It is sad how quickly the last vacation becomes just a distant memory, bolstered only by images scrolling past on the Apple TV after returning from vacation.
The longer you are away, the greater the re-entry pain when you return.
Death By Email Drowning
If you are away for 1 week, people never stop sending you work email – they figure you will catch up after returning from vacation. After about 2 weeks almost everyone will find someone else to resolve the issue they wanted you to deal with or they rightly figure you really aren’t going to care when you return.
Even if you check your mail while away (guilty hand up) or if people stop sending you email while you are away, as soon as your “out of office” message expires, your inbox will fill up as everyone rushes to catch you up on what you missed. Luckily, I have found that most long email trails ultimately get resolved even without my intervention after returning from vacation!
Family and Friend Drama
Most people will try not to tell you about their problems while you were away, to not spoil your vacation. My sister in law had surgery and didn’t let me know and further, she told everyone not to call me. I only found out by accident when I could not reach her 3 days running to wish her happy birthday and I called her best friend to see what was up. All of this changes after returning from vacation as everyone rushes to fill you in on every minute you missed.
People Asking About Your Vacation
Most people really only want you to briefly say that you had a good after time returning from vacation. They don’t really want a day by day account and they shudder when you try to show them the 2000 pics you took (that you have edited up to 3000). They are often envious, especially if it is a particularly great destination or a very long trip. They know we are working less and travelling more and often don’t want to think about how long that point will be for them.I have taken to posting pics to my Photoshare (for my i-enabled friends and family) and to Facebook (for the rest of the unenlightened) and generally leave my vacation tales at that. For the few friends and family who really want more from us after returning from vacation, they come prepared for dinner and lots of wine .
Snail Mail Mountains
Has anyone told Canada Post that they may soon be obsolete? The bag of mail we collect after returning from vacation is generally 20 parts junk to 1 part even remotely worth the effort of opening an envelope. We have tried signs to the mailman for “no junk” but he ignores it. We have cancelled old free subscriptions but they keep coming. Our only hope is that our mail re-direction from moving last year will soon expire and the new owners will now get our old junk mail.
When we had our house, this was a big worry the entire time we traveled. We had a great older house (1920’s vintage) in an older neighbourhood and flooding, icing, falling trees all plagued us in the house.
When we moved to our condo a year ago, leaving home became so much simpler. We just set the alarm, tell security we are gone and we know that the condo will be well looked after – they even pick up our mail! The biggest issue we now face after returning from vacation is the risk that dust bunnies might get us before we get them!
Empty Fridge Syndrome
When we travel we religiously empty the fridge – the longer we are away, the more basic provisions get tossed. As we increase our travel binges (4 then 6 and now 10 weeks at a time), the fridge and freezer is almost empty when returning from vacation. This saves us worrying about expiry dates when we get back, but it means a big shopping bill to fill up on basics. With each trip to Europe we are beginning to shop more like Europeans – small, often grocery trips – and less bulk food shopping. So at least we are wasting less!
What do you dread most about returning from vacation? How do you try to minimize the impact?