Coming Home from a Long Trip

Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

I’ve been back in the UK for just over six weeks now, and let me tell you adjusting back to ‘real life’ after five months on the road in South America has been pretty tough. Although, we haven’t exactly returned to our usual routine: Instead of going back to our old jobs, Sam and I spent the first two weeks visiting friends and family across the country, went to his cousin’s wedding, then headed up to the Lake District for a spot of housesitting via Trustedhousesitters.

There have been lots of great things about coming home, with seeing my amazing family top of the list, but there have been quite a few downs, too. I miss travelling and I’m sad to have left a continent I fell so head over heels in love with. About two weeks ago, I suffered a massive crash and found myself feeling fairly depressed. For a lot of the time, I was apathetic and unmotivated, and the on-off feelings of general sadness lasted until just a couple of days ago. I think it’s one of the side effects of coming back from a long trip.

I’ve managed to turn that around now with some positive thinking, which took serious hard work, and some new projects to give me something to channel my energies into. But I wanted to share with you my experience of coming home from a long trip, and how I’m dealing with being back.

Focusing on the positives

Before we left Rio, I was feeling pretty reluctant to go. But Sam and I talked it though and we found plenty to look forward to. Some things were as simple as not having to share a dorm room with eight other people anymore, or being able to dye my hair again without sun and sea destroying it.

Of course, I was excited to see my family again, which is enormous and  truly wonderful – if slightly crazy. I was especially excited to meet my new nephew, who was due not long after we got back. He was born last week and is totally gorgeous – the best reason to come home to the UK.

My newest nephew, Edward

My newest nephew, Edward

Keeping on travelling

We weren’t ready to let go of being on the road completely just yet, so we’ve made a point of travelling in our own country to keep the experience going. In the past few weeks I’ve been from London, to Guildford, to Chelmsford, to Southampton, to Weymouth, to the Lake District, back to London and finally to Winchester where I’ll be for three weeks. When we visited my dad in Weymouth, we turned my familiar home town into a holiday destination by exploring as much as possible (in between visiting family of course). We squeezed  a whole lot into that week: a trip to the beach – and a swim in the freezing English channel – a visit to The Sealife Centre, a barbecue, dinner at one of my favourite spots in Weymouth, and lots of walks, including a long one from my dad’s house near the beach all the way along the coast to the Smugglers Inn at Osmington Mills.

Jellyfish at the Sealife Centre

Jellyfish at the Sealife Centre

From there, we headed north to the Lake District and made the most of our two weeks there with lots of hikes, and even a mini adventure in the form of the Go Ape zip-trekking experience at Grizedale Forest (read more here). And now we’re in Winchester for our second Trustedhousesitters assignment taking care of a gorgeous dog, after which we’re headed for Sam’s home of Guernsey for a week. The travels most definitely haven’t stopped!

Weymouth Harbour

Sunny Weymouth

Celebrating the UK

Since getting back I’ve been making a point of enjoying as much Britishness as I can. It’s silly little things, mostly, but things that are highlights of England for me which I’ve been making a point to notice and enjoy. Roast dinners (which I’ve had dozens of now), the new series of Great British Bake Off , pub lunches, countryside walks, pie, picturesque villages, Percy Pigs from M&S, windy British beaches, Primark and even rainy summers (although how can I not miss sunny Ipanema beach with the weather looking like this?).

Taking lots of countryside walks in Winchester with this big fella!

Taking lots of countryside walks in Winchester with this big fella!

Dealing with the negatives

A lot of things which never bothered me before I left, have suddenly become horrors for me since getting back. Like London, especially the busyness and the tube etiquette (or lack of it). Obviously, no one likes the tube during rush hour, and I definitely used to get plenty stressed when I was living there before we left, but back then I didn’t mind the stress, and I even think I thrived on it a little. Now, though, after five months of being fairly relaxed at least most of the time (buying bus tickets doesn’t count), the rush and the crowds seem nothing short of horrendous to me. London in general, with it’s atmosphere of constant misery and moaning, it’s sour-faced commuters adamantly ignoring each other, it’s lack of manners and morals, is now so unappealing to both of us that we’ve decided not to move back, even though that was always the plan and we loved living there before.

It’s hard to deal with the negative things about being back, especially when you’re not particularly fond of your own country, and so far the only method I’ve learnt is to ignore them and focus on the positives.

One of my nieces - so worth coming home for!

One of my nieces – so worth coming home for!

New Projects

This week, I started working on a few new ideas for my sister blog, Backpack South America (please, please, please check it out and follow it), and pouring all my energy into pitching and writing freelance articles external to my blogs. I’ve also started attempting to practice yoga, for the first time ever, to see if I can finally teach my mind to chill out a bit!

Having new projects to focus on has really helped me. I’m reluctant to move on from memories of the trip because, of course, it was ridiculously amazing – but if all I think about is how awesome South America was then of course that’s going to make me feel miserable about being back!

Planning the next adventure

It goes without saying, doesn’t it? Planning the next adventure is one of the best ways to deal with the being-back-blues. Looking at flights and brainstorming destination ideas is great fuel for wanderlust and is just plain fun, too! I’m looking at 6-7 weeks from around the beginning of November – provided I can get enough freelance work to make it happen – so if you have any suggestions let me know.

La Piscina

How can you not miss this? New adventure now, please

How did you feel coming back to reality after your long trip or RTW ended? Comment here and suffer with me!

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13 responses to “Coming Home from a Long Trip

  1. In less than a week I’m returning home too so I know the feeling. Even though my mind is rushing with new ideas and projects and I miss spending time with my friends and family, I do think “what if I can’t travel for a whole year??”. Then I remember I have lots of things to see in my country that I haven’t yet and I’m sure I’ll plan some quick weekend trips to neighboring countries (advantages of living in Europe :)

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    • It is handy having so many other countries nearby – there are plenty of cheap flights from the UK to Europe so it’s easy to escape for short breaks :)

      It’s lovely to come home and see everyone, but sadly the novelty soon wears off and you find yourself missing the forward motion of life on the road! Hopefully I will be travelling again soon!

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  2. Yes, I wished someone had told me about the farsickness you suffer with on returning from a long trip. Two and a half years later and I still have not settled. I spent a lot of 2013 going on short breaks which helped. Now decluttering and planning to sell the house and get back on the road again. That keeps me focussed. Enjoy Winchester, it is a great city.

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  3. Nineteen days in Egypt is my longest trip on record, so I haven’t dealt with what you’re experiencing. We did move to California for six years, which was sort of a long adventure, but there was no homesickness, only great joy to be back home in Texas I really was tempted to kiss the very ground.

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    • Wow, I wish I loved my home country so much! As soon as I got back to England I remembered all the things I hate about it! Luckily there’s plenty to love, too, so I’m focussing on that right now – and steering well clear of the tube :)

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      • thats right. if you start in november best to go north to south probably. melbourne is very variable at that time of year, 20 degrees one day, 35 the next etc. sydney and north is warmer in november (generally, but sometimes in melbourne you get a few really hot days) . any questions send me a message!

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        • Well, we’ll have to see! I’ve never been to Australia or NO and would like to visit both, but then again fights are more expensive to there than to Asia! Need to see what monet I have by end of Sept, then book :)

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  4. Awnn Emily, I completely understand you.. I have been thought this so many times before! But you are right, you need new projects, things to motivate you, and the best way to do this is by planning your next trip :D I not only agree with that, but also thats what I always do!! Soon enough you will be traveling again and again…

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