We returned home from two weeks in sunny Florida last night and as vacations go, it usually takes some transitioning to get back into “reality” or our normal routine…or as some refer to this phase as, “Post Vacation Blues”. We travel quite a bit, yet this is, and most likely, will always be a practice for us! Our kids too! They feel those blues just like we do.
We’ve traveled as a family ever since our kids were babies – mostly because we have family out of state, but over the years more and more because we LOVE having travel experiences together. It can feel exhausting or like work at times, but overall we truly value our time together – dare I say that when we return and the kids go off to school, I actually feel really sad!
So, I asked for my kids perspective on how they adjust or transition after returning home from vacation, and not surprisingly, their answers were pretty much the same for myself and my husband! And, can be applied to anyone having to go back to work after vacation. While some seem pretty obvious, since it is a practice, we always need reminders…
(Kids: Liam (12), Ella (12) and Rafi (8))
Me: What is the hardest part about coming back from vacation?
Kids: Cold temperatures and school!!!!!
Me: What do you do that helps you adjust back to our normal routine?
Kids: Even though we don’t always look forward to getting back to school, we know that seeing our friends is actually super helpful! We miss them while we are gone and it’s actually fun to be be back at school with them.
Also getting back into our activities helps a lot!
And, lastly – gratitude for our trip. When we think about the trip and our time together it makes us feel sad, but then we also feel very happy that it happened! And, we feel very grateful. (and, my heart melts…)
Me: What other tips do you have for adjusting back after vacay?
Kids: Knowing that we have spring break to look forward to!!
Another thing that makes us sad, but also makes us feel happy and thankful is looking through the photos from our trip! We love reminiscing and replaying all of the fun (and not so fun) moments from our travels! We laugh and we get to relive those feelings together.
TIP: We usually book a flight home on the last possible day we can return before the kids go back to school. Apparently – while my husband and I love maximizing our time in a travel destination, to my surprise, the kids did say that they wish we came back sooner so they had a day to adjust…ugh – I guess some of us have to be responsible 😉
As I mentioned – these are all things that I feel/do when I am adjusting after a meaningful travel experience. I feel a little sad at first and I think it’s important to recognize that this is normal. And, you have to just ride the wave! And, there are a few reasons I feel this way. 1) I am never more present than when I am traveling, 2) I am not bogged down by mundane routine and responsibilities – so of course this is AMAZING! If even temporarily, and 3) if we are traveling with our kids, while the fighting and the lack of listening gets frustrating, I am so so grateful for that priceless time together. I cannot even express this in words.
So, my tip is all about mindset. Our minds, our thoughts, are so powerful. So, last night when we left beautiful blue skies and palm trees and returned to a dark and snowy Minnesota – I feel frustrated, but then I shift my mindset and start to focus on what I do appreciate and love about “home”. I have a renewed drive & energy for work! I make plans with friends! Return to activities that I love. Focus on the benefits that come from getting back into a routine. AND, for me, most importantly – having another travel experience on our radar! Science has proven that anticipation of a trip provides much joy and happiness – almost more than the trip itself!
If you’re anything like my hubby and me – we do a lot of vision and goal planning when we travel. We have new ideas and thoughts for our future. When we return home we start taking baby steps towards making those changes happen. Even small – this can make a big difference in not only feeling excited to be back home, but working towards a better future!
What is your practice in adjusting back after a trip?