Aimee and I have spent many a bottle of red bemoaning the passing of a holiday, and, in our more erudite moments, discussing the finer points of the phenomenon that is post-holiday blues. I know we're not the only ones - there's even a Wikipedia entry about it!. In fact, just this week I learned that it is a condition experienced as early as five years old - Sascha has spent every morning this week lamenting the need to go to school. (And to be fair, it is a bit of a shock to the system for her - four-and-a-half weeks in Europe, four days back at school, then two weeks of school holidays. The struggles are real, people.) Apparently even pets get the post-holiday blues when their family goes back to work!
Anyway, given that I am four weeks back from our Europe adventure, it seems timely to look at what to do when one is stricken by this perilous condition. Here is a wrap of the expert's advice, and a few of my own tips for good measure.
1. Live it up locally
It might not be Paris, but chances are there are some awesome things to do in your own corner of the world. Do them! Pretend you're a tourist in your own town. I did this once in my uni days with a couple of friends and we had a blast (especially at the outdoor maze, which we visited after the locally winery). We even sent another friend a postcard (ok, that might have been after the winery too...). At the very least, do the holiday-type things that you can do anywhere: eat out more (if your post-holiday budget will stretch that far do it at restaurants, if not, go picnicking in the park), sleep in or have an afternoon nap (you might need to save that for the weekend), be romantic, get icecream, find places you've never been and explore them.
2. Do some pseudo-travel
It's not quite the same as being there yourself, but keeping the reminders coming of the big wide world out there can go a long way to scratching your travel itch on a day-to-day basis. Sign up to a great travel blog (cough cough), follow some inspiring Instagram blogs (ahem), and surround yourself with wanderlustworthy mementos (you know where!).
3. Get busy
I don't know about you, but we usually spend a fair bit of time on our holidays doing big picture thinking - talking about all the stuff we want to do more of in our everyday and projects we'd love to get underway. Sinking your teeth into some of that stuff and actually getting it in play is a great way to feel good about being home again.
The experts say that feeling healthy improves your state of mind. So eat well, get enough sleep, drink more water and less booze. There's plenty of theories that suggest a clean, decluttered environment at home and work can ease your mind too. Sounds great - unless that involves getting home and pulling out the Gumption. That doesn't sound fun at all.
5. You think, therefore you are
This strategy involves thinking positive thoughts and being grateful and counting your blessings and looking for the silver lining in being back at work. Sure.
6. Relive the memories
My mum is a big fan of this strategy. Within days of being back, she has commenced putting together a photo book of the trip. She loves poring over the photos she took and capturing the details of where they went and what they loved, and then sharing it with everyone from her workmates down to the postman. I, on the other hand, am still meaning to get together the highlights of every trip since 2007. I do have a marvellous time sharing my favourite pics from trips gone by with the world though. Horses for courses.
7. Phone a friend
As previously mentioned, this is a strategy Aimee and I are experts at. Find a friend who loves to travel as much as you do, open a bottle of wine, and share the intermingled joys and tragedies of being forever smitten by travel. And if you haven't got one in the flesh, you've always got us :)
8. Plan the next one
This is a tried and true treatment recommended by all wanderlusters. There is no post-holiday salve quite like knowing when your next trip will be, or even better, having it booked. And if that's not quite achievable, it's never too early to start scoping out your options. Afterall, the anticipation is half the fun (we've even got a blog about that)!
9. Toughen up, princess
If all else fails, it's time to take a teaspoon of cement. You had a great trip, and the greater the trip, the bigger the come down. It's the way of the world, and really, would you have it any other way?