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Depressed or energized after coming home from vacation?

Depressed or energized after coming home from vacation?

Sep 23rd, 2004, 06:49 AM
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Depressed or energized after coming home from vacation?

A current thread about someone being depressed after returning from a good trip to Portugal made me think of posting this. I didn't want to post on that thread because it might look like a criticism of the original poster's feelings.

I don't get depressed when I return from trips. If I did, I might conclude either that travel is not such a good thing for me, or that I need to change my whole life so that I can be be happy with everyday things. As a young teenager, I used to get depressed and lonely when I returned home from summer camp, and as an older tenn I used to miss college and my friends terribly when I went home for holidays, but that was so different, because, once home, I had no say about how my life would play out, or at least that's how it seemed to me at the time to me. But in adulthood, it's different, at least for me.

A successful trip energizes me and stimulates my imagination and gets me into a state of mind where I observe things intensely and I'm enthused about learning new things and easily thrilled by all sorts of sensory experiences. So when I come home from a good trip, unless I get sick (about 80% of my colds occur right after flying home) or something bad happens soon afterward (like the time I returned from Crete and had to make arrangements for my father's funeral because he'd died while I was away), that spirit lasts a few weeks and enriches my mundane life. I notice the historic buidings in the town where I work, and I start to view it as a foreign tourist might--American river town, fading city that was major industrial center since colonial times, etc. I appreciate the beauty and history of some nearby towns, and pay more attention to my own town's revolutionary war history, and I take little detours to admire some of the lovely remaining scraps of relatively unspoiled countryside nearby. I seek out local farm produce--not the same as what I had on my trip, but at least the best of what my own local region has to offer. I'm thrilled with the sky at certain times of light, and I look at scenes as if I'm preparing to take a photo. So for me, vacations last more than the two weeks or so that I'm away, and once I'm home, they help keep me happy and interested in life, even though my actual routine and surroundings at work are less than thrilling to put it mildly.
cmt is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 07:29 AM
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I think you have a wonderful attitude and I admire it.
Vacations in Europe thrill me, stimulate me, and I love remembering them, working on the photo albums, etc.

But, and I don't think I'm alone in this, coming back to real life, the workday routine and irritations, having to make my own bed and scoop the litter box again, looking at the credit card bill, looking out my windows and not seeing any 15th century buildings, etc, do sometimes put me into a downer on my return. It quickly passes, thankfully, but usually for a day or three I have to decompress and get an attitude adjustment.
elaine is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 07:33 AM
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Always happy to come home.
Michael is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 07:35 AM
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I get dragged out coming home first of all, that's the time I get jet lag. I never have a problem going, but the second day after I am home, I start crashing in the early afternoon for a couple of days. Then of course getting back into the "swing of things" especially at work...the getting up to speed with things is sometimes difficult. So there I am in the office, putting out fires, returning a zillion phone calls, and picturing myself only days before, sitting in that cafe in paris watching the world go by. At the same time, I'm thinking about when I can go again.
crefloors is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 08:15 AM
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The only thing I love more than the trip is sleeping in my own bed and lounging around with my dog who I miss horribly when I'm gone.

I agree with cmt-I look at my town differently and all my senses are sharpened. I feel more connected to the global community and realize once more how insulated we Americans can get and once more vow to watch that in myself.

Not only that, but usually I feel blessed. My house seems bigger, my car seems nicer, I appreciate my job, my garden and my neighborhood. I come home really thankful for my lifestyle after comparing it to the hardships I see most of the rest of the world suffering through. I feel spoiled and lucky and that stays with me for a while, keeping me more grounded.

We have a ritual--as soon as we hunker down in our seats to make the long journey home, one turns to the other beaming and says "Well, where to next"?

How can that make you depressed?
offwego is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 08:54 AM
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I'm too busy suffering from jet lag to be depressed!
suze is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 09:06 AM
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I don't get depressed but I do get the PTSD - post-TRAVEL stress disorder To fight this off I start planning the next trip on the way home. Coming back from Boston I will be dreaming of Switzerland!

When I get home all my family members and co-workers get their ears full of of my trip highlights whether they like it or not So I re-live my adventures again. Frankly, I don't have time to get depressed!
FainaAgain is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 09:26 AM
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I, too, am happy to come home to the redwoods, cuddle my dog and catch up on local gossip. Travel always does make me feel very lucky to live here.

But after only a few short weeks of "real life", the depression kinda sets in. I'm like those people on the cruise ship ads who go back to work and wistfully say: "Last week, I had breakfast in bed at 9:00 a.m. My butler knew exactly how I liked my tea," etc.

Boy do I identify with that!
gualalalisa is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 09:39 AM
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I love those ads too, I feel like adding, last week I was licking gelato while sitting in a medieval square.....

I agree with all of you too, I start planning the next trip while I am on the plane back! I also miss my dogs and I am glad to see them, I always miss them so much when I am away.

Then I get back in the office and people talk to me like I havent' even been gone, asking me questions of something that happened the weeks I was off, I just think "as if I care"...last week I was looking at the Pieta......
SeaUrchin is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 09:40 AM
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Totally depressed
francophile03 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 10:14 AM
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Just bookmarking; I want to return to this threadlater and write a response on how I feel on returning home after a trip.
Kavey is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 11:07 AM
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CMT - I come back both energized and depressed. By the sounds of your email you don't work. That in itself makes a big differene. Going home after a wonderful vacation and back to work isn't pleasant and makes a difference in one's feelings.

Nothing wrong with feeling down, only means a person had a fabulous time
Madison is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 11:16 AM
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I wonder if part of the problem might occur if one has a holiday where everything is of higher standard than one's ordinary life. For example, if you are always going out to nice restaurants on vacation, but never at home, that could feel depressing when you return. If one's standard of travel is kept at the same standard as one's ordinary life, maybe the return wouldn't be depressing. I actually start to miss work and obligations while traveling - it feels somewhat unreal.
WillTravel is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 11:22 AM
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I don't feel depressed coming back. The only thing I'm not happy about in my life right now is having to work (ok there are many other things, but that's the biggie). But being off work and then coming back again feels like you're doing something important, that your contribution was missed, etc. First day back at work feels MUCH better than the 365th day back at work..... (I haven't taken a day off in a year)
lindilindi is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Mind you I would work even if I was a millionare. But then probably for a charity. I would feel so useless otherwise.
lindilindi is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 12:04 PM
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I'm still filled with joy over the trip we took to Africa in May. Usually by now I'm into researching our next trip.

Sure, I'm tired upon return from vacation, but usually I'm recharged and ready to go back to work. As I've gotten older, though, I'm looking forward to being able to come home and NOT have to go back to work.

My life keeps changing and it's ALL like a big trip anyway, so I wouldn't ever say I'm depressed to get back...I think I'm always ready to make something happen to keep life interesting!
uhoh_busted is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 12:15 PM
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I always have mixed emotions coming home. I think it's just normal, especially after a great trip. And, sorry, but the "I don't get depressed" thing is sort of annoying. I'm always suspicious of those who must display their emotional superiority.
sera is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 12:22 PM
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I can't say that I get depressed when I come home from a vacation (just returned from a wonderful vacation in France), but I do get depressed when i return to the office. So I begin planning my next jaunt.........
LoriNY is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 12:26 PM
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huh? I think there are more serious reasons to be depressed -- a long illness (yourself or a loved one), frustration of being caught in a situations where you have no control, severe financial difficulties, etc.

Somehow, being bummed out that one has to go back to work is NOT what I would call depressed.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 12:28 PM
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Lori - that wasn't in response to you, but to sera...
uhoh_busted is offline  

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