Thursday, September 28, 2017

Letting Vacation Change You

We spent last week on vacation at the beach.  It  felt a little strange, planning a beach vacation in September because it was almost fall here, kinda, some of the time.  But we wanted to take advantage of Luke's last year not in school which means vacationing during the school year. (I'm going to miss that SO MUCH.) 

So one weekend we went to the lake to bring home the jet ski.  I wore pants and a sweatshirt all weekend and had piles of blankets to sleep.  A week later we left for the beach where I didn't even take pants and never wore the one (thin) sweatshirt I did pack.  Only even wore t-shirts (non-tank tops or swimsuit) to sleep and on the (LONG) drive down and back.  And, of course, it was in the high 80s at home while we were gone.  We came home and immediately turned on the AC and it hasn't been off yet.  Even I'm ok with AC when it's hitting 90° during the day.

I love traveling and we've taken many many trips in our married years.  They are always work to prep and I never love our house more than when it's all clean and we are about to leave.  I get pre-homesickness for sure.  I always wonder if we really should be taking a trip (even though it's generally mostly paid for at that point) and why we don't just stay home?  I love being home. 

But I also love to travel.  See new places.  I know I get itchy if our trips are too spread out.   And I haven't regretted a trip yet.

As much as I love traveling and being new places (or returning to favorite old places), the best part of these trips is all the family time.  Getting out of our normal routines.  Mostly focusing on just being together (I mean, I also read 15+ hours that week and slept more than 8 hours every night besides the ones we were driving through).  There's no pressure to do housework.  Blog work.  Work work.  We do the bare minimum - in this case, making some meals at the condo, stacking/unpacking the dishwasher, and doing a few loads of laundry to keep the swimsuits, beach towels, and running clothes (briefly) clean.

It's wonderful to have that time to just focus on the family.  Taking Luke to the pool and the beach for hours every day.  Putting down the phone (or leaving it at the condo) for large parts of the day.  Not trying to fit in all these other things we think we have to do each day.  And some of it is necessary.  I do like having a clean house.  I do like doing home improvement projects (or at least the results of them).  We do have to go to the grocery store, occasionally run other errands.  Doctor appointments, play dates, etc.  We can't just run away from our responsibilities full-time.

But for a week it's pretty wonderful. 

I read somewhere that to keep up all this little life improvements even after you get home, you need to immediately make some changes.  I can't just give up cleaning the house.  I definitely can't take Luke to the ocean for hours every day.  But I can charge my phone across our bedroom so I'm not tempted to touch it in bed and hitting snooze is much less convenient.  I can leave it in the other room during the day.  I can not give every text message immediate attention.  I can try to manage my energy levels so I don't spend an hour at the computer in the evening trying to find the motivation to write a blog post while refreshing Facebook or random internet sites.  I can stick do our 9:30pm computer OFF time so I have more time with Matt in the evenings. 

I can't travel year-round and I love being home far too much to do that anyways.  But I can make little, immediate changes so some of those vacation benefits carryover to my real, at home, life.  That's part of the benefit of travel anyways, letting it change how you see the world, even if it's just a little bit.

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