The post-vacation blues are a real thing. It’s not just jet-lag, which I manage to avoid by timing my meals, staying very hydrated, using masks and headsets on the plane, and exercising to get my body back in the schedule. Post-vacation blues are more difficult to manage because it’s a perspective that takes over. Brain overstimulation in the form of sights, sounds, delicious foods, shopping, sunshine, and immersion in a new culture.
I got back from an exciting two week vacation on Tuesday, just four days ago. At first I was really busy with work for my Pragmatism class at UBC, and then writing. But today I had to go into my workplace and it struck me again: real life is, well… it’s just not vacation! 😦
It’s easy to idealize a foreign culture and way of life when you’re in a good mood and having fun. So, what’s the cure to my post-vacation blues? Why can’t I love my “regular” life as much as vacation?
Solution: Find the beauty in regular life. Lucky that today is a crisp fall day with just the right kind of light and sky! On my walk home from work, I was determined to see the beauty in my own neighborhood.
If I had not made up my mind to see the beauty in things, I’d have missed the fresh air, the clear blue sky, the brilliant fall Vancouver leaves, and how amazing it is to live in Canada. In Hong Kong, you’ll never be able to catch a serene park, silent streets, and wide open spaces all for yourself. Just two other people were in the park.
The streets were just as empty and quite for me to enjoy. I breathed deeply and realized that if I didn’t take some photos, then I’d probably forget this beautiful moment. Wide open sky and wide open street. Only in North America will you feel like you own the street, not another soul around. And I am thankful that this is my neighborhood.
If I didn’t look up and choose to see the beauty, my walk might have been a very different experience. It might have been successful/unsuccessful depending on how much I felt like it was exercise, and it might have reminded me that winter’s coming (and how much I dislike the cold). I might have kept my head down the whole time and only seen these: trash at the side of the street, a empty lot full of destroyed materials, and a dirty alley with cracked pavement.
It’s all about perspective.
My post-vacation blues are not gone. I’m still craving for warm weather, carefree spending, and steamed Chinese dim sum. But real life is easier when I’ve decided to look for the glorious, the beautiful, and the moments that make Vancouver life absolutely the best place for living.
Consider these photos edited through digital filters. Bottom right is #nofilter.
- Just like we can change the digital filter to get a particular color scheme, do we have a choice about what we see in life? Is it possible to decide to see a different filter?
- Do overly cheery people need to be knocked back down to “real life”? What is wrong about a falsely positive attitude?
- If you take a walk, take three pictures in a way that makes the image look more beautiful, and take three that don’t show off the focal point’s best features. What can this tell you about the images you see on Instagram or in other media?