As a blogger and all round "social media whore" I'm always on the lookout for interesting content, something that catches my eye and makes me want to take 5 minutes out of living my own day to the fullest .. to take in someone else's life, their stories, their advice.
Since leaving home nearly a year ago most of my online interest has turned from what I was familiar with (fashion, celebrities, excelling in my exciting job in the city and being a part of the 'London scene') to what has a grip on me now; traveling, chasing my dreams and making every day out of the UK count.
Much of what I read online comes from Facebook - if my friends share something I'm more than likely going to want to take a second glance too. Nearly every day my feed has links/ statuses/ photos shared about travel; where we've been, where we're going, where we dream of and very often the blues, the "I'm back home now, how am I going to cope without life living out my backpack?".
Many friends I've met have been home a long time already or their trip has just finished - not everyone leaves home intent on "never going back". Many travel for a month or two, set from the off to go back home and make a life splattered with great holidays, a solid job and a happiness for life as they expected it to be before they had even hit the road to travel.
So, the topic I really wanted to discuss is; "beating post-travel depression" (yes, such a thing certainly exists:/) .. most days a blog post appears on my feed giving advice on "how to beat the post-travel blues", "X tips for living normal life after traveling", "adjusting to real life after months on the road" etc.
Most of them include these ideas; "enjoy home", "plan another trip", "focus on a new challenge", "make the most of the things you missed" etc. Often posts are same same but not much different, I agree with these points of course but, to me, something vital is always missing ..
.. One thing I've spotted that I'd like to add when I read these sorts of posts (sorry if you've seen them, I am yet to!) is the oh so crucial "keep in touch with the people you met" tip .. such a simple idea but I think it's something so many of us forget when "real life" and "life after" a certain place takes over. So here's my idea of a plan for keeping your travels alive ..
If you travel alone or in company I guarantee you've met people who've changed your life, maybe you spent just a day with them (this happened to me at the Killing Fields in Phnomh Penh, Cambodia), maybe you spent weeks exploring different countries together, maybe it was something someone said that will always make you smile ("enjoy the journey"), maybe a look you held as something amazing happened to you both at a particular moment ("we hit the exact same point during that song, will never forget it!"), maybe a new friend looked after you in a time of need ("my leg is in a cast, can you just push me around Brazil in a trolley?"), maybe someone gave you advice on a place that you "have to go to" ("do the Castaway tour in Vietnam, it'll change your life") ..
To me, these are the things that we need to cherish once a chapter has closed on our travels.
What moments made your trip? Who did what and why did you feel THAT happy? Cling on to that "bottle it up, seal it, keep it forever".
You might have had a fortnight partying in Ibiza that you've only just about recovered from (even though that was back in September) or maybe you're just about to close your door on a year long trip you've just done around the globe on your own - whatever you've done, wherever you've been, however long for ... the best way to start the next phase of your life on a high is it to treasure the best parts and best people of your past adventures ..
Keep in touch through meet ups and events that will bring you together (Stereosonic anyone?;), make firm plans to see those great ones, calls, texts, messengers, post photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, write a blog, write a journal for your eyes only... doing some or even all of these will keep what you've loved living alive!
Whether you plan to go away again, or not, or maybe you've just had to get over a small part of your big trip (me and Lucy are still smarting after Gili T "why aren't we back on that paradise island?") the trick of any potential 'travel blues' is to keep the dream alive.
No wonder our grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents like telling us stories of their youth and 'glory days' - you should never let go of times that made you happiest, the good stories, those ones that made you feel that feeling will never get old .. sharing them again and again with the people you were with will always cling on to that magic, that special place once visited is never lost.
Boat partying island hopping, Brazil
Lain down! Brazil
Great ones! Gili T
High flyers, Bangkok