Thursday, 13 October 2016

How to beat the post-travelling blues

It's October; my namesake. 

I've been back in the UK for two months, and it's been a busy eight weeks! We've moved into a new flat - back to Farnham, hurrah - and I'm coming towards the end of my first half-term back at work. I knew these first few months would be testing... having left six months of island hopping and wanderlust behind us, reality and cold weather has hit and I'm feeling it.

So what should one do when faced with a case of the post-travelling blues?

In part, I'm embracing it. Some of those best moments spent browsing street food stalls and kayaking past limestone karsts could only have happened with a tough time spent saving before hand, and then the inevitable crash back down to earth. We had such an incredible six months I have to just keep reminding myself quite how life-enhancing it was - not something to mourn. As Dr Seuss says, don't be sad its over, smile because it happened. Cheesy, yes. But in this case, spot on. Writing my travel posts each week has allowed me to look back over our pictures with a productive goal in mind, not just to rub salt in the wounds. 

Facing the context. We chose to leave our jobs, home, families and friends for six months for various reasons - for me it was partly down to work becoming too much. I work as a sixth-form teacher and after five years in the profession I questioned for how much longer I could do it. When we left in February, research was published showing the number of those leaving teaching had increased by eleven percent in recent years - and this doesn't surprise me. I'm not going to go in to details of why, but I have been reflecting on whether or not taking a sabbatical helped. Yes, it helped me relax, re-focus and take a break - that part is obvious! But am I going back with renewed vigour, content in the knowledge I love my job and am ready to give it my all? Perhaps not. And this is where reflecting is useful - but only if you act upon it. Those six months were incredible, but did they help provide a solution for the context of leaving? I can't answer this right now, but I am keeping in mind that for a break to be a success, it should at least address the 'push' factor. This should in turn help bring about positive changes. 

What's next? Since coming home we've attended two beautiful weddings of good friends close to us both, which has softened the blow somewhat. Alongside hen and stag do's, my twenty-ninth birthday and various other social occasions, it's been busy! Thinking ahead, catching up with friends we didn't see for so long whilst away, and generally enjoying being back in the UK is helping keep those blues at bay. I'm usually critical of those thinking about Christmas in October, but this year I'm so ready for cosy time at home in the festive lead up to the 25th December. You'll struggle to get that on a beach!

Take stock, re stock. I've used the house move and multiple packing/unpacking scenarios to have a closer look at my wardrobe and figure out what is worth keeping, and what needs chucking or replacing. I've been trying to get out of a style rut which essentially sees me wearing jeans, heeled sandals or boots and a jumper most working days - I'm trying to change things up a bit! Culottes, midi dresses and mules have helped shake things up and I'm feeling good for it. Not just different styles, but different shopping habits - spending less time look at doesn't-matter-if-they-break bags in Primark and instead browsing Scandi-style backpacks in Radley. Moving towards more of a capsule-type wardrobe where items can be switched, re-styled and looks can be re-focussed. I've not been quite as successful as my pal Lorna in doing this, but it's a start! Definitely more of a practical step, but a life-cleanse can help boost your mood in those weeks and months after returning home. 

How do you beat the post-travelling blues?

*this is a collaborative post with Radley

1 comment

  1. Ah, thanks for the mention love! I guess with all the excitement of planning and preparation we never quite thought ahead to the coming back to reality stage. So many people I know are in the midst of a mid-twenties crisis; questioning their careers, whether they made the right choices and if they can stick it out for the next however many years.

    Onwards and upwards, with plenty of stops for cawfee! x


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