When I have yet to embark on my first long-term travel, I remember thinking that homesickness would be the most difficult part of the journey. Weeks before my scheduled flight to Thailand, I remember thinking about how things would be back home, what my friends and family would be doing while I was away, and all the celebrations and events that I would miss out. While I did feel high levels of excitement for my own solo trip across Asia, I also felt quite depressed.
Then came the departure date. It’s funny, now that I remember it. I was only going to be gone for months but the sadness I felt was real. Saying goodbye to my parents and a few friends actually made me cry a bit.
Arriving to my destination, however, was the exact opposite. I was so pumped about being able to stand on foreign ground, nearly halfway across the globe. It was exhilarating. Within five months, I was able to visit Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Laos, Japan, and South Korea. I could easily say that those five months were the best moments of my life. I made countless friends and have gathered so many experiences.
When it was already time for me to come back home, I had this strange feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I really did miss my hometown. I missed my friends and family. I missed the food. I even missed our couch. But coming back made me feel like I would be leaving so many things behind.
Coming back to dear old Brisbane was amazing. However, after several welcome back parties, I sat at my bed and thought “I don’t belong here.”
I felt like my closest friends just didn’t understand how wonderful it is to see other countries. After those 5 months abroad, I had seen so many things and I wanted to show it to them. While many showed interest, they just weren’t as interested as I was.
Many long-term travelers who returned home will know what I am talking about. It’s called post-travel blues, and it’s just as crippling — or even more crippling — than the homesickness I experienced.
What exactly is it?
Post-travel blues is basically the feeling that a traveler gets coming back home and realizing that his pre-travel life was dull and unsatisfying. Getting back to their former daily routine makes them bored, and they long for the fun adventures brought about by traveling.
Effects of this can range from loss of appetite, physical fatigue, lack of interest, among others.
The thing is, there really is no way to prevent this feeling. All travelers will experience post-travel blues in one way or another. Some may not feel as sad as others, but they feel it nonetheless.
Minimizing its effects
Luckily, post-travel depression is temporary and usually only lasts for a few days. Some extreme cases, however, can last a few weeks. Some people simply wait it out, letting time take the sadness away.
For me, I spent as much time as I can with my closest friends as well as my parents. We would often go out to eat or simply hang out. I told them of the stuff I saw, the things I experienced, and everything else. While they may not necessarily get the full idea, I knew that me sharing my experiences to these important people, actually lessened the sadness I felt.
Seven months later, I realized that I needed to travel again. I booked a flight, this time to Romania, via JustFly and scheduled my flight a month ahead. I just knew that I belonged out there, surrounded by the unknown. I longed to see the world again, and so I did.
So are you ready to travel? If so, plan your trip, and book a flight today! By the way, you can check out the JustFly reviews here, to give you an idea of what people think of the online travel agency.