My First Time Experiencing The Post-Travelling Blues

29 May, 2018

Without a doubt, I'll find myself feeling pretty sad at the end of a trip as the thought of swapping back my days spent exploring a new land, drinking beers in the sun and eating new local dishes with my 9 - 6 desk job is pretty gutting. I mean, no one really wants to go back to work after a holiday, do they? However, I've still always had that warm feeling of familiarity as I arrive back in my house and settle back into my own bed. I mean, I absolutely love living in London and I don't really dwell for too long on feeling sad at the thought of being back. I've never really suffered with the post-travelling blues because I've always been happy to be home after an incredible trip and it doesn't take me long to jump straight back into my normal routine again.

However, upon returning from my trip with TrekAmerica a few weeks ago I was struck with the post-travelling blues bad. I've actually found this quite difficult to open up and write about as I choose to keep a lot of certain aspects of my life away from the internet and I don't like to sound like I'm whinging but I feel as if those that travel frequently will suffer from a severe case of the post-travelling blues at least once in their life so it's important to talk about.


The post-travelling blues isn't just a case of feeling sad that you're no longer on holiday; it's about the unshakeable feeling of just not wanting to be home. It's the feeling of your own home feeling alien and wanting to run as far away from it as possible. I've always thought the post-travelling blues were limited to those who have returned from long-term travel; for those who have spent a few months or years travelling across other countries. Sadly, I've found out that the amount of time travelled means nothing and that inescapable sadness can hit you even after a short but life-changing trip.

Before my flight home, I found myself alone and crying at San Francisco airport because I didn't want to head back to London. In fact, I've never been so tempted to intentionally miss a flight before in my life, which is ironic because just a week before I was so overcome with fear about flying to the States alone that I for a brief moment considered missing my flight out there. I cried throughout the entire flight home and cried in bed for days afterwards too.

During my TrekAmerica trip, I was happier than I've ever felt. I was literally living out of a van, tent and suitcase but felt the most free that I have in my life. I hopped on a plane and travelled halfway across the world to spend a week exploring some of America's west coast's best bits with thirteen complete strangers and it was the best decision I've ever made. I had the goofiest smile on my face for those seven days, even when I was suffering with the hangover from hell in Vegas!

At home, it's fair to say I'm a materialistic person; I line my closet with tons of vintage frocks, I decorate my room with pretty little homewares and I spend too much money on records to build up my vinyl collection. I've never been by any means a minimalist, that's for sure! As much as it seems obvious that materialistic goods don't really equate to happiness, that trip ignited something in me that really reiterated that statement. As soon as I got home I found myself feeling frustrated and suffocated by everything that I owned. I just wanted to rid myself of everything that I had collected over the years. I arrived back home and just felt completely and utterly hollow surrounded by all these what are essentially meaningless material possessions.

I just hated being home and just wanted more than anything to run away again. It sounds ludicrous but it was the only thought that was going through my mind at the time. I had a real shit few months before my trip and suddenly I associated home in this entirely negative context. When I landed back in the UK, I didn't want to face my responsibilities, I didn't want any of my material possessions, I didn't even want to see anyone; I just wanted to go again.

But here I am, a few weeks later and luckily I'm feeling a heck of a lot better. I am ridiculously lucky that also at home I have an incredibly understanding boyfriend as I can't even imagine what it must have been like to welcome back your significant other after a couple of weeks apart and they're utterly miserable. That's exactly what he had to deal with and he's been an absolute rock. As well as his support, I've started putting into practice a few other things to help me over this hump.

I'm making an effort to socialise

When I first came back, I didn't want to see anyone or make any social plans. I quite literally moped around the house and I didn't even want to discuss my trip with anyone because I just didn't even know how to begin explaining the journey that I had just been on. The idea of having to make small talk with friends and family was incredibly overwhelming and I just wanted nothing more than to wallow in the nostalgic blanket that I bought at a gas station in the States. It sounds overly dramatic and it definitely was overly dramatic but that's exactly what I did.

However, I've started to drag my sorry self out and made the effort to see pals, which has honestly started to make me feel tons better and realise that at home I'm surrounded by plenty of wonderful and likeminded people. Again, I'm incredibly lucky to have some of the best pals in the world and being in the company of people you love can pick you back up again in an instant.

I'm falling in love with London again


When I reached out to Twitter to ask how on earth I could get over the post-travelling blues someone advised me to pretend to be a tourist in my hometown. I mean, I'm lucky enough to live in London where plenty of tourists flock throughout the year and there is always something new to see. The weekend after I came back from the States, I was booked in to do a takeover and filming collaboration with Time Out London to guide viewers around my favourite corners of Covent Garden.

The day before I was absolutely dreading having to leave my flat and be cheery in front of a camera when I wanted to be anywhere but London but it was honestly the best thing to help me over the hump I was facing. I mean, not only is working with Time Out a huge deal for me but I was thrown into a position of rediscovering little parts of London that I adore and sharing them with their viewers from across the world. And y'know what? London is a pretty special place and I'm pretty darn lucky to live here.

I'm planning my next big adventure

Luckily, I already have a surprise trip booked next month for James' birthday so I'm really looking forward to that but I've been inspired to start travelling beyond my usual comfort zone of Europe. I've started looking at other TrekAmerica tours for next year and I've been looking into some of their longer Canada camping trips so that I know I'll be back amongst the mountains some point soon in the future.

If you're suffering from the post-travelling blues, the best remedy is probably to book your next adventure, whether big or small, so that you have something to look forward to.

Have you suffered from the post-travelling blues before & do you have any tips to combat them?


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2 comments

  1. I came back from three months travelling and within a month, I'd booked to go to South Africa for three weeks. I have no real advice to get over the holiday blues because even two years later, I still miss my big solo adventure, but travelling wherever and whenever I can always helps!
    Cx

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