Some people are incredibly lucky. They get to travel around the globe on frequent intervals, spending weeks or more at a time at exotic destinations of their choice without even thinking about the possibility that those good times may be the last for quite some time.
Unfortunately, for most of us, traveling is a luxury. It’s something we plan for months or even years in advance and for a large majority of people it usually takes some time to turn each traveling dream into reality. The departure date arrives and the trip ensues and before you know it, the trip is over and done with and you’re heading home. Back to reality.
Then comes the post-trip depression.
You find yourself sitting at home, reminiscing about this place or that incredible sight or piece of art and you long to be back there.
Today was one of those days for me. Durban delivered unusually, yet wonderfully cold, wet and windy weather that inevitably took me way back to our very first trip to Europe. It was December, winter in Europe was getting into the swing of things and snow and sub zero temperatures were as foreign to us as the country itself and I loved every minute of it!!!
The Melancholic Memory – Setting the Scene
We arrived in the small town of Montbard, France at about 8pm at night, following a fairly harrowing train trip from Austria. We were actually too late for the car rental agency, since we had been severely delayed as a result of a couple committing suicide on the train tracks. However, thanks to a very accommodating local, we were able to rent a vehicle and travel to our accommodation in Stigny.
Stigny is a small village located east center of France. The town of Stigny is located in the department of Yonne of the french region Bourgogne. It is located in the township of Ancy-le-Franc, part of the district of Avallon and had a population of 129 when we stayed in the 200-year old gite that we rented for 5 days in December 2007. During the 5 days that we were there I believe we only saw about 2 out of the 129 inhabitants!
By the time we arrived at the gite, it was -7°C and we were literally freezing our touchies off! As romantic as it had originally sounded to stay in the French countryside in an authentic 200 year old gite, the intense cold suddenly lessened the romance and flooded us with regret – but only until we got inside! Our host had thoughtfully prepared the most delicious, hot minestrone soup, with scrumptious, fresh bread rolls – delivered by the local baker in a van daily – and a bottle of wine to go along with it. Hubby, the kids and I got stuck in and before we knew it, we were warmed up, tummies were full and we could enjoy our new “old” surroundings in front of a crackling fireplace. It was incredibly special!
Recreating the Memory – Remembering Good Times
During those in-between times when a recent trip has come and gone and you’re planning your next dream trip to that far off destination of your choice, the only way of dealing with the post-trip depression is to savour the memories of trips gone by – and occasionally recreating them in your own surroundings, like today.
Durban’s unusually cold weather momentarily transported me back to Stigny. So, minestrone soup, croutons instead of bread rolls and red wine instead of white wine it would be. By now, the kids are grown up and have followed their own paths and hubby is working elsewhere at the moment, so instead of dinner for four it would be dinner for one but with memories galore! Thanks to a CD jam-packed with photos I could relive the experience and reminisce with delight while enjoying my Stigny soup and wondering if I will ever get to go back.
I am planning a next trip and I will be boarding a plane again soon, but for today, my minestrone soup, my wine and my fond memories of Stigny and the cold will suffice to carry me until its time to create some new ones.
How do you cope with post-trip depression?