Wonderings: methods to beat the post-trip blues

A hamper of food in an outdoor setting © Helena Wahlman / Getty Images Can feasting on tasty morsels after a visit dispel a way of gathering gloom? © Helena Wahlman / Getty Pictures

Wonderings: a group of rambles via and reflections on journey for the incurably curious… this month, James Kay considers methods to deal with the comedown after a visit.

A complicated journey firm claims to have discovered an antidote to the post-trip blues: a ‘welcome house’ hamper filled with gourmand goodies. Though gobbling cheese bombs, chocolate clusters and duck rillette appeals to my internal glutton, I sincerely doubt that it represents the simplest option to deal with this grievance.

Publish-trip blues strike me as an unofficial cousin of Seasonal Affective Dysfunction (SAD), a well-documented type of despair which settles over some individuals like a moist, smothering blanket at sure occasions of the yr; like SAD, the blues disrupt emotional climate patterns, inflicting a drop in psychological millibars and the unfold of a chilly entrance over our inside landscapes.

Outing of joint

A good friend of mine just lately returned from a four-month journey via Central America. When requested to outline her way of thinking, she used the phrases ‘indifferent’ and ‘unsettled’, stated as soon as acquainted environment had acquired a touch of the surreal and felt as if the journey was nonetheless unfolding on some summary degree; though the journey was over, she had but to return house.

Personally, I feel competing perceptions of time befog a traveller’s mind after a visit. When your days brim with journey, as so many travellers’ do, time slows down in a psychological sense, if not an absolute one; again house, in the meantime, everybody else’s life proceeds (or, at the very least, seems to proceed) on a parallel observe, telescoping days into weeks, weeks into months, months into years.

Sooner or later throughout the technique of readjustment, the traveller switches from one observe to the opposite. And as they settle again right into a routine, it could possibly typically really feel as if the journey didn’t actually occur in any respect; as if, in actual fact, it have been nothing however an intense daydream, an elaborate fantasy, from which they’ve simply awoken with a jolt at their outdated desk. (Fortunately, there’s proof with which to dispel any sense of self-doubt; images, movies, scribblings of any type or – better of all – shared tales.)

CBT for journey addicts

I believe that different therapies – if not precisely cures – for the post-trip blues are doubtless to provide far more lasting reduction than the ‘welcome house’ hamper’s jar of artisan chutney, nonetheless flavoursome that is likely to be. Broadly talking, these therapies, or extra precisely strategies, contain reframing life from a contemporary perspective; in different phrases, seeing the acquainted in a brand new mild. Consider them as cognitive behavioural remedy for individuals who cannot reside with out the fun of journey.

Our writers – for whom the blues are an occupational hazard – counsel many such strategies, from utilizing the throw of a cube to find new components of your hometown to redesigning your commute as an action-packed itinerary. Approached with an open thoughts (bear in mind, as Mark Twain stated, that journey is deadly to narrow-mindedness), these concepts can inject a way of journey into the on a regular basis.

Trying to find the positives, my just lately returned good friend made this statement: there’s something to be stated for routine, regardless of its unsexy popularity, because it spares us from devoting an excessive amount of mind energy to questions that may in any other case eat a traveller’s time, reminiscent of methods to get from A to B? Liberated from such mundane issues, we are able to as an alternative use the additional bandwidth to replicate on what occurred throughout the journey, savour it for a second time and look at our experiences for contemporary which means. And, after all, begin to plot the following one.

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