You’ve been on an epic adventure and now you’re back to reality. Damn. But we’ve all been there. Post-holiday blues, the completion of a personal challenge, time away to study in a different country and now you’re home. The struggle is real!
However, there are ways to manage this reverse culture shock and that’s what I wish to share now. You may wonder what makes me qualified? Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced this dilemma a number of times…
From transitioning a 21-year corporate career to four months in a camper van; to independently backpacking across South Africa to improving my kitesurfing in Sri-Lanka. From hiking through Nepal and studying yoga in India to an out-of-season-adventure in Switzerland, France, Italy, and Belgium.
Each one of these adventures I had to ‘come down’ as I returned to ‘the normal world’ but within this suffering, there have been lessons.
But I use suffering in a loose sense of the word. Whilst it can be hard to readjust, and post-travel depression is a real thing, I keep in mind how fortunate I am to be able to experience life in this way.
Of course, for every opportunity, there is a sacrifice. That is a universal law. But, that also means each choice you make has a measure (of sorts). But I digress.
What I want to share are elements I’ve worked with over the past five years to help keep things moving. Some are habits I put in place, some are out of comfort zone challenges to keep me moving, but all have proved useful…
1. Get Social.
When returning from an epic adventure, make time to see those who cared about you whilst you were away. Be it friends, family, or a loved one.
Now is time to return the investment they spent in supporting you in your endeavor.
What are they up to? What are they planning? What’s happening in their lives? How can you help and support them with their dreams? In short, reciprocate…
2. Get Busy Living.
Throw yourself into a new project. It can be big or small. But do something that engages your mind, or body, or ideally both. This doesn’t need overthinking. Just choose something that needs doing or you’re interested in and get busy.
When I came back from my first long adventure I minimised my material life and moved out of my long term home. The second time I returned from an adventure I trained to be a kitesurf instructor. The third I wrote a book.
This time I’m about to help a friend out with some landscaping work. All are very different projects but the principle is the same. Get Busy Living.
3. Be creative.
Creating is good for the soul. Be it writing an article, baking a cake, or cooking a meal. There are so many ways to get those juices flowing and so much to gain from doing it.
Get creative on being creative. It’s fun, creates a lightness, and you never know where it may lead you. For example, I began this blog in 2015 to be creative.
I’m still going five years later and now there are almost 200 posts covering a range of topics from travel, adventure, personal development, writing a book, running a small landscaping business, and much much more!
The term gratitude is over-used these days but for good reason. It works. Plus it’s a time-efficient-way to be in the moment for all that you have pre/during/post-adventure.
And I’ve found it’s the smallest things that make a difference. From the cup of coffee I’m about to drink to the fact I am fit and healthy.
In fact, if you can read this then there is much to be grateful for. That may sound abstract but think about it for a moment. There are many who are not able to read, never mind have access to technology.
And if you are able to afford to take on an adventure of sorts, you are truly one of the lucky ones.
5. Step out of your comfort zone.
There are benefits to challenging yourself mentally and physically. I’ve found that each adventure I’ve been on has been a springboard for the next challenge.
For example, I never expected to study yoga in India. I never expected to solo hike through Nepal, I never expected to drive my campervan through Switzerland, Italy, France, and Belgium on my own.
But I also didn’t expect to write, edit, and publish a book, or end up on BBC radio to talk about my personal life changes or feature in my local city newspaper!
The experiences have not always been easy but over the years I’ve found each adventure has given the confidence to step up to the next challenge – whatever it may be. After all, humans are meant to continually grow and develop (ideally for the better).
And the steps don’t have to be huge. In fact, I’ve just created my #20for2020. This is a list of challenges big and small that I’m undertaking for 2020.
They range from reading a classic novel; undertaking an endurance event for charity; attending a dance class; speaking at a public event; going roller skating, and climbing England or Scotlands highest peak.
So there you have it. My light-hearted but truthful take on how I manage what is often deemed an unconventional life.
But, as a point of reference, it wasn’t always like this. I came from a long term corporate career to create something very different.
If you want to read about how the first half of that journey panned out you can read about it here.
Have a great day.