A few years ago I came home from a magical trip to Hawaii. It was a much needed break after a challenging couple of years and the trip was restorative and healing. When I returned to LA, instead of going right back to work and my routine I gave myself an unscheduled week to ease back into my day-to-day. My hope was to retain the energy I had experienced while I was away. During this week off at home it became clear to me that the biggest difference between how I live on vacation versus how I typically lived in my day-to-day life, was my inner state-of-being.
On vacation, I was simply living in the moment. I was not trying to do, fix, or accomplish anything—there was no self-judgment or feelings that I should be doing something else. Instead, I was present and making choices moment to moment about what felt good, what was fun, and what captured my attention. I was accepting and enjoying—following my heart’s desire rather than judging my choices or second guessing myself—I was on vacation! As beautiful and inspiring as the surroundings were and as fantastic as the warm Hawaiian air felt, the truly transformative part of my vacation was how I was with myself—my inner state-of-being.
I realized how wonderful life could be if I could cultivate this vacation state-of-being anywhere. Why not live like I am on vacation all the time? Life can be more like a vacation when I’m not trying to do more and be more, but instead practice self-acceptance and enjoy the moment.
For someone else, living like you’re on vacation may be less about your inner state-of-being and more about day-to-day choices about how you spend your time. For another person it may involve particular surroundings—but whatever it is, it makes sense to bring our vacation energy home. We should enjoy our day-to-day lives at least as much as our vacations. After all, it is our day-to-day that makes up the majority of our lives and if we’re not enjoying each moment, what’s the point?
What is it about your vacation state-of-mind that makes a vacation a vacation?
Here are some tips to help you live like you’re on vacation and bring that state-of-mind home:
A few things to consider before your trip:
It’s common before a trip to get organized and rush to accomplish everything done that you have procrastinated finishing for months. Pretend you’re going away next week and then notice what comes to mind and make a list. You will realize what unfinished business is weighing on you—some things that you probably didn’t consciously realize were so important to you and also which of your to-dos are true priorities.
Before you go away set an intention for your trip and also send light to your home. Ask that your home be cleared, refreshed, and renewed while you’re away. If you can, hire someone to have your home deep cleaned while you’re gone. You will change when you are gone—so it is great to return to an energetically “new” home.
Ask yourself these questions while you are away:
What do I love most about this environment? The quiet, colors, air, temperature, light, people, water, mountains, etc…?
What do I love most about the hotel room or rental? Is it cozy? Clutter-free? Is it the décor, fabrics, colors, bed?
How am I different on vacation than I am at home? Am I different with myself? With others? Am I more accepting? More patient? More humorous?
What do I enjoy doing most on vacation? Sleeping? Exercising? Getting spa treatments? Learning new things? Eating? Doing nothing?
What is it about my vacation that I enjoy more than my life at home? Not working? Working on my own schedule? Being outside? Sleeping late? Having more fun?
Write down your answers…
Follow these steps when you return home:
Were there daily rituals I followed on vacation such as tea each afternoon or watching the sunset each evening that I could continue at home? Incorporate one of these rituals into your life at home.
Were there activities I enjoyed on vacation that I could make part of my life such as reading, hiking, playing tennis, swimming, playing cards, hiking? Pick one and try it at home.
Were there habits I naturally followed on vacation such as getting enough sleep, drinking water, eating healthy food, exercising, or meditating each day? Commit to one habit when you return.
Were there things I was particularly drawn to in my surroundings on my vacation that I could bring into my home? Could I paint my bedroom a new color? Bring in artwork depicting an ocean, mountain, or forest? Make my bed as comfortable as the hotels? Get myself a hotel robe or comfy throw blanket? Have more fires at home? Make an outdoor eating area? Move some furniture around so I have a comfortable well-lit place to read? Place bath salts and candles by the tub? Make at least one change in your home.
How was I inside myself on vacation? Was I more self-nurturing or self accepting? Did I stay present in the moment? Choose an inner-practice to cultivate at home.
How was I engaging outwardly on vacation? Was I more extroverted and social? More adventurous? Trying new things everyday? Commit to one outward way of being.
How did I feel on vacation? Peaceful, energized, inspired, free? What one or two words first come to mind? Write down these words where you will see them each day. Say these words silently when they come to mind and affirm you are drawing these qualities into your life.
How was I with my friend, children, or partner on vacation? Was I more loving with my husband, more patient with my children, or forgiving with my friends? Commit to continuing one practice with someone else.
Was having free time an essential part of enjoying my vacation? If so, are there ways to simplify my surroundings and schedule so I have more free time? Could I say no to new commitments for the next six months? Could I get out of current commitments? Could I clutter-clear my home and commit to not buying anything for the next month? Could I choose not to watch TV? Choose one way to free up your time.
If you liked this, you may also like this other blog about travel:
Bring the Energy of Your Vacation Home