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Coming Home: Embracing the Post-Travel Bliss

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Travel magazines often paint a picture of idyllic journeys, but what they don’t discuss is the inevitable return home at the end of an amazing trip. No more housekeeping or neatly folded towels, no one making breakfast. Back to our ordinary day-to-day lives, filled with work and chores. The contrast can be pretty stark. Just 24 hours ago, one was lying on a white sand beach in the sun, sipping margaritas. Now, one has to carry their luggage (without the help of smiling staff!) through the grey, cold parking lot at the airport, with a growing to-do list on their mind.

Embracing the Joy of Coming Home:

I won’t deny it; I have elements of this grumpy holiday returner in me. However, my recent three-week trip through East Africa was different, and I felt compelled to defend this often overlooked last part of the journey. So this is my plea for the joy of coming home.

The Notion of Home:

Home is more than just a house or an apartment. It’s a safe space where we keep our belongings, meet loved ones, and find solace even on our worst days. Not everyone in the world is fortunate enough to have a place called home. Some struggle to connect all those warm connotations with the word because they have never experienced such a safe space to retreat to. During my travels I have seen slums in different countries as well as Syrian and Tibetan refugee camps. I talked to kids who used to live on the streets and are now earning a living as city guides. These experiences are also an integral part of travel. And at the very least, they should instill gratefulness in those of us who are lucky enough to have a place to call home.

Reflecting on Memories:

Returning home allows us to reflect on the memories, sights, sounds, and experiences from our travels. It can be overwhelming. Often, I struggle to describe my experiences right after a trip. I haven’t yet processed all the impressions and find myself stuck with a simple “It was amazing.” But back home, we can sort our thoughts and memories. We reminisce about encounters with locals, breathtaking landscapes, and impactful moments that stay with us. Sorting through photographs, souvenirs, and travel journals, we relive those extraordinary experiences, internalize the lessons learnt, and grow from them. Travel has transformative power.

Sharing Travel Stories:

Returning home brings the joy of reconnecting with loved ones and sharing the tales of our adventures. After sorting my thoughts (and the laundry), I eagerly meet with family, friends, and colleagues to recount my adventures. And not to forget the pictures! We all take pride in showing off our best shots, testaments to the far-off lands, vivid experiences, and the cultures we’ve encountered. Returning from an adventure gives you a great opportunity to consciously reconnect and appreciate your social environment.

Familiarity and Comfort:

Coming back home brings comforting familiarity and relaxation. We appreciate the small pleasures that await us: the luxury of a hot shower and the comfort of our own bed, where we can unwind and recharge. Plus, there’s the sheer indulgence of doing nothing at all, sinking into our sofa’s welcoming cushions, with no agenda or itinerary. It’s a chance to let time slip away and give in to the guilty pleasure of wasting way too many hours watching Netflix.

Planning Future Adventures:

Furthermore, once we’ve settled back into our familiar surroundings, it can reignite the spark of wanderlust. We get a renewed sense of excitement for the next travel adventure. Who doesn’t love that TravelFeel? From poring over travel guides and browsing online resources to engaging in conversations with fellow travelers – each planning step brings us closer to our next journey. And that, in turn, leads to another episode of what we just discovered: the joy of coming home.

Final Reflections: Embracing the Joy of Coming Home:

To sum up, while travel takes us far and wide, the true joy of coming home lies in finding comfort, reflecting on memories, sharing stories, and embracing the familiarity of our own space. It’s the perfect interlude between adventures, giving us time to recharge before we set out to explore new horizons. So, as you embark on your next journey, remember that coming home can be just as magical as the travel itself.

Bulldog cuddling on sofa with owner
Red tulips on a side board with six blackened white framed photographs behind them

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