Traveling from France to Canada in July is much less brutal than going from Mexico to Canada in January, or from Nicaragua to Canada in February. It’s summer, the weather is about the same and I have spent the past ten years going back and forth between the old world and the new world—I know the drill.
Yet, there are still things that feel pretty awesome after any long trip.
Lying in your bed after a long day of traveling. Dozing on and off in the plane or in the bus is better than no sleep at all (and I certainly wish Mark would wisely choose this option… I mean, at least he has a pillow—my boobs!), but nothing beats a bed, clean sheets and a nice pillow.
Eating all your favourite comfort foods because the fridge is empty. Oatmeal, cookies, pudding, a banana and chocolate eggs are a perfectly acceptable dinner option when you’ve just gotten home—and it’s almost healthier than airline meals or anything you may have grabbed at the airport.
Rediscovering your clothes. Like this t-shirt you haven’t worn in a few weeks, or a pair of socks without holes (everybody knows you walk a lot when you travel). Conversationally, the downside of traveling light is it looks like you are wearing the same clothes on all of your travel pictures.
Opening the stack of mail and finding a few good surprises, like cheques from clients or coupons. Okay, most of it is bills but you can put them aside for a few days.
Using the “meh, I’ll do it tomorrow, I have to recover from jetlag” excuse. It won’t last forever but feel free to postpone chores for a few days without any guilt whatsoever. Jetlag is serious business and the best cure is to be lazy. See, I can barely write a paragraph—and I don’t care!
Emailing/calling your friends and catching up. No one wants to be forced to see ALL of your travel pictures (especially if like me you take a few hundreds) but everyone likes a good anecdote. Plus, the world didn’t stop turning while you were away and you definitely missed some news.
Catching up with your favourite blogs or websites. I don’t spend much time online when I travel, except to write articles and upload pictures. It’s a real pleasure to read all the pages I bookmarked when I come back (and yes, I do dig into archives if needed!).
Breathing the air after you land. Each country has a specific smell and for a few minutes, as you step outside from the airport, you can notice it very well. For instance, to me, France smells of buttery treats, perfume and coffee, Canada smells of trees and Mexico has a laundry detergent and plastic smell (no, really!).
Starting a new routine. Things will eventually get old, boring and predictable. Now is the time to try something new and to see things from another perspective. Your mind is still halfway across the world, and a grocery trip can turn into a fun cultural experience (“eh, I hadn’t noticed this product before!”).
Feeling smart. No more looking for directions, no more desperate attempts to locate the laundry powder at the supermarket, no more last-minute run to the store on Saturday night because you forgot everything would be closed on Sunday, no more counting your change slowly! You are home, and you master your environment.
How about you? Anything you enjoy after a trip?