With only a few weeks off of work a year, when you love travel that time becomes precious. I have seen various studies talking about how little vacation is given (or taken) in the US. I will say, that although I get way more time off here, that time is still valuable to me. I try to use holidays and night trains to make the most of the time that I have away from my job. When the vacation time becomes that precious, there is a sense of trying not to waste it. At which point that desperation comes back in another form, to suck up all the glories of the vacation and store it somehow. If we store up enough “vacation juice” and mete it out slowly over the following months, maybe the daily life is more enjoyable.
This is really more for the working traveler than those that live on the road. However I can imagine the high of certain experiences have to juice up the the lows that come around as well.
I used to do this when I lived and worked in the States. Coming back to the office after a week away meant a few days of telling the stories (if you only tell one person at a time, you can stretch this out a ways) and then slowly sinking back into the routine. Pineapple chips and special wine brought back from trips can be brought out maybe a month later. Sorting pictures for online posting can provide a great deal of extra juice after the fact. Add the new group of friends that comes with social media for another few stories to tell and picture comments to read. In the end though there is rarely enough vacationness to bridge the gap until you can reasonably plan the next getaway.
How do you manage your juice?
Here are a few things that I thought off..
- Weekends Away – No need to take time off of work and remember the fun of being away. Living here, both Switzerland and France are just an hour away, less with a car. Just that feeling of being “away” is often enough to refresh you.
- Mental Vacations – If you read my article about Freaking myself Out, you know I like playing around inside my own head. So why not spend an afternoon remembering the vacation.
- Planning – Even if the next trip is months ahead, sometimes just going through the planning for it can give you some pre-vacation juice to play with.
- Blogging and Pictures – This is primarily what I use now. Especially with blog posts I can mentally play through my vacation both in stories and pictures and keep that feeling alive for much longer. And I get to share it with others, which helps almost as much as the exercise itself.
- Connect with Travel Friends – I often make friends on trips. By the magic of the social networks, I can connect with those friends after the trip. It is all too easy to forget about our new friends in the midst of all the stuff that happens after a vacation. Take a few minutes and reconnect with those people.
- Post Travel Journal – Do you travel journal? Do you stop when you get home? Think about writing a few extra entries after the fact. What changed you on the trip? Any particularly good memories?
Point of it All
I have been back off my greek vacation for 2 weeks now. I am getting back into the routine of work and life. The days are getting shorter and weather colder. I feel the weight of it all. The point seems to be to not think of vacation juice as a resource to be burned and used up, but as a flow. As long as I can keep the fun things in my head the world bits that I have to deal with on a daily basis can’t get to me so much.
- How do you keep the experiences and memories alive when you get back to “normal life”?
- For eternal travelers, how do you keep the wonder of each location alive when you move to another?