Fact: It's difficult to descend back to normal life after vacation. Joe and I just returned from a few days in the Bahamas. The weather was beautiful, the beaches were serene and the pace was slow. I caught up on important reading (Us Weekly and New Moon), took more than a few naps and ate ice cream every single day. Now that we're back, the post-vacation blues have settled in at the Haus of Gina. Apparently, this syndrome is common. A recent post on the Well blog on the NYT (full link below) discussed this conundrum and cited a Dutch study that found most people are no happier when they return from a vacation than people who had not been away. Downer.
According to this study, most vacation-related happiness actually comes from planning and anticipating the trip (so true!). People can increase this "anticipation effect" by talking about and researching the trip prior to departure. Enter my brother Johnny. If one could have a career in getting people excited for vacations, he would have found his calling - no one is more adept at anticipating a trip than Johnny. No matter how many months lie between you and your next vacation, if Johnny is going chances are he's already gotten you unbelievably excited and made his preliminary packing list.
I feel most excited (1) in the days and weeks leading up to a trip, and (2) while I'm actually on the trip. This day-after-vacation melancholy I'm experiencing now is nothing new, and perhaps it is the price one pays for a good trip. After all, how fun would a vacation be if you were super excited to come home?Even though I knew the transition home wouldn't be pleasant, that knowledge didn't make exiting the airport into the cold, dreary East coast weather any easier.
For now I'll just focus on our next trip.
How Vacations Affect Your Happiness [Well Blog - NYT]
Editor's Note: The title of this post is the former slogan of Dunkin' Donuts (remember this guy?). Fred the Baker would wearily make doughnuts every morning, repeating over and over in a monotone voice "Time to make the doughnuts." My dad adopted this saying as a way to poke fun at doing the same routine every day, and I glumly muttered it to myself as I put my tights on this morning. If this post didn't already make you want to kill yourself, this Editor's Note probably did.