"How do you deal with coming home after a long trip, staying in the travel mindset, and keeping the lessons you learned alive?"
It's a great question.
Post-trip depression is a real thing. I think coming home is often harder than leaving since it's so anticlimactic. Before you go, there is this massive buildup of emotions, preparation, and excitement. It's amazing. "I'm really doing this!" you think to yourself. You're moving toward a goal. You're excited. A bright future of possibility lies before you.
But then you come back and it's "now what?" There's no more buildup. There's no big moment to look forward to. You don't come back with a bang; you come back with a whimper. Your friends are kind of interested in your trip, but soon their eyes glaze over at your travel tales. Before you know it, you fall back into a routine and it's as if it never happened.
The flip side to that is that for many, such a long trip is some far-off dream in the first place. They don't even get to experience any of those highs and lows. For a variety of reasons, travel is just not an option. They just won't ever make it overseas.
So what do you do if you fall into one of those categories? Whether you are coming home from a trip or just wish you could travel, my advice to you is the same:
When you can't go anywhere, have the world come to you.
To me, travel is about discovery and learning about new cultures. It's about finding out how we all fit together on this giant blue ball in space. The destination is the least important part about travel.
So why not travel the world by bringing it to you?
I get to meet people from different places, hear languages I didn't even know existed, eat authentic food I dreamed about, and get treated to cultural experiences second to none.
However, even if you don't live in a global city, you can still experience travel without ever leaving.
First, check out Blogs to find a local travel group. Maybe they just go out exploring the region around you, but at least you'll be around like-minded people. Additionally, maybe you'll find a group that loves salsa dancing, going out for sushi, having dinner parties where they attempt to cook a dish from somewhere around the world, or just talking about travel. Who knows?! Blogs about travelling and exploring the world are my favourite's because there are groups for all different types of interests and people. No interest is too obscure.
Second, try the sharing economy website Eat With, which lets locals post listings for dinner parties and speciality meals that people can sign up for. Eat With is like the Airbnb for dinner parties: you get to go to a person's home, share stories with them, and eat their food. You'll get a taste of someone else's world - and you probably won't even have to travel that far. There is a fee (everyone sets their own price), and you can pick from a variety of meals, depending on what the host wants to cook. Find someone cooking food from someplace you've never been and go try it!
Third, find or start a local travel community. There are many great ones out there. Or you can just search for "travel" in the Facebook search bar to see the long list of travel groups that you can join. These organisations and groups connect travel lovers, writers, industry professionals, and everyone in between. You can talk online, attend in-person meetups, and organise events. They are one of my favourite ways to connect with other travel diehards. You'll get a lot of inspiration out of them.
Even if you aren't meeting travellers, meeting people who love travel is sometimes just as good. They will share your desire, passion, and interest in the world. To them, your thoughts of quitting your job to sail around the Pacific won't sound crazy!
So don't come home thinking that that's the end of your travels. There are many ways you can bring the world to you and keep that travel spirit alive. Sure, you won't be gazing at the Pyramids of Giza, but at least you can learn about other cultures and meet different people.
And isn't that what travel is all about anyways?
If a guy in a small town can make it happen, you can too!
This post was originally published on be Frenzy.