The Only Downside of Traveling: Post-travel Blues (And My Favorite Places in Kyushu)

Two days ago, I returned home after a week-long road trip in Kyushu, an island in the south of Honshu. I haven’t gotten much done since then, and I still feel fatigued; I don’t want to do anything except eat and binge-watch “Good Girls.” Although I have countless photos from this trip and took in so much beauty that it would be enough for at least five blog posts, I don’t feel like starting to write at all. And I do know about the post-travel blues. I deal with it every time at the end of my travels.

It’s just that I don’t know how to cure it. I’m congenitally a scatterbrain. It’s hard for me to organize my thoughts under normal circumstances. I feel like someone unplugged me, and now I have to find a way to recharge my batteries on my own. It’s not ideal, especially after visiting a gorgeous island full of history, delicious foods, and spectacular landscapes. And it’s certainly not what I had in mind after visiting Kyushu Island. 

I thought I’d get back to writing as soon as I returned home and publish some blog posts with lovely photos my husband and I took together. But, well, my body and mind aren’t synched at the moment, so I can’t really get anything done. I realize it’s a unique state of mind, and something needs discovering here. It’s the limbo between the excitement I feel during my travels and the fatigue and void that come after them. 

I’m thinking of ways to better care for myself now without killing my passion for writing. Perhaps, it’s better to dissect the highlights of my Kyushu trip and make a list instead of trying to write huge blogs about it in one sitting. 

Or can I let it sit for a while and then get back to writing? But then, what would happen to the freshness of my memories? Would they get stale during the wait? Is there any way to write while my feelings are still fresh and feel good at the same time? Would it be like having my cake and eating it?

Okay, I think I’ll go with the first idea and list the highlights of my Kyushu trip before going into details about it. Then, I can go back to those points and explain them in detail in other blogs. That sounds better! 

There are seven prefectures on the island, and I’ll start with which ones I’ve visited in Kyushu in the order I visited them. As you can see from the map, we started from the northwest and went to the southeast. From there, we traveled down to the south end of the island:

Kyushu map

  • Fukuoka 
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
  • Oita

We completed our journey by visiting Oita, a prefecture northeast of Kyushu. Not everything went as planned because of the bad weather, though. As a result, we had to adjust our itinerary and sometimes completely change it. Still, I can’t complain because it was imperfect but unique. The weather got on our nerves during the first two days of our travel, but surprisingly, it improved after that. Mind you, we almost returned to Kansai after experiencing a few hardships. 

I’m glad we didn’t. 

There were so many things to see in Kyushu. We were there for eight days, but I can’t say we’ve seen everything. If we had wanted to see all the tourist spots, we would have needed at least two weeks. And to discover all the uniqueness of Kyushu and the local life? Well, I dare say it’d take a decade! Unfortunately, we didn’t have a decade on our hands, so we only discovered the main spots of Kyushu, promising to visit the locations off the beaten track in the future. 

My favorite places in Kyushu are the following:

Nagasaki: Both Nagasaki City and the islands surrounding it are incredible. Nagasaki has a history, an exciting one. The city was the home to hidden Christians and Dutch and Portuguese merchants. 

Oura Cathedral, Nagasaki City

Aso-Kuju National Park: Located between Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, Aso-Kuju National Park is an exciting sightseeing spot for all travelers. We only visited Kusa-senri (the grassland surrounding the five mountains of Aso) and couldn’t see the Kuju mountains at this time. 

Kusa-senri, Aso

The Ariake Sea: Being the largest bay in Kyushu, The Ariake Sea is not a popular tourist destination for travelers. However, I think I saw one of the most peaceful sunsets in Japan there. It’s also home to a wetland of international importance.

The Ariake Sea, Kumamoto

Takachiho Gorge: We couldn’t resist visiting this impressive gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture. It’s a rare place where waterfalls and a columnar-shaped valley can be seen together. 

Takachiho Gorge, Miyazaki

Cape Toi: If you love capes and wild horses, you’re in luck in Miyazaki! This intriguing cape shelters more than a hundred wild horses. They’re friendly, and the foals are terrifyingly cute. 

A chilling foal with its mom. Cape Toi, Miyazaki

Sakurajima: The residents of Sakurajima in Kagoshima Prefecture combined their unique island life with an active volcano. And the volcano erupted last weekend, right after we visited it! We were both frightened and surprised at our luck!

Sakurajima, Kagoshima

Beppu City: I admit visiting an onsen city in the middle of a scorching hot summer is not the most brilliant idea, but I promise you won’t regret it. Our last prefecture to visit in Kyushu was Oita, and we spent a lovely day in its famous onsen city, visiting Seven Hells!

Umi Jigoku (Sea Hell) Onsen, Beppu City

Now that I look at my list, I can see why I was overwhelmed. It’s not easy to take in all this beauty and recharge your batteries. I was awestruck by Kyushu’s diverse landscapes, its eccentric and painful history, and the delicious foods. I’m sure many travelers there would feel the way I do now. 

I’m proud of myself for having written this piece. I can go back to my daily life and defeat my travel blues now, only to find myself on the road again next time.

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  1. kegarland

    Post-vacation syndrome is real. I hope you’ll be able to write some drafts, while you still remember. You can always come back to them later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahanur

      Thank you for your sympathy! I should write some drafts before my memories start to fade.

      Liked by 1 person

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