Holidays are good for you they say.
Only, it seems, my colleagues didn’t get the memo. They’re back in the office post summer break but, amazingly you might think, no happier than before they went away.
Prior to booking they were all, invariably, looking forward to a break from the office, a good rest and the chance to let their hair down... so what happened?
It transpires that the planning proved too much for one co-worker. “Searching for flights on Sky-scanner - who soon clocked onto my proposed holiday plans and dates which resulted in rocketing prices - wasn’t fun,” said Shana. “Nor was trawling through tonnes of hotel reviews on TripAdvisor, which left me feeling more confused than ever.”
For another, working 15 hour days pre- holiday in a bid to clear his in-box at work, saw him board his flight for Colombia looking and feeling like a wreck. Something not helped by the email he received while en-route to the airport to say that his flight time had changed and he would now be taking off six hours later than scheduled.
Then on arrival - if you’re anything like the average stressed out Londoner who, statistics show, now work longer days than anyone else in the country, clocking in three extra weeks per year - it’s almost impossible to instantly switch into 'holiday mode' upon reaching your destination.
And invariably you will have packed all the wrong things something my mate Kate, can attest to. A sensible doctor by day, Kate couldn’t fathom what had possessed her to pack 17 pairs of shoes for a recent beach trip together with her gym kit, despite barely making it to the gym back home.
Then there’s the thorny issue of who to travel with… Travelling together can be intense and can either make or break relationships. Going in a group isn’t necessarily any easier. The worst trip I ever had was with two ‘friends’ to Mexico - we ended ended up falling out over food, finance and pretty much everything under the sun - so don’t be daunted by the prospect of solo travel.
And what about the weather which can rarely be relied on in this day and age? Last month, Louise spent a rainy fortnight (and small fortune) in France while back home, Britain baked in the hottest summer solstice ever...
All of the aforementioned for a few brief moments abroad when you feel refreshed and able to cope with whatever life throws at you - only for this feeling to dissipate as soon as you land back in London and the emails from your boss with the subject line ‘Urgent action required’ start flooding your in-box…
Shana summed up the agony succinctly when she said: “Quite frankly it was all enough to make me wish I had stayed put on the sofa.”
Perhaps Samuel Johnson was right after all:
"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."