Life behind Travels TRAVEL

A Massive Case of Post Travel Depression | Why is the ‘Coming Home’ so Hard!?

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Post Travel Depression has the ability to sneak up on you and completely smack you off your feet!   It can suck the life and happy vibes right out from your soul. 

Going from one extreme of the buzz of exploring a new country, destination, culture to being back in boring reality can be pretty daunting!  Not all of us can travel full time even if we wanted to!  So for some of us this is reality!   Returning home, returning back to work and returning back to routine.

Depression after a trip is so real that they even have an acronym for post travel depression – PTD!  Go figure!

 

In this Post:

Page 1: Why do we feel the post trip blues?

Page 2: How to get over post travel depression

Page 3: Benefits of after travel depression – because yes there are some!

Why do we feel the Post Travel Blues?

It seems that there can be a multitude of reasons why we feel depressed after vacation.  There are valid reasons for these post holiday blues, and true reasons as to why it is so hard to adjust back to your normal way of life.  This image from Getaway Brigade wraps the post holiday depression symptoms real well.

Post travel depression

5 Typical Post Travel Depression Symptoms

The symptoms of post-holiday depression can really include some or even all of the following: anxiety, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, headaches, sleeping too much or too little, change in appetite, weight loss or gain, inability to concentrate, increased desire to be alone, and loss of interest in things you usually enjoy.

Clinical psychologist Linda Blair says: ‘Bear in mind it takes a good three days to wind down when you go on holiday so likewise it will take you a bit of time to re-immerse yourself in real life.’

 

My Story:

We recently came back from a family holiday to Cambodia.  I am now on long service leave and therefore have no job except for blogging to return to, I thought our return from Cambodia would be a happy one!  However, knowing we are home-bound for my last trimester of pregnancy and the birth of my baby has escalated my post travelling depression to a new dimension. There is nothing like feeling like you are stuck!!  That you have no choice but to be where you are right this minute!  No matter how strong you can feel the pull to explore and wander some more!

post travel depression

 

I think that to some extent all of the points in the image; that outlines the reasons for depression after traveling; applies to our return after coming back from holiday!  Understanding post-trip depression helps you to move beyond the symptoms.

1.  The sadness from leaving behind a new country explored, the friendships made along the way and the favourite destinations in the country that connected with your soul, all which has the potential to leave you feeling depressed after travelling.

2.  The nostalgia that comes from having an awesome trip and knowing that it is a once in a lifetime memory!

3.  Having to return to the routine of life, the school lunches, the school drop offs!  Having to do our own washing again and make our own meals.  Knowing that there is no adventure or excitement awaiting us every single day and that some days will just be ‘boring’ as we get some jobs and housework out of the way!

4.  Reverse culture shock!  I think we have felt reverse culture shock to the extremes on our return from our two last trips!  Visiting countries where the people have to go through a harder lifestyle than us and experiencing how people who work incredibly hard and have so little material things against their names, can be so incredibly happy with life!  And here we are, lucky and fortunate in a country where luxury is almost a given and material things consume our lives! The difference between our lifestyle compared to theirs really struck us!

5.  And of course even as travel bloggers we still come home with a credit card bill that we need to repay before our next travels!

post-travel-depression-pregnant

At 24 Weeks pregnant I could barely see those wanderlust feet of mine!

I have restless soul syndrome!  And this being ‘stuck’ at home is making my after traveling depression pretty damn real!

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    winny
    April 8, 2016 at 12:00 am

    as travel blogger somehow i feel greedy to explore all the world but when i see my pocket is empty but does not mean stopping from travelling

  • Reply
    Brian
    May 5, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    I know this feeling too well – having several places that feel like home around Europe. In the end it’s always the people you miss the most! Would someone invent teleporting already?? 🙂

  • Reply
    Mel
    August 24, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    ^^^ If only teleportation was possible, right? I was actually in Cape Town for 10 weeks and am back in the US. PTD has been hitting me quite hard and it’s so difficult to shake it off. I’ve met with friends and have been running errands all around but nothing feels right. It’s as if time stood still here and nothing has changed. I love my friends and family and am still in graduate school, so I do have things to take care of, but nothing compares to the experiences I had in South Africa. I felt as if I had so much growth abroad that it’s hard to avoid reverting to old ways being back home. The only thing keeping me motivated is planning another trip. Just have to figure out the financial means to make that happen again.

    • Jolene Ejmont
      Reply
      Jolene Ejmont
      August 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

      It is hard isn’t it!! Especially when you connect with destination as much as you have in SA (I love Cape Town! Can’t wait to return myself!). I think the more we travel than more we yearn for more and more and more! I hope you get to travel again soon!! At least planning the next trip is exciting, we have 2 weeks till our next trip and I can’t wait!!

  • Reply
    Joely
    January 26, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Struggling big time now. Been home 4 days and can’t stand it. Next 4 trips are booked in but I just wanna go now!!

    • Jolene Ejmont
      Reply
      Jolene Ejmont
      January 27, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      It is hard isn’t it!! Best way is to just be on a permanent holiday … if only that was possible!! Hope that next trip is soon for you! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mylene
    April 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Currently suffering PTD ???? Just camr back from almost 3 weeks in Japan & its hitting me at some times of the day. Having been to Japan vs my hometown is very depressing as I can see the wide difference… trying to shake it off… this has been the longest vacation I had.. now I’m trying to plan my next trip back as a diversion… even normal.office routine is hard

    • Jolene Ejmont
      Reply
      Jolene Ejmont
      April 23, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Yes!! PTD is not fun! I have experienced it and have seen it in my friends too! We just came back from a 3 week trip to Japan too! Talk about a coincidence!! And yes, I am in full swing planning our trip to France!!! Trying to keep busy, but already over the routine of life at home! Hope things look up for you soon Mylene!

  • Reply
    Curt
    June 7, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Just returned from a 2 year trip, I definitely feel it! You are on point when you say that it makes you realize how lucky we are to be able to travel. And reverse travel shock? BIG TIME! I love returning home but it only takes a few short weeks to get me ready for the next adventure!

    • Reply
      Curt
      June 7, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Edit: Reverse CULTURE shock*

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    August 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    The part where you said “it teaches you about aspects of yourself or your life that you are not happy with” really resonated with me. After coming back from my travels, I always get a clearer perspective of what’s keeping me unhappy and what sort of changes I should finally make to move towards happiness. Very awesome and insightful post!

    • Jolene Ejmont
      Reply
      Jolene Ejmont
      August 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Exactly! And whilst that might be hard, change and moving forward in life is always good! 🙂

  • Reply
    Traveling the Continents
    August 29, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Sometimes we just don’t want to go back to real life, it takes a few days for us to get back to normal after traveling to awesome places.

    • Jolene Ejmont
      Reply
      Jolene Ejmont
      September 1, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Yes, I think it is normal to have a few hard days back in reality! The problem is when those few days turn into weeks or a month 🙂

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