Post-Vacation Depression

I always thought that my post-vacation depression, after I escape from the US to go somewhere abroad, was something I just made up in my head.  Turns out, its a real thing!  I did a little research on Google and found a whole slew of articles on how to combat this phenomenon.  However, most of the articles don’t really address the feeling of “Yuck, I do NOT want to be back in the US.”  My husband and I are fortunate to have traveled to many places overseas for vacation, and each time I always come back disgusted with our country.  I’m not anti-American by any means, but I get frustrated with some of the crap that goes on here – politics, religion, business, ethics, etc. etc.  I think part of the problem with our return and my frustration is that while we are away, we aren’t exposed to the barrage of media and negativity that smacks us upside the head when we return stateside.  The language barrier of being abroad makes a vacation truly a vacation from everything – work, life, reality…

This time its particularly bad.  We just went over to Japan and had the most amazing experiences.  Japan is a Buddhist nation, therefore the amount of courtesy and respect for others and nature is bar none.  I read in one of my travel books that the Japanese people have a creed when dealing with others, which is basically “don’t annoy others as you don’t want to be annoyed”.  This creed is reflected in some of the simplest activities of their life, however the biggest area of effect is through the use of cell phones in public.  I don’t think I heard one cell phone ring when I was over there.  When we traveled on trains, there were signs in the train station and on the train cars that appeared to ban the use of cell phones in those areas.  (I say “appeared” because we couldn’t read the signs as they were written in Kanji, however a picture of a cell phone circled and crossed out in red with the word “MANNERS” made it obvious in whatever language you speak.)  Of course when the plane landed back here in the good ol’ U.S.A. and the captain said electronic devices were ok to use again, the sound of cell phones ringing, beeping and buzzing was nearly deafening.  Not really, but I was incredibly annoyed.

So, I’m giving myself a week to grieve my vacation that has come and gone, and think about making some changes in my life that help continue the feeling of peace I had when I was in Japan.  I think sometimes disassociation is key – you need to step away from and block out the things that give you stress.  In my case, it’s a little bit of everything – news, politics, needy people.  My plan is to focus on things that don’t stress me out to counteract the loads of stress that I put upon myself the last ten years.  I hope I get back to Japan again some day soon, but in the mean time I have 2000+ pictures I can use to bring back the feeling of vacation.