has otherwise seemingly stood still. Life is just as you left it.


And that awesomeness from your adventure doesn’t always translate to your loved ones back home: your exuberant and frenetic stories of places seen / people met / incredible this / life changing that…fall on respectfully indifferent ears. It’s okay; we all know it’s true.


(And yes, ‘awesomeness’ is totally a word! Need you even ask?)


So it is all a bit of a let down. Unsurprisingly then, I think I am justified in allowing myself to mope, and even sulk a little, for at least those first couple of weeks.


Which is exactly what I have been doing.



things are getting worse, send more chocolate

© Quiet Wanderings.



But there is only so much self-pity your very patient, hardworking, travel-hungry friends and family will tolerate before they smack you one and tell you to “toughen-up princess”, or similar.


So how does one cope??


Well, in my humble experience there really is only one thing for it. Only one sure-fire remedy for getting over your last adventure:


Plan another one!


Hair of the dog…or something like that. Soothe the nerves with more of the same. It works. Trust me.



hair of the dog

Photo: Flickr creative commons



Like I said: it’s pretty much a no-brainer.


My next trip has been in the making for a while but now that I am home for a few months I have the time to really dig my teeth in and start researching. It seems to be getting bigger and bigger by the week and on a more creative slant there is even talk of filming a documentary.


With so many exciting creative and travel opportunities to think about, who has time for sulking?




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Comments (8)
  • Avatar

    Birgit Van De Weghe via Facebook Jan 13 2012 - 12:54 am Reply

    LOL love it! I will take your advice when we come back from our vacay. :)

  • Avatar

    Kieron Jan 15 2012 - 12:34 pm Reply

    We returned home after 5 months and were totally surprised by how little had changed considering all that we achieved on the road!

    Planning another adventure is definitely the best way to cope, but filling that time between trips is the hard thing, particularly when a return to the workforce is most likely needed to fund it.

    Hope everything works out for you! :)
    Kieron recently posted..The “Big Things” On Phillip IslandMy Profile

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    Traci Jan 16 2012 - 5:15 pm Reply

    I don’t travel even a quarter a much as you do, but I can relate. I am always dreaming and planning my next mini-trip. In my mind that can be as exciting as being on the trip. Reading and researching and living vicariously through other peoples travels (like yours) helps me cope with day to day life. One point, I think if I travelled 365 days a year I might miss the times I am not travelling and the anticipation of my upcoming travels!? Can anyone else relate? Thanks for sharing!
    Traci recently posted..Easy and Diverse Family Hike: Nature Trail at Caspers Wilderness ParkMy Profile

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      quietwanderings Feb 1 2012 - 1:45 am Reply

      Traci, no matter how much I travel I still like to live vicariously through other travellers. There is something enticing about hearing about another persons adventures. I agree with you – I could not be a full-time traveller either. The anticipation and planning of new trips is something I enjoy also. And being at home makes you appreciate travel more. And vice versa.

  • Avatar

    Stephanie - The Travel Chica Jan 19 2012 - 7:52 pm Reply

    This method usually works for me, however, it might be a little different when I return home completely broke after my year+ travel sabbatical :-)
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..2011 Travel Year in Review from A to ZMy Profile

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    Gracie Jan 23 2012 - 3:34 am Reply

    I wish I traveled even half as much as you so that this would actually be a problem for me! :)

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