What's wrong with you? You've just had a fabulous holiday and you should be feeling all serene and enriched, right? Instead you're sluggish, cranky, maybe even a little weepy, and everything seems washed-out and no-account. Looks like you've got a case of the post-travel blues. Don't panic! Experienced travellers – like the ones on our Thorn Tree forum – learn to recognise the symptoms and apply the remedies. Here are a few of our favourite ways to get out of the post-travel doldrums.
Turn your post-holiday depression into pre-holiday anticipation. It may be a little way off, but that only gives you permission to dream it up a storm. Now's the time to be getting all misty-eyed about cruising to Antarctica, basking in the Maldives, eating your way around Paris and other fancypants pleasures. As you get closer to the actual planning stage you might have to bargain yourself down to equally rewarding but more pocket-friendly destinations. In the meantime, let your imagination off the leash!
Start a piggy bank
Every traveller knows the gloom of coming home broke. Perhaps you even have to go through the slog of setting yourself up with a new house and a new job – and all without the spare cash to treat yourself to a mood-lifting splurge. Now's the time to start saving for your next trip. Even if it's just a few coins in a jar each week, at least you'll feel like you're doing something tangible to get back on the road. And if you start thinking laterally about money and possessions, could be you'll be winging off in less time than you think.
Be a tourist in your own town
The wonderful thing about going to new places is the way it opens your eyes, makes you curious and observant, surprises you, freshens your senses. But there's no reason why your own town can't do exactly the same thing for you. All you have to do is get out of your rut. Take turns you've never taken before, follow the tourists to places you've never been, take photographs, talk to strangers - experiment. Feel better already?
Share the love
You're full of knowledge about, and passion for, the places you've just been - so share it. No, not with your friends – most of them don't care. Find a community of people who are mad about your favourite places and talk them up, learn more about the destinations that thrilled you and come through with some advice for aspiring novices.
Instead of boring your friends with your travel stories, do something creative with your memories. Make photo books and playlists, turn your journal scribbles into travel writing (check out our guide here)...or bore your friends spectacularly, ironically, fantastically by making an old-fashioned slide show, complete with music and snacks that match the destination.
This article was first published in January 2011 and was refreshed in July 2012.
How do you get over the post-travel blues? Let us know in the comments!