It is never easy to return home from a vacation, at least not when you’ve had a good trip! Here’s a little wisdom to help you keep your post-travel blues at bay.
Return to a clean house
It may be hectic getting out the door, but if you can leave your home clean and orderly, it will feel more welcoming when you return. If you have a house or pet sitter, you might ask them to do a little shopping so you return to find staples restocked in the fridge. (And don’t forget to clean out your fridge before you leave!)
Take care of yourself
Rest well. Indulge the impulse to sleep late or go to bed early. Perhaps you ran around a lot on your trip, or you are battling jetlag. If you flew, you were likely exposed to germs on the flight too. Be easy on yourself and lower your expectations for your first week back. Eat well, especially if you overindulged on your trip.
Give yourself an easy transition
Plan for a transition week and keep your first days at home loose. Try to schedule a day or two off before you must return to work, volunteer or other obligations. Re-entry is more pleasant if you don’t plunge completely into your old routines. If you listen to NPR on your commute, change it up and listen to music. Swap out your newspaper for an art book or novel set in the place you visited. Try to bring some of that vacation ease and lightness into your daily tasks.
Bring the best of your trip habits home with you
Time away allows you to approach your life with new eyes and fresh perspective. Be deliberate about bringing the best of what you saw, learned and did home with you. This might mean you start composting as you did in Switzerland or dress with more flair, like the Italians or French do. Maybe you had less screen time and want to scale back phone, computer and TV time at home. Let the best habits stick.
Enjoy the foods of the place you visited
Pick up special wines, customs-approved cheeses and other goodies that are special to the place you are visiting so you can consume them at home, extending the epicurean happiness of the country you visited. At home, shop for favorite foods that evoke the place you vacationed or visit ethnic restaurants where you can eat your new favorite dishes.
Share your experiences
Reliving the highlights and sharing them with friends helps extend the pleasure of all you experienced. It also cements the best of your trip into your memory. Review and prune your vacation photos, write down favorite memories in a journal, and share stories from the road with others, in a book, blog, social media posts or over coffee.
Start planning your next vacation
Wanderlust is the itch you cannot scratch. The more you travel, the more you want to travel. So start thinking ahead to your next vacation or global adventure. Having a next trip in mind can buoy your spirits. Think ahead or even start a little planning, once you’ve shaken off your jetlag.
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