The transition back in to real life after travel can be extremely challenging, often this period of time immediately following travel can be filled with emotional ups and downs, not to mention the inevitable jet lag that you’ll be fighting for the first few days.
If you’ve been traveling for an extended period of time that might mean emotional highs of seeing your friends and family when you return, doing the things you love in your hometown and eating the food that you just can’t get anywhere else. Unfortunately this can be followed by the emotional lows of everyday life once the bills start to roll in and you’re job hunting or back to work again.
If you’ve gone on a vacation or holiday the reality of being back to the daily grind can be just as challenging. Once the suitcases are unpacked and you’ve eaten the last of that special chocolate you picked up in the South of France you can actually feel quite down, a huge contrast to the massive high of going on vacation in the first place.
Keep yourself busy
In the days and weeks following a return from travel it’s important to keep busy. If you’re not returning to work straight away ensure you’re spending your time actively doing tasks to keep your mind active. You’ve just come from a period of extreme activity by visiting new places and having new experiences so keeping your mind active is an extension of that.
This could be as simple as creating a photo book or video of your travel memories, leaving the house and going to the movies or simply catching up with some friends over drinks. Whatever you choose to do keeping your mind active will ensure you’re not thinking about the reality of the everyday and give you something to look forward to doing if you’ve returned to work straight away.
Make plans to try something new
Making plans to try something new after travel really gives you something to focus on straight away. Planning to start a new hobby or sport is a great way of staying focused on exciting things that you can be doing in your normal, non-traveling life and gives you something to keep your mind off the fact that you’re not currently sunning yourself on a beach somewhere beautiful.
Soaking up all of the new cultures and experiences while you travel has likely sparked your interest and given you some inspiration in this area so now is the time to put your plans in place so you can action them!
Book something else
This is one of my most highly recommended transition actions. Book something else. Decide where you’re going next and book it.
There’s nothing better and more motivating than having something else to look forward to. The best part is you don’t actually have to part with your cash in order to do this straight away – you could simply make a decision as to where and when you’ll be going and start researching that destination or book a hotel with book now/pay later just ensure you can cancel it in case you change your mind.
In addition to this, it doesn’t have to be on the scale of the travel or vacation you’ve just returned from. It could be as simple as a weekend away from the city in the next few weeks or a short road trip to somewhere new.
Doing this in the first few weeks of returning to real life really gives you something to look forward to, a new countdown and something to plan for.
Consider your diet
It might be a little strange to bring up diet as a transition point however I actually think this is really important. It’s likely that if you went on vacation you may have tried to lose some weight before leaving and reduced your calorie intake, followed by eating whatever you wanted whilst you were away from home because, you’re on vacation! Calories don’t count on vacation!. The swings in terms of what you’ve been eating and drinking can be extreme and it’s easy to fall in to a position of not really caring once you leave your vacation.
It’s important to establish positive habits again once you return home, so if you had a diet and exercise regimen start doing this again straight away in order to lose those inevitable vacation pounds and keep yourself motivated. The longer you leave this it’s likely you’ll regret not doing it sooner.
If you’ve been traveling for an extended period of time and traveling is more like every day life it’s likely you ate more mindfully so it’s important when you return home to not spend too long a period of time eating all of your favourite comfort foods and ensure you’re following a normal eating pattern as part of settling back in to life. Comfort food, in moderation is highly recommended!
Prepare before you go
Before you go away on vacation or traveling for a long period of time it can be extremely useful if you prepare for your arrival home before you even leave. For a vacation this includes tidying your home before you leave so you come back to a nice clean space and ensuring your laundry is done so you’ve got clothes for work especially if you’re returning to work quickly. Arranging for a supermarket order in advance is also useful so you don’t have that task to do when you’re tired from your journey.
If you’re traveling for an extended period of time this can be a little more difficult because you probably don’t know when you’ll be returning home. However this can be as simple as arranging a place to stay and a person to give you lift from the airport on your first day back that way you’re not arranging too much from another country and you can simply call them with the details.
Traveling is such a huge part of life that it can often be difficult when returning home. Do you have any top tips for a transition home? Add them to the comments!