I get this feeling every time after I leave somewhere where I’ve gotten comfortable being in.

  • pang, as in pang of sorrow, pang of sadness, etc.
    – stevesliva
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 2:57
  • 3
    Do you want a term before or after you leave? The question sounds like before, the body sounds like after. The top voted answer is based on after, though this seems easier to find a word for.
    – user486478
    Commented Aug 31, 2023 at 2:59
  • Bet the Germans have a word that means exactly this... Commented Aug 31, 2023 at 9:27

6 Answers 6


I suspect the closest one can get with a single word is wistfulness.

wistfulness [noun] [noncount]:

a feeling of sadness because you are thinking about something that is impossible or in the past

[Cambridge Dictionary]

If there's a vague sense of yearning behind an action, you can say it's done wistfully. People sigh wistfully, gaze wistfully, and wave goodbye wistfully – thinking about the past or what you are leaving behind with a little bit of sadness.


'Nostalgia' is rooted further in the past.


Specific to holidays, as per your title, you have:

Post vacation syndrome (PVS) is commonly called the blues. PVS typically appears in individuals who have recently returned to work following a holiday of a week or more. Typical symptoms include a lack of focus and difficulty concentrating.


The feeling can be described as bittersweet, defined as per the Cambridge Dictionary:

containing a mixture of sadness and happiness

For example:

The end of a vacation is always bittersweet. After days of fun and festivity, it’s hard not to be happy, even if you know all the joyful adventuring is about to come to an end.

It can equally be applied to other largely positive major life events such as graduation or a promotion that takes you to a new city.

  • I'm not sure about that. OP seems to be looking for a word that captures the sadness about something good ending (a purely negative emotion), not "a mixture of sadness and happiness".
    – xLeitix
    Commented Aug 31, 2023 at 13:23

Not a single word or an established term but anticipatory sadness is used for this feeling. (Note that it differs from anticipatory grief which is more intense).

As you mentioned, you feel sad before the good thing ends because you know it is ending, hence the modifier anticipatory. I doubt there is a specific single word, which there isn't even any in the dictionary of obscure sorrows. Japanese mono no aware comes close but it has its own intricacies tied in with Japanese culture.

  • 1
    Ok I noticed that you feel sad before the good thing ends per the question title; but then, you say "after" in the question body. I can delete or modify my answer based on your clarification. Perhaps you can provide more details in the question body.
    – ermanen
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 10:47

I hate to say this, but the best I can come up with is "That feeling you get when a great vacation is about to end."

  • 7
    If every feeling could be reduced to a single word, would we have Proust? Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 6:17
  • longing
  • yearning

These words express a wanting for something. But there is a nuance here implying that the thing being wanted is something the speaker has previously experienced or come in contact with, and therefore feels a connection with.

You could express a longing, or yearning for a place you have been to before, or a time in your life that has passed.

Contrarily, (to my knowledge) it would be strange to say you you've been longing to try scuba diving. This is because “try” implies you haven't done it yet, and so a connection to the experience would not yet be established.

Note: What I mean by “to my knowledge” is that I'm basing this description on how I've seen/heard these words used. But dictionary definitions I've checked do not mention a preexisting connection to the thing longed for. Nonetheless, I'm going to give this answer based on my gut feeling. (I welcome discussion on this in comments.)

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