Post travel depression, or we like to call it on Checkin-Out, PTD, is totally a thing.
We at Checkin-Out think the holiday blues should be medically recognised, and those displaying symptoms should be treated with the highest level of tender loving care.
So how do you know you have it? We’ve got 10 key signs you’re suffering post-travel depression:
You no longer understand why your life has to be based around work
Work, which you have had little trouble attending for the last however many years, suddenly seems like a ridiculous concept. The fact you have to get up, make yourself extremely presentable, and then spend your entire day working, instead of doing whatever you damn well please in a shiny new country, seems unfathomable. Everyday the alarm goes off, and every day you internally scream why God, why. When it comes to the notion of work when you’re living with PTD, the struggle is too, too real.
You find everything outrageously expensive… except any costs associated with future travel plans
Coffee – $5? Are you joking me?
A new dress for that high school reunion – $200? Whatever, not like I needed to go anyway.
$500 return flights to Japan? Oh HELL YEAH JAPAN 2017 SKI TRIP THIS IS HAPPENING
For real though, you can’t believe you’d often spend hundreds of dollars every week on new clothes/shoes/possessions. If there’s anything to stop rabid consumerism in its tracks, it’s going travelling and literally seeing how the rest of the world lives… Plus of course, knowing how much more there is to explore.
You can’t believe you wanted to come home
It seems unfathomable at one point you missed home and were super excited to see family and friends, and therefore willingly got on a plane back to the motherland. If you could go back, the only way someone would get you on that return flight would be in some kind of reverse United Airlines stunt, where the airport ground crew would have to drag you down the aisle to your seat, bleeding and screaming like a wounded animal.
You feel like you never went travelling at all
Did that really just happen?
Did three weeks/four months/a year of your life just pass while you were catching trains, planes and buses, visiting the most beautiful cities you’ve ever seen, drinking and eating yourself silly and meeting new mates to appreciate every single second?
As memories once sharp as shards of glass start to soften and blur, you start to question, just as Biggie once did, if it was all a dream. But trust us, you did just have the time of your life overseas. It’s just the PTD making you doubt it all!
You have anxiety you took it all for granted, and you worry you’ll never feel that free again
That indescribable feeling of freedom travel bloggers (including us) all peddle?
Yeah, it’s real, and you don’t know how good it feels until you realise you don’t know what day it is… and you haven’t know for months on end. It’s truly something to experience for yourself, just as much as climbing a volcano, crossing a border on foot or drunkenly dancing on a ping-pong table.
Now you’ve come home, the expectation to
- hold down a full-time job
- make time for your partner, friends and family
- look a certain way
- go to the gym
- be social and
- have a five-year plan while not being an uptight mess feels like an avalanche of constant pressure from every which way.
When you travel, it’s just you (and potentially your partner and/or travel buddies). There’s little to worry about unless you go out of your way to make trouble like overstaying a visa, getting caught with drugs or completely running out of money with two months to go before you’re due home.
You have a special bond with all your travel friends (and social media knows it!)
In fact, you throw so many likes and comments on their posts social networks put their updates at the very top of your feed. The algorithm has clearly figured out you have PTD and are desperate to pretend you’re still roaming Europe/Hawaii/Mexico/South America – so much so one of your oldest friend’s engagement announcements didn’t even come up in your Facebook feed, but the epic selfie your friend got when they reached Macchu Pichu was front and centre.
You have newly developed commitment issues
You’ve held plenty of full-time jobs before. You’ve signed too many 24-month phone plans over the years to count. You’ve even had pets – basically semi-children! But now, anything possessing the potential to hold you down seems terrifying.
You’re too depressed to exercise and diet to get rid of your travel weight
One of the best parts of traveling is not worrying about the impressive love handles you developed eating and drinking your way through countries. After all, we would say to each other as we threw back a corona and a plate of tacos mid afternoon, we’ve got the rest of our lives to worry about weight. Besides, we said, it will fall off the minute we’re back at home.
This assumption is absolute bullshit. Why? Because now you’re home and suffering PTD, you are too sad to go running or join a gym (plus you’re now a total tight ass). Instead, you turn to cheap wine and comfort food to bring some semblance of joy to your life. That travel weight that was supposed to fall off – it’s not going anywhere. In fact, the scales are telling you the fat cells are multiplying.
Don’t blame yourself. Blame the PTD.
You’re seriously questioning the direction of your future
Suddenly, you’re no longer sure what you want any more. Do you want to lock yourself into a mortgage? Are you on the right career path? Work life balance takes on a whole new importance for you. Previous pursuits seem empty and your old life, the one you left behind when you initially departed to travel, feels devoid of meaningful and joyful purpose.
Last, but absolutely not least, you sometimes look at your travel photos and cry
This is when you know you have PTD bad. Bonus points if you’re swilling red wine and softly narrating the sweet sweet memories behind every photo to yourself. Extra bonus points if it’s an ugly cry.