Memorial Day weekend has come and passed—ushering in the ritual advent of white pants, swimsuit angst, and, more exciting for all involved, the summer vacation season. (Excuse our brief pause to cue a collective “yippee!”) Exhilarating for those with upcoming adventures to anticipate; utterly depressing for the rest of us. And second worse to not having travel plans? The inevitable return to the daily grind after vacation.
Not that I'm asking for pity: I’m still reveling in my sun-kissed glow from a six-day jaunt to the Mexican Riviera, and scarcely expect sympathy for my current inability to face reality. (But come on, it’s hard to maintain a tan under the emphatically less pleasing glow of our office’s fluorescent lights. And where’s my afternoon cerveza and nap? …you get the idea.)
Lucky for me, I work at a travel magazine and am allowed to entertain these notions, all in the name of “work.” My mind wanders to the beach mid-morning, so I pen a blog entry about the Mexican bungalow where I relaxed last week. My stomach pangs for a tasty sope (a bean-and-crudités-topped puffy tortilla), my new favorite Mexican antojito, rather than the humdrum salad I mechanically packed for lunch this morning. So I Google "traditional Mexican recipes," telling myself I’m doing invaluable research for IT readers.
But even for me, it’s a stretch, so I resign myself to do real work, trying to channel my refreshed state of being into productivity and efficiency on the job. (That, and shifting my attention to where my next trip will take me.)
As you can likely relate, it turns out I’m not alone in my post-vacation doldrums. Vacation lag is hardly new, and plenty of travelers have unique ways to deal (my favorite: read travel blogs). Even the Pope has chimed in on the phenomenon, advising travelers to "[k]eep in your heart a great ideal of authentic values, which give sense to your own life."
It’s an uphill battle, but slowly the salt water and Dos Equis are draining from my zoned-out brain.
So tell us: How do you deal with the unpleasant task of re-entering the real world after your travels? Share your tips in the comments below.
Photo: Katie Knorovsky