Reverse culture shock is so real.
You’ve unpacked your rucksack, you’ve shown everyone your travel photos and movies. You’re home. And what started as excitement to see your friends and family has turned into post-trip depression. Now your tan’s fading and you’re faced with the prospect of a 9-5 job. How do you get your feet back on the ground, if you’re head’s still firmly in the clouds?
Here are some of our best tips on how to beat reverse culture shock after you’ve returned home from traveling.
1. Explore your local area
Once a traveler, always a traveler. The adventure doesn’t have to end just because you came home! There are loads of ways you can get creative with this! What’s changed since you left? Get a guidebook and explore your local area like a traveler; get a town map and throw a dart at it; put some local listings in a hat and draw one at random.
Or try the next town over. Maybe you live right by an area of natural beauty, or a famous museum. Have you visited? Have you seen all of the national parks in your home state?
Much like charity, exploration starts at home.
2. Use your memories to set yourself goals
You know the feeling of ‘I can do anything!’ you get while traveling? Take it home with you!
Combat the comedown of returning to routine and beat reverse culture shock by combining the two parts of your life. Add significant travel dates to your calendar or diary for “this time last year I was…” reminiscences.
If you add both highs and lows, you can both cherish the good times and focus on the plus sides of being at home.
If it’s rained all day, you’ve got a tough meeting or project… well, at least you’re spending 17 hours on a hot, crowded train with flies buzzing in the bathrooms and one pot-noodle to last you the entire trip, whilst laid low with Delhi-belly after your passport was stolen.
You survived that, so bring it on world! See? Positives.
3. Find local places that evoke your travels
Sometimes being at home is just hard. Now’s the time to seek out somewhere that recaptures something you loved about traveling. Food is a good place to start.
See if you can find a restaurant or café where you can get your old traveling favorites, or you try your hand at whipping up banana pancakes or a curry.
4. Keep in contact with your travel buddies
Skype, Facebook, a good old fashioned email… even (whisper it) an actual letter. I met some of the best people I know outside of England. Even though we don’t chat regularly, knowing that they’re out there somewhere is comforting when this island starts feeling small.