Welcome back to my short travel series! As you are reading this, I'm north of Florence, in Riccione, Italy, at a cycling resort. My husband is cycling all day, and I am staying by the beach, or at the spa, or taking cooking classes or tango lessons... Last week, I gave you an array of tips and tricks to help you get ready to travel. Today, let's talk about while you are away. I mentioned this last week, but our brain likes order...
#1. Be Organized...
You want to be a little organized, even if you're on vacation. You may want to set an alarm clock in the morning, unless you are in a resort where your goal is to catch up on sleep and stay in bed until noon every day, and just rest and do nothing... Then don't! However, if you are in a city where you want to visit things and discover, well, make sure you don't sleep the whole time.
t's great to have some sort of a schedule, knowing how long it's going to take you to get to that place of interest that you want to visit, and checking if you need to buy tickets in advance, for example.
#2. ...But Not Too Organized
However, you should still leave some room for spontaneity and being able to just out of the blue see something and just say: "Hey, let's turn there and let's stop here on the way there." Having some flexibility will really add excitement and richness to your trip.
Right now, as mentioned earlier, I am in Italy, and a big part of the trip is planned, but not too much. Novelty, and things that you didn't know about will shoot some dopamine through your bloodstream, and that's a feel-good chemical. Being in a different place and having room for flexibility is going to be absolutely amazing. Enjoy that restorative time.
While you are there, try to just forget about everything else and enjoy every day and look forward to discovering the new food and the new scenery and all the gifts that the place has to offer, even if it's just one different food that you don't know, or even if you are on a trip two hours away from your home, there is more likely something different that this place has to offer, so find it, enjoy it and savor it.
#3. Schedule Time for Emails
Have a time where you know that you can check your emails if you are an entrepreneur or if you're like me and have a job where potential emergencies can occur. I always plan in advance when these times are going to be, and I know they're going to happen. My husband knows as well. We know that we do our workout in the morning, we go for a long walk or we go check out the city we're in, we have a breakfast, a shower, and right after breakfast, my husband likes to read the news or take it easy. That's when I have my window to look at my emails, during that time. I also have my out of office assistant that is set up that says: "If it's absolutely urgent, reply to this email with URGENT in the subject box, otherwise I'll deal with it when I come back." This way, I can just look for the urgent ones. I don't even look at the others.
#4. It Can Wait
Sometimes, even emergencies can wait. You're allowed to read them and reply something that means: "Hey, I'm so sorry it's an emergency for you. It's not one for me." Of course you would not say it like that but something similar. Or: "Here's the person that can help you with this." It's not always an emergency. I once got an email when I was away at one of my business trips, and somebody that wanted to sell me something responded with the mention URGENT in the subject line saying that they absolutely needed to talk to me right now. They wanted to sell me life insurance! I'm sorry. This is not what I mean when I wrote the word URGENT in my out of office assistant. Right?
#5. Me Time
Plan some time for yourself, especially if you're traveling with other people. You know that in life we're not constantly with somebody. When we travel, it could become the case, especially if you rent housing with another couple or whatever. Plan to have some time just for you and your partner, or even just for you by yourself if you're not used to be 24/7 with your partner! Two weeks or three weeks or even sometimes just a week is a lot of time spent with the same person if you're not used to living with them.
#6. Say Cheese!
Every day, we take pictures of where we are. When we start our day, I always try to find something that has the name of the city I'm in. For example, if we enter a city and there's a sign that says: "Welcome to Riccione", I will take a picture of the word "Riccione", and then I know that all the pictures that will be taken after this one will be at that place. Then, I kind of have some markers in my pictures to know where things start, and where they end.
At the end of the day, I sort my pictures. I delete all the ones that are bad, because sometimes you take two or three pictures of the same thing. I keep one of each instead of five different pictures of the same building. And then, I upload them right away into a photo book, and I make the photo book while I'm away. You know, these beautiful photo books that you have on your coffee table? I make one for every single one of our trips, but I don't do that when I'm back. Who has the time? When you get back from a trip, you have to catch up, you don't have time to start making a photo book. Fast forward three years later, the photo book has yet to be done. So I do it every day when I'm gone.
Usually, it's the time in between the afternoon and dinner time. We're kind of finished for the day, we're coming back to the room, maybe to change and rest a little bit before going for dinner. That's the time I use to load up all the pictures from the day in the photo book. It only takes 15 minutes. It's quick! I use the Apple website and I upload my pictures in the book right away. Then, before I leave, on the very last day, sometimes even while I'm waiting at the airport, I press "order". And then while I'm flying back, the book is being made, and a few days after I get home, I have it in my mailbox! We have stacks and stacks of photo books from all the trips we've taken, and it's priceless memories!
Enjoy your summer holiday if you're going on one, and next week, we'll be talking about what you can do to make your life easier when you come back from a trip.
OOPS, YOU JUST ATE A COOKIE.
You might as well eat the whole box now, right?
Your day is ruined anyways!
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Check out some of my previous blog posts...
Learnings from Ted Lasso
Jaw-Dropping Facts About the Brain
The Sneaky Productivity Killer