Dealing with wanderlust: How to Return to a 9-to-5 Work Day


Young female office worker
Creative Commons License photo credit: Jerry Bunkers
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about being an Occasional Traveller, it’s to treasure the short holidays that I get,with the limited amount of annual leave that I have; that good things always come to an end, and it’s back to the real world after that quick jaunt.

It always takes me a bit of time to adjust back to a normal 9-to-5 timetable again. I tend to spend the first few days mooning a little and thinking about how “24-hours ago, I was jumping into the water to see Thresher Sharks” or “just last night, I was lying under the stars on a beach in a foreign land” and just being completely unable to process the spreadsheets in front of me.

Oddly enough waking up to work isn’t so hard – I tend to lead a healthier lifestyle when I’m on holiday, waking up early to catch the sights and sleeping early because I tend not to go out at night, but the motivation isn’t quite the same, and that first morning, realizing that I have to go face my computer screen instead of a beautiful sunrise, makes waking up particularly difficult.

So here are some tips to help you cope now you’re headed back to the office for the daily grind:

Downloading your memories

Do this immediately if you have a day off, or take some time to do it on the weekend immediately after. Trust me, if you don’t do it now, it’s pretty unlikely you’re going to find time to do it any other time as real life catches up with you! The number of times I’ve sworn to finish my posts and gotten derailed by life (sorry!)… So scan your journals, write your blogs and upload your pictures as soon as you can. You’ll find it easier to get back to working when you’re not thinking about photo albums or unfinished blog posts…

Extend your experience

There’s no reason you should go cold turkey after a trip! Leave yourself small reminders of your trip on your table that you can savour during short breaks from work – a particularly scenic photo for your desktop wallpaper, a souvenir from your trip by your keyboard, munching on a snack you’ve brought back… they are great conversation starters and a nice way to rejuvenate yourself in between meetings.

While some might say that these trip reminders can be a distraction from work at hand, I like to think of them as inspiration and to remind yourself exactly why you’re working so hard (so you can afford to take that next holiday!), going cold turkey just makes me miserable! I’d rather set aside specific ‘wanderlusting periods’ during my day so I can spend the rest of it productively completing my job.

Start planning your next trip!

Of course the best way to get over post-trip bliss is to introduce new-trip adrenaline by planning your next journey! This way you’ll never be mooning about trips past, and will always be looking forward to your next new destination. Though I have to say that pre-trip planning can be a lot more distracting than post-trip mooning…

How do you get back to work after a fantastic trip? Go! Girl office warriors, Share your tips here!


About Author

Jaclynn Seah is an Occasional Traveller from sunny Singapore who really hopes to become a more frequent traveller someday. But for now, she has a little blog and shop over at The Occasional Traveller where she hopes to inspire and remind others like herself to take some time off and just... escape!