An old friend recently wrote to me expressing her concerns of returning home, back to where she grew up, where everything’s familiar and every day isn’t an adventure. She has spent her last two years living and travelling through Europe and knew we’d returned to Western Australia at the end of 2014 after having travelled Japan, America and living in Vancouver for over a year. She wanted to know how we had coped and I realised there were quite a few ways we made sure life didn’t become mundane when we returned home.
MOVE TO A NEW AREA
Choose a new suburb to live in that is far from where you used to be located. It will almost be like living in a new city. You’ll be driving different roads, have a different local supermarket, and new shopping and dining options.
TRY NEW PLACES
Don’t go back to your old favourite bar or dinner spot, let those memories remain with your previous life in that city, and try new places. If you’ve been away for a couple of years there’s no doubt new little gems would have popped up all over the place. Try them out and create new favourites!
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Although it’s great to catch up with old friends, pretend you’re in a new city where you don’t know anyone and force yourself to meet new people. It’s no different to doing it while you’re travelling!
PLAN YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE
If you’ve still got the travel bug then plan your next adventure. Decide where you’re going to visit next, do some research and think about when you might be able to head off again.
BECOME A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY
Do activities that you’d normally think of as ‘touristy’. Join backpackers group for your city on Facebook and connect with others who like to travel, and who are excited about visiting your home – they’ll make you see it in a different light!
TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY
A great way to meet new people, but also a way to change your every day life. Whether it’s a new sport, learning to bake or joining a photography club, give it a go – you never know, it could become your favourite past-time!
SEE YOUR COUNTRY
Take weekend getaways to those places you always said you’d go to but never did. Plan a week on the other side of the country and see where you came from. It’s too often we explore foreign lands and not our own (guilty!).
REMEMBER, YOU’RE DIFFERENT, SO IT’S DIFFERENT
You can’t have lived overseas or travelled extensively and not changed as a person. You’ll probably feel more lost in this place that’s supposed to be familiar than when you were trying to navigate your way around Turkey. It’s never going to be the same as it was before, and that’s a good thing.