Have you ever arrived back home after an epic travel experience and just felt ‘meh’?
I first got the post-travel blues in 2004. I had come back from India, having spent ten days in the jungle spotting tigers during the day and dancing with local villagers in the evening. I’d had a crazy day visiting the landmarks of Delhi and a quick look at the mighty Taj Mahal. I’d flown into the region of Madhya Pradesh on a plane with an interior decorated with 1970’s flock wallpapered. I’d travelled out on a local train where the porters carry ten bags balanced on their heads and you share a bunk with too many cockroaches for comfort. It was all wonderfully weird and exhilarating and I was dying to tell everyone about my amazing adventures.
You’ve been bitten by the bug, swept up into wanderlust and become an avid traveller. You’ve worked hard, saved up and made extra spending money to be able to indulge in your hobby. You try and get away as often as you can as a budget traveller or love to live in luxury on one big vacation. Maybe your are the kind of traveller that spends time researching and planning your trips, or enjoys the excitement and mysteries of last minute getaways. When you travel, you explore new places, learn historical facts, enjoy new foods, meet wonderful local people, take part in exhilarating activities, discover alternative viewpoints, admire beautiful vistas, engage with nature and return a wiser person. You love to share your experiences in real life and online with your friends, family and colleagues.
And then you get travel shamed.
Independent travel is empowering, liberating and builds confidence by the bucket load. When you are travelling alone there’s no:
tour guide acting like your mom, telling you what to do, where to go and for how long,
irritating friend who was previously up for anything but now seems to prefer staying indoors,
group weirdo who wants to be more than friends for the entire two week trip, despite your efforts to explain how that isn’t going to happen. Ever.
You can spend whatever you wish, your itinerary is your own and spontaneity is your middle name!
But it can also have its downsides, and after a while, wandering as lonely as a cloud can make you feel like a real ‘Billy no mates’. So here’s my tried and tested list of ways to instantly banish the ‘toute seule’ seclusion, the ‘peke yako’ blues, the ‘all by myself’ moments.
Have you ever arrived home from travelling and felt you needed another trip to recover?
Staying healthy when you are travelling is hard. Your routine is out of sync, you can be tempted to overindulge and it can be difficult to use a gym. However, there are tricks you can incorporate into your trip that will help you stay in peak condition.
A few years back I attended the awesome Royal Geographical Society of London’s expedition planning workshop, Explore. One highly entertaining lecture was given by a professor from the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the University of Oxford. He began by showing lots of fascinating gruesome and gory photographs of various different infections, infestations, and afflictions. He finished up this part of his talk by saying, ‘ok now that I have satisfied your appetite and gotten your attention I will tell you what you are most likely to die from whilst you are abroad’.