Why are we so different on holiday?

The things we do on holiday are not physically incompatible with being back at work - but we don't tend to do them once we've returned

Share

Don’t you just love everyone walking around with their newly-earned tans, wearing their shorts and loafers, their t-shirts and – God help us all – wife-beaters, to display flesh that has turned from the usual pasty white to shades verging from tomato puree to a furniture mahogany? Never mind that it is currently 15C cooler than it was this time last week when you were away, nor that there is no place for Havaianas in Chiswick High St – let alone Chelmsford.

We all want to cling on to that holiday feeling though don’t we? We invest so much money, time and emotional energy in trying to locate, book and then enjoy to the full the right holiday that we now need it to carry over a little into “the dreaded return”. We don’t want to let it go, but reality bites so soon, so hard.

But, beyond the obvious, why are we so different on holiday? Yes, of course we have more time (the obvious)  and – mostly – free our minds from the day-to-day concerns, worries and responsibilities of our everyday lives. But why don’t we read three books a week, drink exotic cocktail concoctions, and indulge in what teenagers call DMCs (deep and meaningful conversations) with family members that end in games of cards rather than a new Cold War? Why can’t we all stroll along carefree like the magnificent dude in the Southern Comfort TV ad, tipping one’s head in acknowledgement of hotties? None of the above are actually physically incompatible with being back at work. It’s all in the mind, innit?

Now that we all share so much more of each other’s holidays via Facebook postings and Instagram we are all in our friends and relatives’ private time, and know more about each other’s foibles, leisure choices and what we find quirky or funny, it should be easier to carry that shared mellowness over to humdrum working days.

On my own little break I became obsessed with a drink called Aperol Spritz: basically Aperol (like Campari, only orange), Prosecco, a little optional soda, an orange slice and loads of ice. It was perfect to savour at lunchtime, equally perfect as a pre-dinner aperitif. I was absolutely convinced it wouldn’t be like limoncello or ouzo, arak or grappa, delicious there and then in situ, but somehow lacking in the cold, grey light of home. I was wrong. Again.

But, more than a week after being back, as the tan fades with the memories, I am determined not to let go: not to have lunch at al desko, nor drink crappy coffee, let a day go by without exercise, to read for pleasure and see real friends. How’s it going? Sorry, I don’t have time to tell you.

@stefanohat

Stefano Hatfield is editorial director of London Live

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teacher Hertford...

KS1 & KS2 Teacher

£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: We are looking for infants and...

Secondary Trained Teachers for the watford area

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Qualified secondary teachers - ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Ebola virus in the US: How did the disease ever spread this far?

Sophie Harman
 

The most common question I am asked is 'How do I become a YouTuber?' This is my reply

Jim Chapman
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?