Unless you’re one of those lucky people who has been able to create a nomad lifestyle for themselves, then every adventure eventually comes to an end and you’re once again faced with the harsh reality of “real life”. Traveling is amazing and fun and exciting but can also take quite the toll on a person, physically.
I know on many occasions I’ve gone 110% for the duration of a trip, only to come back home and find myself exhausted, disoriented, and 5lbs heavier from all the rich, delicious foods I ate while away.
Thankfully, there are some things we can all do to help get our lives back on track so we can get healthy, get back to work, and start preparing for the next adventure as soon as possible!
Get your sleep schedule back on track.
This is possibly the most important of all things you can do after arriving home. Chances are, you traveled across time zones and your internal clock isn’t quite sure what time it is. Even if you stayed within your own time zone, your schedule is different when traveling and you often have to get up early to catch a flight or a train, you stay up late to go to a bar or catch a play or concert, and your mealtimes have been dictated more by what you’re doing than the usual time you do things. It can be hard to adjust when you get back, but my best advice is to try to get back on track as soon as possible. If you’re impossibly tired upon arriving home, take the time to rest and relax so you can be refreshed as soon as you can, and then get back on your normal sleep and meal schedule.
Your diet and exercise routine.
When I got back from my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I was dismayed to weigh myself and discover I had gained 5 pounds in ten days! I had been eating a lot of rich, delicious foods I don’t normally indulge in, but I figured the damage would be somewhat mitigated by the fact that I had been doing a ton of hiking and exploring the cities on foot. Apparently not! Still, I took the return to normalcy as an opportunity to get back to eating healthy foods and returning to my normal exercise routine, and those 5 pounds went away quickly enough.
Getting back to work.
Coming back to work after an absence of more than a week can often be a little overwhelming. There are hundreds of emails to sift through, projects to catch up on, and things that happened with the business while you were away. If it’s at all possible, let your coworkers know you need the first day back on the job to catch up on everything and only to disturb you if it’s really important. Spend the day getting yourself organized, figuring out what you need to do next, and answering and organizing all those emails!
Taking care of chores and responsibilities.
Don’t schedule too much right away after your return, because you’re most likely going to have some life maintenance stuff to catch up on. Use your free time the first couple days you’re back to take care of all these things. Check if any bills need to be paid, unpack everything from your trip, empty your mailbox at home and take care of any important mail, go grocery shopping, do some meal prep for the work week, and get your laundry done! The sooner you get these things done, the faster you’re going to feel like you don’t have anything looming over you.
Have some fun, and start planning your next adventure!
I don’t know about you, but there is a period of depression when I return from a trip. I love traveling so much and I’m always having so much fun enjoying a new place that coming home and returning to real life can be a real drag. There are a few things I do to help with that.
The first thing I do is to do something fun soon after my return. This comes after I rest up from the trip and get back on track, but usually within a week or two of my return. This can be something as simple as spending a day at the beach or the pool, or perhaps trying out a new hiking trail in my area or having a nice night on the town. The important thing is to do something fun to remind myself that everyday life doesn’t have to be all boring routines. There is fun to be had near and far, and enjoying my everyday life is a great way to remind myself of that.
The second thing I do is start planning the next trip immediately after my return. Having another trip to look forward to always keeps me going through tough times and gives me a goal to work towards. I immediately pick my next big destination and start saving for it right away. I spend some free time perusing the internet for travel information for my destination, which gets me excited for the upcoming trip. Even if the next journey is months away, it gives me something to look forward to.
The third thing I always do is to plan a smaller weekend getaway for the near future. Something like a camping weekend or a day trip to a nearby city. I do this regularly between my big trips, which keeps me traveling and having adventures while I save up money and vacation hours for my next big trip.
What do you like to do in order to get life back on track after a big trip?