post-vacation

End-of-Year Trip Booked: London

london

For weeks—months, actually—I’d been debating whether I could squeeze in a London trip before the end of the year. It’s an expensive flight for a relatively short distance. And I’d only have a few days there.

Finally, I decided to go for it. I caved and booked a flight to London, a week and a half before Christmas. The pros were just too strong:

  • I’ll get to see my best friend, Reen—whom I haven’t seen in nearly a year, since she moved to London! That, alone, is reason enough.В 
  • I’ll get to experience the city as a local.В On my previous trip to London, I hit up all the must-dos: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Globe Theatre, the Tate, the V&A, the Portrait Gallery, Harrod’s—and dozens more. Now that I’ve already seen those places, I’m interested in having Reen take me to her favorite haunts: cute restaurants, local pubs, favorite markets and the like.
  • Even though I hate winter, I love the idea of London at Christmas time.В I’m picturing the streets adorned with pretty lights and decorations. And we’re planning to see the Royal Ballet perform the Nutcracker. Of course. 😉
  • I wanted to pre-empt my post-vacation blues.В As I’ve learned, I tend to get pretty bummed after a great trip—and the best cure is to book another one! I knew I’d be blue coming back from spring in Buenos Aires to winter in NYC. I figured that booking another getaway would be an investment in my sanity.
  • YOLO.В Seriously. And embarrassingly, I actually did think this as I typed in my credit card information for my ridiculously pricey flight to London. I’m halfway through my first year in my 30s, and I’ve felt like I’ve reached that tipping point where everyone around me seems to be settling down and getting married and having kids. And while I still plan to do all those things, myself, I’m not anywhere close, at the moment. And I figure I should take advantage of this time to live it up.

…even though “living it up” also means that I’m being super-careful with money so I can pay off my two trips. (Hello, homemade huevos rancheros for dinner, every night! Not happening: shopping for cute fall sweaters.) But I’m already thrilled with my decision. Instead of being down about the end of summer, I feel nothing but excitement for the fall and winter.

(Photo via Pinterest)

How Do You Beat The Post-Vacation Blues?

While it might seem superfluous that I’m taking another (short) trip right after returning from one, it couldn’t have come at a better time, for me. Booking next weekend’s Grand Canyon jaunt really lifted my spirits—because since I came back from Guatemala, I’ve been battling a bit of post-vacation blues!

Usually, I always feel a little thrill when my flight lands in NYC—as if the city, itself, is welcoming me back. But I didn’t feel that way at all last week. I just wanted to be back in Guatemala.

Over the course of a few days, I realized why I was feeling so down about coming back home, to the city I love so dearly:

  • I just wanted to stay in Guatemala longer. I felt like I was learning a lot of Spanish and wanted to keep progressing. I’m wired to be a little intense. I’m a do-something-all-the-way-or-else-don’t-do-it-at-all girl, so it was hard for me to leave right when I felt I was getting into the Spanish groove.
  • I had aВ wonderful summerВ (my favorite season!) and it was a little jarring to return home to fall.
  • This has been a year of big changes, and I’ve been tackling different projects and goals over the past several months. But when I got back, it seemed like the ones that I have yet to address were staring me down—and that overwhelmed me!

So while booking another trip might seem like a band-aid solution (kind of like jumping into a new relationship to get over an old one), it’s also helped me get my bearings. I have a hard time getting motivated unless there’s a goal or reward in sight. And for me, travel is the best motivator. Just knowing I have a trip coming up helps me focus and tick off my to-do lists. Little things help, too. Now that my fall calendar is filling up with friend and family plans, ballet events, more Spanish lessons and weekend trips, I’ve felt my post-vacation blues slipping away.

Do you ever get post-vacation blues, too? How do you cope with them?

(Photo via The American Legacy via Bippity Boppity Boo)