A Travellers Guide to Surviving When You’re Not Travelling

There’s bound to be a point in your life when you find yourself no longer travelling. You could be taking a break for a while and earning some cash before your next big trip, or you could have just come home from your big trip and decided it’s time to settle down. Whatever your situation is, trying to survive without this guide could prove to be fatal.

Going from being the master of the world to a 9-to-5 civilian over night will cause the brain to spontaneously combust.  This is fact. To avoid this happening to you, you need to make the transition slowly. I’ve survived the process of ‘winding down’ after travelling and now I’m taking it day by day before departing on my next big trip. Following these tried and tested methods in everyday situations throughout the week will guarantee you a safe transition back in to every day society.

can't speakShopping

Situation: It’s highly unlikely that you’ll finish your travels in an area where you can’t speak the language. Going from using your hands and various facial expressions to try and explain to the shop attendant what you want to simply asking for it in your own language will be a major shock to the system.

Effect: Your brain won’t be able to handle the fluidity of the conversation and could possibly switch off your ability to speak all together. This could lead to major problems in the future.

Cure: Every now and again pretend you can’t speak the same language as the shop attendant. Act confused and speak to them in very broken English (or another language if necessary). This will fool the brain in to thinking you are still in a foreign country and will allow it to gradually get used to the fact you’re at home.


SleepSituation: You’ve spent the past few months sleeping on the most uncomfortable mattresses in hostels around the world in rooms with at least 4 other people, but now you’ve returned home you’ve got a comfortable double bed in an empty and quiet room.

Effect: Without being woken up by other drunken travellers stumbling in throughout the night your brain will fail to wake you at all. You’ll be driven in to an eternal sleep and wind up living with 7 dwarfs.

Cure: Sleep on the floor while a war movie plays on your laptop. The familiar noises will soothe the brain in to thinking you’re still on the road. The floor won’t be as uncomfortable as hostel beds but it’s the closest thing possible.

Eat UnhealthyEating

Situation: For the past few months your pallet has consisted of 2-minute microwavable noodles and other basic necessities. Now that you’re earning you’ll be able to afford other luxuries such as…well anything that isn’t going to corrode your insides over time.

Effect: If you start eating too healthy too fast your body won’t know what to do. It will retain EVERYTHING you eat and you could see your weight balloon until you eventually explode. This is definitely one of the messiest side effects of not travelling.

Cure: Eat healthy every other day. On the days you’re not eating healthy, fill meals with chocolate bars, microwaveable meals and of course bucket loads of alcohol.

Cold ShowerHygiene

Situation: We’ve all had those days where you’ve had no access to proper wash facilities or when you have had access to them then the water has been too cold to enjoy it.

Effect: Having unlimited access to a warm shower can lead to you to stand under the water for hours on end. This will cause you to shrivel up beyond normal and could result in you looking like an ancient Egyptian mummy that’s just been dug up.

Cure: During the shower switch the water to cold every few minutes. This will bring you back in to reality and should be enough to stop you from staying there too long.

messy deskWorking

Situation: For some of us, the only ‘work’ on our travels was making sure the blog was up to date and re-organising the backpack every now and again.

Effect: With the brain rewired in to thinking that this is what a hard day’s work consist of, when you do finally get a job you will spend your days reorganising your desk draws and sending posts on Twitter. Unless you’re getting paid to do this, your boss won’t be very happy and you could find it hard to keep yourself employed.

Cure: Unfortunately this aspect of travelling is terminal. Once you’ve experienced a life of freedom and fun there’s no going back. The brain cannot recover from such an experience and will only long for more. The only advice I can give to you is to find a job within the travel industry and keep living the dream.

These are only the basic essentials to rehabilitation. For other situations you will have to use that intuitive brain of yours that managed to take you around the world to tackle the situations you’re faced with. Please let myself and other travellers know of your experiences and cures in the comment section below.

If at any point during this process your head starts burning uncontrollably then you must book yourself on the next flight out. Your body simply isn’t ready to give up travelling just yet and requires at least a few more months of freedom. Good luck.

Author: Dan Collins

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  1. Haha, great post 🙂 It was so strang sleeping in a good bed again after travelling for a while, without any other people in my room. Not sure I mis the drunk people walking into my room so much though.

  2. Haha I know what you mean! I remember my first ever hostel experience… I was awake all night!

  3. This is too funny! I especially liked the sleeping with a war movie playing in the background tip. After reading this though, I know understand why my friends think I’m so weird for purposely subjecting myself to this lol

  4. I agree, why do we put ourselves through this torture?! haha… oh, wait, it’s because I LOVE IT. Even if the beds are terribly uncomfortable, it’s awesome!

  5. Great timing for this post. I leave Germany in 13 days, after being here for a year and I’m totally stressed about reverse culture shock!

  6. Ahh I’m sure you’ll be fine. Is that the end of your travels now or do you think you’ll move on to another country soon?

  7. Great post! And so very true! After returning from a lengthy trip to Africa I was gutted that I wasn’t able to buy any food through a bus window – A McDonalds drive-thru just doesn’t cut it!

  8. You can buy food through a window in Africa?! AWESOME!

  9. Honestly you name it, as soon as that bus stops there will be a hand through the window trying to sell it to you! Amazing service!

  10. I’m already planning my next getaway. think my best bet to live abroad again is to teach English, so I’ll finish my last year of University, get certified and try to teach abroad. Probably again in Germany to continue the language, or South America. Not too sure yet 🙂

  11. I’m already planning my next getaway. think my best bet to live abroad again is to teach English, so I’ll finish my last year of University, get certified and try to teach abroad. Probably again in Germany to continue the language, or South America. Not too sure yet 🙂

  12. Amazing, I did a real life LOL at the war movie and sleeping oin the floor bit – perfect!

  13. Glad I could make you actually LOL. How’s things arr kid?

  14. The Working part is something that i can relate to now. I left my full-time job last year to embark on a trip the UK since my family is based there. When I returned here in the Philippines last March, I didn’t have that eagerness or willingness to go back to the workplace. I’ve been going out of town with Pinoy Travel Bloggers and so far, my blog earnings is ok. My grandparents often remind me that i have to keep in mind that i am still young to go and retire from the corporate world. Oh well. Wish i can fix this mess up LOL

  15. My cure for you: Travel some more!

  16. That picture of the girl getting sprayed is hilarious! Fun post.

  17. Awesome post! Oh gawd … the dreaded micro-noodles. I can’t even stand to see the box of these things. My English brain has begun to play tricks on me, I’m finding myself more often than not, thinking in Italian. Will be an interesting transition when we visit Canada the next time.

  18. Hahaha great post, a good reminder of all the not so fun stuff that comes with traveling – like cold showers!

  19. My brain thinks I’m a microwave with all of the microwavable meals I’ve had. Not good!

  20. HATE cold showers. I’m such a wimp when it comes to trying to get under them… I kinda stand on the edge of the water and dash in and out of it a few times.

  21. Sounds like a good plan to me!!

  22. Couldn’t agree more, the photo makes me laugh every time I look at it. We’re so evil..

  23. Great article Dan. It’s kind of a light-hearted approach for facing “reality” again. I guess it’s either you laugh or you cry 🙂 I’m going to file this article away for 6 months from now when I’m back at home after my RTW 🙂


  24. Fun post Dan! I’m not very sad about the fact that I don’t think there is a cure for traveling!

  25. I’m kinda glad about that too! It’s too awesome to give up!!

  26. Ahhh, well I hope it serves you well!

  27. I love traveling. This post is very amusing because I see many of the situations I’ve been unfortunate to fall into. Great tips for travel fans!

  28. Hahaha! I find these symptoms to be very true in my life 😀

  29. Great post, so funny! Playing a war movie is a great idea. You really need someone to trudge their dirty boots all over the bathroom floor, someone to slam a door every 10mins, and to sleep on some chip packets to bring back the sound of someone trying to be oh-so-quite while searching through their backpack full of plastic bags in the wee small hours.

    I’m feeling nostalgic just thinking about it!

  30. Brilliant article! I recently returned to Canada after traveling for 2 years, and the reverse culture shock was soooo strange!
    One of the strangest things of the first week or two was that I could hear the Canadian accent when people spoke! I hadn’t heard another Canadian for so long that my own homeland’s accent sounded so strange to me. Now I am getting used to it again I suppose, but your home is never quite the same once you return to it after traveling for so long.

  31. It’s any shame you don’t use a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this unpaid blog! My partner and i suppose right now i’ll settle for bookmarking and also attaching the Rss feed to be able to my own Yahoo consideration. My partner and i seem forward to be able to innovative updates and definately will share this kind of blog page together with my own Fb group:

  32. LOL! Loveee it

  33. This article is a home run, pure and simple!

  34. Oh my, this was FUNNY!!!! Dan, LOL!

  35. Hilarious!

  36. Great Post

  37. The shopping bit is brilliant, after living in Oz for a year and the main supermarkets packing your bags for you, the lady in Tesco gave me a funny look when I just stood there looking at what I had brought.

  38. Aha I know exactly what you mean!

  39. Love this post. It’s really unfortunate that an aversion to working post-travel is a terminal condition.

  40. Haha yup! The only solution is to never stop!

  41. I think once you are always travelling its really hard to stop. Something about just moving and seeing everything makes it seem more dull to go to work in the same place everyday. Best advice is to fire up your office life when you get home and try to keep things more exciting.

  42. LOL been in fits of laughter reading this dan!

  43. LOL! Love it!

  44. Write more, thats all I have to say.

  45. This is very good, You’re a very skilled blogger!

  46. Cool stuff man, cool stuff!


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