The Vacation Paradox

Have you ever gotten halfway through a vacation you’ve been anticipating for months, and suddenly find yourself pining for home? Why do you feel this way, once you’re finally on your dream trip? It just doesn’t make any sense. I’ve asked myself this question many times. Recently, my wife and I were on an extended journey to Las Vegas and Sedona. This vacation has been in the works for over a year and we were both eagerly looking forward to it. However, I started feeling a little homesick during the Sedona part of our holiday. What’s the matter with me?

My wife and I really needed this vacation. Between working two jobs, writing this blog, editing my website, and hitting the gym three days a week, I was burnt out and needed to recharge. That said, why did I feel like I wanted to catch the first available flight home? Apparently, it’s not just me. Recently, I read an article that explains this phenomenon and how to deal with it. Basically, the piece said to recognize why you chose to go on vacation. To relax, let yourself go, and try new things. So go ahead and do it!

In addition to daily hikes to Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Cathedral Rock, my wife and I took a tour of Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Beautiful locations, but not for the faint of heart. It was quite a workout hiking to these beautiful spots, but well worth it. That’s part of the equation. Shake up your routine. Pig out a little, sleep in late, take a hike. Do stuff you wouldn’t normally do, and for God’s sake, stay away from the scale! I learned that lesson a long time ago.

Once we said goodbye to Vegas and Sedona, I was content when our plane touched down at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. My brain immediately shifted into Fall Mode as I went through my mental checklist of all of the tasks that still needed to be done before Halloween. And that’s okay. Getting back into your regular routine is normal. As I picked out a couple of pumpkins from our local fruit market, I relished the crisp fall temperature. I also noticed that the leaves had changed from drab green into bright red and gold while we were gone. Love it.

So I guess my advice to combat the Vacation Paradox is simple. Consider all the time you spent planning and preparing for your trip. Think about how nice it will be to get away from all of your responsibilities for a while. Then RELAX, and enjoy your vacation. You earned it! If you’re like me, it’ll be at least six months before the next one, so live it up! When you get back home, the gym and salad bar will be waiting. Happy Vacationing!

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