The Hardest Part of Travel: Dealing With Post-Travel Depression

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One of the most difficult parts of going away, is coming back. The travel lifestyle is incredibly addictive, and once you get started it can remain your thoughts for the rest of your life. Trying to re-adjust to normal life is a real challenge after you have realized that there is so much out there to see, do and explore. For us, coming back home to continue our university study was a massive shock to the system after the freedom and adventure we had experienced for the previous year.


You have been away and changed so much, having a colossal amount of new experiences, new friends and new world-views. But the reality is, that home often does not change. After all of these amazing times, you are suddenly right back where you began. In your same old room and doing the same old things.


Initially, it is great to be back. You have excited reunions with friends and family, you have the novelty of re-discovering your hometown, and you are in a flurry of story-telling and question-answering.


But the dust settles.


The excitement wears off.


And you are already on the Internet searching for a ticket to anywhere.


Being surrounded by new experiences, launching yourself into unknowns daily and never knowing where your next journey will take you, is exhilarating. And it is so hard to take that out of a person again.




It’s hard to go back into routines, especially when they are ones that you don’t particularly like. Work, study and chores are a lot harder when your last year has been filled purely with things that you want to do. When every day has been a new, crazy adventure, it can be complicated to accept the same thing daily.



People care a lot less about all the great local towns you visited, the foods you ate and the places you went. The kindred spirits you met travelling are no longer around. Your friends are still great, but it’s all so different to what you had grown accustomed to. You realise that people aren’t so interested in hearing about your adventures with Mongolian tribes, when they’ve been studying in a university library for the last nine months.



Going to the corner shop does not reap the same feelings of satisfaction as trying to barter for things in exotic markets.




Like the age-old hangover cure “hair of the dog”, it is always a possibility to just keep fueling your passion for travel and never go back to “normal”. We have met many people who have made travel their full-time lifestyle by picking up various jobs along the way or writing blogs.



If you really love travel, you can always plan another future trip. This will give you something to look forward to and to funnel your savings towards. Remember, exploring the world doesn’t have to be expensive (check out Backpacker’s Bookmarks for useful websites and Money Tips).

Even if your holiday times are short, you can still fit in some global exploration and remember that things like WorkAway can drastically reduce the cost of an adventure.



Being able to travel in the first place is such a privilege, so remembering this fact can really help you to get over the depression. It can help to make simple thought changes like ‘wow, I was lucky to do that’, rather than ‘I wish I was still doing that’.



Lucy Owens Travel Textbook


My name’s Lucy and I’m the jetsetting student doctor and travel writer behind the blog. If you’re a fan of scratching beneath the surface of travel, visiting interesting destinations, and exploring ethically, then you’re in the right place. Focusing on purposeful budget and solo travel, Travel Textbook hopes to inspire more young people to seek meaningful adventure.



NEXT UP: Mexico City, MEX

THEN: Havana, CUBA



1 thought on “The Hardest Part of Travel: Dealing With Post-Travel Depression”

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