How to Beat the Post-Travel Blues

How to Beat the Post-Travel Blues

Let’s face it: the experience of traveling is invigorating, beautiful, intense and frustrating at times. Prior to a trip – no matter the length – people experience anticipation and excitement as they wait for the unknown to unfold. While the thrill is unmatched, there are some downsides once the adventure is overTraveling can evoke some seriously complicated nostalgia, leaving one feeling incredibly torn between their life at home and the life they just experienced on the road.

So what are the post-travel blues? Let me explain. There’s nothing quite like coming home from an amazing trip to the reality of paying bills, waking up for work and the general humdrum of normalcy. Some may feel their reality pales in comparison to what they just experienced. Others may feel like they aren’t fulfilled by their day-to-day lives but have to make ends meet. Many people just may miss the absolute freedom and relaxation they felt while they were able to unplug and recharge. Whatever the reason may be, the post-travel blues are mysterious yet a very real emotion that almost every traveler will face at some point.


Gapyeong, Korea.

Despite the fact that feeling the blues is pretty much inevitable, they don’t have to stay around for longer than necessary. Here are some solutions to help you kick those negative emotions to the curb:

1. Sort through your emotions

I’m a firm believer in allowing oneself to feel emotions when necessary. I think ignoring emotions causes bigger problems down the line and we should honor our complicated minds. With that said, if you’re feeling sad about a trip – it’s okay! Look through photographs, write about how you’re feeling, meditate on it and chalk it up to a fantastic life experience that has shaped you into a better version of yourself. 

2. Treat your town as a new land

This is so cliche, but it’s so true. Use this longing for new or familiar lands as an opportunity to see things in your back yard that you might have never seen or explored. I lived in Chicago for seven years, and not once did I go up to the top of the Willis Tower! Now that I’ve lived in Seoul for two years, it makes me want to see those spots that I once scoffed at, claiming them to be “too touristy.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a local tourist! I’m one every day in Korea. Which leads me to…

3. Go out of your way to make your day adventurous 

A day can be as mundane or exciting as you’d like it to be. The other day, I was walking in my neighborhood after purchasing a cake for my boyfriend’s surprise party and decided to take a detour on my way home. One thing I love about Sinsa-dong is all the surprises around each corner; I discovered a variety of new restaurants, shops and quirks that I would have otherwise never knew existed! Sure, my days can blend into one another from time to time. I wake up, teach kindergarten and tutor each day. It can get daunting from time to time, but this little moment sort of made my week and instilled a feeling of excitement I was longing for.


I used to explore my Yongin, Korea, neighborhood often by bike.

4. Satisfy your wanderlust

If you can afford it, start researching for your next trip. However, not everyone is that lucky. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the blues from within the confines of a cubicle, let your mind take a daydream-cation by living vicariously through others via Pinterest, Instagram or reading travel blogs. I did this often at my 9-5 in America, which is also where I gained my travel inspiration, which is what helped propel me to move to Korea in the first place.

5. Travel back in time through your senses

Does the smell of incense or sounds of Khayal music remind you of your time in an Indian ashram? Do you long for the taste of that delicious Tom Kha Gai you ate every day you spent in Pai? Do K-drama binge sessions bring you back to that study abroad semester in Korea? Invigorate your senses and illuminate your memories by bringing that familiarity home. If it’s culinary delights you’re after, search your local markets’ foreign section for the proper ingredients. If it’s musical therapy you’re seeking, find a playlist on Spotify or YouTube. If you want to escape into a television show or movie, check out Netflix or other streaming websites. As long as you have internet access, the world is essentially at your fingertips.

6. Surround yourself with the people you love

One of the worst things about post-travel depression is potentially feeling isolated. This is particularly true if you’ve been abroad for an extended period of time. You may find that your friends or loved ones have not changed a bit and feel as though you’ve made strides. It might be hard to connect with your former self and you may feel angry that nobody is able to relate to you, or worse, desire to hear about your experiences. However, understand that everyone is on a different path. Have patience with your loved ones and use this time to reconnect with the time lost. Just make sure you don’t start every sentence with, “When I was in _______,” because people tend to find that grating.


I know it’s hard not to talk about places like this. Just don’t.

7. Smile

You’re an incredible human being who just had the experience of a lifetime! Work through the sadness and turn it into a feeling of gratitude for your world being cracked open with light just a little bit more than it was before. Smile back at the memories and keep your head up and look toward the future!


Post-Travel Blues

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Have you ever experienced post-travel blues? Share your story with me and how you were able to cope!



  1. December 15, 2015 / 9:08 am

    These are some great recommendations! This is something I struggle with every time I go home, without fail. My go-to is to stay busy — hanging out and catching up with friends, staying active, and working on projects. It’s still a rough time, though. I really like that you include allowing yourself to go through your emotions and also being a tourist in your own town. I’ll have to try both of those next time 🙂

  2. December 16, 2015 / 5:36 am

    I enjoyed this post! We did one like this as well a few months back, but it’s nice to see what other people do to deal with the post travel blues! My favorite thing to do is plan another trip, even if it’s a year away. It gives you a goal to work towards and something to look forward to!

  3. December 17, 2015 / 2:59 am

    hey! thanks for stopping by the glasgow post!! i hope you make it over there — it’s really an amazing country and you’ll enjoy it heaps! i really liked this post. i have had the post travel blues too often 🙂 xx

  4. December 17, 2015 / 3:04 am

    Post-travel blues can be really dragging. Great ideas here on how to deal with them! 🙂

  5. December 17, 2015 / 4:06 am

    So true! I needed this after I got back from living in Europe. I had to find ways to keep myself busy, and about a year after I got back my family and I went to Australia so planning for that helped a ton 🙂

  6. December 19, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    Even for just short vacations, it’s not easy to go back to the daily routine. For my husband and I, we tease each other after a vacay. Him going back to daily routine at the office. Me going back to the daily routine of children and house. Gone were the temporary buffet breakfast, cleaners and whole day relaxation. We just look forward to the next one:-).

    • December 21, 2015 / 6:40 am

      I can imagine it’s SO different to return to children. You miss them while you’re away, but that one-on-one time full of relaxation is also so necessary!

  7. December 20, 2015 / 4:18 pm

    I never really experienced this ‘post travel blues’~ Maybe just, not yet?
    I didn’t really travel around much before getting married and coming to Korea.
    Now I live here so, if anything, sometimes homesick..
    But I do want to get out and travel many interesting places. I’m sure at that time I will put your suggestions to good use!

    • December 21, 2015 / 6:41 am

      Yes, I totally understand! Where are you from? I get homesick from time to time as well. I crave Chipotle burritos at least once a week…

  8. December 21, 2015 / 12:37 am

    what a great post! I totally agree with 2. Treat your town as a new land! that’s a great way to kind of condemn the feeling of wanderlust for the moment. I always have a feeling of being trapped and the need to go and see new things so this list definitely helps! THANKS!

    • December 21, 2015 / 6:39 am

      I know the feeling of being “stuck” all too well! I often take trips out of Seoul as often as possible, but if I can’t (I’m on a budget getting ready to head back to America and then backpacking) I just simply get lost in my neighborhood or check out some free stuff throughout Seoul. I just really love discovering all the surprises Korea offers! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the post =)

  9. December 21, 2015 / 1:26 am

    I have definitely experienced post-travel blues. I love to travel and I try to travel internationally at least twice a year. You offered some great advice. I tend to look through old pictures and videos and it makes me happy

    • December 21, 2015 / 6:35 am

      I definitely look back on pictures often when I’m feeling stuck and needing to travel again!

  10. December 21, 2015 / 6:18 am

    I love this list. Especially the rediscover your neighberhood point you made. I so often take the same route home / to school etc that I miss out on anything cool/new/fun. Sometimes we need to pretend that we are new to Korea just to start exploring all over again. I hate the post vacation blues though. They usually hit when I’m about to take an airplane back to Korea.

    • December 21, 2015 / 6:35 am

      Thanks! Yeah, it really does make a difference to sort of break the routine. It really brings happiness when you come upon little shops that would have otherwise gone undiscovered when you divert from the usual path. Glad you enjoyed it!

  11. December 28, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    Selección decorativos Alambrador; Como se mencionó anteriormente, una cerca de
    alambre se puede dividir en cuatro partes: la malla de alambre real, el
    marco, puerta y los accesorios utilizados para la conexión de diferentes partes.

  12. January 8, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    Para aminorar el dolor que provoca la tendinitis en los hombros, podemos recurrir
    a tratamientos de frío-calor sobre dicha articulación.

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