I recently spent about 10 days away from my New York City apartment visiting family, going to a baby shower, and celebrating a wedding. There was so much joy and excitement before and during the trip and even though I was working remotely much of the time, it still felt like a vacation. I got to see a lot of people I don’t get to see very often and work from places that aren’t my usual. As such, when the plane touched down in Newark airport, I felt that slight tang of melancholy—the return to “normal.”
Prior to landing, however, my partner and I were stuck in the Pittsburgh airport, a result of a couple delays. Once we were on the plane, we sat on the tarmac for close to two hours before takeoff. Sitting beside the person I love and with an entire work day off, I was happy as a doodle. I was even happier when the airline offered us a $14 airport food credit.
When we arrived in New Jersey, it was apparent we both wanted to get home as quickly as possible. But the free $14 was ringing in my frugal ears and the first coffee shop we came upon was my target. My ever patient partner waited while I ordered us drinks. Think of how nice this matcha latte will be tomorrow, I said as I poured the green drink into my to-go thermos.
I left the airport with an added pep in my step.
The next morning my alarm went off at 6:11 AM and I laced my shoes for my pre-work run. And a bit later, I keyed back into my apartment and mentally took note of all I still had to do before I sat down at my desk at 9:00 AM. Then I remembered my matcha sitting. How utterly luxurious.
My first day back was great. In addition to finding solace in my normal routines, I added one piece of joy—a fairly simple treat that would make me feel as though I was still “in vacation mode.” I gave myself a little something to look forward to.
If you have an upcoming trip planned, do yourself a favor and find some delightful way to extend it. Maybe that looks like washing your bed sheets and cleaning your room so you come home to a place that is comfortable and cozy. Or maybe it looks like getting ahead on a personal project so you can truly unplug and come back energized and excited to jump in. Or maybe it looks like a free matcha latte from Spirit Airlines waiting in the fridge for a Tuesday morning wake-up call.
Or maybe it’s just a kind word to yourself. A smiley face sticky note on your desk. Maybe it’s the reminder not of how much you miss a person, place, thing, or experience, but how lucky you are to love something so much.