Back in August, I returned home after spending six months travelling round the world alone. Part of me was relieved to be home with family and friends, but out of the blue, hitting me like a high-speed bullet train, was post travel depression. Let me emphasise that it isn’t an illness that I use loosely, but I didn’t just feel sad to be back home, there was more to it than that. Here is my advice for coping with post travel depression.
It’s a topic that you find written about infrequently, and when I uploaded a video telling my audience how I felt, it received a mixed response.
A few subscribers asked how I could possibly be depressed after spending six months travelling, a dozen people unsubscribed to my channel. Thankfully, the majority understood.
Coping with Post Travel Depression
Bear in mind that we all react differently to situations, and I totally understand why people might question how anyone could possibly be depressed when they have been travelling for an extended period of time.
For me, the post travel depression lasted three weeks, and in this article I want to share with you how to cope, and hopefully this will help those of you who are planning a big round the world trip.
Be prepared for negativity
For the period that you have been travelling, you will have been around people who are positive about life, and that rubs off on you. On returning home, be prepared to be offloaded on; family and friends wanted to share everything negative that had gone on in their life while you were away. For me, all this negativity just added to my post travel depression.
Relive your travels
Creating videos (or taking photos) of your travels is a great way to recreate the memories, and while watching back my travel videos, it made me realise what I had achieved. Showing the content to your family and friends will also help them understand why you are struggling to fit in back home.
Speak with family and friends
Rather than keeping your emotions all bottled up inside, talk to your family and friends about how you are feeling, it’ll help. Bear in mind that they will be excited to see you, will want to listen to your travel stories, so ask them for a little bit of understanding, and some space to come to terms that you’re back home.
Make yourself feel at home
Part of my problem was that I did not feel like I had a home; after leaving my rental accommodation of eight years, and then returning to stay with my parents, it felt like I had failed in life. My advice would be to go to places you’ve visited regularly, and it will bring good memories and positivity back into your life, this will make you feel at home.
Keep yourself busy
The quicker you get into a routine, and back to normal life the better; I started freelance work for a few clients within three weeks of arriving back home. This helped me take my mind off my depression, and focused myself on what was important. If you have goals that you want to achieve on arriving back, it helps. My goal was to become a freelancer, to live and work abroad, so I put all of my time and effort into achieving that.
Make some travel plans
On the day that I started to feel better about life back in the UK, was when I decided to make some new travel plans, and booked a flight and hotel in Riga, Latvia. The excitement of being back on the road excited me, and I started to think more positively about the future. Even if it is a weekend break, go on a road trip, just make some travel plans.
Prior to this, I was never the type of person to get depressed, but everyone deals with changes in their life differently, and you may find that you do not react to being back home after travelling, but if you do, you should not feel ashamed of the way you feel.