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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 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!!!”
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.
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.
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?