- Katherine Dudley Hoehn
10 Survival Tips for the Post-Vacation Blues
You want it to last forever. Yes I missed home, and my dog, but I spent my entire vacation writing, eating, drinking, meeting interesting people, and experiencing eye-popping art treasures, ruins, and scenery. It was heaven on earth.
The last day of vacation is tough. The magic has subsided. Whether you are renting a house on the beach or, as I was, preparing to depart Italy after nearly four weeks, you don’t have time for fun. Instead, there is rental car return, packing, and finding something – anything - clean to wear home.
My last supper in Italy was at Marco Polo Airport after returning the rental car. At least the Italians have better airport food options, although absent fabulous wine.
The first week post-vacation I was busy with travel related things. Unpacking. Finding homes for the treasures I purchased. Catching up with friends. Paying bills. Even getting back into work mode was satisfying.
Then week two arrived like a hungry bear. Bills from travel flooded in, the fun things were over and I had to get back to normal and focus on making money. Not many people wanted to hear about my travels, by then old news. Or, they wanted the abbreviated version. I wanted to stay in travel mode.
To squelch the blues and keep vacation memories alive, I begin to work through a list of things that would make me happy and remember how wonderful it was to be in Venice, Ravenna, Modena, Parma, Lake Garda and places in between. Try these 10 things if you are having trouble getting out of the blues.
1) Enjoy looking at your photographs while you cull and label them.
I took 3,000 photographs in Italy and this is a lengthy process.
Do it before you forget what they are. After a while churches, cathedrals, and duomos in Italy look alike!
2) Sign up for activities. Grab a friend and go.
Where I live, the library and independent bookstores have great programs.
3) Go to a movie.
This is an easy and inexpensive way to escape.
4) Start something new.
Choose an easy project you are sure you can complete.
5) Exercise. Nothing squelches the blues like exercise.
I bought a new bike and have been enjoying exploring my town.
6) Re-live the experience by sending postcards.
Everyone loves to get mail, even after you have returned!
Try TouchNote, a fantastic app. From your cell phone, upload photos and addresses and write your message. Cards are printed and mailed for you. Personalized postcards with photographs from your favorite places are great to receive.
7) Add to your trip journal.
On vacation, I was tired at the end of the day and left details from my journal. Since returning home, I have added detail.
Journal reading is another chance to relive a bit of the trip.
8) When you are feeling a little bit blue, reach out to someone who is less fortunate.
Cull your pantry supplies and gather your favorites for the local food pantry. Give them the good stuff like wild caught albacore tuna and quality items that someone in need cannot afford.
Visit an elderly person in a nursing home. Many do not live near family and are anxious for real conversation.
9) Schedule your next trip.
Planning is fun and everyone needs a travel bucket list!
Although Italy will always stay on my list, I hope my next trip will be to Spain and Portugal. My list is endless!
10) Revisit your favorite spots and recreate a favorite dish.
PBS has several interesting travel programs. Support your local PBS station and get a Passport to all of their online content. Amazon Prime also offers travel videos.
Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Allrecipes, and others have great recipes.