A few years ago, I wrote about beating the travel blues. I was 20 years old, fresh from my first solo trip in Honduras and Costa Rica, had just survived a week in the English trash-mecca of Zante as broke as I’d ever been, and I was excited to start my final year of university. The reason I wrote it? I simply missed being on the road after delving into – and out of – the biggest adventure of my life to date. Fair enough, right?
Riiiiiiiiight. I mean… it’s justified to feel a little down after you finish a big trip, but my whining about no longer travelling when all I had ahead of me was another year of uni madness and, of course, more travel, was insanity. I gave some lame tips like, “Talk about your trip with everyone you know!” and “Plan your next trip!” and “Realise you had a great trip! TRIP, TRIP, TRIP!” Thankfully my writing skills have improved since then.
Gah. It sickens me. (You’ll get that I’m feeling pretty negative throughout this post. Whatever.)
So why am I now turning on my younger, optimistic self and my words of
wisdom naiviety? Because, four years later and very much in the flow of what most would call ‘real’ life, I now know exactly what travel blues are. My previous advice was pretty vanilla, you know, you could definitely take it, but it lacked any real depth. I didn’t understand the dreaded travel blues in all their horrifying wallowing-in-pits-of-despair glory.
But now, I definitely, 1,000% do. I’m not saying that in the extra four years I’ve lived on this planet that I have become infinitely wiser than 20 year old me but… wait. Actually, no. I am saying that. Over the past four years I’ve studied my arse off and graduated from university. I’ve won an international competition to travel the world for four months. I travelled the world for four months! I made real friends. I survived getting fired in the middle of the Alps, and managed to finish my ski season. I moved to Amsterdam. I fell in love. I got a real job. Lost real friends. I travelled for three months. Fell out of love. Dealt with evil landlords and the crazy Amsterdam housing market. And generally survived – ALL BY MYSELF. So yeah, infinitely wiser.
Due to my now apparently infinite wisdom, I’m ready to rip apart my previous ‘How to beat the travel blues’ post. With a ton of sarcasm and bitterness.
- Talk about your trip with everyone you know
Boring. Everyone you know is going to be bored at everything you say. No one wants to hear that OH-MY-GOD-SO-FUNNY story about the time you were intoxicated in Koh Samui/Bolivia/Sydney/Berlin. No one. Wants. To. Hear that. By talking about your trip to everyone you know without them even expressing an interest is just setting yourself up for a fall. Right onto your face. A face that will probably still be telling stories to the floor. Boring your friends = no cure for travel blues.
- Plan your next trip
In fairness… this is quite a good one. You should plan your next trip! It takes your mind off being sad and makes you excited to go away again. But then, of course, you realise that you spent all the money you had on the last trip, and you’re now too broke to afford rent and can’t afford a new place and are crashing on a friends sofa ‘temporarily’ but it’s been a month already… Yeah. I mean, you can always dream of planning the next trip. That might help. Before you break down and wallow in the realities of first world poverty.
- Realise you had a great trip
Where do I even start. OF COURSE YOU HAD A GREAT TRIP, YOU WERE TRAVELLING THE WORLD. And that is why you want to go back. Duh, duh, duh.
Returning from South America a couple of weeks ago and delving straight back into work and trying to deal with lots of big girl shit like houses and money and ex-boyfriends is not fun. I genuinely feel as though I would give at least one body part up to be carefree and living life on the road again, nothing but my backpack and good vibes and the next adventure ahead. Sure, there were parts of the trip which sucked (Bolivia in general, breaking up with aforementioned boy, leaving…), but travelling is the thing that makes me feel complete and happy. And I wanna go ba-a-ah-ah-ck (to be read in a sobbing, hysterical woman voice).
So the real way to get over the travel blues? I guess there isn’t any prescribed method. Sure, you could talk about it with other people, look at your travel pictures, throw yourself into lots of different things in your life… But real travel blues stem from wanderlust – the overwhelming desire to explore, to discover and to go places. And that is a thirst that cannot be quenched.
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