I’ve been battling a severe case of the post-vacation blues ever since we got back from Dubai. (Yes, it’s a thing…) Although I had been looking forward to the trip for more than six months before our departure, I didn’t understand until I was there how much I really needed to get away.
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”
– Miriam Beard
In the last couple of months, I had tricked myself into thinking that my schedule was returning to some semblance of normalcy. I was getting better at saying no and guarding my free moments with more care. Until I found myself scrambling the week before we left to edit six different sessions from the prior weekend, and I realized that old habits die hard.
But after being in Dubai, I’ve come to see that it wasn’t only time that I had been lacking. I was blocked. Photography, which began as an creative outlet, became almost formulaic. A checklist of sorts. Each shoot came with a set of requisites, leaving little room for artistic license.
And then I stepped off the plane in Dubai, and my imagination was boundless. It was almost as if I were learning photography from the beginning again. I fell in love with my small, but mighty, Fuji X100T and forgot all traces of the lens envy and gear greed that had been plaguing me back home. I pushed the reset button with abandon, and edited pictures to reflect a mood and moment in time (instead of worrying if the aesthetic was “regrammable”).
As the trip wore on, I began to care less about what I was going to wear, and started to ask myself what I was going to experience. The glorious city of Dubai reminded me that places tell stories, too, and people don’t have to be in fashion to be beautiful.
This sadness I’m feeling being back is akin to breathing fresh new air only to become suffocated again. It makes me wonder how I managed to breathe at all before. I’m afraid to slip back into routine and lose the newly discovered inspiration that gave my soul so much rejuvenation. I wish to close my eyes and be transported back to Dubai Creek, with heart open wide and camera in hand. But for now, I’ll settle for more than 2 hours of sleep a night, and we can go from there.
Special thanks to my husband, Holden, for not only waking up early to take these photos before breakfast in Dubai, but also for putting up with my mild melancholia upon our return home. Already counting down to our next adventure together.
Have you suffered from a vacation hangover or post-vacation blues before? Any tips? (Especially for jet lag!)