As I mentioned on twitter, last night marked one week since our return from France and it already feels like a lifetime ago. Isn’t it funny how that happens?
I’ve heard it referred to as The Shoebox Effect. You have this experience away from your everyday life – good or bad (mostly great, in our case!) – and when you go back to your everyday life, you pack it up and put it on the shelf. You bring it down from time to time, admire the contents, and then back to the shelf it goes.
This might happen literally, with your souvenirs, but I find it happens for the entire experience. It can feel out-of-body, other-worldly. Before you go, you can’t imagine being there. While you’re there, its the only reality you can imagine. (Maybe I’m just really good at “being present” and didn’t know it? Hmm…thats a topic for another day.) And when you return, maybe you are changed but you are also fenced in by the realities of everyday life. Everything is pushing you to return to your former self, return to the space you fit into before you left.
For example, The Shoebox Effect will happen with your stories from the trip. Well-intentioned, kind people will ask “How was your vacation?” and you have to come up with an appropriate response. Do they want the brief (but impersonal) “It was so nice!”? Do you downplay it with “Loved it, except our flight was delayed for hours. That really sucked.”? Or can you really gush about all the amazing experiences you had? Do you have to box up your experience into a sound bite, or can you integrate them into your future?
Well, mes amis, I plan to “gush” here with you. Our trip to France really was fabulous overall, and fulfilled many of the dreams we had when talking and planning over the past few years. I don’t want to pack it away yet. I’d much rather go back! So I will return by sharing our memories, best moments and travel advice in the coming weeks and months, this time with you along for the ride.
Are you ready? Bon Voyage to all of us!
P.S. I’ve also been noodling on how to keep that delicious vacation feeling alive without leaving home, so stay tuned!
Linking up with some #traveltuesday bloggers: