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Surviving post-trip melancholy

We got back last week from the most wonderful Heart of Italy tour. It was incredible. Now I find myself listless, unable to focus at work, daydreaming about gorgeous Tuscan hills and the Sorrento coastline and spitting out the horrible trash we call "gelato" or "coffee". Anyone else having the same problem? Any advice?

Posted by
5819 posts

Antidote is to work on sorting out your photo images and if so inclined work on a photo book. My goal is to tell about the trip with 101 images or less. You can relive the trip in a productive way.

Posted by
11613 posts

Start planning the next trip.

Do something constructive in the meantime. Make a slideshow for your computer at work and look at it often.

I call this condition "Returner's Remorse".

Posted by
7015 posts

I agree with the idea of using photos to relive the trip - great idea! I do the same except I literally take more than a thousand photos on a two week trip (it's a serious hobby of mine); it takes me a very long time to sort and edit them all. Another idea is to try to travel in Fall, that way the holidays really seem right around the corner. I realized that when I take vacations in early Spring, it is incredibly hard to focus afterward because most people's vacations are approaching in Summer.. Also there is more daylight now with each passing day and everything just feels like it's stuck in "vacation mode" for months.

By the way, there is gelato and coffee in the States that rivals any in Italy - but it depends where you live. A trip to NYC will definitely solve that shortage. I just had some amazing gelato and coffee there recently (but of course it's not the only place). As hard as it is to imagine that anything in the States compares, just lower your sights a bit and you'll find many great substitutes (e.g. the CA coastline and wine regions).

Posted by
2335 posts

I'm with Zoe, plan another trip. In fact, I start planning the next trip when I'm on the current one! Right now, I'm working on my trip in Sept to Ireland and London/Cotswolds. Next year, I have a number of ideas swirling around in my head, nothing definite yet.
Also, I look at my photos often and reminisce about that particular day in that place! One of these days I will write up a trip report of my trips on the forum.
Judy B

Posted by
308 posts

I try to print out pictures and hang them up as soon as possible in my cubicle at work and on my refrigerator at home. That helps to keep the vacation glow. I also change my wallpaper on my computer screen to a fabulous picture from the trip.

Posted by
5710 posts

Plan another trip, and share your most recent one with us on this Forum!

Posted by
2765 posts

Yes, many good ideas here. I organize my photos and have the best ones printed for an album I keep as a coffee table book. 10 pictures per trip in this, don't want to overload people! I keep all the others digitally, organized so I can look back, and I share some online

Plan a new trip!!

Watch tv shows or films set and shot in places you've been. The Ah-ha, I've been there feeling is great. I will re-watch the Rick Steves episode on my destination after I'm home

Bring a habit home with you. For example, I now order macchiato or cortado instead of a latte. Not as good as over there, but it works. Buy wine from your destination. Try to cook cacio e pepe at home. In general figure out a way to incorporate something you liked on the trip into your everyday life.

One more - be a traveler at home! Go to that city 2 hours down the road and flex your sense of exploration. Go to local parks or museums you might neglect because they are routine to you.

Posted by
3938 posts

Always - we did an earlier trip this year. Generally, we travel in Sept, but tulips aren't going to be blooming in the NL then! The worst is...like this moment...when I think...3 weeks ago we were in Belgium...or...we came home two weeks ago but it feels like forever.

My antidote is to work on my travel blog while things are fresh, organize photos and start thinking about next year. I already know we want to finally do Scotland, and will probably go around this time of year...so only 52 weeks to go...lol.

Posted by
3169 posts

I know how you feel. My friends and co-workers don't though. They tell me they can't think about vacation so far in advance and prefer to wing it. I have this summer booked and ready to go and am starting on next July, just waiting for airfares to come out. I agree with checking your photos to help, in fact, my book from my February trip to Rome just arrived yesterday and I am going to go through it again now.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful suggestions! I love the ideas about planning the next trip, printing out photos and being adventurous at home (especially about cooking some of the favorite dishes I enjoyed there). Just knowing you have all shared this feeling has helped immensely :-)

Posted by
7676 posts

Don't worry. That feeling of melancholy will quickly leave--when your credit card statement comes in the mail.
I've actually had credit card statements arrive home after a trip before I made it home.

Posted by
1277 posts

I remember reading an article in a magazine a few yrs ago on this theme.... knowing that most of us feel like we have finite resources of money and time away from work; still be gentle with your self the first week back.... schedule lunch or drinks w a friend, I go 25 miles to the beauty school for a 13 dollar pedicure yes and try the best I can to not have any truly ugly mtg on my calendar that first week.

I love the suggestion of going 2 hours away and explore a museum or park w new eyes

Posted by
953 posts

Start planning your next trip, save for it, make a scrapbook. I still pull out my past scrapbooks and peruse them with a glass of wine wishing I was back on that trip. Oh so many tours that I want to take!!!

Posted by
1897 posts

I hate to say, but that melancholy lasts all the way until I'm planning my next trip. But, it just isn't the same to plan when I really don't know when that trip will be. In the meantime hubby and I drink coffee every morning watching slide shows from trips or better yet random screen saver photos. But, maybe that just adds to the melancholy.....?

Posted by
11613 posts

I love all this advice, and I think Susan and Monte may be on to something. At some point, you have to be in your present reality.

One other thing: when I hear of a place that sounds interesting, I google images of it.

Posted by
8 posts

I know that feeling. Presently, I am on the other side with RS Best of England a week away. But, I do remember doing many of the things Mira mentioned after our Best of Europe trip a few years ago. A big trip does change the way you view your own surroundings.....thankfully I found it to be in a good way!

Posted by
885 posts

Definitely future trip planning and photo organizing. Also, try googling "novels set in Rome" or "movies set in Tuscany" or similar. Did your guide recommend any during the tour? It's a fun way to relive Italy ... and maybe read about or see something to remember for next time!

Posted by
5697 posts

Look around your area for a Travel Group -- we had to drive 90 miles to Sacramento to find a bunch of people who understand the post-trip melancholy (and who usually are planning/thinking about another trip.) Now third Saturday in Sacramento is permanently on our calendar, as is second Saturday in Larkspur. Other folks just don't get it.

Posted by
13820 posts

I go through all the trip's notes, odds and ends, etc organise them, and above all, as already suggested above, I start working on the next trip, at least conceptually.

Posted by
2020 posts

Besides reviewing all your photos, going to a local Travel Group's monthly meetings may do a lot to keep your spirits lifted. Hope there's one near you. Could be great way to keep your trip memories going & get ideas for future ones. It is for me.

Posted by
146 posts

Feeling your pain! 😉 It was such a wonderful vacation we(hubby and I) had last month. I loved every moment of it! That I promised to myself that I wouldn't be "post-vacation " sad this time. That I must feel absolutely grateful and fortunate to have had the opportunity to live such wonderful moments, but as days pass bye it's becoming more difficult to be truthful to my promise ( Is this expression, correct? )
Writing my trip report on this forum is helping .😃

Posted by
3938 posts

Something else that can help (well, it helps me) - I'm on Instagram and since I know we are doing Scotland for our upcoming trip, I started following a bunch of Scotland posters...so I can get ideas about places we'd like to see and get excited about our upcoming plans. But I do still follow posters for places we've been - so I'll see photos of places we visited in Amsterdam, or Venice, or London and be like...remember that!

Posted by
75 posts

I have a suggestion. Why don't you work on your scrapbook of the tour? The contest winner wins a free tour !

Posted by
14782 posts

Feeling your pain here, too. :O(

Sometimes I just have to think about all those years when we didn't have the resources and vacation time to go much of anywhere at all? Being able to get on a plane and go to places we'd only seen pictures of was a dream we weren't sure we'd realize! Reminding ourselves that coming-home melancholy sure beats the heck out of wish-we-could-go blues helps a bit. :O)

Posted by
1038 posts

I know this sounds crazy but I start restocking my backpack as a way to get excited about the next trip!

Posted by
1095 posts

i keep a journal in outline form during the trip. When I get home I write up a trip report (see Villages of South England tour posting). The process of writing the report helps me with closure regarding the trip. When the tour schedules come out for 2018 I will start planning the next trip.

Posted by
11919 posts

I missed this when you first posted because I was traveling, lol. Now, siiiigh, I'm home. Relishing in the memories of Paris, Brittany and Normandy. I am so happy you loved Heart of Italy. That was my first RS tour and SO much fun. WOW!

I'm heading off on a short trip next week, just to my favorite, frequently visited National Park but I am now getting ready for that. It doesn't require much planning as I have a specific packing list and food list for this park.

I'd advise some weekend trips to somewhere nearby to get you over the hump until you can start planning your next RS trip!!