When I first started traveling, the post-travel blues hit hard every time I returned home. Exploring the world made me feel so alive and inspired. Nothing about my home state (scratch that—my home country) could compete. The food, the people, the nature—nothing was as good as it was elsewhere.
I hunted down the most European-style coffee I could find. I searched for authentic international cuisine. Both seemingly impossible tasks in central Florida in the early 2000s, I might add.
I sought out friendships with other well-traveled people so I would feel comfortable indulging in conversations about our sojourns. I listened to international pop stars that none of my American friends knew. I only wanted to date foreign men.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these things; I still lovingly do all of them—except date foreign men, because I married one. 😉
The real issue was that I deemed feeling alive, inspired and happy as something that only happened “out there.” I didn’t connect that travel and home could be fluid, that one could make the other even better.
If I could travel back in time and whisper in my twenty-something, travel-addicted ear, I would say this:
Keep making travel a priority in your life, but don’t let it stop you from loving where you are right now.
If you’re feeling stuck in the same in-between-trips mindset, here are a few travel-inspired ways to beat the travel blues and love your life, right where you are.
Find magic in the mundane. Just as in travel, it’s often the small things that bring the most joy. Try looking at your hometown with the eyes of a tourist and notice the quirks and charms that you typically gloss over.
Cultivate real connections with real people. Stop scrolling on your phone and have a meaningful conversation with a friend or volunteer in your local community.
Give yourself permission to feel pleasure. Block out a time to let go of any guilt attached to not being productive and do something simply because it brings you joy with no return on investment.
Let your senses take you on a journey. Mindfully listen to beautiful music. Notice subtle scents anywhere you go. Make a new recipe. Craft something with your hands. Surround yourself with nature, our greatest healer.
Do something that scares you. How often do you hold yourself back because you might fail? Why not tap into your adventurous spirit and give it a shot? You might be surprised at how invigorating it can be.
Write a letter of thanks to your hometown. Gratitude talk may seem tired these days, but think about how much your hometown has supported you. Love it up on paper and you’ll feel it in your heart as well.
In this season of life, I value nesting as much as traveling, yet my love affair with the world still burns hot. The difference is that now I travel because it enriches my life at home, not because it’s better than my life at home. And that has made me love it even more.
Want to go further?
In the Discover Journal, there’s a section for designing your travel-inspired life. The prompts guide you through articulating the instances that made you feel most alive on your trip and how to bring more of those vibes into your life at home. Check it out here.