After spending many months or years abroad, the thought of returning home to your normal life might be difficult. After all, your days will more than likely have been dedicated to experiencing new sights, meeting new people, and enjoying new experiences.
While you might be excited to reconnect with your family, spend time with your friends, and maybe even sleep in your own bed, you might feel overwhelmed about starting over in your hometown.
Rather than fearing your old life, you must embrace it as a new challenge you need to master. Read this complete guide to adjusting to life after travelling.
Give Yourself Time
While you might long to hop onto a plane or plan your next adventure, you must give yourself time to adjust to your homelife. Start by washing your clothes and organising your belongings, which can be almost cleansing.
Set time aside to enjoy your loved ones’ company and even spend your days catching up on the movies and TV shows you might have missed during your overseas adventure. While there might be actions you need to take once you return home, such as finding a job or a new place to live, give yourself a week or two until you move onto the next stage of your life.
Find a New Challenge
If you want to avoid feeling stuck in a rut once you return home, seek a new challenge. For example, you could make it your mission to find your dream job or you could potentially enrol in a course. For example, if you gained a bachelor’s degree before you backpacked across the world, you could embark on a Masters in Education online programme.
Set Goals for Yourself
While your goal might have once been to visit as many places as possible on a limited budget, your circumstances will have changed. Instead of missing the unpredictability of your old life, set new goals for yourself once you are back home.
For example, you could make it your mission to:
Setting new goals will help to refocus your mindset and can prevent you from missing your backpacking lifestyle.
Move Out of the Family Home
Many travellers tend to return to their family home following long-term travel. While it can be lovely to spend time with your parents after much time apart, it can also become suffocating if you live with them too long.
As you will have lived an independent lifestyle for many months or years, the prospect of living by your parents’ rules can be difficult and can make it harder to readjust. For this reason, you must aim to move out of the family home and find your own place. You could even ask a friend or a travel buddy to become your new flatmate, which can help to reduce your expenditure, too.
Expect a Different Dynamic
You will not be the only person who will have changed while you were travelling. Your friends may now be married, your siblings could be parents, or your parents’ personalities and viewpoints might have changed throughout the months or years.
Life will have moved on in your absence, and you cannot expect your old life to be waiting for you when you return home. Your nearest and dearest might have new priorities or goals, but they will still be the same people you left behind. Rather than feeling like you no longer fit into their lives, expect and accept a new dynamic once you arrive home, which doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing.
Be Prepared to Work on Friendships
As mentioned, your friends may have changed during your absence. Consequently, you might feel you no longer have anything in common, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While they might have a demanding career or could be raising a family, it doesn’t need to stand in the way of your relationship. For example, you must aim to work on your friendships, as you might need to accept they might prefer to go for a coffee over a drink down the pub.
Embrace the Many Positives of Life Back Home
While travelling across the world will open you up to a variety of opportunities, it is far from perfect. After all, it can be anything but fun sharing a room with many strangers, worrying about your finances, or struggling to understand street signs.
It is important to remember that both travel and life back home and can have its pros and cons. For this reason, you should aim to focus on the many positives of your home life, such as sleeping in a bedroom alone, easily navigating your way from A to B, organising your finances, and being a stone’s throw away from your friends and family.
If you return with a pessimistic attitude, you will likely focus on the negative aspects of being back home, rather on the many benefits it will bring to your life.
Maintain the Same Outlook
Traveling to different countries more than likely led to you embracing new experiences, which might have pushed you outside of your comfort zone. For example, you might have bungee jumped off a bridge or embarked on many adrenaline-fueled water sports.
However, life back home doesn’t need to be any different, as you can maintain the same attitude you adopted while abroad. For example, you could skydive from a plane, climb a tall mountain or enjoy a spot of paragliding. The UK is filled with many exciting activities and adventures you can tick off your list, if you are willing to do so.
Get Back into a Routine
Many travellers don’t follow a routine when backpacking. They wake when they want, eat when they are hungry, and embark on a spontaneous activity whenever it arises. As a result, you might have difficulty being on time, attending appointments, or adjusting to normal life.
Once you have recovered from jetlag, aim to get back into a daily routine. For example, set an alarm so you don’t sleep in too late, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at a set time, and maybe even wear a watch to ensure you are never late for a coffee with a friend, a job interview or a medical appointment.
Satisfy Your Travel Bug by Exploring the UK
While the world is filled with many beautiful and interesting places to visit, you shouldn’t overlook the UK whenever you get the travel bug. For example, whenever you have an urge to book a flight abroad, ask your friends or family to join you on a road trip to a UK destination.
For example, you could:
- Explore the Lake District
- Visit Liverpool’s many museums and galleries
- Take a tour of London’s most iconic landmarks
- Immerse yourself in Edinburgh’s history
- Tackle Mount Snowdon
After journeying to different places across the world, you could come to realise just how beautiful and interesting the UK can be, which can give you a greater appreciation for your home country. You’ll be less likely to want to pack a suitcase and head off on an overseas adventure.
Don’t be a Travel Bore
While your friends and family might be eager to hear all about your adventure once you arrive back home, sooner or later they might become bored of your endless backpacking stories.
While there is nothing wrong with mentioning your adventures every now and then, you must avoid boring your loved ones to tears. Not only might they have heard the stories before, but it will indicate you would rather be travelling the world than back at home with them.
So, when you arrive back home, share your travel stories, but take the time to listen to other people’s stories to prove you genuinely care about their lives while you have been jetting across the world.
Remember You Can Still Travel
Many backpackers will have different reasons for returning home, which can range from a lack of money in the bank, an urge to study, or a desire to start a family. While you might be disappointed that your backpacking lifestyle has come to an end, you must remember that you can still travel to different corners of the globe in the future.
For example, you could head off on a fun family road trip to Europe, embark on an around the world cruise with your other half, or you could enjoy many short trips to different destinations in the UK and overseas.
Regularly Connect with Your Travel Buddies
Saying goodbye to the friends you have made throughout the many months or years can be upsetting, as you will have shared many experiences and wonderful moments together. However, returning home doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to the friendships you have formed.
To ensure you never lose touch with the superb people you have met during your long-term trip, you should ensure you have their email address and should follow them on social media before you return home. Not only will their messages lift your spirits, but you also could receive their support, as they might also be adjusting to life back in their hometown.
If you are worried you will never spend time together as a group again, you could regularly arrange a reunion in a much-loved destination every few years, which could help to keep your friendships alive.
Realise How Lucky You Have Been
Rather than moping about life back home, it is important to realise how lucky you have been to visit various corners of the globe. Many people do not have an opportunity to go backpacking, as they might not have the money or bravery to embrace long-term travel. Instead, you must treasure every moment you experienced, and realise you will be filled with fun stories to share with your children and grandchildren in the future.
Incorporate Cultures into Your Homelife
After traveling to different continents across the world, it can be hard to let go of the many cultures and cuisines you have become accustomed to. However, you don’t need to cut them from your lifestyle once you are back home.
For example, you could learn to cook your favourite meals from across the world, such as a flavoursome bowl of Japanese ramen, or you could recreate Dhal from India in your own kitchen. Not only will it allow you to experience the dishes once again, but you could also introduce your loved ones to the many flavours and cuisines you were lucky enough to try when overseas.
Understand Life Will Get Easier
While you might quickly readjust back to your old life, it is possible you might initially have difficulty building a new life back home. While you might long for your backpacking lifestyle and miss your old friends, it is important to preserve and to change your life in stages.
With a little hard work and perseverance, you could soon secure a new job, make new friends, meet your other half, and start a new life in your home. While you might struggle at first, you will soon realise there are many adventures to be had back in the UK – so don’t be tempted to jump on a plane due to fear for the future.
Life after travel doesn’t need to be dull and boring, so you shouldn’t dread the thought of journeying back to your home country. If you can return home with a positive mindset, are willing to embrace new challenges, and set personal and professional goals, you could quickly readjust to your old lifestyle.
It is, however, important to remember that you will have changed and so will your loved ones, but this doesn’t mean you no longer fit into their lives. It means you may need to adjust your expectations and have a little more patience and understanding with others, which can help you to maintain excellent relationships with your nearest and dearest.