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Turning Off “Vacation Mode”

As many of you may know, I have just gotten back from an amazing month-long vacation, from Nicaragua, to Costa Rica, to Maine and Boston! It was such a wonderful and exciting trip for so many reasons but now, as I sit here on my first night back, eating gummy worms and barbecue chips, I realize how hard it is to turn off “vacation mode”.

Leading up to trips, and generally speaking, I am fairly careful with my diet and exercise routine. I avoid most dairy and gluten, work out at least 4 times a week, and drink an absolute “butt-ton” of water. In recent years I have made it a policy to completely disregard my diet while on vacation – my adult wisdom has taught me that life experience and whimsy far exceed create far more happiness than a flat tummy can ever give you – however, this does make it very challenging to do a 180 when I return, especially after weeks and weeks of indulgence. Further, my sleeping habits have been all over the map between 6am bus rides and late-afternoon naps scattered throughout the last few weeks. I always find it so hard to get back into the swing of things, but I feel like I have started a little routine for myself that seems to work for me; hopefully it might help some of you as well!

My first step is to make a point of really enjoying the first day back. I always give myself one “buffer” day to get home, eat whatever treats I may have brought home or catch up for a pastry with some friends, and relax. This also serves as a day of building motivation! I like to wash my exercise gear, look up a few meal-prep or healthy recipes for the week, and book a noon fitness class for the next day. To readjust following a trip, I try to force myself not to nap and to stay awake until midnight in whichever time zone I am trying to adjust to, then allowing myself to sleep in the next morning as long as necessary. A travel expert once told me that this was the best way to beat jetlag, and let me tell you that tip has changed my life!

Day two is the day that really sets everything in motion for me. I like to wake up, do a ten minute meditation (something I admittedly don’t do nearly enough of!) and have a SUPER healthy breakfast with a big glass of water – something that will really put me into a self-righteous, obnoxiously healthy mindset. I will then take a fitness class, come home, shower, make myself a cup of tea and put together my to-do list. For me, the absolute most important thing when trying to get back into a productive groove, the to-do list! Plan out your week right then and there, so that you can have plain, attainable goals fresh in your mind right away. I like to do some meal-prep for the week, unpack/laundry, and then do a face mask (planes are so dehydrating for your skin!), catch up on some emails, watch some Netflix and hit the hay early.

From day 3 on, its just about doing your best to tick off all of the items on your to-do list, and get back into a healthy, comfortable rhythm. Post-vacation blues are a very real thing, and the more little tasks you can tick off in the first week, the more productive and adjusted you will feel. Drink more water than you think is necessary and avoid coffee for the first 48 hours after flying- most of the effects you feel from flying come primarily from dehydration – and guzzle coconut water for more electrolytes if you’re feeling especially sluggish. Most importantly, in the first week back, just be extra kind to yourself and, for heaven’s sake, listen to your body! Travelling, for all of its benefits, does take a toll on your body and mind, so be patient and allow yourself some time to adjust. Most of us, even if we don’t like to admit it, feel like we need a vacation from our vacation by the time we get home, so do everything you can to get the annoying tasks out the way early and set yourself up for success. Vacations are the perfect “reset” button, so take this opportunity to think about your goals, plan for success, and finally make self-love a priority!

2.5 Weeks in Alaska

This was another trip suggestion I had for our vacation this summer. It is designed to begin in Vancouver, as the first few days is spent in Manning park and then cruising up the coast, but I’m sure it could be cut down or done from many of the cruise ship ports in North America. Although we didn’t end up choosing Alaska, this is an itinerary that I am SO excited to test out in the future. It took a long time to research the best route through the region, but I think this itinerary covers all the ‘highlights’ without breaking the bank which, admittedly, seems very tough to do in Alaska! Although it seems like a somewhat pricey place to visit, I hope this post inspires you to make the journey up North; it seems like a pretty phenomenal experience!

Moving Abroad

In 2016, I moved to Australia. Although I was intending to be there with a partner, on the day I arrived he informed me that “he didn’t actually want a girlfriend” (I know… it was beyond devastating at the time but we worked it out months later!). Regardless, I found myself completely alone in a foreign city – no job, no friends, just a one-bedroom apartment downtown. To say it was difficult would be a huge understatement; I was dealing with a devastating break up by myself, and had no where to be, ever. I would laugh when I would meet people and they’d ask “what are you doing on Friday night?” because the honest answer was “nothing – I have no plans for literally any moment beyond this one”. However, as I immersed myself in fitness classes and spent lots of time alone at cafes, I gradually began making more friends, and more plans, and it was the happiest time of my life. Four years later, I was devastated to have to leave!

What this post is intended to be about, though, is the profound impact that moving abroad can have on a person. Although I learned many things over those four years, the most important thing I took away from it was this: you are never stuck. You are the author of your own story, and if you find your character somewhere where you don’t want it to be, you have the power and the right to rewrite the story. There is a whole other life waiting for you somewhere else; you just have to take a breath, buy the ticket, and off you go! I can’t imagine how many lives could have been saved simply by hitting the “restart” button, especially to go somewhere so warm and picturesque a breeze alone is enough to make you smile. You are strong enough, you are brave enough, YOU are enough – you can make it on your own for a little while, and I promise you will come out even stronger. If you have any questions or hesitations about living abroad, PLEASE reach out; I am always here to listen ❤

2.5 Weeks in Nicaragua

This was an itinerary I suggested to my partner for our summer break (hence the scattered personal notes – sorry!). We ended up combining parts of this trip with Costa Rica, which is an itinerary I will post in the next couple of weeks. I am super keen to head back to Nicaragua in the future – it is such an amazing country and isn’t at all expensive to travel through! The culture is amazing, the food is great, and the adventures are endless. Especially if you’re a diver, I really recommend adding Nicaragua to your bucket list!

Sugarfina Candy Boxes

Ok, some might find these a tad extravagant, but I think they are the PERFECT gift to always have on hand. A housewarming, dinner party, birthday, they are such a nice little gesture or addition to a bigger gift for nearly any occasion. I have begun stocking up on them anytime they have any sort of sale or promotion, as I like having them on-hand should something come up – they also always have great giveaways and deals on their Instagram page! My favorites are the classic flavors, like the champagne bears (made with real Dom Perignon!) or the roses, but my partner is a huge fan of the bourbon bears and caramel balls. If you’re looking for little gifts to have on hand, I recommend mini picture frames, a few nice candles, and a few Sugarfina candy boxes. The only hard part will be resisting temptation long enough to actually gift them!

KIP Sleepwear

If there is one thing that has really “sparked joy” for me recently, its finally investing in a really high quality pair of pajamas. When you think about it, what outfit gets more wear than pajamas? You sleep in them, lounge in them, cuddle in them – an old shirt just doesn’t cut it. I saw one of the women wearing these on one of “The Real Housewives…” episodes and instantly fell in love. The brand is called KIP Sleepwear, and all of their pajamas are so cute its ridiculous. The material is incredibly soft and silky, but also super breathable and light. Also, they can be monogrammed! These pjs would make such a sweet gift for your mum or a girlfriend; I myself am now completely hooked and will never look back. #treatyoursleep!

5 Days in Tasmania

While I was living in Sydney, my partner and I spent Easter long weekend campervanning across Tasmania. It was one of the cheapest, and by far the funnest weekend we have ever had. Tasmania is a place that is just so surprising – it has lots of incredible hiking, wine tasting, beaches – if you are anywhere near Australia or New Zealand, it is absolutely worth visiting. We ended up going with Hertz auto rental for our van, as they allowed us to fly into and pick it up in Hobart, then drive it up and leave it in Launceston, which we flew out of. The itinerary was made before we went, so it doesn’t speak much of the wine tasting, but we ended up stopping at so many amazing wineries along the way! We found tons of free campgrounds and parking options along the way, and cooked most of our food on the portable stovetop in our van or over a fire at the campgrounds, so the weekend was also SO inexpensive. If you’re in the mood for an escape somewhere rural and majestic, five days in Tasmania is just what you need!