Travelling is an incredible experience, but coming back to reality can be a challenge. That’s what we call “post-travel depression,” and it’s a feeling that many travellers experience after their trip is over. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why post-travel depression happens, and provide some practical tips for overcoming it.
What is Post-Travel Depression?
Post-travel depression is a type of depression that sets in after a trip is over. It can manifest as feelings of sadness, boredom, and disconnection from daily life. These feelings can be intense and last for several weeks or even months.
Why Does it Happen?
There are several reasons why post-travel depression occurs, including:
- Culture Shock: Adjusting from experiencing a new culture to being back in familiar surroundings can be confusing and disorienting. For example, if you travelled to a foreign country and had to quickly adapt to a new way of life, coming back home can be a shock to the system.
- Reverse Culture Shock: Some travellers experience culture shock when they return to their home culture after being in a new culture for a while. For example, if you travelled to a country where everything was very relaxed, coming back to a fast-paced work environment can be overwhelming.
- Loss of Freedom: Going back to the structure and routine of daily life after having the freedom and adventure of travel can be tough. For example, if you spent your trip exploring new places and trying new things, returning to your normal routine may feel restrictive.
- Loneliness: Travelling with friends or family can make coming back to daily life more challenging, especially if those connections are lost when the trip is over. For example, if you travelled with your best friend and had an amazing time, coming back to an empty house can be lonely.
- Nostalgia: Thinking about all the experiences and memories from a trip can bring on feelings of sadness and longing. For example, if you went on a dream vacation and had the time of your life, thinking about how it’s over can be bittersweet.
Tips for Overcoming Post-Travel Depression
- Connect with others: Reach out to friends and family and share your travel stories with them. You could also join travel clubs or online communities to connect with other travellers. For example, you could join a local travel group or a Facebook page for travellers, where you can share your experiences and connect with others who have been through similar situations.
- Stay active: Exercise, hobbies, and other physical activities can help improve your mood and give you a sense of structure. For example, you could start a new workout routine, join a sports team, or take up a new hobby like painting or gardening.
- Write about your experiences: Keeping a journal or writing about your travels can help you process and reflect on your experiences. For example, you could write in a journal every day or start a blog where you can share your travels with others.
- Plan your next trip: Having something to look forward to can help overcome feelings of sadness and boredom. For example, you could start planning your next trip right away, or set a goal to visit a new place every year.
- Seek professional help: If post-travel depression is impacting your daily life, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. For example, you could talk to a counsellor or therapist who can help you work through your feelings and provide you with practical strategies for overcoming post-travel depression.
Post-travel depression is a common experience for many travellers, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. By understanding the reasons why it happens and taking practical steps to overcome it, you can beat the post-travel blues and enjoy the memories of your trip for years to come. So don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself, connect with others, and find new ways to stay active and engaged. Your next adventure is just around the corner, and with a little effort, you’ll be ready for it.
When planning your next trip, why not consider adding a volunteering abroad experience! Joining a GVI volunteer program gives you the opportunity to not only explore a new culture but also make a real impact. You’ll connect with likeminded people who share the same passions and goals, giving you a sense of community and purpose. So why not combine adventure with purpose and make your trip abroad one for the books?