Don’t get me wrong, life without travel is pretty mundane. But sometimes there are factors like money or the border patrol that keep you from jumping on a plane to some far off place. Coming down from the high of traveling isn’t easy and should come with a warning label, “Caution: boredom ahead.”
Life after travel can leave people feeling out of place and out of sync with the everyday rhythms back home. But it doesn’t have to be all bad. There are some things you can do to cope with downtime in between your travels.
Dealing with the culture shock of being home again can be a challenge, but luckily there are a few things you can do about it. First of all recognize that there is going to be an adjustment period of getting used to everything again. Things that used to be familiar may seem out of place and strange after living or spending time abroad.
And though you’re not on the road anymore, there are still plenty of adventures everywhere. Even if you’re completely broke and living in the middle of nowhere, you can still do something fun outdoors like hiking or camping or geocaching. Get outside and explore places near where you live and really get to know the place and the surrounding area better. There might be some pretty bizarre and interesting things nearby. And for those who prefer indoor activities, there are usually cheap classes offered through most community centers. Think of this as a time to pick up a new hobby or skill. And who knows, it might come in handy while you’re busking on a street in Paris a few months down the line.
Coming home is also a good way to recharge and prepare for the next big adventure. There are programs out there to help you find jobs around the world, whether it be teaching, interning, volunteering or just finding a gig and an overseas work permit. Check out sites like BUNAC, Transitions abroad and Go Abroad and the guides on this site. There are tons of other sites out there on the web, so google will come in handy tracking down the perfect program for you.
And most importantly, remember that nothing is permanent with travel and without. It’s all about how you deal with it. Sometimes travel is less about how many borders you cross, but how you can be in a town or any city and find something interesting in it.
Nicole Dial is a freelance writer and photographer by night and a starving artist by day. You can follow her at @nicolemdial.