It’s 3 am. I’m in that horrible state of jetlag, returning from an over two month vacation that has taken me to Thailand, Italy, France, and finally my home country, Canada.
This 3 am “why am I up” state has me thinking about all the days on that long journey when I just didn’t feel like travelling. The days when I hated my suitcase and living out of it. The days when I just wanted my own bed. The days when, as an introvert, I grew tired of always having to talk to people. The days when all I wanted was to make my own food and go to the gym. The days when I just didn’t feel like travelling.
We are all going to have those days. If you’re like me, you almost feel guilty about it. I’m on this awesome vacation – shouldn’t I be relishing every second?! But sometimes there’s much truth to Dorothy’s words “there’s no place like home!”
When you’re feeling less than excited about being away from home and travelling on a particular day, here are my TOP FIVE TIPS FOR GETTING BACK INTO THE TRAVELLING GROOVE…or at least surviving the day!
1) Let yourself be unhappy. A lot of the emotions we experience are underpinned by guilt – guilt that we should be enjoying our day. If you can take away the shoulds, take away that guilt, you’ll be able to gain better composure of your day. Allow yourself to be a little bit glum. It’s okay! It’s perfectly natural to feel this way.
2) Recognize your introvertedness or extrovertedness and act accordingly. If you’re like me and need to be in solitude to recharge your spirits, carve out some time to be alone. For me, it’s amazing what sitting alone drinking tea for half an hour can do to my spirits. If you’re extroverted, find a way to surround yourself with people. If you’re travelling alone, find a meetup group (www.meetups.com), find out from your hotel/hostel a restaurant/pub where other travellers frequent, even wandering around and try to strike up a conversation with a local (remembering all of those safety issues we’ve discussed in past posts). RECHARGE yourself in the way that you need.
3) Set a goal for the day. What are one or two things you want to accomplish today? Write them down (goals have a better chance of being accomplished if they’re written) and decide how best to go about. It could be simple – find a book in my language, try one new food, get to the beach. The WORST thing you can do is stay inside feeling grumpy all day. Force yourself to get out and accomplish these goals.
4) Reflect on some positive things about your current location that aren’t possible at home. When I was feeling homesick while in Canada, I’d go on to the weather site and see that Abu Dhabi was 50 degrees. Then I’d realize that I was sitting outside on a 25 degree day in Canada – and become grateful. I’d also think about all the faces and people I miss when I’m living overseas. The grass may always seem greener back home, but there are things that make the grass beautiful where you are…reflect on those and gain a whole new perspective!
5) GET OVER YOURSELF! Honestly…you’re TRAVELLING!!! Enjoy it! When you’re back at home and 2 weeks has passed, I can almost guarantee you that you’ll wish you had spent more of your travelling time enjoying travelling. I say this to you because it’s what I tell myself all the time – seriously, Leah, you love travelling, you dream of travelling, and now you’re able to travel…why this horrid attitude? Sometimes a little self-kick in the butt gives you the reality check you need to move forward.
So there you have it…just because you don’t feel like living out of a suitcase today doesn’t mean that the world is coming to an end.
Happy travelling…even when you don’t want to!