By the end of your travels the thought of going home sounds pretty good. You get to return to a familiar setting and don't have to try to figure out the language, food or local customs. The grocery store has everything you need and you may even run into people you haven't seen for a long time. Yes, there are a lot of really good feelings that come with returning home. There will also be a few surprise feelings related to reentering your life. Many traveler experience a letdown after they've been home for awhile. When they were on the road there was excitement and adventure and now there is none of that. It's not uncommon to experience some depression as you are getting back into your routine. Another very common complaint is that when they get home and want to share their amazing travel stories with friends, family, co-workers, etc. no one seems to care. It's a fact of life that people are basically self centered and if the trip doesn't involve them then they're not interested. Just accept that fact and make sure you make a really good scrapbook and keep your travel journal close so you can relive your experiences from time to time.
Okay now that you're home it's time to get busy with reentering your life. Thank goodness you have a list to do the thinking for you!
• Unpack - This will probably take days, if not weeks! Go slow and put everything in its place so you don't have to touch it again.
• Pick up mail - Go through it and make sure you don't have any unpaid bills. Prioritize everything and get to it in the order of importance.
• Take a breath - It can be tough coming back from an amazing trip so cut yourself some slack and slowly nudge your way back into your daily routine.
• Notify everyone of your return - Your friends and family will want to hear you've returned safely so take time to reconnect.
• Give yourself a few days - do not under any circumstances go back to work the day after you return. This just doesn't give yourself enough time to unpack, readjust, or savor those last fleeting moments of freedom.
• Do laundry - a necessary chore. Do it quickly and get it over with. You may be so sick of the clothes you've been wearing, over and over again, that you decide to get rid of them. Sure would cut down on laundry!
• Grocery shop - Fill the fridge with your favorite items. It may even seem decadent after shopping in foreign groceries stores with limited selection. Ah it's nice to have peanut butter again!
• Make doctor's appointments - it's probably been awhile so it's time to get the whole family checked out to make sure everyone is healthy.
• Enroll children in school - if you took them out for a year or more than it's time to put them back into the school system.
• Complete Photo Album - this is really important to do within the first few months of your return because memories start to fade and if you don't do it now you may never finish the "Trip of a Lifetime" album. There are several really good online sites that make it easy to put together a memory book. I use Shutterfly and the albums always look very professional.
Take this time to congratulate yourself on a successful adventure. You now have the necessary skills to plan an extended trip with ease. Now that you've returned home the only logical thing for you to do is start planning your next trip. The sky's the limit!