September is here. For most of us this means summer is over, money is nowhere to be found, vacation days are all used and it is time to get back to reality. For me – living in Sweden – this also means the start of a darkness that will end earliest in the end of March.
Depressing right? BUT. That travel season is over doesn’t need to be the end of everything. Life doesn’t need to be black or white – good or bad. There is so much we learn when we travel that we forget as soon as we get back home again.
Travel and vacation is so much more then being somewhere far from home. To travel is to change and challenge your mindset. It is about talking to strangers at the bus stop. To try new things you wouldn’t do at home. And it is to step away from the routines and expectations in your everyday life. This is what creates that feeling – not the place where you are. This is a 15 step guide on how you can embrace and practice this holiday feeling even if you are at home.
1) EAT BREAKFAST IN BED
…And go back to sleep after eating it. Maybe also watch a film before lunch? Breakfast is the first thing you do every day and it will set the vibe for the whole day. Do you want to feel relaxed and spontaneous? Make your breakfast that way.
2) TRUST OTHER PEOPLE’S JUDGEMENT
Visit that top attraction on Trip Advisor even if it doesn’t seem to be anything for you. Follow that wine advice even if it seems a bit too expensive. To trust other people will make you try new things and not get too stuck into the routines of how you make choices and take decisions. It will open up new possibilities.
3) LOOK AT A MAP
…Of the city or country you are in. Or even the world. It’ll work totally fine with Google Maps. Just have a great look and get a feeling of where you are in perspective to everything else. Life is going fast and when you can use GPS to find your way around, the overall picture is often forgotten. But in the end this is what connects us all.
4) EAT BREAKFAST OUTSIDE
For the same reason as No.1
5) WEAR CLOTHES THAT FEEL A LITTLE “THIS IS NOT REALLY ME”
Too much color, too many frills, too high heels or just too tacky. One thing about being on holiday is that there is no pressure to think about ”who you are”. Maybe this is why we all get back home with tie-dye beach kaftans and crochet tops, wondering what on earth we were thinking as soon as we open the suitcase. But I do think that in the moment you bought those clothes, you just went with the flow. You were just happy. You forgot other people’s expectations on how you dress. Because in the end, who you are is you right? Not the clothes you wear, the makeup you use. To be able to play with and explore the way you look should be for everyone, all the time. Not only when on holiday.
6) LET YOUR HEART DECIDE THE MUSIC
…Rather then listen to what you are supposed to listen to to keep yourself updated. If you want to listen to that Ibiza Spotify Playlist from 2014 – do it! If you want to listen to Lambada on repeat for a week – do that! Not many things can create as much feelings as music does. To choose the right soundtrack for your day, weekend or week will make the right things happen. (And hey! Don’t forget to turn off that thing on Spotify where people can see what you are listening to.)
7) FIND REASONS TO TALK TO STRANGERS
Ask that girl in the shop if she has any other suggestions of great vintage stores in the area. Ask that man what he thought about the exhibition. Ask people for directions instead of using Google Maps (also see No.11). When you get home from traveling the strongest memories are usually people you met. A funny cab driver. That old lady who wanted to make braids in your hair. When you are out traveling for a longer time, you have to make new contacts in order to create your new life far from home. To talk to more strangers in your everyday life is such a beautiful way to learn and get more understanding of other people. A small talk often leads in to stories that you would never have heard if you didn’t ask about the way to the tube station. Maybe you’ll even meet a new close friend.
8) ALWAYS KEEP A BOOK IN YOUR BAG
…And don’t only read at home or on the bus. Use this book as an opportunity to slow down your everyday life and take a break in the park, at a café or somewhere else when you feel that life is spinning too fast. Reading a book when you’re having your coffee also makes you look so much more interesting then surfing on your phone.
9) EAT ICE CREAM FOR LUNCH
No reason really rather then since it tastes so damn good in the middle of the day.
10) PRETEND THERE IS NO FREE ROAMING
Only use internet when you have WiFi. At home and at work. When you are out and about – use people instead. Ask them about directions, ask them for a suggestion when the restaurant you were planning to go to was overbooked. The internet is a real angel for travelers. But there is also the disadvantage when it makes you more isolated since you can mind your own business without needing to integrate with people.
11) EAT AND DRINK “THE SPECIALS”
…Instead of what you normally go for. Is the restaurant known for its black pudding – but it also has hamburgers that looks really good? Go for the black pudding and make it an experience. You will remember that black pudding whether you like it or not. But you probably won’t remember that hamburger.
12) EMBRACE THE WEATHER
If it is sunshine – run outside to catch it. If it is rain – see it as the perfect opportunity to go to the museum or play cards. If it is windy – go look at the sailing boats or wind surfers. Try to make the most of the day rather then wishing that it was different from what it is. Practice your flexibility and follow the weather rather then dreaming about that you could control it.
13) ONLY USE A HANDFUL OF CLOTHING
To have less choice can sometimes mean the opposite – freedom. When having a backpack with only two dresses, a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts and a few t-shirts, decisions are not that hard to make. You will have a dress when you go out for a meal in the evening, and probably a t-shirt and jeans shorts when going to the beach. If you want to look a bit more special for one night you need to be creative and put some flowers in your hair. Easy life. The energy saved in decision making can instead be used on having fun and experiencing the moment. And this is not a – ”look boring be comfortable” advice. I LOVE clothes. But I have recently found out that I feel happier when I just don’t own as many. It can be worth trying.
14) SEND A POSTCARD
…Or an e-mail and make someone happy. To get a heart emoji as a comment on your Instagram post is nothing compared with when you receive a short little letter saying that someone is missing you. This is also a good way for you to sit down and think about what you are experiencing at this very moment. How will you explain how you feel, and what have you done the past week that you can’t wait to tell your friends about?
15) RENT SOMETHING
A bike, a car, a kayak, a wakeboard? You don’t need to own or buy things to try something new in your life. The advantage of being away from home is that you can’t just go and buy stuff – you need to be able to get it home as well. With renting stuff it is suddenly not such a big step to try something new since it is so much cheaper and it is no problem if you don’t like it – you just give it back in the end of the day.
All photos sourced from: Unsplash