It happens every time after vacation and it begins a few days before the vacation comes to an end. The same feeling of not wanting to leave behind the place, its flavors, moods, and spirit. That same feeling of melancholy is even stronger if the destination has become a favorite. Vows to come back are a useless deception – always something happens, plans change, and traveling to new places bring me anywhere else but back to the same location. I believe that if I can see something now, I shouldn’t postpone for when I come back one day. Returns are rare.
I get attached to places and don’t want to go back to real life. It’s like a dear person whom you don’t want to say goodbye to just yet. I want to experience the sounds, smells, nature, culture, and architecture over and over again, to always discover something new and unexpected.
How do I cope?
Photos. Uploading the very many photos from the trip, backing them up, arranging, editing, and browsing gives me the feeling that I have immortalized the place in a nearly tangible way. I love spending hours looking at the trip photos, evoking memories and emotions. Shopping makes some people happy and gives them the illusion of being in control. Taking pictures is my way to feeling materialistic.
Talk. I talk about the trip, the location, what happened, the great things, the not-so-great things, anything. This helps me bring back the time for a while and experience specific elements, the excitement of travel.
Keep busy. I try to keep myself occupied with work and activities that do not allow me to get distracted. It’s not always successful, but persistence usually pays off. Therefore, I keep trying.
Coloring. Choosing the coloring book, what to color, the colors themselves – all this brings me serenity and provokes my imagination. It was difficult as a kid to color within the lines. Now I enjoy the art of the steady hand.
Work out. My daily workout and walk significantly diminish post-vacation blues. The endorphins last for a few hours and it seems like everything is brighter again.
Plan the next trip. This is certainly one of my favorite methods to battle post-travel melancholy. It excites me to pick a destination, discuss it, read about it, to plan and organize the trip, to fantasize about the new place and look forward to seeing it for the first time.
The melancholic mood grabs me and holds me tight for weeks after I have come back from vacation. I try to do something about it, to fight back. Sometimes I manage to distract myself and overcome the blues quicker. Other times it requires longer.