I have been back in this time zone (EST) for three days but I don’t feel a part of this rhythm yet. I have been home, which after travelling for any length of time, is a tremendous comfort to me (and most people) but I have not changed gears; I have not gone into productive behaviour and I certainly haven’t returned to my reality (yet).
I decided to extend this feeling of holiday and allow myself time to reintegrate.
It’s a need I feel has become quite palpable for me over the years. I’m sure this is something that is true for many people, and there’s no need to be highly sensitive or an introvert to recognize a need to transition. For the worker bees, we feel it on Monday mornings. Others find the first few days after a holiday to be a drag; they feel tired and they can’t concentrate. Their minds wander to other places and their personal rhythm seems outside of their “normal” routine and duties.
I am blessed with wanderlust and like many of us, I was not born into a family of unlimited means and so, I have to prepare my travels. In a way, this is a blessing because it’s made me deeply curious and grateful to experience new places, cultures, foods, customs and people.
A holiday is not necessarily synonymous with vacation (or travel), but for me, it is often a choice I make for wellness. I find travelling to be soul food. I usually find myself refreshed; my spirits lifted, my heart full and my mind clear. My body is usually spent and I sleep soundly and I dream the most vivid dreams.
When I travel, whether for business or pleasure (but mostly for fun!), I feel like a sponge or a satellite dish (you can relate to one of these, I’m sure); I want to grasp as much as my being can handle. It’s my way of travelling and it makes me feel alive. I remember to pace myself, as often, my body will remind me of its needs. I take those reminders as cues to savour what I’ve experienced.
As an eloquent friend met in Paris put it:
“You can travel to tick items off your list while exhausting yourself or you can travel to get a sense of place and people while savouring the experience.”
I couldn’t agree more. I often fight the urge to be “productive” but it doesn’t take long for me to recognize how happy I am going with the flow, making choices and cherishing this moment. Travelling brings out the best and worst of me. In the end, it shows me my humanity and my greatness and I am grateful.
This July, I have seen marvellous places and tasted delicious dishes. I’ve heard foreign
languages tickle my ear. I have felt kindness, pride and generosity from strangers and friends alike. I have been welcomed with open arms and blessed with the hospitality of many. I have imagined many lives and paths. I bore witness to a dear friend’s day of love and commitment (congratulations to Julia and Will on their wedding! Can’t wait to see you at home in August). I have shared every day with my life partner and I can say that I am happy and I recognize how fortunate I am to be walking my path with a wonderful soul and my best friend.
It’s so overwhelming to be back… I just need a few more days. A few more days to integrate this experience. Growing takes adjustment. A few more days to then plug myself back into my life here. But how? I fully expect to be adding to it some of the lessons, stories and feelings from my latest excursion. But for now, I just need a few more days of just being. Have you ever felt such beauty, such effervescence and deep peace that you want to hold onto it and then you realize that your life “format” is (was) just too small to allow you to function with all this wonder?
That’s it… my previous life format was just too small. Travel is an expansive endeavour. This outcome is also why I thirst for travel.
“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”
I plan to share some of my European adventure with you over the next couple of weeks as these past couple of weeks have taught me about mySelf in its grace and in its humanity. I have tried to post to instagram some snapshots of the beautiful places I have been; I hope you’ve caught a glimpse!
How do you transition to a day-to-day routine after a holiday or a vacation?