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Editor'S Choice - 2020

How to face the return after a long trip?

These travelers tell you how they came back after their long and intense experiences (and they are still alive)

How to return after a long trip? © Kinga Cichewicz / Unsplash

The story of Yolanda Muñoz throws us a sea of ​​doubts about great trips and, above all, the return after a whirlwind of adventure, unparalleled knowledge about the world, its people, cultures, and ourselves. Because if there is something that a long trip brings is a great self knowledge: our limitations, constant overcoming capabilities ...

Since Gasteiz, Yolanda set out to travel with nothing but the company of his bike. He had traveled on two wheels before, of course, but he had never done it alone. So, in July 2015 he took his luggage and headed to China with the idea of ​​traveling two years.

"Crossing Europe, and at the gates of Poland, in a great descent, I wasted a wasp by the sunglasses, I lost control of the bicycle and I broke three metacarpal bones of the left hand ”, tells Traveler.es.

Yolanda Muñoz, the traveler by bicycle. © Yolanda Muñoz

Did this prevent you from continuing your journey? Of course not, he took the Transiberian and followed his route by bicycle, crossed part of the Silk Road, the Pamir road, he Caspian Sea and came up Iran.

“From there to Turkey, where not pedaling because the snow hindered the advance; I moved by bus to Greecewhere i was collaborating with refugees. I was going to leave again via Italy and France to return home, but from Gasteiz they told me that my father was very sick and I had to return by plane three months ahead of schedule… ”, he adds.

A one year trip and eight months in those who lived with the phrase "woman alone?", in which he learned that when we travel at ease with ourselves there are no barriers along the way. And there was no lack of those who wanted to make her doubt during her journey, for example in Iran where he suffered the aggressions of some men.

“Move across countries by myself, with a full physical and mental freedom, is the best gift I have ever given and I will never forget, ”he adds.

I'm back: now what? © Sweet ice cream photography / Unsplash

Although maybe the worst of the whole trip was the return, a lap that not for all travelers is the same. On the one hand, many do it with joy to see those loved ones who have waited for their return in suspense; others with illusion for new projects in your home country; there is no lack of apathy and those who feel sadness, depression or those who only feel grateful for such Vital experience.


In Yolanda's case, his return was hard. “Suddenly I find myself in a city like Vitoria-Gasteiz, which although small, has its rhythm, haste, immediacy, discipline, daily consumption… During a bike trip, the contact with nature is overwhelming and it is not easy to lose it in the daily life of a city ”.

Its adaptation was progressive. In fact, he still thinks he has not yet fully adapted. “Without forgetting that traveling and doing it by bicycle is a passion that I can't stop feeding. Feel that this is not going to be the last trip you make, having plans for the following, short or long, is making it easier for me to turn around. ”

Worst? Loss of freedom of oneself, to think that he will never meet some of the people he met on his trip and with whom he created a lasting bond.


The post-vacation syndrome exists, we have talked about it on numerous occasions, and it is very similar to what those who return home after years of travel live.

"It becomes (or is believed to return) to a routine and perhaps to jobs that don't motivate us excessively. Therefore, a period of adaptation to schedules, obligations and responsibilities will be necessary. There can be problems with insomnia, concentration, a lower mood than usual… ”, explains Carles Ríos, psychologist, member of the Barcelona College of Psychologists Y coach personal.

However, not everything is bad: “Many times there is a interior change what does that when you return from the trip our mind map It is broader, that we accept things that we used to accept and things that we gave a lot of importance, now it seems that they do not have so much, ”he adds.

For him, the ideal is to leave a period of time between the return and the incorporation into the work to reconsider all that has been experienced and integrate it. For those who have not yet landed on their great journey, it has an advice and is that of spend a few minutes writing in a logbook, the best gift of the return to remember the trip.

When we read it, we can “see the changes that have taken place during this time and how we can apply those changes to our day to day be more aware people" But above all, facing the return in a positive way, with gratitude.

Tips to return after a long trip. © Rawpixel / Unsplash


There are many ways to land after a long trip, one that can last for years or that upsets you and stirs inside. Itziar, a psychologist, and Pablo, an economist, have been talking about this type of travel and its landings for years. First, as founders of Editorial Travel, then as organizers of the Great Travel Days, which they prepare each year since 2013 and in which they deal with all kinds of situations and experiences.

Hence also the last talk in the Altaïr bookshop in Barcelona in which they approached, last April, how was the return after a long trip. Together they crossed Africa by public transport for twelve monthsthey wrote How to prepare a great trip and now they reflect with Traveler.es, about the return.

“The return is true that it is not easy. But it is normal, since on the trip, for many months they have been living Unique experiences constantly. Upon returning, the contrast with the previous life is important, as it gives the feeling that it is a very routine life, in which few things happen. But nevertheless, travel for a long time it opens your mind and you discover many things that you didn't know about before cultures and countries”, They emphasize.

How can we make the return more bearable? “You have to stay interested in the countries and people you've met, explore your city as if it were an unknown city (visiting new neighborhoods and living new experiences), interacting with people who have made great trips or at least have similar experiences. ”

What would you expect from such a trip? © Chris Lawton / Unsplash

It is common that when returning to our environment, our family and friends do not understand how intense our trip has been, therefore, they point out, frustrations can arise. The positive? “A great trip brings many things on a professional and personal level that will serve to reengage or find a new job easily".


It is more than possible that if you are reading this it is because something in you wakes up at think of a great adventure, years of travel discovering worldfeeling freedom, that of those who have lived it, and feel in yourself that happiness that you have seen on their faces and that you have envied (in a healthy way, of course) at some time.

If you are planning your return and so that it is not so hard, Carles Ríos recommends doing a good previous work prior to start a trip, besides creating low expectations.

“If we have been able to live the trip as a field of experimentation and self-knowledge it will be possible that what we have learned we can apply in our day to day, returning with a different vision of the world and of ourselves. ”

Cristina and Carlos on their way around the world. © Cristina Capella

Carlos and Cristina, a computer engineer and elementary school teacher from Barcelona, ​​thought of their Around the World when they went to live a season in Holland. That's where the illusion for which it has been began to curdle The journey of their lives.

His route began in Maldives, in February 2017, and ended eight months later in The Angels. The big question they asked themselves was how they were going to prepare such a long trip. They had guides, references from other travelers, but ...

“I remember that at the beginning you ask yourself a lot of questions and it seems very complicated to be able to carry out such a trip. Over time you realize that everything was much simpler, that the pressure and fear disappear the moment you take your first outbound flight”, They explain.

They did not consider much, they traveled according to how cheap or not the flights were at that time to follow your path and they returned when they thought it was time to return. “The first weeks are not yet located. You are with the rush of seeing people who had not seen for months or years, and that fills you with joy, but your day to day becomes something more monotonous and less exciting".

And they add: "also the plans you come back with are different. In our case, we wanted some stability, so our goal was to look for work to be able to make our lives as soon as possible." And although his return was nice still missing that each day is different from the previous one.

The flight of Apis. © The flight of Apis.


What if we think of our great journey as a legacy to give to those who come behind? Maybe we cushion the contrasts of the return? Value information about other countries, tips, open the mind to new generations, find and share experiences, landscapes… The Apis flight project has a lot of this.

Ingrid and Andrés, a couple of Sevillian teachers, decided to embark on a trip through South America in 2015, with their three young daughters: Nora, Cloe and Elsa (9, 7 and 5 years old). A educational trip that would lead them to travel 83 rural projects, educational and innovative in the country.

And a flexible, collaborative and open experience that they recorded on video, with which they wanted their daughters to learn, to take a more human perspective of the world (so it was), and they will transfer learning to many other people through their experience in the educational field.

At the same time they met 80 other families with those who lived from August 2016 to August 2017. “We had a general plan (which we more or less fulfilled) to be month, month and a half in each of the countries we visited and always following the good weather, something that greatly facilitated family logistics, especially with three girls. It was a year in a kind of continuous spring-summer”, They point out.

A family trip through South America. © The flight of Apis.

For them, their daughters are a stimulus that encourages them to travel. “We never felt any kind of danger and the fact travel with little girls it helped us with everything, since girls build trust immediately and all cultures are very sensitive to children, ”they add.

When your great trip serves as an example, it is possible that the return is even rewarding, and more as in the case of El vApis uelo, yespositively impact your family and a global educational environment.

“We have corroborated that children need to be with their parents and, when there is time and enjoyment, almost everything flows ... You don't need things, toys, clothes, huge celebrations. Being able to have the time to look at them, observe them carefully is one of the greatest gifts we have given ourselves. ”

In addition to Nora, the smallest, already knows how to locate on the map all South American countrieshave also noticed little changes at home as a good ability to adapt to situations, flexibility in the face of unexpected events, love and respect for nature and their living beings, normalize the entry and exit of people in their home ...

“Our biggest concern is that they grow up wanting to know the world and its incredible nature. The planet is too big to stay for life in one place. Traveling is a good way to educate in all those values. We think that there is no better school than the world”, They point out.

Following their experience they created their blog, which they have also shared on different online platforms, and in the Great Travel Days from Itziar and Pablo, where they were inspired to create The flight of Apis.

He has also left a legacy Yeray Martín, director of photography, drone expert and with more than twelve years of experience in TV channels national and international as National Geographic or Discovery.

He made his great trip working with RTVE 2when he rolled peaceful, a documentary series that narrated the adventure of three professionals who traveled from Japan to New Zealand in search of most hidden tribes and its relationship with its environment that lasted one year and fifteen days.

“For me, this is another positive point of my work. Many stories are not recorded, and I hope I can remember them the maximum time; but others will, and will always be there for me and, above all, for anyone else who wants to look out to see how our adventure was, ”he says.

And the return? “I am one of those who think that In everything there is a positive part, and in the return there is, I've met great travelers and of all of them, I only know one person who lives on an eternal journey, his name is Iara Lee, is a documentary director. The rest of the people always miss their home, that's why we all end up coming back, but there’s nothing wrong with that, just it's one more stage of the trip”.

Yeray working during the recording of 'The Pacific'. © Yeray Martín.

Video: Packing Light & Right with Sarah Murdoch (March 2020).

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