I was on a ferry last week, traveling from France to the UK, and it was packed. It took hours to load all the sunburned Brits heading home, the queue for the port stretched right through the town, past the fish market with its ferocious gulls, and my car ended up parked on the lower freight decks.
It wasn’t all bad. It meant I was let off the ship sooner when it reached Portsmouth, which was a help as due to the number of travellers and an ‘adverse tidal flow’, we ended up coming in an hour late.
This dash homeward, ahead of schools going back, and after the bank holiday, has become a traditional summer’s end migration. It was interrupted by Covid of course, and there was a sense of celebration in the air as the holiday high continued.
I doubt this feeling is confined to those on board a ferry. Surely other travellers, either on the motorways back from the West Country, Wales etc, or flying into Luton, Gatwick or Manchester were experiencing the same thing.
And when, at last, we fall into our own, familiar bed, the only thing we dread is the return to normality, back to work. We awake from the dream of the vacation and hope to hang on to the vestiges of that feeling.
Holidays are brilliant for resetting, re-evaluating, remembering our purpose, and we can bring that all with us, into our workspace. The clear-eyed, clear-thinking that time away can gift you can help re-ignite and recharge ideas and keep you going until it’s time to start thinking about the next getaway!
But coming back to work can be unsettling. What if nothing got done while you were away? What if there were problems? What’s changed?
In my experience, some things will have made progress, while others will have withered on the vine, (like the tomatoes your neighbour forgot to water). There will be problems to solve, because that is what you do, but overall, it will all look good enough for a Monday morning.
A Quantity Surveyor once told me that it takes three emails to forget you ever went away on holiday, but that’s not true, is it? After work there will still be sand in the footwell of your car, and there’s that mosquito bite on your ankle, and the white shadow left behind by your sunglasses.
Enjoy being back at the helm!