Sunday, October 4, 2009

On vacations, and post-vacation-letdown-syndrome

Our trip was absolutely amazing. We saw and experienced so many things, together, that were awe-inspiring, funny, not-so-great, and just nice that we both returned to London thinking "Hey. I think you're even cuter than before." Most importantly, though, the Irishman and I both relaxed so much that we were ourselves in truly vibrant, rich, hypercolor: we left our London selves at Gatwick, grey ghosts, and regained our natural splendor on the shores of Croatia and in the bustling Italian food markets. It was a joy to behold and experience.

But holidays end. We were actually ready to go home; two weeks of dragging luggage on and off boats, trains, busses, and through city streets makes one pine a bit for a dresser and one's own bed. But after landing, the reality of routine in London was a bit too much to bear as I sat in the back of queuing taxi outside of London Bridge station. The end of a holiday makes me contemplative, much in the way that New Year's or a sobering news story might; I really felt like on my holiday I was a different person and that returning to London I had to go back to being someone else.

It was a bit of homesickness – the Irishman and I don't live together, so he left me at London Bridge to continue his journey home, and there was no one to great me at my flat on my return. No one to call and say "I'm home! It was great!" And the specter of going back to work in 18 hours reduced me to tears.

I don't know, yet, how to keep the vacation goodness with me post-return. I don't know, yet, how to change my day-to-day life to get it to resemble more of the joy I felt during holiday - and should I? I remember asking my dad once, when I was 5, why we couldn't have Christmas everyday (I feel like this was in reference to him saying we couldn't play the Sesame Street Christmas album anymore). His response was that if you had Christmas everyday, it wouldn't be special anymore - when it only comes once a year, you cherish it more and look forward to it and don't take it for granted. Good response, Phil. But you only live once, no? So shouldn't every day of one's life be full of joy and be carefree and wonderful? And if one's life isn't currently, shouldn't it be fixed - stat?

I say yes. It's been 2 weeks since I returned from vacation, and I'm trying to regain that sense of lightness and exuberance I had as I traipsed around foreign lands. Funny to be writing this in a place that isn't technically my home, but I think it means it actually is. I've lived here now for 1.5 years. It's time to make it my own. I'm not a tourist, I pay taxes, and I need to make a life here that's not based on seeing things I've never seen before. I need to keep my bright-eyed curiosity, and live in London like I lived my holiday: full of joy, wonder, and love.

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