Welcome Home: Adjustment Techniques After The Journey Of A Lifetime

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How was the trip? Was it everything you thought it would be and more? Hopefully, the answer to the last question is hell yes! After all, it’s nice when a plan comes together and the journey you planned for ages was a success. There are too many things to see, people to meet, and beers to be drunk for it to be anything less than legendary. The only problem is you have to come home at some point. Well, you don’t, but the reality is it’s bound to happen.

After a long time away from home, there will be an inevitable honeymoon period. Everything, no matter how benign, will seem awesome. Even the things you hated before you left. Of course, give it two weeks and the novelty will wear away pretty quickly. They’re called the vacation blues, and they are real.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but life will feel ten times worse if you don’t adjust to being back. Here is a selection of fine-tuning techniques travelers use to make sure they come correct.

List The Positives

And not just the obvious ones, but the stuff which you didn’t realize was a problem. Forget about writing down “seeing friends and family” because they won’t sustain you forever. Instead, try looking on the bright side by remembering the negatives of traveling. I know, the last sentence was blasphemy, but the truth is that twelve months away isn’t a walk in the park. Even cosmopolitan.com agrees! What about the time your credit cards and passport were stolen and you had to visit the consulate? Or, how about the fact that living out of a rucksack is a load of bull? Being able to walk down the street and not worry about life’s essential, mainly because they are at home, is refreshing. The same goes for opening a drawer and picking out a t-shirt which isn’t dirty and creased. It’s all about life’s small mercies.

Go To Bed

At the risk of sounding like your mother, it’s bedtime! Unless the continent you’ve been traversing is next door, the odds are high that you’ll suffer from jetlag. Even a couple of hours on a plane going through one extra time zone is enough to mess up the body’s clock. In short, tiredness is going to make you feel like you can’t function. When this happens, the positivity you encounter about coming home starts to fade and away and is replaced with anger and frustration. A lack of sleep will do that to the most pious person in the world. Anyway, finally relaxing in your bed should make you jump for joy. Anyone whose mattress isn’t up to the job needs to browse to Mattress-Guides.net. It needs replacing as soon as possible so that the sleep deprivation doesn’t continue. Otherwise, the holiday blues may turn into full-blown depression.

Avoid Looking Back

“You know, when I was in South America, I had the best steak in the world.” Does this sentence sound familiar? Those who haven’t uttered these words have said something similar because, well, traveling is a formative experience. It’s almost impossible not to reflect and gush about the time you left home with a backpack and a tiny budget. Still, there are two problems. The first is that no one wants to hear about the six months you bummed around the world while they worked. It encourages the green-eyed monster to emerge. Secondly, this attitude forces you to compare apples to oranges. Argentina is nothing like home, and you shouldn’t equate the two, directly or indirectly. Those that do tend to feel depressed as they yearn for a past which may never materialize again. The key is to look to the present and future, two periods you can control.

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Try Something New

First thing’s first – this doesn’t mean you should go shopping or try a new cuisine. Please, do both if they are on your bucket list, but be aware that they won’t sustain you over the long-term. After arriving back home, it’s important to find a challenge which will give life purpose and drive you forward. Usually, this takes the form of a new job. Starting a new career is a perfect way to get back into the swing of things and develop a challenging and lucrative routine. However, you may choose to go back to school and study for a master’s degree or Ph.D. Knowledge is power, but the course is a stepping stone to a better life, too. Alternatively, something new can take the form of learning a language. As long as it gets you out of the house and occupies your mind, it’s bound to be a healthy change.

Maintain The Attitude

One thing which travelers love about the experience is the new skills they pick up. The chances are that when you were away, you, too, picked up habits which are cool and practical. Think about the time you walked over to a group of strangers and introduced yourself and how they became essential travel buddies. No one at home does that because it’s “weird,” but you can break the mold. Don’t be scared to introduce yourself in a coffee shop and spin a yarn with a totally random person. Maintaining the values you cherish will help you boost confidence levels, as well as adrenaline! Please approach with caution, though, as not everyone is as welcoming as abroad.

Do It Again

Why not book another trip and relive the experience? People in their twenties haven’t got any responsibilities to worry about, so it’s a no-brainer. If you are someone who wants to focus on owning a house and furthering their career, you shouldn’t fear the worst. Sure, you may not have the same journey again, but you can still travel in small ways. For example, take a Thursday and Monday off to jet away on a long weekend. Stay in a hostel to add authenticity and keep the cost down. Or, take a day to see the sights at home. There is always a museum or a landmark which goes under the radar.

How are you coping? Is it easier or harder than you imagined?

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