The time you’ve been waiting for has come, and you are on vacation! Finally, you can relax and enjoy yourself.
Well, yes, but . . .
After a long drive, flight, or whatever it took to get you to your destination, you might not feel relaxed. You may even feel exhausted and wonder what in the world made you think a vacation would be a good idea.
In my experience, the first evening on almost any vacation is notoriously rough.
It’s the time when months of planning and expectations converge with reality.
And reality often includes fatigue and already tested-to-the-limit patience. The stress of driving or navigating airports, sitting through flights, entertaining children, navigating around a new place, and more is real.
But for some reason we think that we should enjoy everything because we’re on vacation. So then we feel bad for not being happy, and it’s easy to get discouraged.
If this sounds familiar to you, know I’ve been there and I get it. But read on, my friend.
You’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep. Trust me.
During the first evening on many vacations I catch myself falling into the first day blues. I start wondering why we planned this trip in the first place, and sometimes why we even travel at all. My own bed and my own kitchen usually sound wonderful at that point, much easier and more comfortable.
I worry that I’m going to have to drag myself around the whole time and just pretend to have fun.
I felt this keenly on our trip to Bali. In total it took us 36 hours to get from New York to Bali, including several long flights and a long layover in the Philippines. On our first day in Bali I was absolutely exhausted and already dreading the trip home. All I could think about was why in the world I’d thought bringing three kids to Bali would be fun.
But after I was able to catch up on some sleep, I really enjoyed the beautiful land, unique culture, and amazing sights in Bali. And now I have great memories from the trip. I even think I’d like to go back to the area before too long, maybe to Thailand next.
I felt it again on a recent trip to Cancun with my sisters. After a long day of flying we stood at the Hertz rental counter for 3 ½ hours before finally getting our rental cars. Then after driving in the dark on some crazy roads, we got to our all-inclusive hotel too late to get any dinner.
We were all tired and hungry and I think some of my sisters were wondering why they had come to Cancun in the first place.
I knew that we all just needed a good night’s sleep and that a new day would bring a fresh perspective, new energy, and renewed enthusiasm. I’ve seen it over and over in myself and my family when we travel.
And it was true. After a good night’s sleep we were up and ready to have a blast, which we did.
That’s how it always goes. When we arrive in a new location I’m almost always overwhelmed and tired, but a good night’s sleep is the only cure I need. The morning of the first full day of vacation almost always brings renewed excitement and energy.
I’ve finally learned to ignore those first day doubts and just get some rest.
So don’t let first day blues get you down! Don’t spend any time worrying about the upcoming days or anything else. Instead just go to bed, sleep in if needed, and move on with your vacation! You’ll be glad you did.
Can you relate to this? I’d love to hear your perspective in the comments! Then read more about getting through rough times on vacation in this post.