We returned back to Europe last week, and surprisingly we’re not depressed.
After 8 months of travelling in Asia, we returned to Europe. The first question people ask is how it feels to be home.
Probably it was in the plane that we fully realized that the first part of our trip was officially over. Cruising over the perfectly shaped fields of Germany while landing, we looked at each other and said “Wow, so we’re back. Crazy, isn’t it?”
Before returning home, people often speak about the depressing anticipation of returning. It’s a feeling we know from ending a vacation, and there are even terms for it: “post-travel depression” or “vacation hangover”.
Yet, here comes the funny thing. This time was different. We didn’t feel depressed to be back. In fact, we were excited to return to family and friends and comforts we have missed over the last months. Walking up to the fridge and making a sandwich – anytime! Hello luxury!
It’s not about being back home, but being back to a lifestyle we don’t like that would cause us depression.
Having to go back to old routines makes people freak out! We think that the after holiday blues hardly ever come from returning to a certain place, be it home or anywhere else. It’s experiences and associations of a place that cause negative feelings.
Isn’t it funny that we just accept to feel depressed after returning from a vacation, instead of thinking about how we can change something in our lives? To create lifestyles and routines that make us look forward to returning instead of filling us with anxiety?
This “something” that needs change will be different for everybody. Your ideal routine might look entirely different from ours and that’s totally fine. It’s about figuring out what makes you happy.
Here are 3 ways to help you battle your post vacation blues.
Write down what you want and don’t want
Make a list of things you don’t want or don’t like about the lifestyle that you are returning to. Think of all aspects of your life and note down whatever makes you feel uncomfortable or anxious. For instance think about your commute to work or what you normally eat for lunch.
Then make a list of all the things you want to have in your daily routine. Perhaps how you enjoyed your time during your holiday can provide some inspiration. Maybe it is a long stroll in the city or park every day that allow you to relax.
Then start to make a plan of how you can eliminate the things you dislike and implement more of the things that make you happy. For instance, if you hate your daily commute to work, think of ways how you can make it more enjoyable. Can you take the bike instead of the metro? Can you use the time effectively, for example, listen to an audio book or call your parents?
Make a list of things to look forward to
There is always something to look forward. What is waiting for you at home that you missed or that you truly cherish? It can be as little as cooking your own dinner to attending a friend’s birthday party.
Write those things down. Having things listed allows you to see the whole. You might be surprised how many items you have on the list, which will change your attitude towards coming home.
Additionally, plan out some fun activities for the next days, weeks, or months. Make a small schedule of events that you can look forward to in anticipation.
Bring your holiday home
There are many things that make a holiday so special, so why not bring them home? Start with the easier things, such as having dessert after dinner, or recreating your favourite holiday meal at home. Some things might be a bit tougher to bring back home. For instance a sunset at the beach is hard to recreate if you don’t live near the beach, but think of another place nearby that you can go to watch the sunset. After all the sun does not only set during holidays, it happens every day! Find the things that will bring you back to a certain place or moment in your memory.
Returning is an opportunity for a new beginning
During our “time off”, we understood that in order to be truly happy we need to be able to work when and where we feel most productive, on projects that we care about.
Your holiday, does not have to be merely a break from your “normal life”, it is an opportunity for a new beginning. Avoid sinking into post-travel depression by taking active steps to make your routine life a life you won’t need a holiday from.
Change can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what you want to change into what. That’s why we are creating tools to help you go through this process. If you’re interested in trying them out, leave a us a comment!
Do you feel like this article is speaking to you? Share your story by taking a short questionnaire at generationnomads.com/survey or write us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently working on our first book and we would love to have you in it!