The Trouble with Travel: How to Adjust at Home After a Trip

“It is a strange thing to come home. While yet on the journey, you cannot at all realize how strange it will be.” – Selma Lagerlof

Traveling allows you to gain new perspective not only on the world, but in your own life as well.  You can spend days, weeks, months or even years seeing new places, each day being different than the last and your adventurous spirit being satisfied daily.  But what happens when you return home after a trip?  Whether it was a long or short trip, returning home can be a cultural shock and frankly, a bit of a downer.  How do you adjust to now unfamiliar surroundings?

Hide out for a few days.  

This sounds strange and anti-social, but taking a few additional days to yourself for decompressing, sleeping and relaxing is perfectly acceptable.  Catch up on TV shows you missed.  Finish the book you started while on the road. Wander around your hometown and see what’s changed.  Do whatever you feel like doing.  Just take a few more days to sort out your feelings about being home.  

Catch up with family and friends.

After you’ve relaxed and unwound, make plans with family and friends.  Being around people who love and care about you will give you a warm feeling about being back home.  This brings me to my next point…

Only tell your stories to people who actually want to listen.

Again, this sounds strange but some people really don’t care about your trip when they ask “How was your trip?”  (By the way, I hate this question.  It’s so broad.  Ask specific questions!)  Learn to discern the difference between people who are genuinely interested in hearing about your travels and people who are simply asking to be polite.  No use in wasting your time or theirs with stories and anecdotes about your amazing trip when they aren’t really interested.

Give yourself time to adjust.

You won’t be able to get back in the swing of things immediately.  It’s ok to sometimes be sad or bored with your new surroundings. Your angst will lessen over time.

Look at pictures to reminisce.

You’ll remember the good times and people that made your trip so great.

Expect Change.  

Let’s face it; travel changes you.  You’ve changed and whether people or places at home have changed or not, things will never quite be the same again.  It’s okay.  Just find your new sense of normalcy.

Plan your next trip.  

What better way to get over your last trip than by planning your next trip?  Meet up with people you’ve traveled with before in a new place or go back to the place you loved.  Maybe your sense of adventure has rubbed off on your hometown friends and you can spearhead planning a group trip.  Whatever the case may be, planning a new trip will give you something to look forward to.

Bonus: Have a cocktail or two.  A good beverage can solve most problems

Believe me, each day you’re home gets easier.  Hang in there!