Coming back home to relax

Plage de Floride vue de l'océan

I just came back home after three blissful weeks of vacations, yet I feel more tired now than before I left! Away from my daily routine, I spent my days being more active than when I’m home: we walked a lot and we tried our hand at a few water sports. Quite a change from my habit of sitting in front of my computer at least 7 hours daily!

While travelling, I get the FOMO (fear of missing out) fever. It causes me anxiety which in turns prevent me from relaxing because I fear that I might miss a must see attraction or a once in a lifetime experience. During those three weeks of travel, I have not used my Kindle once and hardly posted anything on social media. Instead, I have spent all my energy keeping busy and feeling guilty that I could not push myself to do more.

I would love to be the kind of person who is able to take the time to sit down and write all my impressions – preferably deeply introspective – in my travel journal. But rather than sitting, I always prefer doing something that I cannot do back in Paris: swimming in the pool, enjoying the ocean and walking new streets. I go from one activity to another … until I collapse from exhaustion.

It’s strange because at home I’m pretty much a couch potato, but during the holidays I tend to keep busy to the point that I need to be told to “stop and relax”. Fortunately, my family took care of telling to stop or else I don’t know in what state I would have returned from North America. I started to get tired by the end of my second week of vacations and towards the end of the third, I did not have enough concentration to read signs in museums.

Plus, I don’t sleep too well when I’m not at home. I’m used to sleeping in my large soft, but firm, bed with great pillows that do not hurt my neck. In the US, hotel rooms are never very dark and the quality of the bedding is rather variable (unfortunately, we don’t always stay at the Hilton!). I have rarely slept eight hours and I have not once slept past 9:00 AM.

Exhausted, I left Montreal to reach Paris via New York. During the 15 hours that my trip lasted, I could not stop thinking about my cosy bed and its wonderful duvet pillows. I landed in Paris on Sunday at dawn and I had the unfortunate idea of riding the train home with my 50-pound suitcase in tow. I walked in my apartment, dropped my bags, put on my pajamas and crawled into my bed.

Sleeping through my first day in Paris is the only thing that allows me to recuperate from a red-eye flight and the excruciating jet lag experienced when traveling East. I slept from 9 AM to 5 PM and then from 9 PM to 7 AM. I know that it is not what health experts recommend, but it works well for me. The next morning I was shipshape for work!

I started this week in high spirits: I booked exercise classes at 8:00 in the morning, looked for white-water kayaking schools until late at night, tried to sort out my photos from my holidays, shopped for stand up paddleboard, browsed wetsuits at sports store, looked for a surfboard in online classified ads … I did too much, too soon.

I am back to square one: even when I am awake, I am only half-awake and very much looking forward to staying in bed late on Sunday!

And you guys, can you manage to find time to relax while travelling?

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