We just returned from a 15-day trip to Colorado! It was our first retirement adventure and if you follow me on social media, you know that we had a GREAT time! I have a number of upcoming posts to share more about our 9 days at the awesome Mr. Money Mustache Headquarters and our amazing experience with the UK-based Pop Up Business School.
But before I get to those posts, I thought I’d share a new “end of vacation” experience. I totally skipped the PVB’s (Post-Vacation Blues) or what I always called the “back to reality” blues on this trip.
You’ve probably felt them at some point too.
Our vacations the last few years have been quite short (4-6 days) because of work, the kids’ school schedules/activities, and managing our rental properties. And maybe the short stays were part of the problem (although I still feel very privileged that we were able to take all of those vacations!)
When I think back though, I always found it relaxing to leave for vacation. It’s what happened about two days before we returned that was the problem. I’d start writing a list of what I needed to do when we got back. And I’d start checking the calendar for things that were happening the next week. I’d make a grocery list and check my work email. And it soon felt like vacation was over…
I would try to get back to “vacationing” – but once I started with the list, home and work were on my mind. We’d be “back to reality” soon and all of those feelings (even if they weren’t bad feelings) replaced the joy and freedom I felt during vacation.
But this trip was different and I didn’t realize it until we were almost home.
We have SO MANY things to do in the next few weeks that I should have been totally stressed the last few days of our vacation. (We even considered cutting our trip short and returning a few days sooner before we left!) Our house sale is almost complete and we’ll be moving in 10 days if everything goes right! Our lake house is also totally gutted and we are going to be moving into a camper until it is ready… (Yes – a camper. I need to write a blog post about that too!)
But I didn’t write one list or check the calendar in Colorado. And we didn’t pass up any dinner invitations from new people we met or chances to see things like bugling Elk to figure out everything we needed to do when we got home.
I woke up happy the last morning we were there and I wasn’t stressed. On our way to the airport, we stopped and took pictures of Grand Lake and the amazing Rocky Mountains. We even took a detour to check out Red Rocks Amphitheater when we found out our plane was delayed. What an amazing venue!
And we didn’t talk about home until our plane was making the final approach.
It was a longer trip than we’ve ever taken which may have helped us relax more. But we weren’t just hanging out on the beach either. We were in classes most days and we tent-camped most nights. And we had very little down time. I still had plenty to think and worry about, but I didn’t feel the need to do that before we came home.
The only thing that makes sense is that we don’t have to go back to a JOB. We got home Tuesday night and there was no job to go to on Wednesday. Or Thursday. We have plenty to do but we get to choose when to do it. What I learned was…
Being really busy doesn’t mean being really stressed anymore.
I’m not positive that Post-Vacation Blues are a thing of past – but it makes sense. I no longer have to look forward to getting a break from work to squeeze a vacation into my life. And I don’t have to try to figure out how to get everything done before I go back to work after a vacation.
Leaving full-time work is beginning to feel like a really smart decision.
I look forward to sharing more of what I learned in Colorado and about the people we met. They have some amazing stories and some really cool business ideas too! More posts on all that soon!
Have you ever had Post-Vacation Blues? (There are plenty of articles out there about how to deal with them!!) If not, how do you enjoy your whole vacation without letting work and other stresses creep in? If you are retired, have you noticed what I described after a vacation? Share away in the comments!