Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beating The Post-Travel Blues

~ Julie Blakley is a staff writer for and also maintains her own site at France Travel Guide. She recently wrote an article outlining 10 Tips for Beating the Post-Travel Blues which is worth summarising. Among her suggestions:
~ Immerse yourself in your hometown culture
~ T
ake shorter trips closer to home

~ Write about your trip
~ Start planning your next adventure
~ Remember that everyday life is what makes travel so invigorating
~ Eat your favourite foods from your trip
~ Find a community that is just as passionate about travel or a destination as you are
~ Make a photo album or scrapbook
~ Take a language class or join a conversation group

~ Work on your photography skills

This are all very good suggestions to which I thought I would add my own 2cents worth to some of Julie’s ideas.

Be A Tourist At Home. Pretend you have international visitors coming to stay with you for the weekend. Now make a list of the most interesting places you would show them – and get out and visit them yourself. Or make a list of all those places you have always intended to see ‘one day’ but still haven’t made the effort to visit. There’s no time like the present, as the old adage goes, so get out there and discover the attractions in your own home town.

Don’t Mope – Write! If you were able to maintain a journal while you were travelling, now is a good time to put the finishing touches to it. Or (as Julie suggests) get creative and put together a photo album or scrapbook. Add photographs, ticket stubs, postcards, receipts, menus, in fact anything that helps document your trip. You will be amazed at how much this helps you remember the small details of your journey, and also how it keeps you focussed on your next holiday, even if it is a year or more away. Which brings me to…

Start Working on Your Next Trip. When I returned to Australia last October following my seven month vacation, I was already thinking about the next one – starting March next year – which I am constantly working on and researching. I have been frequenting lots of second-hand books shops, looking for books about America, Mexico and other countries I plan to visit, or hope to visit over the next few years. Becoming knowledgeable and informed about the countries you would like to visit is a great way to prepare for your journey. I am reading travelogues, histories, and books dealing with art and culture. In fact, anything that grabs my attention and helps me ‘know’ the countries I plan to visit long before I get there.

Learn the Lingo. I have written previously (Never to Old to Live And Learn) about signing up for a Spanish language course, or other short courses which will help me as I travel through the American south, and Mexico next year. It doesn’t matter that I won’t be able to speak the language fluently. I have found that often you can endear yourself to the locals simply by making the effort to learn the language of the country you are visiting. It is probably the one thing that sets you apart the most from the bulk of the common tourists who are merely passing through, and who are not interested in trying to connect with the local people in any meaningful way.

Use The Internet to Connect With Like-Minded Travellers. While I have long been aware of, and made use of the reviews on Trip Advisor, I have only recently joined the forums on that site. This has given me a chance to not only help with my own research, but to also offer advice and tips to other travellers who are planning to visit locations I have already been to. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, or one of the many other online sites, connecting with fellow travellers is a great way to keep your travel dreams alive.

Take a Short Course. In the same way that I am preparing for my next trip by taking a Spanish language course, you can also sign up for many other types of short courses as well. In a previous entry (WEA = Life-long Learning) I wrote about the opportunities to broaden your knowledge about a huge range of different subjects via adult classes at local colleges, universities, and other places of higher learning. Whether your interest be photography, archaeology, history, culture, dance, or other creative arts, there is almost certain to be a class or short course taking place in your town or city. Use the internet to research these courses or visit your local library and ask there. Or drop in to your local college or university and make enquiries about summer classes and courses.

Image: United Nations Building, New York, April 2008
Photo by Jim Lesses

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