The bells tolling at 6am have been replaced by birds singing outside our bedroom window. The villages we visited in the islands of Southern Dalmatia in Croatia, while on our Island Hopping cycle tour, all had a bell tower, or two, and we loved waking to the sound of them ringing.
The gentle autumn light has changed to full spring sunshine, with definite hints of summer’s warmth. The green of autumn is a different green to that of spring. The misty rain in London is now a memory with a story attached.
The colours of autumn and fluttering leaves of Denmark have been replaced by spring colours, scents and rampant growth. The windy cold coast of southern Sweden and Denmark in autumn have been replaced with still, hot days, threatening thunderstorms and yet we miss the days we spent walking bent against the wind.
The delicious breakfast spread waiting for us every morning on our boat, Kapetan Jure, with our new international friends to talk to, has been replaced by a quick bite of whatever can be found in the depleted cupboards, while listening to the local news before we run out the door to work. Likewise the amazing 2 course lunches and 3 course dinners – we are now fending for ourselves and my waistline thanks me for it but my taste buds miss the variety of food provided.
Active days of cycling around the beautiful islands of Croatia with the sparkling Adriatic Sea on our doorstep are now replaced with days sitting in an office, behind a desk with the main activity being walking to the printer or to another meeting.
Walking around historic sites, ruins, beaches, palaces, castle grounds, old cities and seaside villages has been changed to walking around the not so ancient pine forests and bush tracks in an attempt to regain my fitness. Riding across Tower Bridge in London in peak hour traffic is like a dream – but I know I did it just last week.
The many family and friends we visited made us feel so special and important, now we are back to being our normal everyday selves.
Funnily enough I am missing living out of a suitcase with a limited selection of clothes each day. I find I have too many options now that I’m home and keep looking for my favourite few items that got me through each day. I wonder how long this will last?
We’ve been home a week now. My body has adjusted to the different time zones and is back on track. I am pleased to have had my wonderful holiday and although I know it had to end, I wish it didn’t have to. I’m still confused at times.
Holidays and travel are wonderful interludes and I am not whining that it’s over. I am pointing out that what adventures I had on my holiday are so far removed from my everyday life that it feels like I have lived another life for the past month. I’m not one who misses my own bed or my shower when I’m away, and I know I have to go home at some stage – I appreciate the experiences and store them up in my memory with the help of my travel blog and my photos. I can then re-live the experiences any time I like.
To travel is to live and this is why we travel – to experience different things, meet new people, do activities we rarely do, live outside our everyday routines, see things through new eyes and live a different life for a short time.
What to do once it’s all over? I could fall into a deep PHD (post holiday depression) or I can go back to my normal everyday life with a smile on my face and share my stories with anyone who will listen and start planning the next adventure!
I’m trying hard to follow my own advice!