A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
So, I am now finally back in Leiden after 34 days, 7 countries and 16 cities and suffering hard from post-travel depression. Mind you, it’s totally a real thing. I’ve had it before but those times were only half as bad as this one, probably because I’ve never traveled so intensively. Being in Europe gives you the opportunity to do so, and all you want is to go to as many places as possible, and even though they all start to look the same at some point, Europe is still exciting and fun and interesting enough to keep you on the road, so much so that when you’re finally back to your home camp, i.e. tranquil Leiden, the nostalgia, the longing, the regret – the depression will hit you hard.
You know you’re in the mood of post-travel depression if you
…miss being surrounded by somebody. This may not apply to solo travelers, but even if you’re one, you might have met someone and enjoyed being with that person. I was constantly with either a group of friends or my mom – all lovely people, we bickered sometimes, we were tired of seeing each other sometimes, but in the end you’ll miss them. A lot. Especially when you did a long trip together and had to go separate ways afterwards. It’s quite sad. I’m now in Leiden with almost nobody by my side 24/7 so it feels kinda empty.
…keep posting photos with the hashtag #throwback. It just makes you miss everything more, having to look at your previous photos and reminisce about the wonderful moments of your trip.
…procrastinate. You’re back to your normal life and obviously have important things to do (in my case, the dreadful thesis) but fortunately you’re back in a odd time of the month so you have every reason to take a rest until the month ends before starting to do anything. You’re in a depression, remember?
So, it’s pretty bad huh. And how bad it is really depends on you, because in the end, they are all excuses. You need to move on, you have to. So what can you do?
Meet somebody! Your friends in Leiden! Some of them may still be traveling, but there must be someone. Catch up with them! Tell them your funny travel episodes!
If you want to procrastinate, fine. Start slowly with small things, like visit the library to pick up a book. Set a generally “laid-back” deadline for when you have to wrap your head around something.
Write! It’s what I’m going to do soon. Your travel experience, tips, advice will always be valuable to a lot of people. Make an advantage out of that. I just can’t wait to share you with my wonderful journey. It always starts in Leiden and ends in Leiden, so I figure it may help you plan your trip!
So, brighten up, because this kind of depression may be something that you can actually be proud of: You had one heck of a trip and it surely is meaningful. Get over it, or, just be depressed because you’re allowed to!