As I prepared to leave Europe after 8.5 months of mid-winter wandering, everyone around me began trying to warn me about what was apparently going to be the roughest part of my trip…going home. Friends who had been on similar long term trips told me to get ready to be depressed for months, shocked and saddened by being home and “settling in”. I felt a certain sort of pre-emptive nostalgia as my departure date grew closer and dreaded the inevitable crash that my experienced  compatriots had predicted.


But I’ve been back in the states for over two months and have yet to experience this feeling. Sure, I get frustrated that our train system is not nearly as efficient as those I frequented abroad, or that I can’t find a good Hefeweizen anywhere, but this absolute bottom out despair never happened. And I think it has a lot to do with how I eased into being home. Here are some of my ideas for beating post-travel blues!

  • Keep moving! I spent my first two months home bouncing around visiting various friends and relatives. It was a great way to get me used to being in the country and around familiar people without screeching immediately to a halt. And it actually cost me less money than getting an apartment right away since I used rideshares, stayed with friends, and tried to work freelance a bit.
  • Write to your pals from far away. Exchange local goods, or have them send some of your favorite things from abroad. Share your favorite foreign products with your friends at home.
  • See your home in a new light. After being led around so many places by friends and couchsurfing hosts, I realized I don’t know much about my city. I’ve started a new mission to find all the gems of Oakland so I can show potential visitors around properly.
  • Plan small trips. Can you go camping on a free weekend? Even if you only have a free afternoon, you can bike or bus to a nearby town, city, beach, or wherever you want to explore.
  • Don’t lose your traveling perspective. We often become model versions of ourselves while traveling. Outgoing, friendly, adventurous, and so on. That doesn’t have to change. Try new things, meet new people, host couchsurfers or go to bars that are known to have a foreign crowd. Meet people who can appreciate your love for samba or Käsespätzle
  • Start planning your next trip! Hey, why not? A girl can dream.

How do you adjust post-travel life?