You have planned a trip fit for a Queen. Research of destination done, accommodation sorted and all that is between you and a hard-earned holiday is a flight or drive to your dream getaway.

But if you are anything like me, there is an element of anxiety that occurs when you finally get to the place you have been daydreaming about for the last few months. Maybe it is the change of routine or the long flight you took on the budget airline with the slab of cold concrete for seats! Maybe it was the mad scramble to finish your handover at work so you don’t return to a shitstorm of emails. Whatever it may be, you have arrived but you have not actually arrived, arrived at your vacay.

I have dubbed this phenomenon Holi-delay and symptoms include:
– Worrying or reminiscing about tasks you did not have time to do at home
– Feelings of unease at the sudden change of scenery
– Overwhelmed feeling even though you are excited

I experienced Holi-delay recently when I arrived in Koh Samui, Thailand. It took me 2 days to adjust and actually settle into the very experience I had been pining for for months! On top of the above symptoms, I felt out of control, restless and jetlagged! I also had a feeling of shame because I have arrived at a place where every day looks like this:

What right did I have experiencing Holi-delay when I was literally in the most stereotypical version of paradise!? But the truth is, while a robot can change it’s setting from ON to OFF, it takes a little bit of time to settle in for us humans. But time is of the essence as most paid annual leave is not unlimited so here are some of my remedies to cure your Holi-delay and start enjoying your trip pronto.


Ok, so not everyone experiences Holi-delay. For example, my friend sets a toe in a resort and is ready for the beach or dumps his bags and is ready to explore. But don’t be afraid to take 10 minutes or an hour to unpack, have a shower and organise yourself for the next few busy days. It sounds odd, but it is a subconscious thing. It is setting you up for your time away and making you think about the days forward- not what you have left at home. It will also give you that sense of “control” that you feel you have lost on the crazy commute on the way there. When I travel with friends, we like to arrive at our sleeping quarters and say we will meet in 2 hours refreshed and ready for adventure. Take your time to get on holiday time.


Whether it be going for a slow iced coffee at a lazy beachside cafe or a full massage at the hotel spa, I like to formally start my holiday with a treat for myself. It shifts the vibe from one of mayhem to one of “ahhhhh”. It does not need to be extravagant, just something relaxing that will set the tone for the adventures you have planned ahead. I like to pack a face mask and do it in my hotel room for 10 minutes. It is good for my skin and it’s like the green light to say “I’ve made it!” If your treat takes the form of a cocktail or beer, so be it! Just find something that makes you “Click play” on your holiday.

Don’t interrupt me… I am treating myself.


Before you embark on your travel adventure, make sure you pack something that you cannot enjoy until you arrive. There is nothing better than cracking open a book that you have been dying to read while you are poolside. Or maybe it is starting that new mindfulness routine in the morning. Whatever it is, save it for the holiday. It will make you appreciate how much you were looking forward to this moment and it has finally come! Prepare for the arrival moment well before and you will quickly beat the Holi-delay feels.


Particularly when I travel to less developed parts of the world, I am reminded that being able to holiday and see new countries is a privilege. Whether it be hostel-hopping in South East Asia or 5-star resorts in Europe, when I am feeling the Holi-delay blues, I like to remind myself that I am lucky to be able to do this. Sure, you work hard and everyone needs a break! But it is also a time to be grateful that you can see such incredible sights as not everyone has the resources to. Gratitude helps with Holi-delay as it will speed up the process of relaxing. It makes you thank your blessings and just appreciate.

As I write this very sentence, I can say I have been cured of the dreaded Holi-delays. It took me 2 days to get into the swing of things and I can say that I am well prepped for enjoying every bit of this vacay. If you experience Holi-delay or have some tips on how to overcome it feel free to comment!


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