A year abroad, a world tour, or just traveling for a few months is a dream for many. But those who have done it know that it comes with some minor side-effects. To be sure, travelling is one of the most exhilarating experiences out there. However, adjusting back to your regular life can be daunting.
Long-term travel can be a life-changing experience. It helps you grow personally, emotionally, and socially. And as a result, it can also leave you feeling nostalgic, missing new friends, and even having reverse culture shock.
So, how do you get back to regular life after a long tour?
We, at Bounce have come up with 6 tips that will help you ease back into the slightly less than exciting day-to-day routine.
1. Make Coming Back Exciting
Sometimes, it can be hard to even think about going back to “real life” after traveling. So, you may need to give yourself a bit of an incentive. For example, when you book your flight back, make sure to book a cool stopover.
It doesn’t have to be much of an added cost. You can just spend the day discovering a bit of the city. Let’s say you go through New York City – one of the cheapest destinations to fly in and out of in the USA.
You can get in on a morning flight, use New York luggage storage for the day, and then fly home in the evening.
A short stopover will make the prospect of coming back just that much more exciting. And bonus: it’ll also give you a breather if you’re making a long-haul journey from another side of the world!
2. Give Yourself Some Time to Rest
Travel is a lot of fun, but it’s also really exhausting. You’re always on-the-go, often doing upwards of 20,000 steps per day, eating all the good (and often unhealthy) stuff. Add that to jet-lag, stress, and travel fatigue.
That’s why the first thing to do after a long tour is to give yourself a break. Sure, it might feel weird to rest after vacation. Ultimately, though, your body will need a few days to recover.
Taking the time to chill out for a bit upon your return will also make sure that you don’t have to jump into things you don’t really want to do (like work) right away. This will help you to stay healthy after travel, both physically and mentally.
3. Try to Find a Healthy Routine
The next step is to get back into a routine. Early and late flights, crazy nights out, sunrise tours – all these are great while you’re traveling. But once you’re back to reality, you need to reestablish your regular schedule.
Try to get back into a normal sleeping pattern. Once again, this will help with physical and mental health. Plus, it’ll boost your productivity and energy levels.
Make sure to keep up a healthy diet and regular exercise routine once you get back home, too. It’s hard to go from enjoying exotic Asian stir fries and bottles of Spanish wine to boring sandwiches and water. But, that doesn’t mean that your homemade meals can’t be both healthy and delicious. Surprise your friends and family with recipes you learnt during your travels!
4. Enjoy the Good Stuff That You Missed
Being away is fun, but there’s always something that you probably missed back at home. The first thing is usually your social life. Coming back to all your family and friends who just “know you” can be one of the nicest welcome backs.
You may also have your regular comfort food. Homemade cooking will never taste as good as it does after coming back from a trip. Your favorite restaurants may be hit and miss because you’ve tried other stuff, but your mom’s famous casserole will always be a guaranteed win.
And of course, your home! Not a single bed you slept on on the road was ever as good as your own. Plus, you’ll have all the stuff you couldn’t quite squeeze into your backpack with you while traveling. Your favourite pair of comfy sweatpants, those super cute pair of heels that always make you look great, and that pile of books you’ve been meaning to get through…
All the little “extras” that will now seem like a luxury now that you have a home base.
5. Take the Time You Need to Adjust
The truth is, coming back isn’t always easy. Reverse culture shock is a real thing! You might feel like you don’t fit in the same way you did before. Give yourself time to find the right place for you.
You’ll likely find that things that used to seem totally normal, are bizzare to you now. Why are mobile plans so expensive back home? How come there aren’t any tropical fruits at the market? Why do people complain about their super comfortable lives?
Remember that your friends and family did not share in your travel experiences.
That means you will need to find new topics to connect on. Try to avoid just talking about how great your trIp was. Find out about their life while you were away, too. In the meanwhile, stay in touch with your travel friends and enjoy the different perspectives of multi-cultures.
6. Start Planning Your Next Trip!
To be fair, if you’re like most travelers, your love for travel may border on addiction. So, all of the above will help a bit. But, what will really help you get out of the post-travel blues… is planning an all new trip!
Now, unless you’re filthy rich, you may not have a ton of money left for yet another trip. But don’t worry! You can just plan a staycation, or a short getaway to a city nearby. Look out for cheap flights or good deals on car rental. This will still satisfy your travel bug until you can afford a bigger trip.
Another thing you can do is to just start planning your next big adventure. Whether it’s in a few months or a couple of years for now – you’ll need a budget and an itinerary. Make your search fun! This will give you a purpose once you’ve come back.