We’ve all had it, and there’s no easy cure for it either. No matter how eager you are to return home from a trip, there’s something about the trip that you’re bound to miss — whether it’s the food, the culture, the sunsets, or the escape from reality. Upon returning home, you find yourself bummed out. Not only that: your friends just don’t understand — and can’t do much to get you out of your back-home funk.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s no place like home, but there’s also nothing like traveling abroad. Usually, the longer you’re away the longer your travel hangover will be. Here are a few ways to get rid of your “illness” a little quicker.
- Take time to reflect: Before you get back into the swing of things back home, make sure you reflect on the trip you just took and take note of the things you learned — about yourself and the place you went. If possible, share your reflections with your friends and family, as they will be better able to lift your spirits when you feel sad.
- Get and stay busy: Once home, try to get out of the house as much as possible and engage yourself in the real world. Getting and staying busy will force you to spend energy on other things rather than dwell on what you’re missing.
- Be grateful: I once sent a letter and care package to a lady I stayed with in Vanuatu and she wrote back with such enormous gratitude that it really lifted my spirits even more than my deed lifted hers. We often forget to say thank you to the people who made our time abroad so memorable and special. All it takes is a little thank you postcard, which is a small thing for the gift you just got in traveling.
- Make a difference: Your journey doesn’t have to end when you return to home soil. In fact, there are several ways to continue your trip in a metaphorical sense by saying thank you (#4) or giving back to the people who gave to you. If you don’t have the cash to make a donation to a local NGO, do your part to educate the people you know about what’s going on in the world. Sometimes the smallest gestures have the biggest outcomes.
- Plan your next trip: If you’re really feeling bummed out and still dreaming big, who’s to say you can’t begin planning for your next great adventure? Book your next ticket abroad! That way, you’ll have something to look forward to as well as back on.
While there may not be a sure fire way to cure your back-home blues, there are plenty of ways to turn your frown into a smile — and maybe even make others smile in the process. The world is your oyster, but so is your home, so take advantage of having your loved ones beside you again, and take comfort that your next big trip is just around the corner.