How to Beat Post-Travel Depression: 5 Tips

It’s inevitable. You spend weeks—sometimes months—anticipating a trip. Planning, dreaming, wishing for time to move faster. And then, it’s here. Departure day. Bags packed, you embark on your adventure by plane, train, or automobile.

But then, time during the trip just. will. not. slow. down. Far too prematurely, the journey ends and it’s back to the real world. Back to your regular, non-travel life. It’s like the day after Christmas and the first day of school all rolled into one. You know what I’m talking about.

Women frowning on a plane
Me leaving Barcelona 😦

The post-travel blues are no joke! I’ve had ‘em. You’ve had ‘em. Like I said. Inevitable.

How then, do we combat the blues? I don’t know about you, but I refuse to let these feelings put me in a mood after every single trip I take. Travel should make us feel better, not worse. Right??

After the two trips I took this year—Paris in January, Barcelona in May—I felt the blue feelings start to creep in. I did. And I thought to myself, No. You will not let these sad thoughts ruin the beautiful adventure you experienced! Because that’s what these thoughts do. They threaten to dull the shine and sparkle that travel leaves on your life.

So, here’s what I do to keep the shine going long after my trips.

How to overcome post-travel depression

1. Change your mindset

Rather than sulk about being home, I intentionally choose to be grateful for the opportunity to travel, and for the memories I now have that I didn’t have before the trip. The mind is a powerful tool. Don’t underestimate it!

2. Take regular trips down memory lane

I look through my photos and think about how I felt the moment I snapped each one. I recall the sounds (and even smells) that engaged my senses at each location. Doing this keeps the memories fresh, not faded.

3. Journal or blog about your travels

After returning from Barcelona in 2017, I finally decided to start this blog—both to inspire y’all to travel and as a detailed way to document my adventures beyond the memories and photographs.

4. Start planning the next trip

I remind myself that the last trip won’t be my last. Then, I start planning the next one. And, even if the next one is a long way off, just knowing it exists in my future is enough for me.

5. Make every day an adventure

Travel isn’t the only form of adventure. Between trips, I embrace life for all its possibilities—exploring new beaches, parasailing, taking a flying lesson, and challenging myself whenever possible. But, adventure doesn’t have to be a grandiose experience. It exists in watching a sunset, trying a new recipe, taking a long drive in the country, or even meeting new people. Heck, even going grocery shopping can be adventurous with the right mindset. Life itself is an adventure. Live it and love it wherever it takes you.

I know God created me with a perpetually blazing desire to explore this great wide world He made. And yet, above that desire now rests a sweet contentment with exactly where I am in life, traveling or not. While I do sometimes struggle to remain content when I’m not wandering the world, these five strategies definitely help!

So, the next time you return from a trip, don’t be sad that it’s over. Be happy that it happened! Then, keep on living that life of yours.

How do you beat the post-trip blues?

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