Watching the sunset on Mt. Fuji, seeing it rise over the Acropolis, floating on the Dead Sea, peering over the Grand Canyon, partying with new friends from around the world…and then suddenly… the party’s over. Just like that, you’re home and life is not so exciting any more. Welcome to the post vacation blues. Unfortunately, it seems the “blues” part are an inevitable addition to the “post” part. But there are some great ways to avoid a total mental meltdown upon your return.
Make a memoir
It may feel like you can never forget the adventures you had, but you’d be surprised how quickly some memories fade. And even if you’ve got Pentium Processor memory, don’t forget the people who weren’t there! So put together a memoir of your travels– and we’re not talking about your aunt’s slide show. There are options ranging from creative and time consuming to the quick and easy.
- Make an online photo album
This is your fastest option. Use a free site like Flickr to store all your photos for viewing and sharing. You have the option of going through and titling each picture or…just upload them all in one click and be done! Either way, it’s a fast and fun way to be able to access your photos whenever you want.
- Print out your photos and put them in an album
Despite the wonders of technology, there really is something to having the photos in your hand. You might be surprised to find that your pictures have a different look and feel than they do on your screen. Plus, they’re great for times when you don’t have a computer handy. If you don’t have time to design a fancy photo narrative but still want the pleasure of an album, sites like Snapfish.com provide inexpensive photo printing. Simply upload your digital photos to the site and you’re done! From there, you can put the pictures into a photo album and tah dah!
- Create a scrapbook
Make your photos more engaging by putting them together in a scrapbook. You could get out the glue and glitter and do it yourself, or drag and drop your pictures into a photobook on a site like Shutterfly.
- Narrate It
Turn your photos into a story by writing down the tales that go along with your adventures! If you didn’t blog during your travels, it’s never too late to start! Use a free site like Blogger or WordPress, take your photos and start writing. You can share the link with your friends and family or even better, turn your blog into a book! Sites like Blog2Print will print your blog, table of contents and all!
If you’re feeling really fancy, why not make a whole website around your trip? You can design it yourself or, if your html skills aren’t as advanced as your hiking in heels skills, use a free website builder like Weebly.
Find Fellow Travelers
Even if you aren’t traveling the world, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop spending time with world travelers!
- Connect with your local hostel
Many hostels have volunteer opportunities, so why not sign up? You’ll have the opportunity to meet with travelers in your city (seeing your hometown through a visitor’s eyes may show you a new side to your city) and also with other volunteers who are no doubt suffering from the same wanderlust as you.
- Find others who share your interest
Meetup.com is an amazing site that lets you find kindred spirits around the world. Whether you want to keep up your language skills or just mingle with other travelers, you can probably find a group on Meetup.com. Or look for your local international center, library or community center to see what travely goodness events they have going on.
Coming home to nothing but the same old same old can definitely lend to post vacation blues. But it doesn’t have to be boring if you’ve already got something to look forward to.
- Choose your next international destination
Ok, you may have blown your budget on that last trip, but that doesn’t mean you’re home bound for forever. Even if your bank account is telling you that the next trip won’t be for another year or two, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning! Start reviewing destinations, researching hotels, looking up reviews and asking around for recommendations.
- Travel local
As soon as you get home (or even before you leave!) find somewhere local that you can travel to a few weeks after your vacation. Even if it’s just a weekend away to a nearby town, make a trip out of it!
- Schedule something new
Have your trip budget include a post trip treat for yourself. Whether it’s a new haircut or that special pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, treat yourself to something you’ve been waiting for. It’ll make you excited to be back!