I’m about to embark on a personal experiment. I’m optimistic that by doing so, I can truly change my life (and yours) in some important and meaningful ways. I just returned from a 15 day vacation. The only other time I’ve been away that long was on my honeymoon...20 years ago! 15 days is a long time to be out of my home and away from my regular life. Spending that time away really opened my eyes to the areas of my life that need some revision!
For the last five or six years, I’ve been paying closer attention to how I feel when I travel. And how I feel when I return home. Unsurprisingly, I’ve discovered that I like the simplified life that traveling creates.
I realize now that I really struggle upon re-entry because I crave that same simplicity in my regular life.
After a getaway, I’m super eager to make changes. I want to streamline and minimize in an attempt to capture that vacation feeling at home...but I quickly slip back into the daily grind and sadly, that vacation vibe fades into the background.
With my usual routine on pause for over two weeks...
I really pondered the possibility of bringing vacation home.
I explored and considered...
What are the real differences between my home life and my vacation life?
If I’m absolutely committed, can I bring some vacation practices home and make my regular life feel more like a getaway?!
I’ve felt a hint of this desire before...but embarrassingly, haven’t managed to actually make significant changes.
Maybe it’s the milestone birthday I had six months ago, but this time feels different.
I have the anxious excitement that comes from knowing you’re on to something!
Ideally, at the end of this experiment, I’ll be ready to help you live a ‘vacation life’ at home also! I’ll be able to guide you in tweaking systems and implementing new routines that will allow you to experience that relaxed getaway vibe within your daily life.
I know some folks will say that vacations are meant to feel different...that they are special because they’re a complete shift from our normal, intense, hectic routines. I do agree...but I feel certain that a few changes could really reduce my stress level and create a more peaceful (vacation-like) life. And...I’m confident that I’ll still find traveling to be a fabulous diversion from my newly simplified, chilled-out home life:-)
My re-entry after travel used to be worse.
A little back story for anyone considering a move:
My husband and I spent years vacationing in places that fed our souls much more than our own town. We’d spend most of the year longing for a trip to a destination that provided a warmer climate and more sunshine.
When my kids were younger we traveled to California as a family several times. I love California and feel really, really good when I’m there. Back east at home, when we’d experience a day with abundant sunshine and temps in the 70s...I could feel my mood shift and my spirits lift. My kids would instantly notice the change and began calling me ‘California mom’ on those days.
Noticing our continued sense of wanderlust, my mother mentioned that we should consider finding a place to live that actually fed our souls. What a novel idea. This set in motion our family’s move across country three years ago.
I now live somewhere that I love. I’ve left behind the hazy, hot, humid summers and damp, cold, gray winters that made me so unhappy. I wake up to sunshine more than 300 days a year. I am in awe of my surroundings every time I leave my house.
So, my location feeds my soul, but I’m still yearning for that vacation feeling in my everyday life.
I find that I (and my family) like my ‘vacation self’ more than my home self. I need to find a way to let that girl shine more often!
The following ‘categories’ are part of our everyday lives. These are the areas where I notice the biggest difference between home and away…
Hair and beauty:
My normal routines for hair and makeup are fairly simple, but vacation simplifies things even further. I pack only what’s essential for the destination and daily events. Despite streamlining my products, I’ve never wished I’d packed more stuff. I return home to my bathroom drawers and often wonder why I have so many products...and I really don’t have that many products:-)
As I mentioned, my husband and kids like me better on vacation. This is probably fairly common...mom's more relaxed and therefore we all get along well! The little things aren't as bothersome. I'm a better listener. There are more hugs and kisses. I long for this same flow with the people I love once we're back home.
Travel usually means exposure to different foods. In new locations, it could be a wealth of exotic flavors and ingredients. At a family reunion, it might be familiar dishes prepared in unfamiliar ways. Regardless, vacations often make me more adventuresome with my food choices.
Yes, I should mention that I sometimes eat a bit too much on trips:-) I must admit that it’s kind of nice to ease up on the healthy stuff and have an extra helping of dessert! At home, I’m sure I’d benefit from the occasional dose of decadence.
Workouts are more fun on vacation. Maybe it’s the change of scenery or equipment...but I actually enjoy travel workouts. My home fitness routine can become tedious, making it hard to stay motivated.
I’m throwing this one in for those of you who are considering a move. My advice? If at all possible...do it! Living in a place that you truly love is an incredible feeling. I didn’t know how much difference this would make in my life until we moved 1700 miles west three years ago. Best decision ever.
If you aren’t happy where you currently live...start to research your options. Making a move is a huge endeavor...but the result can truly change your life for the better!
Less worry/ relaxing:
This is the golden ticket right here. Vacation allows us the opportunity to let go of the daily stress and recurring worries and just relax. I’m not exactly sure how this happens, but I know I want more of this feeling in my regular life.
Things move slower and the living becomes easier. I’m 'all in' for adopting this at home. I’ve known for years that slowing down would lead to a more fulfilling life...but I suck at implementing changes that would actually make it happen. It’s time. I’m done with the madness of feeling so busy all the time!
Shorter ‘to do’ list:
The freedom of vacation can be seen in my to do list. I don't even have a list when I travel...unless it's a list of fun stuff to fit into my schedule!
This is what vacation is all about! Having fun. It’s easy for me to have fun on vacation. It’s practically a requirement, right? I’m admittedly terrible at letting fun into my daily life.
There’s nothing like living out of a suitcase (even for a weekend) to remind me that creating great outfits doesn’t require lots of clothing. I don’t have a capsule wardrobe at home, but when traveling...I’m a capsule wardrobe master! I love to pack clothing for a trip...making sure that all the pieces work together makes me giddy! The ease of dressing from a capsule is liberating.
As you can see, I have a lot of work to do!
I’m going to take the next several weeks off and ‘get my act together’. I look forward to returning to this space ready to share my successes and my slip-ups. Thank you for allowing me to be flawed and human...I’m so glad you’re on this journey with me.
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I’ll be posting on Instagram and Snapchat while I’m doing the work. Having you follow along there would help to keep me accountable:-)
Find me as togetheract in both spots.
Have an amazing July!