I’m not talking about homesickness here – at least, not entirely.
Traveling is one of my main passions in life, and yet I still experience an uneasy restlessness when I’m in a new place. It doesn’t matter how amazing the destination is, I simply cannot settle.
It’s something we don’t like to talk about for fear of being regarded as less of an ‘authentic’ traveler than the next person. But what we need to remember is that suffering from this doesn’t make anyone any less of a traveler; no one is immune to the ‘bad feeling’.
The sensation is hard to describe, but not something most travelers are unfamiliar with. It manifests in those quiet moments when you arrive back at your accommodation after a long day of sightseeing and can’t quite relax, or when you’re only halfway through your trip and start counting down the days till you’re back in your own bed for no discernible reason.
It’s an extremely unnerving feeling that can taint your overseas memories, but one that I am slowly mastering. Below are my five top tips for feeling comfortable with traveling.
Choose Your Accommodation Wisely
While most accommodation choices are dictated within the restraints of a budget, if you’re smart about it, this can still give you flexibility. I find that I can alleviate the ‘bad feeling’ by selecting accommodation that makes me feel at home. I consider myself to be an introvert, so enjoy the privacy and solitude of hotel rooms. However, if you are a people person who thrives off company, you might want to look at a hostel where you will have the opportunity to meet fellow travelers.
Establish a Routine
There’s nothing like getting into a groove. If you brew a herbal tea every morning, do that. If you go to the gym every Monday and Thursday, research one-off gym rates in your area. The point is that you should try to maintain practices that enhance your wellbeing as you would normally do at home. Not only will it settle you, but it will also take the edge off jet lag.
Unpack, Unpack, Unpack!
Obviously this rests on the length of your stay (and whether or not you have a private room), but a habit I strongly recommend you get into is unpacking as soon as you reach a new destination. Arrange your toiletries in the bathroom, hang up clothing you don’t want to crease, and tuck your pajamas under your pillow (if you’re particularly nana-ish like me). Living out of a suitcase isn’t always as fun as it sounds, and arranging your belongings to feel more like home is awfully therapeutic. What’s more, constantly unpacking and packing is a great way to make sure your luggage is always tidy.
Avoid Traveling in the Morning
There’s nothing worse than going to bed knowing that you have to get up bright and early, only to face another long haul. My trick is – where possible – to plan flights and the like in the evening so that I’m rarely in a situation where I dread the alarm going off and suffer a sleepless night. This anxiety is one of the leading culprits for an inability to settle at your accommodation and the beginning of missing the mundane routine of home. But fear not! It is an easy fix.
It is amazing the effect that a quick chat to your friends and family can do to you when you’re feeling detached and alone. Just five minutes of hearing someone’s voice can make the distance between you both feel a lot smaller. It is easy to forget or not make time for this, so you’ve got to be proactive and anticipate the moments when you’re likely to spiral. Whether email, Facebook or the good old fashioned telephone is your thing, prioritise communication.
How do you get comfortable on the road and keep the travel blues at bay? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!
This is a guest post by Dani Davies.
A New Zealand native, Dani likes green tea, buying plane tickets and telling people off for pronouncing her name wrong. A psychology and philosophy student, she is about to embark on her next adventure: studying abroad in the United Kingdom. Check out her latest travels at www.thegingerpassports.com or follow her on instagram @dani.davies