Adventures can be life changing experiences. Travelling and pushing yourself physically, culturally and socially can make everyday life seem that little bit more interesting. Your self-perceived boundaries increase as you achieve feats that you previously did not think were possible.
I get restless if I don’t have an upcoming project or an adventure planned. It’s pretty natural for humans to look to the future and forget to live in the moment. Even now, after only returning from Nepal a couple of weeks ago, I am scheming my next adventure.
The following questions are running through my head:
Where will I go? How will I travel? Will I travel solo or with somebody else? Shall I look to raise some money for a charity or not? Costs for the adventure? When can I next get time off work?
And so on.
It nice to feel no rush to head off on the next one. My need and thirst for adventure has been temporarily fixed. Adjusting to reality can sometimes be difficult after a period of time away. I get used to living independently and being able to do what I want when I want. Normal life can often feel restricted compared to life on the road.
Meetings to attend, bills to pay, timelines to meet. Real life can become a little boring. The beauty of adventure is in the simplicity it creates. My routine on the road is easy to follow and maintain: Move, eat, sleep.
Upon returning to normal life, I usually go through a slump in mood or post adventure blues. It’s difficult to work out exactly why but I’ve come round to accepting that it will usually occur. Over the years, I have found some useful ways to avoid this.
1. Set time aside for friends and family.
I feel lucky to have lived in numerous countries over the years. You get accustomed to making intense friendships in a short period of time then saying goodbye and potentially never seeing that person again. This also happens on adventures.
I have different groups of close friends back in the UK that I don’t see often enough. Partly because I’m hardly ever in the UK but also because we get lazy and don’t make the effort often enough. I have set myself the goal to spend more quality time with the people that mean the most to me and make me happy. We are all busy and use that as an excuse, but going out of your way to see the people that you care about is a great way to avoid the post-adventure blues.
2.Write about the experience.
In December 2016 I started writing a journal. I took this up after reading the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris. This book has a number of interviews with world-class performers and has some really good tips and advice. One of the tips I picked up was to start a journal so I can self-reflect more effectively. I find writing daily to be a good way of expressing my thoughts and learning from my own experiences.
I also find writing about my adventures in this blog to be a cathartic experience. One day in the distant future, I will enjoy looking back over the places I have been and the things I have done. Hopefully, other people will also enjoy reading about my travels.
3. Focus on a new project
For me at the moment this is work. I’m currently instructing soldiers at the British Army’s Specialist Weapons School. But this could be something completely unrelated to your day job. It could be charity work, helping at a youth organisation or setting up your own business. Having something to focus on after an adventure is essential. If you are sat at home just pottering about without direction, you are likely to be unhappy.
4. Take up a new hobby or course.
Make the most of the time you have in your home country by focusing on new skills or improving your existing ones. What have you always wanted to do? For me, I’ve always wanted to learn another language. I have recently started learning Spanish as a complete beginner. It’s tough but I’m enjoying the new challenge and I am motivated by the new opportunities that could open from learning this new tongue. Taking up something completely different is a great way to keep positive and motivated. I find this to be a great way of avoiding the post-adventure blues.
5. Meet like-minded people in your home country.
One of the best things about travelling is the new people that you meet. I find I have lots in common with many of the adventurous people I meet on the road.
So where do these people hang out when they are not travelling? If you are based in the UK, one of the best groups I have found is the YesTribe. This social group is full of people that are like-minded, adventurous and want to make the most of life by helping others. By saying Yes more, the group have formed a strong following. People host regular YesTribe campouts in the UK which is a fantastic way of having mini-adventures, right on your doorstep. Whatever your passion is, there will be a group of people that are interested in the same thing. One of the great things about social media is it allows groups of strangers with mutual interests to ‘meet’ each other on the internet, which then can lead to real life, actual friendships.
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