Don’t Leave Me, Vacation!

June 12 2019 – Chelsea Vincent

Don’t Leave Me, Vacation!
Don’t Leave Me, Vacation!

How to Bring Your Travels Home with You

By Chelsea Vincent

Miss being on vacation?  Us too!  Here's how to handle it.

Ah, vacation. When we’re on one, we never want it to end. When we’re home, we’re counting down the days until the next one, or figuring out if we have enough vacation days to plot a return to paradise.

But what if we could bring some of that special sauce – that joie de vivre – home with us, instead of pretending not to be bitter, whilst gearing up for another workday, sans adventure or fun?

There are a few simple tricks to help bring that feeling of living well home with you. Using these little tricks will help keep you in that relaxed, happy headspace from the beach, mountains, or wherever your heart calls home. Ahh.


Buy Quality – Over Quantity – Souvenirs

I’ll be totally up-front in saying that I love a good thrift store bargain (bear with me, this has a point). What makes me super bummed out is seeing all the little vacation trinkets that end up in thrift stores or landfills, simply because they lack actual depth or meaning. No one wants a glitter-filled mug or neon coconut magnets six months after they get back from Hawaii.

These are the goodies which say you forgot about souvenirs until your last day somewhere, at a super touristy area, or until you got to the airport. You suddenly panic and load up on whatever is available, even though you don’t love it.

A Vintage Tiki-Bar sign made for a trade show
Artisanal goods always retain their sense of value and sentiment

Instead of buying a lot of cheap junk, buy only one or a few quality items. Select items which were made by individual artists, like handmade earrings or artwork, to ensure you get one-of-a-kind memories to take home. Not only will you reduce waste for the planet by steering clear of low-cost factory goods, but you’ll also be able to display items at home which you still enjoy seeing for years to come.

Create Soundtracks to Take You Back

Another great (and ridiculously easy) way to take your travels home with you is to put music databases to good use, by discovering or creating unique soundtracks. Just like movies use sound effects and scores to transport our minds elsewhere, we can do the same thing with “going back to vacation.”

This trick draws upon your auditory senses in a place. When you think about it, the mood of a vacation is created by the sights we see, but it’s also inspired by the smells in the air, the taste of unique food flavors, and the sounds we hear. You can use programs like Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora to curate custom playlists which evoke those same sensory responses.

If you spent time in a place like New Orleans, for example, you might do a search for “Big Easy Jazz,” and then pull from several lists to compile your own. Or, if you spent time by the sea, nature sounds like birds, waves, and simple music can bring you back to the feeling of having a cocktail on the bar at the pier.

Once you start crafting these playlists, you’ll may even find that you pay more attention to what you hear while you’re traveling the next time.

Replicate the Magic of Specific Moments

I have vivid memories of reaching a mountain peak with friends after hiking for a few days in King’s Canyon, or another of doing yoga on the Malibu Pier early one Saturday morning. These small, literally precious moments are forever imprinted as impressionable experiences for me, and you likely have some of your own, from trips you’ve been on.

Yet, too often after returning home, the stress of deadlines, home repairs, or other must-do tasks takes over our minds. Without everyday reminders, we can forget those sweet moments that make all of the tedious ones worthwhile.

A great way to remedy this is to replicate specific moments with visual reminders. I might not always want to pull out a camera while camping (it’s good to get off the grid, after all), but I can find another visual representation of that moment to see on a daily basis.

Bonfire under the stars at Nelson's Art Blog

Spending time in nature with family or friends can be recreated

Take the picture above, for example. If this were a snapshot of what it felt like to enjoy camping with my family, feeling the glow of both the fire and our warm conversation, under a blanket of clear stars, I could perhaps find a piece of artwork to capture that. Due to those feelings, this painting is one of my favorites:

Camping under the stars hand painted artwork
“To See Behind Walls” perfectly captures the way camping feels for me


This artwork could then hang in my bedroom or office, for example, so that I could be reminded on a daily basis of the magic and splendor of nature, as well as the late-night laughs and conversations I enjoyed that night, sitting with people I love. (It sounds cheesy, but I really do live for those memories!)

While we can’t be on vacation 24-7, with a little thoughtfulness, we can bring the memories and feelings home with us, to keep us sane – and even happy! – until our next trip arrives.

What are some ways you keep those vacation vibes with you at home? We’d love to know your other ideas! Leave us a comment below.


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