When you come home from a trip – whether it be long or short – it can be, well, depressing, to be frank. This is especially true if you’ve been abroad for a while and need some time adjusting back to your “normal” life at home, and also especially if you have no future trips planned when you return.
This is the situation I’m currently finding myself in, and because of it, I’ve noticed my motivation has somewhat fallen.
This is how I’m pushing through it though – I’m trying to keep motivated, keep being productive, and use my time wisely to enhance my life instead of just watching it pass by.
Here are seven ways in which you can keep motivated, too…
1. Read travel books/blogs/magazines
Whenever I’m not travelling, I like to live vicariously through someone who is. Reading travel books and blogs and hearing other travellers stories helps inspire me to keep dreaming. When I’m reading a great story about someones travels, I feel like I’m there with them experiencing the same things.
Reading travel magazines and blogs can also help keep you updated on popular new tourist destinations, give you ideas on places to visit you might have never heard of before, and keeps you informed about new tours/excursions that might have just come out.
2. Watch travel films/documentaries
This is somewhat in the same vein as travel reading, but a bit more on the entertainment side. Films such as Into The Wild, Eat Pray Love and The Motorcycle Diaries are filled with tons of great shots of foreign places, historical landmarks and beautiful landscapes. They also feature strong travel themes and plots within them, adding that sense of adventure. While documentaries like A Map For Saturday and 180 Degrees South will open your eyes to new ways of life and ways in which you can help change this world for the better. Even nature documentaries will help soothe my wandering feet for a moment.
3. Explore your own backyard
Even if you don’t have a lot of money (or any money at all) you can still find ways to explore the world around you. Drive into the next town and poke around their downtown area, or take a drive into the country and hike a trail or visit a farm or visit the local watering hole for a dip. Last year when a friend of mine from overseas came to visit I showed her around a lot of local areas, surprising myself when often I’d never even been there myself. It’s incredible how you can live somewhere your whole life and never even visit those places closest to you. Take this time to re-discover your own neighbourhood.
4. Book small weekend getaways to major cities close to you
This is a tad more expensive than simply exploring your own backyard, but if it’s done right you can still do it relatively cheap. Since I live near Toronto, Canada, the major cities closest to me would be; Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City on the Canadian side, while American cities like; Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, New York City, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Philadelphia and even Washington DC are all within several hours drive or a 90-minute flight away. If you look for deals, you can score round-trip flights for less than $200 to a lot of these cities, and if you grab a few friends and make it a road-trip it can be even cheaper. If you plan properly, stay in a hostel or cheap hotel, cook most of your own food and budget your money (this means no shopping!), you can easily take a quick weekend (or mid-week) getaway for less than $300.
5. Extensively research and plan for your next big trip
Since you have a lot of time before you go away again, it only makes sense to use this time to research for your next big trip. Buy/borrow travel guides from the library – I’ve spent a lot of time thumbing through Lonely Planet guides to Southeast Asia over the past few weeks (where I hope my next big trip will be). Even though I’m not booking anything yet (and likely won’t be for quite a while) it doesn’t mean I can’t have my whole trip already planned before I even get there. And even if you hate planning and want something more spontaneous, it doesn’t mean you can’t jot down interesting places you want to go and cool things you might want to see and do when you get there.
6. Catch up with friends/family
Unfortunately, relationships tend to naturally drift while you’re away. It’s hard to find time to talk with the time differences, not to mention all the sketchy/non-existant wifi you often encounter. This is why whenever I get home I always make a great effort to get back in touch with my friends and spend more quality time with my family. You need to invest time in maintaining your relationships or else you will cease to have them. Spend that extra time you have at home reconnecting with loved ones.
7. Keep yourself busy and be productive
Whether you pick up extra hours at work, volunteer with charity or start a new hobby, it’s often useful to throw yourself into something positive and productive. Idle time is infective, and the more time you spend doing nothing, the more time you’re likely going to want to spend doing nothing. Don’t give in to the temptations of laziness, try to be as productive as possible.