Vacations, oh how I love them. Now I love them anyway. I used to load so much into a vacation that I would come back more exhausted than when I left. I wouldn’t always take care of things before leaving home so I ended up doing more clean-up and triaging my life and didn’t ever feel like I had any sort of vacation at all. At the worst, I felt like I would have rested and enjoyed more if I just went to work and did my usual daily and weekend routine. I knew it had to change because I love traveling (one of my bold Sagittarian traits). But I didn’t want to keep coming home more miserable than when I left. The whole point of a vacation was to reboot and relax right?
One thing my mom was and is still big on was cleaning the house before she left for a trip. Her key phrase “Nobody likes coming home to a dirty house” stuck with me. So I started there. Whenever I would go away from the house - be it a weekend, or a longer vacation, I started tidying things up a bit. Garbage was out, laundry was as done as it could be (because I know we all have that towel or random shirt that just didn’t make it into the load). The dishes were done and when I felt like being a superhero, I would even clean out my fridge to make sure I didn’t come home to any science experiments and that I had food to eat when I arrived back, especially after a really late flight home.
I really suggest this if you aren’t already working this in. It doesn’t have to be a full-on top to bottom house cleaning. Just something that leaves your space welcoming to come back to. Bonus, there's usually more room to set souvenirs and your suitcase full of dirty laundry. I also live with anxiety, so this process really helped calm me down before I left. I knew everything was taken care of and that there was less possibility of unwelcome surprises when I arrived back home. I’ve had the rare occasion of having to deep clean something at midnight on a Sunday before work, exhausted from a long flight and I like to minimize the probability of that happening. As I type I’m planning on clearing out the produce drawers tomorrow before my trip to Florida next week.
Intention to me isn’t just about the trip itself. It’s about the whole process of a vacation. The planning, the preparation and also allowing yourself the time to really enjoy the memories of the vacation once you return. As much as I love traveling, coming back to my home is just as special. It was a lot more lovely and relaxing once I stopped using vacations as a reason to just get out of the house and treating my home, whether it was my small apartment or my new house, as a place just as special and magical as the Disney parks I love so dearly.
Until next time, how do you create a space to welcome you back after being away?