It’s the one thing that you weren’t prepared for on your travels: coming home. Whether you were backpacking in South East Asia or InterRailing through Europe, once the initial euphoria at returning wears off, suddenly everyday at home seems rather tame. Reverse culture shock is suddenly not just something that’s discussed on traveller’s forums, it’s happening to you.

Post Holiday Blues

1) You Remember What Drizzle Is

Let’s not kid ourselves, one of the biggest lures of travelling somewhere like Thailand, Bali or the Greek Islands is the gorgeous weather. After soaking up the sun in a traveller’s paradise and living in a bikini and a sundress, returning to your homestown’s chilly drizzle is an unpleasant shock.

Post Holiday Blues

2) You Can’t Get Your New Favourite Meal

If you’ve spent weeks or months immersed in cultures where food is seasonal, local and prepared freshly, pre-packaged and processed food can taste bland and cardboard-like. What’s more when you get a craving for your new favourite dish, whether it’s di san xian (a popular North Chinese dish of potatoes, aubergine and green peppers) or a Greek sea-urchin salad that’s so fresh you can taste the ocean, you find that your local restaurant only serves Westernised versions of your beloved dishes or cuisine from a completely different region.

Post Holiday Blues

3) You Have to Remember That Bargaining Isn’t Acceptable

When you’re shopping in China, South-East Asia or the Middle East, failing to haggle over purchases like clothes, crafts and traditional wares, is actively insulting to the vendor. As a result, you’re used to a heated ten to fifteen minute exchange before buying a new handbag or blanket. At first it was annoying and awkward but after a while you grew to enjoy the more personal exchange and took pride in your ability to get a good price. Now, just quickly tapping in your seems boring and anonymous.

Post Holiday Blues

4) You Wonder Why Everything Is So Expensive!

This won’t be such an issue if you’ve been exploring Australia or North America, but if you’re used to paying pennies for a beer or meal out in Asia, the cost of everyday items back in the UK suddenly seems extortionate. You realise that you’re paying more for a single round of drinks than you spent on night’s accommodation and food on the road!

Post Holiday Blues

5) You Feel Like You Never Left the 9-5

After two weeks back at work, it’s as if you never escaped the 9 to 5. As you jump into the email fray, stifle murderous thoughts about that colleague and get bogged down in deadlines, it can seem bizarre that just a month or so ago you were riding an elephant.

Post Holiday Blues

6) Your New BFFs Are Now a 10 Hour Flight Away

One of the best things about travelling is getting to meet new people, often from backgrounds totally different to yours. Friendships are quickly made, as you bond over the highs and lows of life exploring unfamiliar countries and cultures. You create memories you’ll treasure for life. But once you’re back home these people are a long-haul flight and several time zones away, which can even make chatting on Skype difficult.

Post Holiday Blues

7) Your Home-Town Is Way Too Quiet

The buzz and apparent chaos of street life in popular travelling spots like Thailand, China and India can be overwhelming when you first touch down. But as the months go by you grow to enjoy how vibrant just walking down the street is and you become acclimatised to the noise. In contrast, your home town seems orderly to point of being sterile, while the quiet creeps you out. You miss buying food from street-corner vendors, stepping around kids playing and the old people sitting on the street chatting. You find that now what keeps you awake at night is the near-silence, not hooting car horns.

Post Holiday Blues

8) You Feel Like Everyone Is Too Similar

When travelling, it’s not uncommon to be the only person from your country, let alone region or town, in a group. Once your home, you find yourself back to spending most of your time with people from a similar cultural background again. Much as you like your friends and colleagues, it’s easy to miss mixing with people from widely different cultures.

Post Holiday Blues

9) Your Friends Have Changed

You kept in touch through email, Skype and FaceTime, but inevitably you’re not the only one who changed while you were away. Friends have started new relationships, got engaged or married, moved or changed jobs. Your oldest friend has a new bestie and you feel left out of the loop when they mention events you weren’t here for and people you haven’t met yet.

Post Holiday Blues

10) You’re Already Planning Your Next Trip

Yes, you’ve just returned from a trip but you’re already googling flight prices for your next must-see destinations. Because for you, travel isn’t something you’ve got out of your system, you’ve realised that it’s a way of life.

Luckily, that number 10 reboots the travel cycle and you can start all over again!

How about you – what’s your worst post-travel realisation?

guest post by Anna Campbell

pic sources: #1 Jonathan Kos-Read / #2 sigusrO / #3 JC + A / #4 Linus Bohmann / #5 Simon Syon / #6 Grand Parc / #7 Matt Brown / #8 Rachel Carter / #9 Jessica Spengler / #10 maps.bpl.org