I recently returned from an extended trip to China, Japan, and Vietnam, and there were so many aspects of each place that I loved - including amazing new foods and spiritual practices that I want to continue to make a part of my daily life. But the overall theme I've noticed when coming home after a special trip is, the desire to remember to savor every day, and not just wait for those vacation days. A message we often think to ourselves, but may not put into practice.
Bringing vacation home
The "Treat Every Day Like Vacation" List:
- Spend more time outside. When possible, work from the back patio.
- Read fiction and non-fiction. Get lost in books.
- Have a comforting cup of tea or coffee when desired. Be present.
- Set an intention for the day.
- Listen to classical and jazz music.
- Go for morning walks...mid-day walks...evening walks.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
- Make smoothies, fruit juices and popsicles.
- Ask myself: who do I want to meet? Where am I likely to meet that person? And then go there.
- Have fresh flowers to brighten a room.
- Watch guilty pleasure movies and make popcorn.
- Bake brownies.
- Set specific times of day for checking and responding to emails and social media.
- Put on music and dance in the kitchen.
- Explore. Visit a new place or try a new kind of food.
- Ask myself "how do I want to enjoy my life today?" each morning.
I'm (re-)learning that...
Many of the items on my list reflect things I loved to do as a child - and I've given myself new permission to do those things. In the last three weeks, I've made Rice Krispie treats from scratch, gone to a fun matinee movie, spontaneously sung favorite songs with my partner, made ice cream sodas, and floated on the lazy river at my community pool.
I'm guessing that those of you who have kids may have also re-discovered things you love by doing them with your own children. A lot of what I'm (yet again) discovering is that the experience of being on vacation is really about being present in this very moment - and children are some of our very best teachers of this!