How to keep up the spirit of your journey back home or “the travel blues medicine”
Sometimes we find ourselves on a journey, which without even expecting it turns out to be a lifechanging experience. We spend some time away from home, away from worries, away from our daily routine… our skin becomes slightly tanned, our belly starts getting used to the amazing food and our sleeping pattern turns healthy again. What a beautiful life. We might even be able to turn off our mobile or at least distance ourselves from it. Detox in its finest way. This is life. This is how we want to live.
And then… it comes… sneaking upon us – out of the blue. A mail from our airline. The check-in for your flight back home is ready. Sometimes, those moments can feel like a slap in the face. Its already time to go home. How did the time pass by so quickly? It’s impossible! And anxiously we count back the days to our arrival date. And yes. It’s true. Time to go home.
It feels like it’s been a lifetime.
All the meditation we´ve done so far and all the Yoga in the world can usually not stop us from feeling sad about this. We start wondering how it will be. What day do we have to go back to work? Did anything happen while we were gone? And then there is this one moment – where melancholy takes over – how can I keep this spirit back home? Will my hamster wheel take over again and leave me empty and exhausted behind? Will I lose everything that I have learned and experienced and be traded for what I have been before this journey? How will my friends and my family react to my casual holiday dress? Will it just be like it was before I left? All this effort for nothing?
Ok. Breathe. You can handle this.
Let me tell you one thing first of all – whenever you go on a journey, especially if it feels like a lifechanging one for you – you will never return the way you were. This might sound a bit dramatic, but it’s not. It’s something we have to make ourselves aware of. And also, we don’t want to come back the way we were. Otherwise we would have not decided on this experience in the first place. Something within ourselves was graving some changes. Knowingly or not. Because…
… before any decision is made, there is a desire.
So how can you arrive back home safely and happy without this melancholy feeling heavy on your shoulders? Being a travel lover and a terrified of going back home person, I have discovered a few tools that kept me sane and I would love to pass onto you.
My Top Ten - “the travel blues medicine”
1) Take your time – no point in rushing back into a sort of routine. Unless you want to. Avoid the feeling of owning it to someone. If you already prearranged something and you don’t want to go – cancel. That’s basically an all-timer.
2) Learn some recipes from your holiday destination and try to cook them yourself when back home – If you master it – invite some close friends for dinner and share your new discoveries.
3) Find something new in your hometown – maybe it’s time to try a new Yoga studio and dip into a new Yoga Style or sign up for this creative writing workshop you´ve been reading about since a while now. Or join your local Couchsurfing community and keep in touch with inspiring travelers.
4) Buy a new book – about something that interests you, but you never got around looking for it – maybe a travel book about your next destination or an old-fashioned sailor travel story – or dive into some Yoga books.
5) Get rid of some things you don’t need anymore – the beauty of traveling is, that we get reminded of how little we need to live happily. Get rid of those baggy pants which do not serve you any longer. Give away those books you are never going to read. Clear your home – it will help you clearing your mind.
6) Remember what you learned during your journey and try to keep it up at home. Maybe you need to adapt it but try to find a way. Maybe you don’t have the nature around you anymore as much as you had during your trip but there must be at least a park near you. Take a stroll through that park and find a spot to relax. Maybe there is even a tree which invites you to sit down underneath it. Connect yourself with the nature. Touch the grass. Feel the tree. Smell the flowers. Don’t allow anyone to disconnect you from Nature. It’s essential for our well-being. Practice Yoga and Meditation. Especially when you feel like you don't have any time for it - thats the time you need it most.
7) Print out your photos and create something with it. Either stick them onto your wall – create a figure or a theme. Or create a collage and add some titles. In this way you can always look at them without sticking to an electronic device and you may find some inspiration in it. Another way would be creating a photo book. It can be so lovely designed with some stories or phrases you remember. Also, maybe you collected some receipts or tickets along your travel you could add to the photos. It creates a lovely memory and during rainy days you can just browse through it while having a warm cup of tea.
8) Change one jigsaw piece in your daily routine. Maybe you want to cut down on fast food and replace it with something you cooked yourself. Or maybe you discovered that instead of taking headache pills you just need to relax and take a day off. Remember don’t treat the result – treat the cause. So often we forget to take care of ourselves in order to work. Try to change that. You always jump on the metro and feel annoyed about the stress level you are facing? Try to leave a little earlier and maybe you can squeeze in a little walk towards your work.
9) Plan your next trip. Even if it’s a short getaway around Christmas. It gives you something to look forward to. It´s not an escape. It´s more like a promise to yourself that no matter what – you will always take time for yourself and treat yourself. And during hamster wheel days you can remind yourself about the beauty of pressing the pause button.
10)Find a song – the theme of your trip kind of song – and have it ready whenever you feel like you need to remind yourself about the energy you felt. And get it back up there.
And at the end of all these things - remember – sometimes all you need to do is – let that light within you shine again. Meditate, sing, dance, smile randomly, create, enjoy, love and dive in with 100%.
Whatever you do – make sure it makes you happy, spread your love and keep on rocking!