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Returning Home After Travelling, Let’s Talk About It

About a month ago we arrived home after a 15 month trip through Asia and North-America. We had traveled continuously – moved from place to place – and felt it was time to visit home again: the Netherlands.

Most of our friends and families didn’t know we were coming back, and surprising them is the best! It’s a rollercoaster: we are on a high in the first two weeks – seeing everyone again is so exciting!

But then comes the ‘fall’ and our stomach starts to feel a bit weird…

Post-Travel Depression

Okay – that sounds awfully tragic – but the fact is: often travelers, who return home after traveling for a while, experience a dip.

Nomadic Matt calls it a post-trip depression: it’s often emotionally harder to come home than go away. To us, it feels slightly different, as we know we will go travel again.

But still, at home, we are confronted with the ‘norm’ and our different way of thinking.

Amsterdam famous instagram spot, ginger bread houses, amsterdam houses, canal house, canals, grachten, amsterdamse grachten, rokin, de dam, the dam, dam square, netherlands
Home Again

Everyone and everything at home seem the same, yes there are new babies and some people moved or changed jobs but the way of living or their beliefs haven’t changed.

And yet, everything feels different – because we’re different. We aren’t surrounded by like-minded people anymore.

We get many questions like ‘Are you going to look for a real job now?’ ‘Are you going to start building a pension now?’ ‘What are the plans, when will you leave again?’.

Questions that fit in the ‘norm’ and traditional mindset of security first (go to school, get a job buy a house, get kids, retire, and maybe travel then).

Questions that aren’t important to us and people don’t understand – and we totally get it. But is difficult when you know you’re your happiest self away from that ‘security’.

We’re happy with what we do, we’re happy together and that’s what’s important to us!

The Next Step

So where are we going next? It sounds weird but when you on the road for sixteen months, you don’t think about where to go next. We go wherever the wind brings us.

We visit places that excite us, where we meet interesting people or attend special events we want to experience.

Before coming home, the idea was to leave again at the end of August/beginning of September. We bought a working holiday visa for New Zealand that expires mid-September.

post-travel depression, travel journal, rollercoaster, girls, returning home after travel, coming home after world trip, dip, down, ups downs, world map, suitcases, backpack
Figuring out our next move

But right now, we don’t feel like going there. I went there once and I know it’s a fantastic country that I obviously want to show to Maartje.

Just not right now.

Other trips like a castle trip through Europe and connecting with fellow-bloggers in Bali, visiting Sri Lanka, India, and the Phillippines have been on our minds for a while.

And more and more we feel those are the next steps. We haven’t booked anything yet, but slowly but surely a plan is formed!

Beating The Blues

Right now we are focusing on creating new content, connecting with people in the Netherlands, and thinking about new things that we would like to do more in the future: photoshoots for example.

We’re working on our relationship – the dynamics are changing again with all the external influences – as we try to grow our business.

It’s a process, and although we’re lucky to do this work with the two of us – it’s also difficult when you’re two people with different ideas!

What also really helps to beat the post-travel blues is to keep traveling! Being back home doesn’t mean you can’t be a traveler.

We’re traveling all over the Netherlands and see places we haven’t seen before. It’s fun to experience your home country from a travelers’ mindset – go try and be a tourist in your own country, grab a Lonely Planet, look up blogs, and see things through new eyes.

Try out new restaurants, bars, clubs: it’s all so fun and exciting, just like traveling! Find like-minded people, meet up with travelers through Couchsurfing (hangouts) for example, or simply through Instagram.

Amersfoort, netherlands, city centre, historice city centre, europe, onze lieve vrouwetoren, exploring the netherlands, tourist in own country
Exploring the historic city center of Amersfoort

We’re so amazed by how many amazing, like-minded people have already joined our journey and are so excited to grow every day! Thank you!

And don’t forget: if you have dreams: go for it. Everyone deserves to make their dreams happen ♡

And if you’re struggling with post-trip depression: reach out to us, leave a comment below, email us, send us a DM or PM. We’re here for you!

Our true home is being surrounded by the unknown. The road is where we belong 

– Nomadic Matt

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Fátima Estévez

Tuesday 25th of June 2019

I just wrote a post talking about a similar subject on my blog. I moved from Mexico to Spain two years ago and I just spent the last two weeks at home back in Mexico for the first time and everything felt the same and yet very different. I believe that as we enrich ourselves with new cultures and experiences we as individuals change a bit by this experiences. Also, people back home don't just hit pause on their lives, they are in constant change as well, and as you said, we go back and people have kids or got married they are also exposed to different situations than we are, even if their lives haven't changed as much. I think going back home and realizing this kind of makes you a more tolerant person as you have to face this cultural and emotional change. Keep up the good work!

Roxanne & Maartje

Tuesday 25th of June 2019

Thank you so much for these lovely words! I definitely think travelling and exposure to other cultures makes you humble - it surely changes you culturally and emotionally! After coming back again, we feel much better - our families understand our lives better now and we realise we don't have to choose between 'travel' personality and 'back home' personality - it becomes a mix in a way. It's such an interesting thing, ain't it?

Dina

Sunday 12th of August 2018

This resonates with me deeply! I did solo traveling for a while, and I came back lost and bummed and confused as ever, more aimless than when I was 'aimlessly wandering'. And also I felt the same (if not worse) after repatriating from my expat post in Russia back to the states, and I definitely felt the blues a good six months until I adjusted to the new norm. Traveling is ALWAYS a cure-all treatment :D. By the way, y'all are so cute!

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 13th of August 2018

Thank you for your comment! We totally get you, it's definitely about finding a new balance between 'travel you' and 'normal you' when you're back!

faramagan

Saturday 11th of August 2018

I love how you've addressed this. So many blogs create the romantic vision of dropping everything to travel the world but very few address the reality of returning. We had been travelling for 9 months and returned to Scotland for a few weeks last month. It was surreal - as if time had stopped. In many ways we loved it, catching up with friends as if we saw them yesterday but in so many more ways we were delighted to be back on the road again! You've nailed it in how you describe beating the blues - but the definite trick is to just keep going ;)

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 13th of August 2018

Definitely! Thanks for responding, it means a lot. We are very happy to continue travelling soon :D

Ashok

Saturday 11th of August 2018

The last time i was last home, last November, I maybe had a similar experience. I knew I was only gonna home for 2 weeks and loved seeing my family and friends but by the end of it I was happy to be on the road again. I wasn’t depressed but being home was weird, for various reasons.

After 8 more months travelling I started wanting to be less transient so now am settling, temporarily, in Melbourne. I’ve got a bike, a job and am finding a flat share. It’s great. :)

I’ve already got a few future trips mentally planned though, I’ve just gotta find a way to balance that with the equally important desire to feel ‘at home’.

Good to see you two got somewhere with all your blogging.

Ashok.

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 13th of August 2018

Hi Ashok!! We totally get you, the first weeks were just 'weird'. Now it's starting to 'itch' again to start travelling. On the road, we've felt at home in many places and we always love to base ourselves somewhere - temporarily. Love to meet you again someplace in the world! Melbourne always seems to be a great idea :D

Once Upon a Journey