How Becoming a Homestay Host Will Combat Your Post-Travel Blues
Have you just returned home after an eye-opening, life-changing experience travelling abroad?
Perhaps you embarked on a six month-long backpacking trip through South America, a culturally immersive volunteering stint in Asia, or a working holiday in the UK.
Whatever it is you did, chances are you’re probably wishing you were still there: In a place where you’re constantly making new friends, challenging yourself, and immersing yourself in worlds and cultures you never knew existed. Now you’re back at home with your parents, broke (you spent the last of your savings on your flight home), unemployed (wishing you’d spent the last month of your trip sending out job applications), and getting sick of answering “so how was your trip?” day in and day out. All the people with whom you shared life-changing experiences with are a million miles away.
What you’re feeling right now are the post-travel blues. You’re back to reality. The real world.
But just because you’re not on the road anymore, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have some incredible experiences at home.
Many people (myself included) have the tendency to romanticise their time abroad and pine after their globe-trotting adventures, forgetting about what they have at home. “The bars are so much better in Budapest!” “Man the public transport here is terrible compared to Berlin!” “The people in Cambodia are so friendly – people here just aren’t the same!” While these things may be true, there is always something positive to be found in your surroundings. You certainly don’t need to travel thousands of miles away to have a meaningful and enjoyable experience.
What you need is a fresh perspective; instead of looking at your surroundings as you’ve always seen them – dull, monotonous, boring – look at them through the eyes of someone seeing them for the very first time, just as you looked at the places you encountered with awe, excitement and wonder. How can you do this? By becoming a homestay host and hosting a traveller from another country!
Becoming a homestay host is the perfect way to combat your post-travel blues.
You’ll make new friends
One of our guests Moon during his cambio in Spain.
One of the best parts of travelling is meeting new people and connecting with others from different countries. There’s no reason that this has to stop once you return home.
Being a homestay host is a great way to meet people from all over the world whom you can share crazy travel stories with – because unlike your friends who’ve been working their 9-5 jobs while you’ve been gone, these people understand you. Plus when you go on your next trip abroad you’ll have places all over the world to stay for free – bonus!
Join GoCambio hosts like Lucilla who hosted a Japanese traveller in her home in Italy and is now planning to visit her new friend in Japan!
You can have new experiences with all the comforts of home close by
Image Credit: Garry Knight
What do you usually do when you hit the town? Head to your favourite bar? Eat lunch at the best Thai place in town? Go shopping? Whatever it is, having a traveller staying with you will force you to change up your routine and do things differently.
Is your guest into contemporary art? Check out an exhibition at an art gallery. Do they want to experience some local culture? Join in the celebrations for a local festival. Are they a coffee connoisseur? Have brunch at a cafe in a different part of town.
While you’ll probably have your favourite joints you want to show your guest, they’ll have their own ideas about what they want to do and if you go along with it then you’ll be sure to discover something new in your own neighbourhood. If they want to check out the new salsa bar in town, join them! You might just have a blast sharing a plate of tapas and dancing the night away, margarita in hand. And the best part of it is you’ll have your own comfy bed to sink into at the end of the night. It’s like travelling but with the comforts of home – you can’t lose!
You’ll learn something new
As a GoCambio host, you provide accommodation and meals to your guest and in return they teach you a language or skill. It’s a really fun and interactive way to learn that saves you bucketloads on language lessons or online courses.
Plus, picking up a new skill will give you something to focus on outside of your daily routine that’s interesting and engaging, and will take your mind off all of those places that you wish you’d rather be.
If you’re job hunting and have a lot of spare time on your hands, what better time to learn a new skill – whether it’s conversational French, Japanese cooking, gardening, or graphic design.
You’ll appreciate what’s around you a whole lot more
Image Credit: Jason James
I come from Sydney, Australia. The land down under is widely considered one of the most beautiful and exciting destinations in the entire world. But for a long time, I didn’t see it that way. I saw my life there as involving the same mundane routine and I craved a life of travel in farflung, exotic locations instead. It was only once I’d travelled a great deal that I realised how lucky I had been to live there (especially now that I live in Sweden where temperatures plunge well below minus during the winter months…brrr).
The same will happen when you start exploring your own surrounds after time spent overseas. If you’re anything like me then your wanderlust will start to kick in again in no time (in fact I’m not sure mine ever truly disappears) but when you’re broke from spending all your money on a road trip in the United States or find yourself in a situation where travelling abroad isn’t an option, then being a tourist in your own city is the next best thing. And it will make you appreciate what you have around you, I guarantee it.
When your guest turns to you and says “wow, that view is really something”, even though you’ve seen it countless times during your life, you won’t be able to help but smile in response to their excitement and reply “yes, it certainly is.”
So, if you’re currently waxing nostalgic about all the incredible places you visited during your travels, by all means continue to reminisce on the good times you had. But don’t forget about all the good times you can have at home too.
About the Author: Clarissa Hirst is GoCambio’s Content Manager. A born-and-bred Australian, Clarissa currently calls Sweden home. She’s travelled to over 40 countries, loves learning foreign languages, and her passion is inspiring others to learn about and explore the world around them. She hopes to one day speak fluent Russian and ride the Trans-Siberian railway. Connect with Clarissa on Twitter.
COVER IMAGE CREDIT: Ian T. McFarland