After spending two weeks immersed in hedonism, leisure and adventure, it’s time to get back to reality and face the bitter taste of routine we try so hard to escape. The last day of a holiday is filled with tragic nostalgia: not being able to rewind, to control time and space, to morph our surroundings.

Working hard for so long certainly makes one entitled to have some sort of reward and when it comes to that, I enter an arena of extreme ballin’. I become the working class aristocrat, the temporary nomad, the girl who grew up wanting to be the lovechild of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones and ultimately someone able to afford where, when, how and for how long could I travel around this small yet gigantic world.

Moments are immortalised in photos and memories – island hopping in Malta under the Mediterranean Sun, followed by a memorably romantic holiday in gloriously decadent Budapest, and ending up in the overwhelmingly cool city of Berlin experiencing and absorbing its urban essence and underground scene. But sadly the globetrotting had to come to an end – at least until the next opportunity to explore more nooks and crannies across Europe and beyond rolls around.

So, here I am, already late for work, backpack unpacked, hours of laundry just done, back to the so-called comfort zone we call home. But let’s not sugarcoat things. To be honest, at some point I was dying to come back home and its cosy warmth, its humble luxury (i.e. endless hot showers, privacy, tranquility, rest, proper sleep, a washing machine) since my feet were nearly bleeding in dirty soggy socks ravished by worn out Doc Martens, a nose dripping endlessly thanks to a bad flu in the coldest weather possible… and my period cramps paired with the paranoia that I could be potentially leaving the seats of a tram like a prop from “The Shining” didn’t help either.

Back to reality, routine and rationing pints in the local pub. An ominous sense of duty invades me. Change must happen, I think, just so I can keep on entertaining myself with a life enriched by surprises, evolution and smooth survival. I feel incredibly inspired after my holidays, but it’s a feeling that is simultaneously contradicted by the draining pressure and comedown-like uneasy feeling of panic – a fear of counterproductive conduct allied to an insecurity and lack of self-confidence that blocks me and leaves me stuck and trapped in a maze of unmotivated doubt. I keep telling myself I need an extended holiday, that I need something to perpetually feed my brain and creative core or my potential goes down the drain… I even listen to Kajagoogoo out loud and try to convince myself that I just need to adapt and adjust, just like everybody else does before, after and during holidays. Or work. I suppose I’m on denial until starting my shift this afternoon, praying for my selective memory not to fail. A slight change of setting feels almost like a challenging fresh start.

While my spirit still roams free, wild with wanderlust wishes yearning for passport-stamped wings, I must stop daydreaming and accept that we only appreciate these ephemeral delights because we are aware they won’t last forever – just like any other source of pleasure in life. Same way we enjoy life at its fullest when we are confronted with death. Life goes on and it’s far from perfect but we encapsulate those euphoric bits of happiness in the music box we call our heart.

On a less dramatic note, why don’t I stop whining about being a lazy sloth needing extra holidays and go for a hike in Dublin Mountains or camp somewhere in the remote Atlantic coastal countryside instead? If we can’t be tourists, or at least explorers, in our own city, then there’s reason to worry. Instead of moaning and moping on the way to work, I should embrace my commute and reconnect with this beloved city I call home.
Taking time off is a privilege that reminds us never to take quality time for granted. Embrace your here and now, no matter what.

Photography: Nancy Wilde


Nancy Wilde

Nancy is an urban explorer; candle collector; nocturnal neo-flapper; avid thrifter; ottersloth; pub fly; fridge raider; literature enthusiast with a passion for bygone eras and Peter Pan collars. Currently living in dirty old Dublin, Ireland.


  • It’s always hard coming back to reality. I just wrapped up my spring break and although I did not do anything exciting like you have, it still is a drag! But c’est la vie, right?

    Enclothed Cognition

    • Nancy Wilde

      Yeah, I suppose we wouldn’t enjoy it as much if we took it for granted! x

  • Isabelle Collins

    Your writing is lovely. Coming back from a holiday is one of the worst things ever and I always struggle getting back into reality. I mean it takes me like 2 weeks to actually unpack haha! xx

    • Nancy Wilde

      I must unpack asap because too much dirty underwear ahah

  • I have found that photography helps me, because I look for beautiful and/or interesting things :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • Nancy Wilde

      It does help. There’s so much out there to see and explore and photograph etc.

  • Regardless of how long I’ve been away on holiday, it’s always the same: I come back so invigorated and ready to tackle new projects and am immediately flattened by the fast rail train that is reality. In the past year I’ve gotten better at making the effort to explore more of my home city though, so I still get the inspiration without the almost laughable smash of real life coming back in.

    (P.S. I always love your writing, Nancy! Always a joy to read.)

    Kate |

    • Nancy Wilde

      Thank you so much for your comment! ^_^ Holidays have a strange effect on people, good or bad.

  • Only so right! I think the charm of being elsewhere is heightened of its precise nature: being elsewhere other than here. When I used to live in Australia I’d pine for living in London / Europe and now I’m here working (after working so hard to get a visa, no less!) I find it less attractive and wish I was on the other side of the globe. Holidays help me appreciate the opportunities I have to be able to be in new places and in foreign company, and hopefully makes me more grateful of being where I am at the moment.

    Cherie ✽ sinonym

    • Nancy Wilde

      Yes, it’s all a matter of perspective. I’m ok with living in the same place but I must travel… constantly, for the sake of my sanity.

  • You’re right that we appreciate our holidays more because we can’t do it all the time. As nice as it would be to be able to do whatever we want all the time and travel to anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat, that’s never going to happen because we have to have a job so we can afford to travel at all, or even have food to eat and a bed to go home to at night. It can definitely be tough trying to settle back into the boring old routine of being at home again and going to work after a holiday but I guess all we can do is try and plan for the next one to keep our spirits up, haha.

    • Nancy Wilde

      Your words are wise, Jessica, that’s exactly how it goes… I like your positivism :) x

  • Laura Santos

    Great text! It´s so nice to travel, and it´s so nice to come home.

    • Nancy Wilde

      :D verdade!

  • Sophie Lee

    The worst part of traveling is the time you know you have to go home :(

    xoxo, Best Wallets 2016

    • Nancy Wilde

      it depends on the circumstances but yeah, it usually is.