The deep dive into depression hits me the second I turn the key to my front door. The vacation is over. And I’m so bummed.
I feel a distressing weight pressing on my chest, the dread of enduring this ennui and the existential dread of day-to-day routines. Why is life so hard? Why does God hate me? How can I endure the endless cycle of alarm, coffee, shower, dress, subway, office, subway, dinner, drink, undress, sleep, alarm …?
The weekends just mean errands and laundry and binge-watching, so they’re hardly the reprieve that travel can be.
I mean, how can this be? I was just floating in the ocean. I had room service for breakfast and happily spent $46 on coffee and a chocolate croissant! How can I face the throngs racing to squeeze into a jam-packed New York City subway?
I had a therapist. He was flummoxed as to what I could do about this, asking me why do I think I feel so bad when I return from a trip? Seriously? It’s because the real world sucks so much, so often.
Anyway, I no longer have that therapist. But I do have a solution: Plan your next trip, idiot. (I am the idiot to which I refer.)
There’s nothing like something to look forward to for shaking the post-holiday blues away. So, after turning that key, dumping my suitcase and starting the wash, I plop down and decide where to next.
Just do it
After returning from last year’s big trip – a family wedding in Portland – my next move was to book the Acela train to Baltimore to spend some time with a dear friend there and to check out a new hotel (the Ivy) I’d read was fabulous. Boom!
I suppose it’s easier or more natural for me to do this because I’m in the travel game, but to quote Amelia Earhart: “The most effective way to do it is to do it.” And the best way to make travel plans is to make travel plans. You won’t do it otherwise. Get your peeps on board. Or go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go on your own.
As I’m writing this, I think this will be something I’ll do before I go on my next trip – plan the next next trip. That way, the return home won’t be quite as jarring. The first day back at work, a little less blah. Just keep going or planning on going or just go.
There are so many reasons to travel: Vacations, weddings, business trips, competitions, reunions, football games.
Some trips are fun, some not so much. But the point is that nothing cures end-of-vacation depression like planning another getaway. Open those calendars, pick your dates, destinations, make reservations and get thee gone.
Brekke Fletcher is Executive Editor of CNN Travel