Having just returned from a holiday overseas (even though some work was involved), I completely understand the mind’s refusal to get back to our daily routines. Whereas a vacation is jam-packed with fun filled activities that make us happy, our commute to work is just jammed up with zombies who drag their feet to their offices, only to stare at the computer’s screen and type away into the abyss.
Okay, I’m clearly over-dramatising this, but you get the point.
I’ve not ALWAYS suffered the post-holiday depression, but I have been a victim of not being able to concentrate on work because I’m already imagining how/where my next holiday would be. My focus is really all over the
Lately, I’m grateful to have adjusted my routine to enable me to get back on my feet after a holiday even faster. Here’s how I do try to stay upbeat, and maybe you could consider it too the next time you’re about to return from a holiday:
I suppose I should give credit to my mother for this. Immediately after reaching home from a vacation, I unpack suitcase and place items where they belong. I don’t usually waste time doing this and the entire process is usually over within the first hour of arriving home. If I have souvenirs for friends/family, I batch, pack and label them and leave them in open view so I remember to distribute them to the relative owners. OCD much.
Once that’s out of the way, I have time to sit back, relax and reminisce the good (and occasionally not-so-good) times during the vacation. I feel calmer and have no other post-holiday must-dos and can get back to my good ol’ routine of watching TV, checking my mails, writing and if I’m lucky, just chilling before I get back to the office.
This happened out of the blue. I picked up a habit of planning meet-ups with friends after returning from a holiday without realising how much it helped in boosting my spirits. You don’t always need a holiday for “fun” – a good cuppa session with best friends can do the same trick!
Alternatively, work on planning your next getaway. But, a word of advice, don’t spend TOO MUCH time on this. I’ve learned that sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.
Remember the key is to plan something that’ll help you focus on your work and still keep you happy!
Focus on “Remembering”
In an article I wrote for Songket Alliance, I mentioned how if I remember a destination too much, instead of looking through snapshots, it probably means it’s time to return to it again.
I suppose I’m one of those people who prefers to bask in the magnificent moments rather than to stop and take a photo. With that said, I definitely did ensure I snapped certain memorable instants such as the me standing next to the Taj Mahal (India), and at the Sanctuary of Truth (Thailand), and of course I had to run with my handy iPhone to capture the epic moment where I found an auto rickshaw in India with my name beautifully engraved on its windscreen (pictured above). Other than that, it’s not abnormal for me to return from a trip overseas without even one photo of myself posing at some tourist spot. Call me weird, but I think that’s it’s just something else to stop and stare, breathe in and feel without having to worry about why your photo is not turning out “good enough”. (Read more: “There and Back Again: A Traveler’s Thoughts”)
What I’m trying to say it, the reason for travel is so we open ourselves up to different world views, explore the abundance of cultures and beauty Earth has to offer, and maybe, at the same time, learn a new thing or two. But that’s pretty much where our holiday ends – we come back and continue with our lives, hopefully a little more aware of how our actions impact the world, and maybe a little more knowledgeable to help us grow as better human beings. All that we see and learn are things that we constantly have to remember and not forget. Some people remember through photos, I remember through, well, memories. The point is to keep our travel expeditions lingering in your mind without letting it bog you down with the feeling of “having to go back” until and unless you miss it too much.
So travel the world, enjoy your expeditions, but stay happy wherever you are because life, in its entirety, is beautiful! Make the best of what you have, each day, every day.