Bianca: So, did you find one? An antidote?
It's been almost three weeks since we came back from our family vacation to the Philippines, and I haven't written a single word about it. Aside from this trip being the highlight of our summer, with so much anticipatory joy surrounding the weeks (or maybe even months) leading to it, it was also our first time back to our home country since moving to the United States five years ago. So, for us, our downer mood isn't just brought about by having to transition back to the real world, it's also due to having to get used to not being surrounded by the love and care of family and longtime friends.
While I personally didn't find an antidote to post-travel blues, my family and I made every effort to lift ourselves up from the doldrums.
Relive the experiences
We did well on disconnecting from the Internets for almost three weeks. This is no easy feat for social media oversharers like me and my kids. Now that we're back, though, we're using these Instagram- and Facebook-sharing as a way to relive moments from our family vacation. It may seem a bit superficial, but the convos generated by these photos from those we shared the experiences with are a great picker-upper.
Redecorate your home with souvenirs
We're not big on souvenirs. The reason being, we don't like the idea that the novelty pieces we embellish our home with could be found in other people's living rooms and whatnot. The memorabilia we brought from the Philippines were actually given to us, made specifically for us, save for one store-bought mask from Palawan.
My sister-in-law, Hix, is Studio Director of a video production company and is a talented artist. Of the many, many things she and her boyfriend gave us, my favorites are the ones they had crafted for us;
and my favorite among those is this piece, The Cosmic Eye.
About a year or so ago, one of the typhoons that wreaked havoc in the Philippines had knocked down decades-old trees in our ancestral home. The clean up, I imagine, was physically challenging for my Tito (uncle). Emotionally, it was draining for all of us who had grown up and/or have had spent a lot of time there. My Tito had the trunks chopped into pieces, with the vision of repurposing them into furniture and decorative items. I got myself a few, hoping I could have them transformed into art pieces to bring home. Due to weight restrictions, I ended up with just one - but one that means so much to us.
Okay, what we did wasn't quite the microadventure by Alastair Humphreys' definition; we took one of those little jaunts we're so used to taking. Last weekend, we did something in the nearby municipality of Princeton that we haven't done before: rent a canoe from Turning Basin and paddle along the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
The canoeing didn't quite measure up to our island-hopping shenanigans in the Philippines, but to be enveloped by nature again did help lift our spirits.
Got any tried and tested post-travel solutions? Share them with us in the comments!
Check out some of our summer vacation photos on Instagram!
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines and briefly lived in California before moving to the east coast of the USA. I'm a digital marketing executive currently based in New Jersey and a digital nomad wannabe. I write mostly about family travel.