Facing post-travel depression

So maybe this isn’t an official medical term. Doesn’t mean post-travel depression doesn’t exist. I’ve experienced it 3 times already. I am not being dramatic here. It doesn’t always occur, when I am super busy with university or something, I’m fine. I’ll explain it to you.

So, you have been away for a reasonable amount of time. Let’s say, longer than 4 months. It’s not an exact science. And you return back home. Not everybody is facing the post-travel depression. How do you know the signs?

1. That Weird Feeling

That time stood still back home. That feeling that you didn’t miss a thing. Nothing has changed. The first two weeks are fun, everyone welcomes you back. You tell your stories. Everybody asks. Then after those two weeks, everything is back to normal. Nothing has changed and you feel like time stood still and you spend months in a rollercoaster experiencing the world. Something has changed. You.

2. Is This It?

So you have changed. What now? Do you want to adapt to your old lifestyle again? But how can you, after all, you have seen and done. You are feeling stuck, back in your old life. Same thing every day. Is this really it?

3. Inside jokes

One of the best things about being back is seeing your friends again. I really love seeing them after being away for so long. But you know what is really crap? Them telling each other cryptic stories or jokes referring to something that happened while you were away. So everybody is laughing so hard, they almost pee their pants. And you are quietly drinking your wine and try not to feel left out. ‘Cause you have now fucking clue they’re talking about.

4. So What Now?

So you’re back and now what? If you’re not immediately drawn back to school or work or other things that keep your mind busy, this depression will be worse. When you were travelling you were full of life and excitement. Adrenaline was pumping through your body, every day was a new exciting day. And now, nothing. You are home, watching tv. You don’t go to university, you don’t have a job yet. Most of the people you know are working during the day. And you are home alone. Not seeing a waterfall. Not hiking up a mountain. You feel like you are drawn into a big black hole.

The cure for this? I haven’t fully figured it out yet. The only thing I can recommend is to overbook your agenda. Don’t give yourself the chance to overthink it too much. Let your friends help you with your situation. And document your travels, make it a project. Whether it is a scrapbook or a photo album.

Stay positive and don’t let anyone drive you crazy. That includes you.

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