Wednesday 19 August 2015

After the Adventure: 10 positive actions to ease you back into daily life


In a few days it will be a month since we flew back to the UK, leaving the sunshine and dust and our surreal bubble in America behind us. To say the past few weeks have been a whirlwind would be an understatement. To fill you in, if you aren't familiar with our situation, we bought and exchanged on a house in March 2015, stayed in our London flat until we finished work at the end of April, moved all of our worldly possessions into the new house and then, a week later, jetted off for three months to the west coast of the USA for the biggest trip of our lives.

Our first week back, the last of our sabbatical, was spent covered in paint and in a state of constant mess. My wonderful family had painted the dining room whilst we were away but there was still an epic amount to do, so we rolled up our sleeves and threw ourselves into the work, jet lag and all. I'll talk about the house in future posts as, of course it is the Home in Home & Highways, but for now we still have six or seven travel blog posts to publish, everything from San Francisco (coming in the next couple of days) to San Diego and the magical desert between.

The inevitable lows of returning to normal life have hit us hard. We are both (sadly) back at work now, so coming to terms with the daily commute, grey skies and lack of In-N-Out Burger has been a struggle.  We decided to put together a list of positive actions for getting back into the swing of post-adventure life for those of you who, like us, just want to hotfoot it on the next flight out of here.

1) Sharing is caring
One of the things we've found most therapeutic since coming home is sharing our stories but, big disclaimer here, nobody likes hearing other peoples endless travel tales and those 'had to be there' anecdotes- it can be pretty dull. However, most of our family and friends followed our journey and asked to see our favourite photos and share our highlights. Reliving your favourite moments will allow the trip to sink in and properly cement itself in your mind if you've been on the road for weeks.

2) Relax
We didn't have baths in a lot of the motels we stayed in and there is NOTHING like coming home to your own creature comforts. If you can, exploit the things you've missed whilst travelling. Take an hour long bath with a good book and music playing with no risk of annoying fellow travellers or hosts and revel in using all the products you couldn't fit in your toiletry bag.

3) Remedy your routine
Yes, the whole point of your trip was to get away from the chores and humdrum of daily life but, hopefully, you've returned from your travels reinvigorated. Taking back control of your routine and assessing what works and what doesn't with fresh eyes will empower you to eliminate some or all of the bad habits you might have fallen into prior to take off.

4) Do your favourite things.
There are always things to be missed on a long holiday. I missed my family, my friends, good strong tea (and a kettle!), fish and chips, a haircut and colour, the British news, Sainsbury's food shops and cuddles with my best friends daughter Molly. Since being back I've made time to enjoy nearly all of these and I appreciate each one so much more since coming home.

5) Play your soundtrack
We've been listening to our road trip playlist a lot since coming home. At first it made me sad as I couldn't stop thinking about being back on the open road but I realised this can only be a good thing. It's helped us to remember silly conversations and funny, weird stories all linked with a particular song that were too 'small' to write down. It's these forgotten moments and the accompanying soundtrack that fill in the gaps on a trip and will stick with you for years.

6) Treasure your mementos
If you're anything like us, you've returned with a bag full of mementos and souvenirs from your time away. Make sure you don't stuff them into a drawer and forget about them- this will only make you feel guilty months down the line when their significance has evaporated. Spread them out on the floor one evening and organise them. Be serious about what you want to keep- do you really think you'll want to frame that ticket stub from a ten minute bus trip you took in Seattle? For the special pieces, frame them, scrapbook them or do like I do and keep them safe in a box to pour over and use at a later date.

7) Streamline your photos
We came back with over 10,000 photos which is not only ridiculous but also unmanageable. Will you ever show anyone that many photos? Will you even bother to look at them yourself if you've got thousands to wade through? The curse (and blessing I suppose) of digital photography is that there isn't a limit to how many we take. Firstly, delete all the blurry, accidental or duplicate shots. Then try and keep only one or two from each set or a couple from each 'event'. If you can't bear to delete any transfer them all to an external hard drive and categorise them by day or week. Have your favourites printed. They'll be much more of a joy to look through later on if they are organised.

8) Socialise
Don't mope around at home. Get back into your social groups, organise meet ups with friends, catch up on everything you've missed and do some of the sharing I mentioned in point 1. We felt a bit isolated when we came home but soon settled as we realised that everyone was the same and nothing had really changed.

9) Start something
Decorating the house kept our minds off the depressing fact that the trip we'd been planning for a year was over. Start a blog, sign up for a class, learn a language. If you just need a new obsession, start a series (or 9) on Netflix or start the first book in a trilogy. You need to love something as much as you loved planning and taking the trip. Or, alternatively...

10) Move onto the next
If all else fails and you just can't get through the day without daydreaming of beaches and desert and blue sky, the only thing guaranteed to make you feel better is to start planning your next trip. If your savings are back to zero, start organising ways to build them back up. Start researching (= spending endless hours on Pinterest) destinations, times of the year and attractions. Now that you've successfully planned and survived one trip, you are the best person to organise your next. Write down everything you loved and hated about the last one so even when you look back with rose-tinted glasses you'll have a list to remind you how much you loathe 6am wake-up calls, night flights etc.

I hope something on this list helps, whether you've been away for a couple of weeks and feel a bit blue or if it's your first time back on home turf for a year. There is nothing quite like the bump back down to earth you get after an adventure. Here's to the next!

P.S If you have any more tips for getting back to reality, feel free to share them in the comments below!


1 comment

  1. I can't imagine what it must be like to be back home after your amazing trip but at least you have the house to look forward to!

    Maria xxx


© HOME AND HIGHWAYS | All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig