We’ve all been there. Your sister is sunning herself in Hawaii, your bestie is exploring Europe, your Facebook friends are checking in to luxury hotels in faraway lands, your Instagram feed is full of high-contrast pictures of airplane wings, and you’re … sitting at home watching an episode of “Chopped” you’ve already seen three times, feeling increasingly bitter about your stagnant lifestyle. It’s called Vacation Envy, and it can strike any of us at any time, no matter how often we actually travel. It can be triggered by a travel blog, a Facebook status, a coworker returning to work with a deep tan, or the sight of Anthony Bourdain’s smug little face.
How do you recover when you’re always dropping people off at the airport and never getting dropped off yourself? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on for some signs that you’re suffering from Vacation Envy, and some practical ways to deal. Good luck!
Sign 1: You find yourself hiding a friend (or multiple friends) on Facebook just because he or she posted pics of a recent trip to Turks & Caicos.
Solution: First, un-hide your friend (unless there are other reasons why they should remain off your Newsfeed) and plan your own damn day at the beach. Because sun and surf are basically the same everywhere, right? The only difference is that you’re going to sleep in your bed that night rather than an Eco hut on the shore. Big deal.
Sign 2: You have a friend staying at a B&B on the coast and you keep texting her news headlines about tragic events to make sure she’s “in the loop.”
Solution: Obviously, you need to take a time out and stop reading the news yourself so you feel more like YOU’RE on vacay. Go get yourself a scoop of ice cream and sit in the park. Your friend will find out about the man who murdered his wife and posted pictures on Facebook when she gets back.
Sign 3: Your sister calls to tell you that she’s back from her three week stay in France. You reply, deadpan, “I had no idea you were gone.”
Solution: Make plans to meet for a glass of (French) wine and ask to see all 700 of her pictures of the Eiffel Tower, making sure to remind her about how you worked your way back to being your parents’ favorite sibling while she was away.
Sign 4: You can’t look at travel magazines or websites without bursting into tears.
Solution: Plan a vacation that you can afford and get it on the books right away,even if it’s for 2015 and you’re traveling to Gary, Indiana.
Sign 5: You’re avoiding hanging out with your friend who recently returned from Italy because you just CAN’T deal with hearing about how fabulous the wine was and how hot the men were and how al dente the pasta was.
Solution: Leverage your jealousy into a free meal! Have her take you out for a swanky, Italian dinner under the guise of “wanting to learn about the wine varietals from Umbria and the correct way to eat orecchiette.” She’d probably be more than happy to teach you.
Sign 6: It’s been so long since you’ve left town that the mere sight of your cubicle is starting to make you nauseous.
Solution: Trick your mind into thinking that you’ve been on vacation by redecorating your work space and taking yourself out for a tropical drink during your lunch hour. The second half of the day will be like a whole new adventure. Kind of.
Sign 7: You start to resent the mailman because he’s not delivering you two tickets to Australia and all the gear you’ll need to go exploring at the Great Barrier Reef.
Solution: Instead of waiting for packages that will never arrive, reestablish a bond with your mail carrier by making a fun care package for a long-distance friend or relative. Mail begets mail.
Sign 8: You find yourself staying up till all hours of the night trolling travel blogs and leaving cruel, anonymous comments, or watching old episodes of “No Reservations” and muttering under your breath about how Anthony Bourdain must die.
Solution: Screw Anthony Bourdain and his silly little show which is now off the air and plan your own “No Reservations” dinner party where you and your friends cook the exotic cuisine of the country of your choice and eat it in a straw hut in your living room.