22 Mar 2013

How To Deal With Post Travel Withdrawals

You step off the plane and you feel the pinch of cold weather again.  It doesn't matter, in fact you feel affectionate towards the weather you have been missing because you're still on top of the world after one of the best experiences of your entire life.  Travelling.  You will tell your children and grandchildren all about it one day, but for now you cannot wait to tell your family and friends.  You've been reinvented, you have a new attitude and you can't wait to apply it to life back home.


So many moments of pure joy and elation!



 This will last about a week, if you're lucky.  Suddenly you'll realise that it's miserably easy to slip back into the drudgery of your pre-travel routine.  This will make you very angry and upset.  I normally deal with this by immediately beginning to plan my next trip, which is all fine and dandy but saving up thousands of pounds to splurge abroad does take a significant amount of time.  During this time you will experience travel withdrawal symptoms, you will miss the temporary life you led overseas more than anything.

You want everyone to know the sights you've seen!
To meet the friends you made!
To help you at this difficult time, myself and Rich over at Vagabond Rich have been pooling together our tried and tested methods for helping to stop these withdrawals. They really get to the root of the problem and enable you to move on with your life so that you can leave travel behind. Only kidding! They will make the problem worse and you'll be chained to backpacking forever!

1. At the height of British summer, if you are lucky enough to see a mosquito then let it bite you. Caress the bite carefully and don't use too much tiger balm on it or it will heal sooner. Wear it proudly and reminisce how you would be bitten up to thirty times a day back in Asia.

2. When using the bathroom (at home) rather than leaving your toiletries in there, put them in your travel toiletry bag and take it with you. It will make you vaguely feel like you are in a hostel or guesthouse of some kind.

3. At home (strictly indoors only) and with the heating on full you will be comfortable enough to wear flips flops around the house. If you close your eyes you might be able to convince yourself you're on a beach.

4. Replace your bed with a bunkbed. It must be made of metal, you must assemble it badly and the key here is ensuring that it squeaks at the slightest provocation.

5. Invite a stranger to sleep in your new bunkbed. Ideally, this stranger will get up frequently during the night and/or snore so loudly that you consider a violently slapping them to awake them from their slumber.

6. Wear flip flops regardless of weather condition. Whether it’s popping out to walk the dog or going for a big shop at the supermarket, flip flops are your friend. Ignore the stares. They’re only jealous.

7. Put sun cream on when you don't need it. Thus keeping alive the illusion that maybe, just maybe, those harsh UV rays will penetrate the thick grey cloud and attack your now pasty, white skin.

8. Apply DEET insect repellent ALL the time. For best results, try and get hold of the 100% stuff that melts your bag, your clothes and dissolves skin.

9. Walk around your home town and take photos of average churches and mundane buildings. The more mediocre the architecture, the better.

10. Take said photos and bore family and friends with them. Put them on a disc, or create a PowerPoint presentation with annotations, invite people over and always remember to lock the doors before you begin.

11. Don't speak to shop attendants in shops. Instead, point to the items you want or act them out.

12. Try paying for things with incorrect currencies. Stare at the coins, take a long time to decide which ones to use, get it wrong, and then make a big, audible song and dance about how difficult it is to keep adjusting to different currencies.

13. Take the wrong bus to work. Because you prefer adventure, you prefer the scenic route and, dammit, there’s just no taming your free spirited ways.

14. Talk to people in broken Spanish. Other languages can be used, as long as it’s not the language of your homeland, it’s slow and riddled with grammatical inaccuracy.

15. Take a schooner to a bar and ask the bartender to put your beer in that. If the bartender tries to give you a half pint glass instead, be unwavering in your insistence that they use the measurement you provided.

16. Go to a local gym/swimming pool for showers and pretend you're in a hostel. Best not to go to an actual hostel for this as your travel memories will likely still be far too raw. You’re not ready for this yet.

17. Haggle over everything. Especially at markets at every price the seller offers tell them it’s too expensive, pretend to walk away, then go back, pretend to leave again and THEN purchase the item(s) in question.

18. When staying over at a B and B/hotel/friends house, take your backpack and travel accessories.  Always behave in a flustered and windswept manner upon arrival (as though you've travelled for many miles).

19. Put chlorine tablets in your water. Drink said water from a flask. Attach said flask to your backpack.

20. Only use public transport when horrendously hungover.

21. Use your headtorch in dark rooms rather than turning the light on.

22. Ask everyone you meet these exact four questions: Where are you from? Where have you been? Where are you going? How long are you travelling for?

We do hope you found this list helpful. Whether you’re easing yourself back into reality or finding a way to make your time between trips more tolerable.

Find Rich over at www.vagabondrich.com and follow him on Twitter @Travel_Rich

What is your preferred method for coping with post-travel blues? Please share it with us in the comments and help out your fellow traveller!