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Depressed or energized after coming home from vacation?

Depressed or energized after coming home from vacation?

Sep 23rd, 2004, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My mood upon returning home really depends on where I was. The beach vacations - no depression. I'm tan, happy, and thoroughly relaxed.

A huge part of my travels take place in conjunction with work trips. I usually come home from those exhausted, but ready to work hard and make some money.

The only time it really bothers me is when I've been someplace with special people. Some of my trips to Heidelberg, I've felt exceptionally lonely when I've come home. When I get back from Ireland, I'm always sad, because I'm not sure when I'll get back.

It usually only lasts a couple of days and then I'm back in planning mode for the next trip.
celticdreams is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:07 PM
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Madison, CMT has a full time job.

Back to my own response.

1) The Void

For me a huge part of any trip is the period before the trip: I love researching, developing an itinerary, fine tuning it, booking it all and then ...anticipating, anticipating and anticipating.

Sometimes a 2 week trip can provide me several months of distraction and excitement! And occasionally it's much bigger than that - I began the initial research and planning for my recent 2 month trip about 2 years before the trip itself.

By the time the trip comes it's usually been a comfortable and familiar part of my life for quite some time. It consumes so much of my thoughts.

The trip itself passes by in a flash. So far, it's always been enjoyable, usually it has lived up to the expectations and anticipation. But it's brief. So brief.

And then, coinciding, of course, with my return home? is the void.

While there are usually a number of trips being planned at any one time and a number of other trips still to anticipate, it's always quite a loss.

I often experience a feeling akin to mourning.

Not necessarily because I long to be back wherever, or long not to be home, but because I miss that familiar parcel of thoughts that tumbled around my head for so long.

2) Memories

The memories, the photographs and relating the trip to others makes it last longer and helps somewhat to negate the void.

The best trips provide fodder for my dreams, day and night, for a long, long time to come.

3) Returning to the grind

When I was a regular, full-time employee I always did find it difficult to return to work after a wonderful trip. Not because I didn't enjoy the job; actually, I really did. But because even with a job as constantly-changing as my last one, there was a heavy dose of routine. And that routine was such an ingrained part of my life that a few days, a week or a fortnight away would never serve to wash it away. Falling back into the routine instantly meant it could so easily seem like one hadn't been away. Or perhaps, as though one had been away but it was ages ago. Even when one had been back at work only days. The routine of working life had an effect on time itself. It could stretch it out and condense it in the strangest ways. And I didn't even have a job that most would ever describe as routine.

Now that I am self-employed there is far less routine of any sort. (That's not wholly a positive thing but, on balance, I do much prefer it to the previous). And somehow that does seem to have the effect of making the recently-taken holiday fade less quickly.

4) The effect of a trip on my mind

It's hard to separate the effect of the actual trip itself from the effect of the bigger picture ? the one that includes developing, booking, anticipating, taking and then reminiscing about the trip.

But I'd say that a trip has a positive impact on me. I'm generally a hugely optimistic and happy person anyway. A trip makes me even more excited. I'm full of enthusiasm to see, experience and learn. I have more energy. I even feel more creative and find my passion for photography is always at it's strongest when I'm travelling.

The things that I have learned and experienced stay with me long after the trip. They enrich and broaden my mind. They influence my thoughts on all sorts of topics, even some that may be only tenuously related.

The impact of travelling on my life is huge. Travelling has played a huge part in forming the person I am today.
Kavey is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:12 PM
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5) Travelling

Travel does take it out of me, physically. Particularly long-haul travel. It often takes me a few days to get over the physical impact and that's not something that I could describe as a positive thing.

But I get jet lag the other way too and don't let it distract me from the trip itself so it's clearly not that serious.

I do usually build in time to recover on the first day or two, where I can.
Kavey is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:20 PM
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How I feel depends on where I've been. When I come back from the beach I am depressed because it is a yearly retreat that involves my whole family and we get to just relax and not do much of anything but visit with each other, eat a lot of seafood and drink a lot of good wine. We look forward to it with so much anticipation each year, and then that week seems to vanish in the blink of an eye. We are always fighting back a few tears when we depart.

However, when I come back from Europe I am usually glad to be home and back to the normal routine. Trips to Europe are fun and exciting but I am a true homebody and miss my home, my family... my dog, the sound of good ol' southern American accent!

seaside1 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Dear Kavey,

Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts into words. Your feelings were beautifully expresssed.
sweeneyashtray is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:25 PM
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You're welcome and thank you.
Kavey is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Madison: You think I don't work? Who ever told you that? (Should I be worried?)

Actually, when I return to work, instead of feeling demoralized and trapped by the routine and the sometimes crazy workplace mores, I feel somewhat above it and free from it, because that's not my entire life and I've just come back from far away where I didn't have to think about the work routine at all. Many of my co-workers don't like to travel.
cmt is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:58 PM
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Depressed...I so wanted to stay back in Italy this time. It gets harder and harder to return to the States after being there for any length of time. Sigh.
Huitres is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 02:16 PM
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CMT - I just made a mistake. We all are subject to error from time to time, it wasn't intentional. By the way I kind of agree with Sera's response.
Madison is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 03:04 PM
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I personally don't get the depressed idea maybe a little let down or jet lagged - but depressed? There must be other factors in place I would think.

If taking a wonderful trip can't hold a good feeling for you for longer than the trip itself, well I don't know.
A little spoiled are we?
nocinonut is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 03:28 PM
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OK, maybe it's more accurate (and PC) to say I sometimes feel a little blue and wistful after a fabulous European vacation, not clinically depressed. For goodness sake, I think most people get the distinction.
sera is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 05:33 PM
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Never been depressed in my life. Not emotionally superior, just stating a fact. Never had jet lag. Travel is a driving passion in my life. I'm fortunate to work in a stress-free job that gives me a lot of paid vacation.
Life is good and getting better.
rj007 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2004, 05:37 PM
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I sure get depressed when I have to unpack! The job I hate most.
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 24th, 2004, 02:35 AM
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I dont feel depressed, just slightly blue. I got sick the last three days in France and I wanted to get home, I really didnt like France anyway. I LOVED London and I am still giddy about it today, cant wait to go back!
Cole is offline  
Sep 24th, 2004, 03:34 AM
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Probably depressed is the wrong word for how I feel after a trip, I do feel sad though, and as Elaine said, I really wish I could look out my window at 15th C buildings or walk down to the cafe for breakfast. However, I rarely travel with my entire family so I'm usually coming home to either kids, husband or both and that makes coming home "worthwhile". But I do spend an "inordinate" (my family's word, not mine)amount of time in front of the computer either going over my pictures from the trip or planning the next one. Definitly need to have initial plans for that next trip. I get energized for that, but energized for activities of daily living at home, no that doesn't happen.
isabel is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 07:46 PM
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topping becaue of a current thread on "depression" after travel
cmt is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 08:09 PM
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I posted a reply on the other thread about not being depressed after a trip, but as I read this, some post reminded me that one of the things I love about travel is that I don't have to do those mundane chores and tasks that I have to do at home. I love Germany, but I wasn't nearly as enchanted with it when I lived in Heidelberg from 1965 to 1970--mainly because I had to work. Now, when I go to Germany, it's either to vacation or to attend a Goethe Institute to polish my German, which I also enjoy.

Maybe I'd be depressed if I had to go back to work again, but I'm retired, so I no longer have to face the grind.

I'm not at all sure that what I've written here is to the point, but I'm not getting graded, so what do I care?
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 09:51 PM
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I'll lay it out there. I get depressed.

I love my home, miss my pets and need some of my routine. But, honestly, about 2 days back at work and it's as if I never had a vacation at all.

I do like my work, and it is rewarding and interesting. But some of the people I work most closely with simply drain me emotionally.

I do not give play-by-plays about our vacations. If asked, I say we had a wonderful time, and that's it.

Then come the sidelong jibes about how much money we must be spending on our trips (guaranteed it's less than they spend to go to DisneyWorld), and how it must be so nice to live that way (I always think to myself, "what, without big-screen TVs and two new cars?")

I am often told that I wasn't missed at all, that they handled everything just fine in my absence, then moments later am told that I'm letting the office down when I take a week and a half off. Which is not an unusual length of time in my workplace.

The re-entry stress is heightened by working 11-hour days as the rule for managers in my office (which I do not mind - again, I like my job) -- but that's three more hours of hazing.

Being without that influence for a couple of weeks is sheer bliss. Coming back to it is a reality check -- a harsh one.

It's a problem I'm trying to solve, but change is coming slowly.

So yes, I am energized when I come home from vacation. I'm on a high, noticing things in in my world. But it doesn't last long. And that's the truth.
Worktowander is offline  

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