The post trip blues are very real and hit very hard. Whenever I get home from a great trip abroad I always have an intense sense of longing for the places that I went to. Aside from catching up with the jet lag, this is the hardest part. My first day back a work is always immediate, as I want to use every last vacation hour on my trip. Doing this forces you back into reality in the truest sense of the word. While day one is spent recounting some of my best memories and drinking tons of coffee, you eventually settle back in with a renewed sense of yearning for the next trip.
I’ve mentioned this before but it is pretty unrealistic to just leave your job and travel full time. Sure I love to travel, but I love my job too. They provide different things for me and are almost completely independent of one and other (except when work trips bring travel experiences). Stretching my time off goes a long way, and luckily my boss approves of my long trips so I am able to incorporate both into my life. But, working tends to push my love of travel to the side as it becomes non-existent during the rush of the job. I think that makes it even more important to try and incorporate something into my life.
Filling the travel void isn’t always easy, as weekend trips to Europe aren’t necessarily a reality. I try as hard as I can to take advantage of day and weekend travel around Las Vegas. I go to Reno frequently (enough that it is a second home) and I often make trips to Southern California. Weekend trips are a nice way to have a taste of something more, for a little amount of time. I try to take advantage of this time somewhere new by doing things I haven’t done before. By doing the things I love so much when abroad, whether that be going on a long walk or to a museum I haven’t been to before, these smaller excursions help quench my thirst.
I’ve made note of this before, but it bears repeating: because of Europe, I now love breakfast. Being home, I would never really indulge in something like that but now, I have a different mindset. Having a pastry in a little French café brings me right back to my European trips. Or, when I am at a deli I will get a pastry despite trying to maintain a healthy diet! I try to incorporate as many things like this as I can, bridging the gap between trips with small tastes of being abroad. Even my coffee habits have changed. Before I went to Europe with my sisters I never really enjoyed specialty drinks like cappuccinos or au laits, but now it’s become a mainstay in my occasional indulgent mornings.
While there is nothing quite like traveling abroad, I think I have learned to find ways to bring that home, to strike a balance between a love for travel and a love for work. It really is about appreciating what is near and finding little things that bring me back to my trips. I have become aware of my surroundings in a way that allows me to take in beauty of things once overlooked. Traveling even changes my sense of fashion as seeing people in other places always inspires me. Despite not being on vacation, I want to have a mindset that is different than just my day to day. While a long trip is not always realistic, incorporating travel into my lifestyle absolutely is, and I encourage you to do the same.