Have you ever felt a little depressed after a long-awaited vacation came to an end? You saved money, planned, and anticipated for months. Then just like that, it’s all over. But what if I told you that you could bring that vacation feeling home?
Sure, it won’t be exactly the same as running down a deserted beach, listening to the waves, and watching whales breach. You probably won’t spend every evening sipping margaritas while watching the sunset. You’ll also go back to meetings, errands, and cleaning your own bathroom. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the feeling home and make it part of your daily life.
Earlier this year my husband, Jeremiah, and I enjoyed an epic adventure on Mexico’s Pacific Coast to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. This trip inspired a series of posts about why you need to make travel part of your life and how to make it happen. So far I covered:
- How the people of Mexico inspired me to live a more meaningful life.
- How to save cash for vacation so you can travel more often.
- How to stay motivated and make these big dreams a reality.
- Why you need to make time to travel and how to truly disconnect while you’re there.
As I’ve been writing these articles and sharing photos on Instagram, I often found myself feeling a bit blue. Then I’d remind myself that there are no endings, only beginnings. When one good thing comes to an end, it makes space for even better things to start brewing.
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And with this post, our time in Mexico comes to an end. It’s kind of sad when good things come to an end. But what if it’s not really the end, but the beginning of a new adventure? . When we flew home from our Hawaiian wedding 15 years ago, I was heart broken. I wanted to stay there forever. It feels like home because that’s where we became #hollyandjer. But looking back I can see that ending that adventure made way for so many more. Each time we became a little more brave and our adventures get better each time. . I really didn’t want to leave 82 degree Mexico to go back to 32 degree Minnesota. But I knew that in doing so, the next adventure could start to take shape. It’s not the end but a new beginning. . What helps you when good things come to an end? . . . #newbeginnings #dawn #newday #newadventures #happyendings #loveyourwholelife #notallwhowanderarelost #theroadlesstraveled #travel #gypsysoul #visitmexico #jalisco #puertovallarta #conchaschinas #journal
These moments of longing inspired me to think about how we can bring that vacation feeling home and make it part of our daily lives. I’ll share some of my tips below, but
To create a post-vacation strategy that’s best for you, spend some time reflecting on the following questions.
- What is it about
vacationthat invigorates you and makes you come alive?
- How do those activities make you feel?
- How can you replicate those feelings at home?
For example, I can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning while I’m on vacation. I’m up before the sun without having to set an alarm. I can’t wait to go explore and see things I’ve never seen and try foods I’ve never tried. I can’t wait to challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone by testing my language skills and finding my way around. I love how the most basic things become an epic adventure.
The feelings I get are excitement, joy, gratitude, satisfaction, love, and hope. I can create these feelings at home by writing down what I’m most looking forward to each morning in my journal. I could express gratitude for all the little things in my life that bring me joy like a sunshiny day and a delicious meal. I should challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and say yes to things that excite me while saying no to things that drain me. And I’ll set aside time each day to connect with my spouse and discuss our dreams for the future.
I’d love to hear what you come up with. You can share it in the comments below or come say hi on Facebook.
Here are five other ideas to help you bring that vacation feeling home.
Be a tourist in your own town.
We don’t do it often enough, but when Jer and I decide to go out, we make a day out of it. This past Valentine’s Day we ran a couple of errands and went out for lunch. We followed that up with a trip to The Science Museum, followed by a couple of craft beers. We then went out for dinner and stopped for one more beer. It was like being on vacation, without the planning and expensive flight.
Make dinner a big deal.
We all have to eat and most of us have at least one meal a day at home. Instead of turning on the TV or retreating to separate rooms, make dinner (or breakfast) a time to connect. Light candles and break out the good silver and china. Dine alfresco or head to the park for a picnic. Consider learning how to prepare your favorite foods from your trip. It’s a fun way to connect and will give you something to look forward to.
Be intentional about how you start your day.
Be honest, do you start your day in panic mode, just trying to get to work on time? That’s exactly how I spent the first 34 years of my life. Then I decided that I wanted my life to be different so I started getting up early every morning to work out. Later I added gratitude journaling. And today I have a system that sets me up to have a great day.
Decide what an impactful morning would look like to you and pick one thing to start tomorrow. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier, then get up and actually do it. When that becomes a habit, add the next thing. When we start our day with intention instead of defaulting to reaction mode, it’s easier to bring those feelings of excitement, joy, and hope into our daily lives.
Have something to look forward to.
I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. Having something to look forward to is a big deal. There are studies that suggest that people are happier leading up to their trip than while they’re actually on it.
You don’t have to be planning your next epic adventure to take advantage of this. Think of the little things you look forward to throughout the day and week.
I really love my writing days when I get to create new content. I also enjoy cooking while listening to podcasts and audiobooks. I cherish my morning routine, spending time with my spouse, reading, connecting with friends and meeting new people. One of the ways I make this part of my everyday life is by writing what I’m most looking forward to in my journal each morning.
What daily activities do you look forward to?
Of course, it’s never too early to start planning your next adventure. I’m writing this in April of 2019 and am already thinking about the adventures we’ll pursue in 2020. Go ahead and start dreaming and planning.
Make time to do the things you love.
I’ll be the first to admit I need to get better at this. The truth is that there will never be a shortage of things we should do. Even if you could magically get it all done, you’d probably find more things to do. Rather than always rushing to your next goal, take some time to slow down and enjoy the journey. Stop the glorification of busy and start investing time in the things that are important to you … every day, not just on vacation.
I’m sure you’re aware that what gets scheduled gets done. So take some time to schedule one or two of these activities throughout your week. Block off time just as you would an important meeting because let’s be honest, there’s no meeting as important as the feeling you get from a life well lived.