Bonjour mes amies! As I compose this blog, je suis enjoying un cafe overlooking Paris. Speaking of Paris, well, travel, have you ever noticed a shift in your energy or mood after returning from a vacation or even the day before your holiday is set to end?
It’s not in your head; post-vacation bleus are real (as seen via my recent Instagram poll, you are not alone.)
Considering my EXTREMELY modest childhood, I have been blessed avec the tenacity to ensure that travel became a normal pour moi. I’ve lived all over the world, I’ve traveled to more countries than I choose to count, and I can be found in Paris almost monthly.
There was a time when I used to feel post-vacation blues until I realized that it wasn’t a vacation; this is my life.
Whether you vacation monthly or once every other year, there are ways that you can incorporate vacation into your everyday life to ensure that vacation blues are merely violet hues. Below, I’ll list why many experience post-travel lows and how you can combat said feelings.
1. Why you’re feeling bleu: The end of an enjoyable experiences.
Vacations often provide a break from routine. During vacation, most slow down to relax (pas moi, and if you’ve ever watched my travel vlogs, you know), have fun, and explore new places. When the vacation ends, a sense of disappointment or sadness may begin to brew at the thought of having to return to regular responsibilities and daily life.
How to combat this.
Find a moment to “vacation relax” (whatever your definition of relaxing on vacation is.) Take a break from your normal routine and do what makes you happy while vacationing. Reading a book by the beach settles your soul? Perhaps you don’t live by a beach, but you can play wave sounds and schedule 10-15mins uninterrupted to read. Are you a foodie while traveling? Explore new cuisines near you.
2. Why you’re feeling bleu: The “end” of quality time.
During a vacation, we often engage in activities that we find pleasurable; we spend quality time with loved ones or experience new and exciting things. Because life truly “lifes” when we’re home (especially if you have kids, etc.), quality time that isn’t academically or responsibility-based may be scarce. The drastic contrast between the less structured vacation experience and the mundane aspects of everyday life can contribute to feelings of sadness or a longing for the vacation to continue.
How to combat this.
Find pleasure in everyday life. Enjoy a piece of chocolate. Download a new recipe and cook dinner as a family. If time permits, on a weekday, take thirty minutes and play a game or watch a show as a family. I stress the importance of making time to do this during the week because, for most, fun and exciting events are always saved for the weekend.
3. Why you’re feeling bleu: Stress and expectations.
Vacations are often planned and anticipated with high expectations. However, the reality of the vacation may not always match these expectations. Travel can sometimes be stressful, with logistical challenges, delays, or unexpected events. The buildup of stress before and during the vacation, as well as any unfulfilled expectations, can lead to a sense of disappointment or sadness upon returning.
One city has its own “syndrome” to describe the deep depression and disappointment that is often felt upon departing because of the overly romanticized depiction. Can you guess the city?
Paris Syndrome is a psychological condition experienced almost exclusively by Japanese tourists who are disappointed when the city of lights does not live up to their romantic expectations.
How to combat this?
Accept that so much is outside of your control. Just a few days ago, when I arrived back in Paris, my flight was delayed. How would being angry or anxious help me? There was absolutely nothing I could do to get air traffic control to end their strike instantly. Versus getting completely bent out of shape, I queued up a podcast and reminded myself that I would be landing in Paris, eventually.
Put on your rose-colored lens. Every city has crime, every city has trash, and most cities have racial something or some sort at times. Don’t focus on those things. There is so much good in the world; tune in to that and less of what’s wrong.
4. Why you’re feeling bleu: Disconnection from routine and responsibilities.
Circling back to points un et deux, vacations typically provide an escape from work, household chores, and other responsibilities. Returning from vacation means facing these obligations again, which can feel overwhelming or demotivating.
How to combat this?
Mes amies, don’t cancel moi, parce que; I can already feel the bombastic eye rolls.
Keep your regular routine. Oui, I said it mes amies! If, during vacation, you abandon all uniformity and completely live a different life, sadness is definitely going to kick in when you return to “normal life”. The goal is to have vacation vibes and that feeling to feel normal, thus easing any uncomfortable feelings of returning.
While traveling, I still wake up at the crack of dawn, I still go for extended walks, and I work. Now, I would be remiss if I did not highlight that not everyone loves or has a career where working while traveling is an option or even wanted. Your mental health is paramount, so if you are traveling to escape work/life, we must compose a new blog to address that. I love what I do, and a huge part of what I do is documenting what I do (does that read as confusing as it sounded as I typed it?), so working while traveling isn’t out of the question, pour moi.
Whatever you can do while traveling to not stare too far off from your daily will truly aid avec your transition home.
Et voila, mes amies, here are a few tips I have used to combat post-vacation bleus. I am a huge advocate for creating a life that doesn’t require you to “escape.” If you would like to read a blog post about how I do so, or if you have additional post-travel bleus tips, s’il vous plait comment below.
Ciao for now 💋